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Thread: General Fan Mission Review And Discussion Megathread

  1. #2001
    Registered: Jan 2007
    Location: Germany
    Thank you very much for your review Summer! I'm glad that you've liked my mission.
    You should really play the other missions and might as well review them too

  2. #2002
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    Thanks for the review, Jack. It was a good read.
    A note about that switch: I thought the training room would be a place with a lot of traffic, so the switch had to be hidden enough for the guards not to find it. Still I didn't think it was that well-hidden. Some players found it within a minute, but some had trouble seeing it.

    Building this mission was quite challenging. Not from the technical point of view; but in the way The Acid Trip was challenging to build. I needed a lot of ideas to get it right, and without the correct dose of imagination it would turn into a mediocre mission.
    The problem was that, as the builder, I could not 'sense' if my ideas were working. But when I showed the mission to some of the people around me and saw them flinch, I knew I had achieved my goal.
    I tried to induce a sense of helplessness in the player. The player is unable to help any of the prisoners...and even if he did, he knew the next day the place would be full again.

    I'm glad it all worked!

  3. #2003
    Registered: May 2002
    Location: The Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
    Thanks for the review, Jack. It was a good read.
    A note about that switch: I thought the training room would be a place with a lot of traffic, so the switch had to be hidden enough for the guards not to find it. Still I didn't think it was that well-hidden. Some players found it within a minute, but some had trouble seeing it.

    Building this mission was quite challenging. Not from the technical point of view; but in the way The Acid Trip was challenging to build. I needed a lot of ideas to get it right, and without the correct dose of imagination it would turn into a mediocre mission.
    The problem was that, as the builder, I could not 'sense' if my ideas were working. But when I showed the mission to some of the people around me and saw them flinch, I knew I had achieved my goal.
    I tried to induce a sense of helplessness in the player. The player is unable to help any of the prisoners...and even if he did, he knew the next day the place would be full again.

    I'm glad it all worked!
    I told you so: It's a Freaking Fantastic Mission

    BTW: I could help ONE : the prisoner in the Audio Ward

    Gloria Creep
    There're angels who playThief and angels who don't ........ both go to heaven ............
    Dare to join .............

  4. #2004
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    I’m looking into the revised version (3rd of August, 2010) of SVC winner Escape from Hammer Hill by DarthsLair. And after playing through this, I’m not surprised this mission won the contest.

    The story: Basso’s lady-friend, Jennivere, was attacked and Basso was unlucky enough to kill the man and ended up in Hammer Hill prison on a murder charge. Because Jennivere asked I, Garrett, allowed myself to be imprisoned to break Basso out.

    The mission: The prison is situated at the top of a mountain and has electrified alarms and lots of guards. The mission begins with nothing but a compass in your inventory and some instructions from Jennivere; everything else must be gathered along the way, including an interesting blackjack replacement.

    Aside from the usual loot requirement your mission is to get both Basso and yourself out of the prison – and through the Main Gate, no less. Along the way quite a few optional objectives come into play: Some information gathering, some special items acquisitions. On expert there are also the no kills objective and the no alarms triggered by guards objective, both of which will be challenging for ghosters.

    The gameplay: In short, this is one excellent prison mission! Cragscleft had a very ominous feel to it (and the zombies didn’t help), but Hammer Hill has more of a tense feel to it. The corridors are narrow and tight, giving the place a claustrophobic atmosphere. There are plenty of guards around on every level, all of them near alarm buttons. Aside from the prison there is also a small sewer section to explore, with various points of entry. The place doesn’t have the same kind of dread ambience as Cragscleft, but you still find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat and hands sweating in nervousness.

    You do have to keep a close eye on your light gem, because sometimes what looks like shadow, is actually making you fully lit – and both stationary and patrolling guards are only a few steps away. There are quite a few entry points into the prison once you break out of your cell, so this plays very non-linear, which has always been the strong point of Thief – and is a good thing in a prison mission where getting in and getting out are supposed to be difficult enough as it is.

    The look: Man, does this mission look great! I particularly noticed the sharp wooden textures of the guard towers, the glare of lanterns, the new additions of the power panels, and the green uniforms on some of the guards, which I thought were a nice change of pace. The stone of the prison building is contrasted by the massive wooden structures outside in the form of guard towers and adjoining walkways. Everything looks amazing, top notch job, I thought.

    The sound: Custom Garrett and Basso sounds mixed with original game lines worked brilliantly. Don’t know who voices the new Garrett, but he’s good! I only noticed that it wasn’t the same voice because I didn’t recognize the lines from the OMs – nothing about the voice itself gave it away. Nice! Other than that, the basics of prison sounds around: Guards mumble and prisoners complain – pleasure to listen to. The music echoes the OMs in quality and intensity, but not too loudly or distractingly. Even in the risk of sounding repetitive, everything sounds great.

    Favorite moment: This may sound silly, but my favorite moment was spotting the guards in green. I liked those new-colored uniforms just like the splashes of red in the Hammer insignia all around. The prison is daunting grey and the sky dark blue so the strong colors really struck an impact on me. Noticing them so clearly made them unforgettable, as my pics will illustrate.

    With that said, here’s some screenies.

    How ominous is that…? Still, interesting use of the color red amidst the darkness. I guess that is what makes it so… ominous.

