haven't we all felt that way
(I do agree with you, though. Dunno what went through the minds of the people at EM)
I remember fondly awaiting the release of Thief the dark project after reading several reviews and especially the one in Pc Gamer, I think it was around 1997 I think they actually had a demo of the game on the CD as it was at the time.
I bought the game straight away and was immediately hooked, it was brilliant! what a wonderful dark and magical world I was immersed in it as we all were at the time, but the things that I think captivated me and the rest of the thief community the most was the atmosphere and ambience of the levels coupled with a fantastic story and unbelievable puzzles (i.e. having to light the torches with the fire arrows to get the door to open, to name but one) that was brilliant it took me ages to work it out.
This then continued into thief 2 and thief 3 so we now had three games and a world of fan missions to play some of which where excellent and dare I say it better than the original game i.e.. the callendra collection and there are loads of others I just can't think of them right now.
Then when I heard Eidos Montreal where taking the helm I thought "I hope they get it right" so I did a search and found the forum where EM wanted to know all the original community's views on what way they thought EM should make it. So I thought great and gave my tuppence worth along with all the rest of the community In the hope they would actually listen!
Alas they didn't and what could have been a brilliant modern remake of the classic turned out to be nothing but a boring game with no atmosphere or ambience and absolutely no puzzles not even Stephen Russell's voice which was over stressed to them on the forum, probably just as well as the game isn't good enough and doesn't deserve his voice! In fact they showed absolute total disregard for anything they where told I think it borders on scorn! and it was targeted at younger console gamers (no disrespect implied as we are all young once )
Now I know that there are people who say they like the game so fair play to you but from what I've read I would say the main majority of the original players are just a bit sad at the missed opportunity !
I don't post this to get into a slagging match with anyone it's purely my opinion I just think that that's probably the last chance we had to bring that great original game back to life!
haven't we all felt that way
(I do agree with you, though. Dunno what went through the minds of the people at EM)
How people can expect that some random bunch of Hindus could make the magic if they're hiired and told to?
You don't suppose that e.g. Sony Music could/will produce new Elvis Presley for fans and he will do all right, do you?
I think the main reason has been mentioned, why it doesn't feel like a "real" Thief game. The target audience. The only thing i wonder about it then though, why even try to capitalize on the name then? I mean, by adressing to the target audience of young gamer, you obviously don't cater the game to old fans of the series (which, admittedly, are probably more and more scarce anyway), so, why the need to use the old name anyway? If they called it "The Dark Age", or something like that, then i don't think that many would have complained. By naming it Thief, older fans of the series have a certain sense of entitlement, and expect a true Thief game. But they don't deliver, so they will say that it sucks.
Actually, i'm surprised they got Deus Ex halfway decent. It's the same people AFAIC, and it's not bad, and you can definitely feel the spirit of the old games in it. Although i can understand why people would feel like JC Denton is the cooler character. I sometimes think it was a fluke, because, they did some pretty "revolutionary" changes to the game too, which, if done like in Thief, could quickly have turned into another flop. And the games are by far not perfect either.
Alright, thought i read they were the same. Thanks for the heads up.
The Thief series are probably a victim of their own success.
Thief 1 and 2 raised the bar very high when we talk about stealth games. Now they have a very large audience which is also vocal and demanding.
Thief 3 wasn't a bad game (IMO it was very good actually), but the core crowd had a "nothing less than T1/2" mentality. Many fans were quick to call T3 a disappointment because of no swimming water, rope arrows and presence of loading screens.
Then Eidos Montreal stepped in. A representative came into the forums and asked the community. The same overly demanding community. And yes, "Plz bring back Russel or won't play" is part of the syndrome.
I think it's this attitude which led EM to stop caring about the core audience and to try to attract new gamers. Then it led to all the bad decisions that plagued the game - most importantly, the lack of the cannon lore and lack of the old factions.
It could have been a truly great game, even with its main flaws (like the lack of Russel's voice). The graphics of Thief 4 (Reboot) is so amazing, the look of the city is really what I expect from a Thief game (Thief 3 had a cartoony style).
I think there are similar reasons why Valve doesn't want to release a Half-life 3 (or Episode) game - there's a very demanding core audience, and Valve is already profitable with the Steam platform. A successful game won't add much to the revenue, but a failure (which is highly probable) will be a disaster for the company. This year they tested the waters with an Opposing Force sequel, and it failed miserably.
