Previous Week February 19th, '99 Next week

Thief: The Dark Project: (http://www.lglass.com/) / YonmaN

Thief - The Dark Project
3D 1st perspective/atmosphere game, Medival/Industrial
Assesment - Played a Thief in D&D ? You'll love it.


Well ...

Thief opens up a not-so-new realm of playing hacknslash - Quake style while remembering the most basic Trick in Military history. Surprise.
Take note that ultima underworld players will immediately make the connection here - this is indeed an action oriented UU ...
Thief is a Game set in Medieval times about a... well ... a thief basically. The demo I played portraits a mission in which you have to infiltrate a certain lord's mansion and steal a precious scepter. Sounds simple ... In Quake2 - maybe, pull out the ol' trusty Rocket Launcher and blow stuff to bits ...
Not here sonny.
The nice thing about Thief that immediately catches your eye is that it's "situation oriented". The game places you in a scenario and simply gives you a first push in the right direction - the rest is totally up to you. In this case - you can simply single handedly kill all the guards - one by one as seen and prefered by many a ninja, or take on the 'lot of them and be butchered quite quickly ...
You can also go by in a totaly different fashion - you can sneak up on guards and knock them out, or maybe - you can backstab them, you can snipe them with your bow, or you can even avoid all this bash and kill nonsense and simply pick their pockets for keys and other things and sneak by them.
Also - you do not have a single corridor leading you from room to room in an endless gauntlet of blood and thievery, you are in a castle (that's what I mean when I say "situation oriented") and you can quite easily even get lost in it and loose precious time regaining your position ... the map is not all that helpfull at pinpointing you and that's good.

I called this game an atmosphere game because that's what it partially is - you hear guards muttering, whisteling to themselves in boredom (god I know how boring an 8 hour shift of pacing up and down a post can be :) and some of them even respond to your presence, greeting you or ... attacking you.

Combat is a little bit disappointing ... it's ... *slow*
I've had some sword play spurs in my life and playing thief really gave me the feeling that everything is in slow motion ... so I charged four guards to see how quick I can be and found out things can be very different on the wrong side of four swinging swords ...
Other nice features is your ability to hide in shadows, a "visibility-meter-o-matic" helps you determine just how visible you are. also - to be able to sneak about you can't go around running all the time some times you need to walk to be as quite as you can get.

Team play ...
I've read for the first time about thief a year ago I believe ... and back then, already, people were worried about it's multiplayer value. well - it sure ain't a fast running rocket totting marine blazing deathmatch machine ... but cooperative playing should find a new niche here quite easily as Missions canbe designed to need cooperation between a few thieves in making the perfect burglery act where not a single drop of blood is shed and no one even knows what happened till the next day ...

Overall -
This game shows ALOT of promise for single playing, a somewhat slimmer and less glorified future in the Deathmatch arena but some serious potential in cooperative games ... which as of late have grown very rare.

A note about Screenshots - due to some wierd bug in the Demo that did not allow Screenshots to be taken using my Voodoo2 Accelerator, I took the liberty of importing some screenshots from the Thief Online Homepage.

YonmaN



Downloads

  • Thief demo 1 (44.4MB) ftp://download.gamespot.com/pub/action/thief/thiefd.zip
  • Thief demo 2 (different demo) (53.5MB) ftp://download.gamespot.com/pub/action/thief/thiefdemo2.zip