    I wonder where this door goes…? Guards, oh…

    Well, well, what’s this, then? Should I pull the lever or not? Hmm… Choices… Cause pressing buttons is ALWAYS a good idea, right?

    That can’t be good… Unfortunately, that’s the way to go. Being the master thief that I am I predict they will wake up in the morning with severe headaches and their captain yelling at them for sleeping on the job.

    Who’s that then in the distance? Maybe it’s Basso… Hey, Basso, over here, you taffer- Oh, no, not Basso then… Run!

    The way out is blocked – what a shocker! Now how am I going to get out?!

    On a final note, Escape from Hammer Hill was a great mission, totally fun to play. Recommended for every Thief fan and especially for all those who normally don’t go anywhere near prison missions – this will change your mind, I guarantee

  5. #2005
    Registered: Aug 2002
    Location: Siberia, Russia

  6. #2006
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Hah, yes, that one's old. I remember skimming over it back in southquarter. Just after I played the mission myself.

    Also, Summer, you gonna review all the Summer's contest missions?

  7. #2007
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    Summer, you gonna review all the Summer's contest missions?
    Actually, in all honesty, no, I wasn't going to. Namely because I've been away for nigh two weeks on vacation in a country cottage with no electricity and no-one around for a hundred miles... So, I naturally expected that someone else would've done those reviews by the time I returned - which is now... First day at work after the summer holidays... Blaah...

    But hey, if you don't mind reading them, I guess I could do the ones I have left. Although... Again in all honesty, Captain of the Guard had me breaking down in tears yesterday - the first FM I tried after the holidays. I couldn't get further than a couple of minutes... Man, I suck... But I'll look into Settling a Score today after work.

  8. #2008
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Oh that's ok. Do as you like. I've got a lot of reviews that I've only checked the screens out of, so there's a lot of stuff I should still read.

    I myself am replaying Mission X - still appreciating it a hell of a lot - so much work and effort put into it and all's so well and beautifully made... It's rather an honor play.

    Also replaying Thief 2 X, which is also fun, as it's also a nice eyecandy, some gameplay, custom footsteps and textures and all... yum. :>

  9. #2009
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    Oh that's ok. Do as you like. I've got a lot of reviews that I've only checked the screens out of, so there's a lot of stuff I should still read.

    I myself am replaying Mission X - still appreciating it a hell of a lot - so much work and effort put into it and all's so well and beautifully made... It's rather an honor play.

    Also replaying Thief 2 X, which is also fun, as it's also a nice eyecandy, some gameplay, custom footsteps and textures and all... yum. :>
    Can't wait to read more reviews by you, Thor, so get cracking

    I suppose you could do some individual reviews of T2X missions, not necessarily the whole thing. Perhaps the ones you liked the most...?

  10. #2010
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Oh, well if I overcome my giant overlazyiness, I might do some. Hmm, yes, the whole thing seems to be a bit too big to review for someone like me. I'll just have to see how it goes. I realized I don't like officially "reviewing" stuff as much as I like randomly saying what's on my mind about the mission and perhaps even post a screenshot or two.

    Just in any case, I could sign a contract with screenshot posting. xD

  11. #2011
    Registered: May 2005
    Location: Full on Kevel's mom
    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    Although... Again in all honesty, Captain of the Guard had me breaking down in tears yesterday - the first FM I tried after the holidays. I couldn't get further than a couple of minutes... Man, I suck...
    Aww, sorry for making you cry, Summer. Try it on Nightmare.
    Cotg on normal is a fairly short mission that you can always reload. You will fail the first few times, but hopefully (when failure isn't due to a bug) you can learn from your mistakes and formulate new strategies to try out.
    Check the CotG thread for my own strategy if you want to soldier through another attempt.

  12. #2012
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    T2X (TeeTooEks) - Unexpected Shelter

    Ehm, decided to give it a warm up today.

    So I played through the first mission of T2X, where, as everybody probably knows (if you don't, go play T2X. Now.), you don't really get any weaponry or perform any acts of stealth or steal anything. I know, it sounds horrible, but for the record, I kinda really enjoy playing this mission. Maybe cause I already was familiar with it already, cause the first time I wasn't as fond of it. But that's what makes replaying this campaign so great. All the pieces of story I missed, the references I still don't get at multiple points and the various ways to play the missions.

    So far I've played through 3 missions, from which the museum and city ones were very much unlinear cause of brilliant designing and architecture put-togetheres. (Inventing my own words already. This is gonna be great.)

    Though that's very much unrelated to the first mission (oops).

    Anyway, all of what I said so far was pretty boring, wasn't it? Aye? Haha, got'cha thar! No worries. Although I can't promise it will get funnier, but I'll try to give some examples with screenshots. But first more about the first mission. Pfft, formalities... staying on topic. Bleh!

    ...Anyway, the mission was pretty much in 2 parts:
    *First it's city... the usual classic stuff some may already be sick of, some may still enjoy, but I think all can agree it looks fantastic and somewhat flawless for the given engine and the fact that it's only for eyecandy this time. So that's alright, all should be mathematically satisfied, as the mission isn't only that.
    *It's also creepy mansion/tunnels/caves with some rather scary/creepy scripted effects. The fireplace turning on in some of the rooms still makes me heart leap out of surprise. It's awesome. And there's a lot of story to fill things in with, like what kind of guy that old looking Malak really is and makes you wonder why on earth does Zaya trust him.

    'Nuff said, time for ACTION. [hope I made the screens bright enough for a change]

    This is the area you start in. Pretty open feel, that's good.

    Crooked street, great architecture, beautiful lightening and texturing - what more could you ask in a screenshot? Seriously - what?

    Puddles, anyone? I like puddles. I'll have a few puddles.

    This screenshot I took badly, but I wanted to show the area anyway - gives more of that blissful feeling of freedom and openness.

    Probably the most innovative/creative screenshot I've ever taken that looks decent. Or does it?

    This is probably my favorite hallway so far, that has such a simple design. I love complex architectures, especially in Mission X (Friendly advertising - it's not a hobby. It's a lifestyle), but sometimes to give it a rest, the designers simply went on with simplicity that's textured and lightened beautifully. It's glorious. (Am I full of illusions? Maybe. But still, had to make some sort of comment :>)

    Nothing too epic about the caves imho, it was just a room or two. I've simply had my share of caves for a while now. But it was a part of what defined the end and still looks pretty.

    Other random things I liked about the mission:
    - The tile texture and purple messed up wall textures of the mansion.
    - The tree that grew back in the garden, possibly indicating creepy pagan magick. (Cause Malak says Magick with the k.)
    - The spinning plate on the dinner table.
    - The pagan child running to a door, resulting the door getting open.

    Ehm, hope I'm both not being obnoxiously niggling about stuff and going to keep it up in next "reviews".

    That's all folks.

    Imma smaaaaller fish now tho...
    Last edited by Thor; 16th Aug 2010 at 20:57.

  13. #2013
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Random_Taffer View Post
    Aww, sorry for making you cry, Summer. Try it on Nightmare.
    Cotg on normal is a fairly short mission that you can always reload. You will fail the first few times, but hopefully (when failure isn't due to a bug) you can learn from your mistakes and formulate new strategies to try out.
    Check the CotG thread for my own strategy if you want to soldier through another attempt.
    Hey, no problem, Random_Taffer I'll try it again. It's different from other Thief FMs so it takes a little practice. And the Mike's review of it before I tried it prepared me for the challenge. I'll stock up on fire mages next and see who's the boss then!

    Thor, excellent review! The flow of your thinking and writing is so creative and uninhibited that it's fun to (try to) follow. Keep it up! More of T2X, please

  14. #2014
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    2010 SVC mission Settling a Score by eepcat.

    The story: Cutty, Garrett’s fence and semi-reliable partner-in-crime, died in Cragscleft prison three years ago. Now Cutty’s son, whose existence was unknown to Garrett, reveals that Cutty was caught while casing the estate of a certain Sir Greystone. Cutty had been after the lord’s fabeled Sage Crown. Garrett takes on his dead friend’s task – with a side order of revenge.

    The mission: The objectives revolve around the Sage Crown and a variable loot objective. Returning to the place where you began the mission as an objective is not hard if you’re a blackjacker like me, but for a ghoster to tip-toe around the same places a number of times can be challenging. There are some notes from Cutty lying around: Gathering them is not an official objective, but can be helpful in completing the mission. (Also, there’s talk of a secret objective, damned if I could find it…)

    The gameplay: This is mansion mission with a large basement area (with some rather nasty surprises in the form of opponents, some of which you can guess from the load-out screen purchasing inventory). From the very beginning there are several ways to proceed and some alternative routes, giving the player quite a few options, which is a solid setting of gameplay style from the start.

    There is a puzzle involved in completing the main objective. What was great about this mission is that one can find clues as to how proceed and how to solve the puzzles you encounter. You just have look around carefully into every nook and cranny – you’ll be rewarded. The mission progresses well at every step which I liked. Getting stuck is always a pain in the…

    There are a lot of guard patrols and servants wandering around in every difficulty, and the plentitude of tiled floors in practically every other room and hallway – not to mention gravel in the basement – makes this a tough ghost, so beware. Don’t get me wrong: It’s not overwhelming, but you will use up a lot of moss arrows to get onward.

    The music: The music was so quiet and unobtrusive that I quite liked it. There were still times when you heard it, so it wasn’t all silent. No custom sounds for the guards or servants, but a mission like this with a specific objective doesn’t really require it, since the absence of custom lines doesn’t affect gameplay in any way. Overall nothing bad to report.

    The setting: As I mentioned before, this is city mansion mission. Several floors above the basement level circulating a garden courtyard. Beautiful setting, I thought. There are some places that stood out: The maze-like basement with them bloody critters of all variety around, the garden with a view to the second floor, and the entrance to the lord’s room with its wall paneling, lanterns, statues and tile floors. Not convenient for a thief, to be sure, but ripe with a feeling of luxury that only a pompous rich noble can fill his town house with stuff like that. In essence, immersion objective complete.

    Favorite moment: I had quite a few thrilling moments here. My third favorite moment was a mind-game: Having chosen the entry through the basement getting up to the mansion and seeing the green garden was great. I have mentioned before how effective this is as a psychological tool: Putting the player through an ordeal before even getting to the actual mission area.

    My second favorite moment was finding
    the ventilation system
    . I was at that point running out of moss arrows and looking at those bloody guards in a well-lit, tile-floored hallway standing right on my path… Well, I cursed out loud, fearing I might have to start again and conserve my equipment better. Lady Luck was on my side, though. Good design choice from the author, me thinks with a smile.

    My first favorite moment was a little leaflet left on the table of a noblewoman, giving the title of a theatrical play called The Thief and his Wife. Immersion is in the setting and gameplay, yes, but also in the details. And that was great! Kept thinking I must see this play! If the thief in the play can keep a wife, could Garrett do the same…? Hmm…

    This mission is recommended for all Thief fans across the board as a solid classic Thief experience. This one plays like an OM which is a-okay.

    And finally, here are some screenies:

    This is where the mission begins, on the street outside. So familiar and so classic.

    The basement with its horrors awaits…

    The barracks – go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep, little guards… Mozart’s lullaby works every time.

    Garden at the heart of the estate. Those rich sure know how to build classy…

    What’s cooking? Is that…? Ahh, no stench hardier than a roasting burrick… Yummie!

    Care for some reading, anyone?

    Something important MUST be here…

    Man, this little leaflet was the highlight of my day! Is that weird…? No need to answer.

    Now we’re getting somewhere…

    The master bedroom – swanky!

    This could be a problem.

    The prize awaits…

    That's all this time. Enjoy.

  15. #2015
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Sorry for what must be the billionth post I've made today already... It's like an addiction, I'll try to cut down!

    But... I'm resurrecting OTOR (oppositional theme-oriented review, or in this case, rambling) - only without the needless (lack of) humor. Cutting down the chit-chat: I was thinking about mission briefings. Not cutscenes, not game/FM intro movies. Briefings.

    In T1/TG/T2 the mission briefings follow a similar pattern. There's the ominous music and the text fragment from the Hammerites, the Pagans or the Keepers. And then the black-and-white artwork images appearing almost floating and Garrett's voice giving us some background and an idea of the mission ahead. Great stuff, I don't think anyone here would argue that.

    Then we have the mission briefings in TDS. Just a blue screen with text you can scroll down and Garrett's voice repeating what you can already read. No quotes, no artwork.

    My questions are: What kind of briefings do you think/hope T4 will/should do? Are they gonna lean towards the classic approach? And should they?

    See, I'm not a native English speaker. Don't get me wrong, I get English just fine - but sometimes, especially with names and places, it's nice to have subtitles/text so you can get them right. Some English words sound the same - and context alone isn't enough to make the distinction. In that sense I kinda liked the TDS briefings, being able to follow it in a different way than T1/TG/T2 briefings.

    I have seen those T1/TG/T2 briefings like a gazillion times, so I know them well and I don't need texts or subtitles to get them. And Garrett's voice is clear to hear. I missed seeing in TDS a preview of the mission in the form of artwork: T1/TG/T2 briefings evoke a feeling of nervousness that was strong in anticipation in comparison to the absence of everything in TDS briefings. The same with the quotes from the factions that gave us a glimpse of their views of the world and made them more substantial - even though the mission might not have had anything to do with that particular faction.

    Intro movies have something similar going on, but they really are a category of their own. For example, the intro for the Hammerite Imperium FM was awesome! Aside from the color-scheme it had a true Thief feel to it, I thought. Same goes for the Rocksbourg series, but I guess that had more to do with the voice of our very own Garrett (SlyFoxx, I believe) which gave it an authentic feel.

    Could a compromise be reached here with briefings? The classic quotes and black-and-white imagery with the protagonist's voice (Garrett...?) perhaps mixed with subtitles of the words spoken? Or would that suck beyond belief? Does anyone know what the T4 team is planning with mission briefings?

    My two cents are as follows: Classic briefings, please. The Hammerite/Pagan/Keeper quotes, still artwork in noir-style, protagonist's voice. What do y'all think?

  16. #2016
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Yes, artwork is nice. And if possible, give the option to have subtitles for it and maybe even pause the game. And most important or all - let it be mnimized!

    Anyway, thanks, loved your review too. You sure took a lot of screens, had forgotten it was so big! My say of that mission was, the it was the vault puzzle that made it memorable, cause it was a winning choice for the author, methinks.

  17. #2017
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by Thor View Post
    My say of that mission was, the it was the vault puzzle that made it memorable, cause it was a winning choice for the author, methinks.
    Agreed. The guard patrols and the tile-floors and
    the five minute deadline
    of the puzzle will, I imagine, be grueling for ghosters trying to get everywhere. Auts. Well, challenging at the very least. Has anyone gotten it done on expert while ghosting? 'Cos then you, sir, would be the Prince of Thieves.

  18. #2018
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    Thief II X - The Trials That Shape Us

    My attempt to ghost it ended up in one of my worst virtual life failures ever. RL beats all though. (eepcat's mission, that is. The mission I'm gonna ramble about now was a piece of cake to ghost. )

    Soooo..... The mission takes place a whole year after the first one, which makes some sense, since you can actually hide in the shadows and even steal stuff now. Your main objective is to break into some museum and recover a book for Malak, which suspiciously sits at the very center of the main exhibition hall.

    I found the mission to be a lot of fun to ghost and even collect all the loot in it (damn the 15 gold I missed!), probably cause it wasn't all that hard and I was already somewhat familiar.There are various ways to play it, the non linearity about it made me feel pretty creative.

    I kind of missed a ticket collectors stand/place by the entrance (also a corridor), but I guess they just didn't think it's worth to go for it since you're breaking in through the balcony anyway. Either that or I missed something and have very much flunked yet again.

    The museum was full of detail of all kinds. Really,it had just about everything - funny conversations, architecture (Oh, the arches! I don't think any mission has had as many smooth arches as this one. This one is just crazy with them. Other little touches and objects like balcony railings were great as well), story (more interested in the funny details and paintings that is was full with) and design of the whole place (non linear paths, secrets, hints).

    I played the mission yesterday and played a couple after it, so my judgement may not be as fresh (neither is the creative flick), but bear with me, I'll give some screenshots as well.
    In fact, I'll give them RIGHT NOW!

    Forget the front entrance and all the architecture - look at the round road!

    Hello there, Cutie. *turns to the angry mob crowd* Isn't he just adorable.

    Some bossy goon giving orders to a worker, IIRC. He was complaining anyway. It's great to spy on them from higher ground. Gives that feeling os superiority. :>

    This humble way to the basement is possibly my favorite place of the mission. Just look at the architecture. It screams "I am modest, but you know I'm cuter than everything else!"

    Just for the lulz. I called him Mammorick, cause it was a mammoth, and, and, hehe, a burrick!

    2 workers arguing about the statue, ends with the complaining one having an epic fail.

    Do you see the arches? Can you count how many you see?

    Same room, different view. I love the ledges in this mission.

    The statues are also quite alright. Were they original reosurces or not? I don't even know. I think they used original resources at some points, possibly out of the respect for orginials. :>

    So that's it for the screenshots section, time to list my favorite experiences about the mission, I suppose:
    - The library with the drunken guard in the epic search for The One Ring. Had some fun therejumping from one bookcase to anyother not making a noise. Sadly, I gave up after a while only to accidentally bump into the place later and find The Ring over a railing I didn't check... Never made sense why would the noblewoman lean over there, as I fancied the given excuse as incompatible.
    - The nude painting and the fact that Limes bought it from Kedar. That silly dirty man.
    - Did I mention the arches? It's an amusing game to just go to a random room/hallway and try to count how many of them are there. Another note about the arches - some may be already tired of them, since it's probably a little exaggerated, but o me - I'm a sucker for arches. :>
    - Guards spitting down on pedestrians, as a readable indicated. Inspiring bit of detail right there.

    Anyway, that's all I can remember at the spot. Hope you enjoyed the screens.
    Last edited by Thor; 17th Aug 2010 at 14:43.

  19. #2019
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    This is a double review of two TDM missions – The Beleaguered Fence by Sotha and Mad’s Mountain by Jesps.

    The reason for reviewing these two missions together can be summed up in one word: Contrast. These two missions contrast each other in virtually every way – except in quality, which is top-notch. You should play these back-to-back because they will give you great variety and maximum gameplay fun.

    The Beleaguered Fence by Sotha

    The story: A thief by the name of Thomas Porter – i.e. you – robbed the mansion of a City Watch Captain called Knighton – and was nearly caught on his way out. Thomas was able to hide in the shop of his fence and friend, Lark Butternose. But Knighton’s guards found the fence’s shop, ransacked it and took poor Lark to the notorious Old Town Jail. Knighton’s pretty angry and plans to execute Lark after a hard interrogation. This would expose the real thief behind the heist, so Thomas the Thief has to break Lark out of jail.

    The mission: Your objectives are simple: Find and break out Lark, get some loot (varies according to difficulty) and get out. On expert these is a no-kill objective which in a City Watch station crowded with guards will be challenging. Aside from Lark, all your equipment and all the stuff you stole from Captain Knighton’s mansion have also been confiscated so you have to get those back too.

    The gameplay: This plays pretty hard on even the lowest difficulty for the simple reason that all the Jail guards wear helmets and are thus un-KO’able. You can kill them with arrows, sure, that’s a possibility, but the place is packed full of guards who roam the rooms and hallways and stairs regularly and are spaced quite near each other. Ghosting will play an important role on every difficulty at some point or another. Still, the place offers enough dark corners to hide, so it never got overwhelming – and I’m not a fan of either ghosting or not being able to BJ anyone I want. Cursed hard helmets! Nonetheless, this plays very classic Thief to me. This is how T4 hopefully plays out…

    The setting: The mission is set in Old Town Jail which is much like a City Watch station – only it has a jail underneath it. There’s a small city street section at the start and at the end of the mission. The Jail is two storeys above ground, one below. The place is medium-sized so you’ll spend an hour or two there at the very least. Enemies are composed of guards, with a few civilians and prisoners scattered here and there. Overall, the guards are alert, but not overly so to prevent exploring and sneaking around.

    My favourite moment: Short answer: The Evidence Storage. Longer answer: Getting there is hard because you have to find the key, evade the guards, open the door in a fully-lit corridor… Yeah, what could go wrong? And once you get there, you get everything you want: Loot, equipment, secrets and readables! What could be better? Nothing.

    Still, the entire mission was enjoyable! People who don’t typically try out prison and/or rescue missions should try this: It plays almost like a mansion mission – the textures and officers’ quarters probably give that impression. I totally recommend this for all Thief fans!

    Here are some pics:

    The starting area. I know what you’re thinking: Is that guy’s head on fire?

    There are so many important things in that Guard Room. Now, how to get my the guard…?

    Have to get in there – but how?

    Officers sure know how to work in style…

    The jail. Again I know what you’re thinking: What is that guy doing with his hands? Hmm…

    What the heck…?!

    Mad’s Mountain by Jesps

    The story: I’ve been hired by a collector who wants to add to his collection a painting that was recently stolen from the Builders by a gang of thieves. A mountain outside of town has some caves where the thieves’ hideout is located. Their leader is known as Bryce the Mad whose nickname is probably not a joke.

    The mission: Aside from recovering the painting which is probably somewhere on the upper levels there’s a variable loot requirement. Also, getting out of the caves becomes necessary once your task is complete.

    The gameplay: No guards here; just thieves. No hard helmets here; KO anyone you want. Here you are a thief to steal a painting, not a friend from jail. This mission has found the right balance between challenging the player’s skills at sneaking and athletics. There are thieves on every level – and, boy, there are a lot of levels, some just one cave in between some climbing. KO, kill, ghost – whatever works. But the real test of a thief is all the other stuff you get to do: Climbing (yep, in case I didn’t mention that yet, there’s climbing!), mantling, swimming, jumping – all the stuff a master thief is supposed to do. Putting you skills to the test while sneaking around thieves is so much fun! Play and find out for yourself!

    The setting: No town or jail here; just caves. And, since this mission was part of a vertical contest, there’s a lot of climbing – a lot! You’ll climb rocks, you’ll climb ladders, you’ll climb ropes, you’ll climb boxes… There’s just no end to the climbing you will do here. You’ve gotta love the mantling in TDM, it’s freakin’ awesome! No near-misses, no accidental falls, no failed jumps. In T2 FM’s vertical missions have their problems due to the difficulties in mantling, jumping and just plain holding onto things. None of that here! The caves are full of light and shadow, electrical lights, torches and glowing mushrooms. Textures are sharp, yet realistic. All in all, I haven’t enjoyed a cave mission this much in ages!

    My favourite moment: Ok, there’s this place where you can’t use ladders or rope arrows to climb – you have to stack some boxes to reach the edge high up. Man, in T2 FM’s I suck at stacking! I know some of you are SO good at it you can reach the top of Angelwatch by stacking – Builder only knows what Trickster magicks you use for that! But in TDM this works like a charm… Ahh… Not only did I get up on my first try, but I actually got the boxes exactly where I wanted them to go. Man, I’m SOOOOO good! Yeah!

    And here are some pics:

    This is what caves are all about. Yep.

    Awesome. Stunning. Spectacular. Just… Yep.

    Some caves. Some thieves. So climbing. Some swimming. Yep.

    What powers this Lair of Thieves? Well, here ya go.

    This cell up ahead is not one you want to end up in, trust me. You’ll have to play to find out why. This picture just doesn’t do it the justice it deserves.

    Our prize awaits… And so does our foe.

    All in all, these two recent missions – June and July 2010 – represent what is great about TDM and deliver on the promise that TDM is Thief. They contrast each other in most every aspect – town jail vs. caves; the vertical vs. the horizontal; city watch vs. thieves; stealing a painting vs. breaking a friend out of jail; intro vs. no intro, etc. Still, both are pretty damn near perfect TDM missions full of quality gameplay – and playing them one after the other offers a gameplay experience that shows just what TDM is capable of (if you exclude zombies, weird monsters and the typical mansion or lost city). Do – not – miss – these! Play – them – now!

    P.S. Thor, two T2X reviews in one day - and now it's three days later... U haven't given up, have you...?

  20. #2020
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball
    Quote Originally Posted by Summer View Post
    P.S. Thor, two T2X reviews in one day - and now it's three days later... U haven't given up, have you...?
    No, just slacking. Not in feeling very inspired. I could always supply screens I guess. Although SJ's reviews got those anyway. I'll see how to balance my madness for exploitation, though!

    Issa biig double review you got there. I want TDM too. :> A little, little bit...

  21. #2021
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    While The City Sleeps - T2X mission three

    Grrr... Sorry if I'm not too enthusiastic writing this stuff... Just that I already wrote it and due to classic Thor luck it got deleted, completely and utterly. At least this time I'll get the mission's name right - it's While The City Sleeps!

    Hm, it's pretty much mostly just screens and one liners anyway, so... :>

    Anyway, the story is finally getting about with the story (hah, I'll save this since it sounded so great). You're taking your first real steps towards revenging your relative, who looked pretty dead the last time we saw him. You're going to his shop to rob it... and fine some clues on who murdered your lover relative. I think it was all nice and dandy, but aside from the obvious challenge to the mission, the curfew wasn't really explained, unless I missed something and I flunk like... an old backyard (or just a turd).
    Little story touches keep taggling along with the campaign so that the picture is scattered out and becomes clearer and clearer as the campaign progresses on. Just sayin'. It's awesome.

    Onwards, the architecture. Seems like I'm going to ramble on a lot about architecture in this campaign, sice it's so damn good. Arches isn't my only argument, as it might seem. It's the general complete and utter lack of blockiness, unless appropriate. But even then there is some extra detail (holding beams, ceiling beams, for instace). That should shut me up for a while.
    But just look at this - that's not to love? holding beams - check, arches - check columns on top of collumns - check. :>

    (I hope I didn't ruin your joy for analizing the beauty of it. You may kick me if I did)

    What is the most awesome part though is the gameplay design - there's many paths to nearly every place. From rooftops to ground, from ground to sewers and from balconies through different houses. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little bit, but it did seem like the kind of missio that tends to include a little bit of everything. It made hte mission a bit too easy for me, but, well, I didn't play it for the challenge.
    Here's what I'm talking about, as a mildly ok example.

    Another note is the voice acting - I first thought I was listening to regular female guards rambling, but I cracked up at their comments and realised they're just great actresses (or actress? Not sure) and sound like originals. Speaking of which, the game includes a lot of funny stuff in a lot of places, so it has enough humor as well.

    Enough chattering, time for visuals.

    A little misunderstanding.

    This cathedral just happened on the way. Usually with such aeffort put into a building, you can enter it. Anyway, the stained glass is awesome. Perhaps the custom ones aren't so believable as glasswork, but still looks good.

    2 innocent thieves robbing a house.

    2 innocent thieves lying dead on the street like lazy slobs of meat.

    One of the most psychedelicly awesome (also known as surreal) painitng I've ever seen. I'm sure I've seen it somewhere else... Who painted it?

    Just some of the best architecture and lightening and stuff... can't think of an awesome one liner here. Doh!

    Uh, got no excuse for showing you this... I just like Wood. You see, I'm a woody person. Ask Albert.

    The view below this was much better, but I loved this ceiling so much somehow that I decided to skip the funsie arches with the gloomy guard.

    It feels as if I should... eh, nevermind.

    Sewers... ironically, the most beautiful part of the mission, imho.

    Breathe! Breathe in the air stench!

  22. #2022
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    Shadowing The Enemy - msision 4 of the T2X

    At least I think that's the mission's name... I'm gonna use this phrase a lot in the future,

    So, what's the mission about, you might ask? Zaya's figured out that The Evil Smugglers Gang is loitering about in Sunnyport. She wants to go there too. But she's convinced she has to trail them, so our mission is to taggle along with 3 eerie looking smugglers making cute conversations to a train and then to their hideout lair.

    Obviously, this gave a pretty awesome variety in areas to hang around with. It's like 3 mini missions, basically, with the culmination point being one of the awesomest things ever done in Thief - a train mission. It has some flaws and I take a bit too much damage for it (y'know, 9999, that sorta deal), but ultimately if you keep to being a goody goody, it's all great. My wall of fog ruined the look (oh please god no not another fog offtopic discussion), so I took it off completely.

    Where was I... oh. So this mission is pretty creative, I said that, right? Let's you... OH, now I remember what I wanted to say for a while now. I like how in a lot of the first T2X missions a part of the mission you can flail your hands (not blackjack) about and nobody gives a poop. Really nice and effective way of slowly building up difficulty.I mostly loved it cause I'm a little tired of everyone trying to kill me on the spot... or because back when my English was even worse and my reading/learning skills simply did not exist (long excuse, I know), I thought everyone is hostile... even after the few stuttercrouch failures of nothing happening I failed oto realize the guards around are ok....

    Oh, well... One thing I could never get over was the footsteps Zaya made. I was just so used to Garrett's splashing over the stone or carpet, that... eh. Maybe I still like those 2 sounds better. But original Metal and Tile have always intimidated me. It's a state of mind now. It's called fear and frustration. In T2X I simply jump to make any noises I please just for the heck of it.

    Hmm, having gone 2 paragraphs offtopic, is it even worth going back? Maybe... I'll still have to do the one liners with the pretty pictures anyway.

    So, the mission (each in it's own way) keeps hinting how mechanists are the new lead fanatics and hammerites are so old and uncool now that everyone must join the mechanists so they can at least build stuff, particularily evil machines to wipe out humanity. But that's just one of their projects, there are others I'm sure...

    Okay, clearly I have nothing to say of this mission except that it's awesome and not too hard, so without much further stalling, I ask for the screenshot guy.

    The mission starts with a cute and funny conversation. Classic T2X humor. Too bad you can't hear it from the screen. But the visuals are quite effective too, aye? Metally... & Stuff...

    Pretty little insides that building's got.

    Three swines being cute again.

    Hello there, big guy! Hello, fog! (just this once, cause I liked the tree)

    Right... I just thought the detail looks great. If you disagree I am going to have to take you away, unfortunately.

    That mechanist servant is the most interesting person in the room. How sad is that.

    As close as I could get to the front view...

    Still stalking the 3... whoever they are by now. Smugglers, perhaps?

    Yes, a giant candystick by the smugglers hideout in the snowy town of Sunnyport! This coudn't get more appropriate.

    Finally - some dusk. *hugs darkness and dampened greenish textures all around*

  23. #2023
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    The Redistribution Game - TeeTooEx Mission FIVERS

    Once again I hope I'm telling the name right. That's the thing with campaign packs. I memorize which mission is which by numbers, but I rarely ever seem to remember the names. Sorry, campaigns!
    And here you go Summer - to somewhat make up for my absence.

    So, the story goes something like this - you start right where you left off from your last mission. That's it. Just go and do the thing. Y'know, reveenge, man, reveeenge. A peculiar condition for this mission is the ghosting bit. So it's a like/hate, love/dislike kinda mission. Having ghosted through all the previous missions anyway, I found this to be quite relaxing and somehow I was even lucky enough to find the only secret and collect all of the loot. I must be really, really skilled. I mean, it's only my 3rd or 4th time through the mission, I am a genius.

    Now that I've had my moment, let me explain what's interesting about this mission:

    - You get to find 2 lockpicks in different places, so you have to be an explory fish, but the good news is, that you can finally put the hairpin back in your hair and look even more pretty. (I think?) Well, don't throw it away just yet, it is still needed in the process of opening the vital door you must open... which doesn't make sense why she (SPOILERS!) threw it away the next mission.

    - The smugglers are having a pretty good life there, I don't want them to be slaughtered, you naughty, naughty girl (Talking to the protagonist, ofcourse. Makes sense, right?).

    - Geisha looking Masks. Or whatever the word means. I'll google it. Yup, it's about the look I thought. So, look at the loot item. (Wow, I actually notice these things nowadays)

    Good stuff, basically. Kinda reminds me Zaya too came from some distant land, just like the smugglers travel, so it really built up the mood for me.

    - I can open these drawers. Awesome.

    Right, that was some highly interesting stuff, don't you agree. There's more. Look!

    I could talk about how awesmoe this place is, but chances are you know already. (Honestly I just couldn't think of anything to say.)

    The ceiling is being wrong & stuff. Hideouty!

    Reaaally running out of things to say.

    Tastes like chicken. Looks a bit like a beheaded baby though. Maybe I need help.

    That bed looks fancy to belong to some unimportant little... smuggler.


    A nice cold change from all the warm colors.

    The Narrow Way
    Last edited by Thor; 20th Aug 2010 at 16:28.

  24. #2024
    Registered: Aug 2008
    Location: behind your eyeball

    T2X Mission 6 - A Question of Knowledge

    Why doesn't the game crash due to too much awesomeness on the screen?

    Yes! I know the mission's name exactly there. I don't quite get why it's called like that, I would've called it something like "A Game of Power"... oh well, that sounds even more stupid. Nevermind.
    Gonna try to review this one as well today. Though this is gonna be a gloomier one, since, y'know, going to sleep soon & all.

    To be honest, this is probably my least favorite mission of the whole campaign. It's still great and Cavador's cluelessness as well as the guy in the attic made me crack up, but it's just not my type. And I loathe 99% of the hammerites.

    So, the mission is to... wait, what was it again? She didn't decide to put any smuggler's notes to the hammerite leader even tho she found out they would be willing to take them out... whatever. THe plot's not important. I care more for the little touches, gameplay and architecture.

    Speaking of gameplay, it was a pretty classic T2X mission - multiple points (at least 3) of entry, 1 being more advantageous than the other 2, exploring with a pretty well map, although annoying in the sense, that one ehm... selecting map area (??) may chose a room and a hallway together, so you can't really depend on that for what you've explored and what not. But it's no biggie, it gives you directions and that's enough.

    Personally, I missed about 100 loot again and this time even failed to ghost, as the game glitch quicksaved by itself when I was spotted (this error has started somewhat recently... dunno why, probably connected to windows, but it's annoying as hell in these situations), but all heil the flashbombs. Otherwise, not being able to shake off that bastard, he would've aroused the whole play and I'd be smitten by the builder's crazy, crazy children.

    What was nice of the developers to do was include (...nerdy paragraph of nerdiness) that secret overtaking of the mechanist overder, although in the end I almost thought they overdid it, what with all the Basmus's prophecies and all. Like there haven't been other things to worry about, like the Tricskter. Then again, linked directly to the hammerite order and all... Can't really tell now.

    Oh, but now - the architecture - the wooden beams have bought me again. They are everywhere and I adore them. Here's what I'm talking about.

    And there's even a cute & funny old man in the end of the hall, sleeping.

    Oh, drat, I really have lost sense of humor (the little I sometimes think I have, I'm gonna need some feedback on that, but better not :s). I was maybe gonna start the review with something like:
    "You want hammerites? You want snow? Play A Question of Knowledge and have the great experience of listening to hammerites complain about snow!"
    Maybe not.

    Meh, so... tempted... argh... May the one-liners/puns/adorable-stuff commence!

    First some nice and easy food to chew. As little sense the pipes made for me, I adored thiis entrance. Cathedral's roof is deadly slippery though.

    My olde' workshop.

    Chairsss.... *drools*

    You see 3 keys, can you find them all? (okay, not anymore, cause I stole them, but d'you know where they were, that is A Question of Knowledge)

    Just another one of those modern, fancy plant gardens.

    My... precious... *Gnaws at his towsies and takes the ring*


    Really now, Thor tired. Thor need sleepie... He go sleepie soon, but first some other business. Also I wonder if libraries are open on Saturdays. Stragely enough, I'm referring to real life ones.

    Also, in your face TTLG - spammed this page with 41 screens today (but sucks to be photobucket even more), apparently, and counting the previous review screens of me and Summer this is going to be a complete hell to view for people (especially with slow net like mine), if anybody even still views this place, but you know what they say: In Lurkers We Trust!

  25. #2025
    Registered: Nov 2009
    Location: Ultima Thule i.e. Finland
    Four reviews in what counts as one day, Thor?! Man, no wonder you needed sleep - and probably dreamt about wooden arches, too

    Just... awesome...!

    I could say keep up the good work, but you should probably get some snooze time. But if you're a zombie type person who doesn't need any sleep, then by all means - review more!

    Great screenshots btw and the little detailed info: I had totally forgotten about the guards spitting on the pedestrians... Now I do have to replay T2X

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