Just because people wanted a good stealth game in the vein of the original games doesn't mean that EM therefore had no choice but to make a bad one. Even with completely new lore, they didn't have to screw up the sound mixing or dumb down the stealth system or have points of no return in the middle of levels without any warning.
It's truly stunning how often "expectations were impossible to meet!" is trotted out to excuse terrible games.
There's only one major gameplay problem - and it's linearity.
If that's the story you tell yourself to feel better, then sure. But the thing is, nobody cares how troubled the development cycle was, people rate games as the result of those actions and decisions.
So, it's almost a miracle that DX2 and Thief 3 were shipped, given the circumstances, staff and money problems, and "bold" (bad) decisions made: changing the renderer from UE 2.x to unstable custom one, using one of the first iterations of Havok physics engine which made rope arrow physics and water very hard (or impossible) to code at the time, etc. Still, that's just a backstory, a fluff, because giant who cares, those games were a letdown as a result, one way or the other.
I spent years making stuff with T3ED, and I also had this apologetic approach towards Thief 3, but I understood that all those things related to Thief 3 development and engine-related subtleties are interesting to me; it's bullshit for everyone else. They played the game, they saw the result and were disappointed, the end.
The same applies to your unusual affection for Thief reboot. Nobody cares about the forum drama, the development cycle and other things like that. People wouldn't be that harsh, if the new Garrett voice actor had decent lines (he didn't have), if the story wasn't a big yawn (it was), if other characters were not forgettable (they were), and if the game was faithful to the immersive sim standards set by previous titles (it wasn't). The only thing devs really nailed down was the art style. To make things worse, Dishonored was already out, and that's excellent example how to get that kind of game right, which new Thief didn't.
So no, linearity isn't the only one major problem new Thief had. If that's a sort of consolation to you, fine, but you have to expect a lot of people will call that bullshit.
I don't have an unusual affection towards Thief 4, my points are quite rational:
1. Storyline - crap, yes. Lore - thrown away, no faction. Objective truth.
2. Gameplay - Mediocre. Linearity is bad, the movement of Garrett, especially duck-and-swoop move was good.
3. Visuals and graphics - Excellent. Absolutely brilliant.
So, comparing Thief - Deadly Shadows and Thief - Reboot, both of the games had their good and bad moments. Thief - DS was true to the storyline, the gameplay was open and true to the traditions. Unfortunately, Thief - DS wasn't able to deliver the experience I badly wanted - huge city ready to be explored, rooftop sneaking. And the graphics were cartoony.
Thief 4 failed to deliver a good storyline and a decent gameplay, however it did it better in terms of graphics, city exploration, rooftop sneaking...
Both games have their positives and negavies, however I wouldn't hurry to throw either game in the trash bin.
I played Thief 1 first and was immediately hooked. But guess what? Thief 2 was a disappointment because it was too bright compared to the medieval and dark Thief 1, the victorian themes were too much and I didn't like the technology and robots and yeh, the Hammerites were gone. But it was the FMs that saved the game.
And the fact there's no level editor for Thief 4 - this IS a problem.
And yet you're in the middle of some kind of mitigation nobody else here does. City exploration was a filler in Thief 3. Unless it's a part of a mission, like in LOtP, it's usually boring in most games (see AssCreed series and other open-world games). Rooftop sneaking is just one aspect of Thief. Graphics is even lower on that list. Thief 1 & 2 were already behind other games in the graphics department at the time of release. And calling Thief 2 a "disappointment" because of aesthetic preferences..? Some people preferred the dark medieval setting instead of Victorian, but that didn't change the fact the game was excellent in what it did.
You might need to accept that what you value in Thief is quite peculiar, and the overall reception of all those games, Thief reboot included, was very different from yours.
On a more personal note: I remember the impression of Constantine's mansion, the cathedral, maw of chaos from Thief 1; the bank, trail of blood, life of the party, and Soulforge from Thief 2; house of widow Moira, and the cradle from Thief 3. When it comes to Thief reboot, there's a blank space in my head. Oh, but the graphics, that was awesome.
When we talk about art, subjective experience is more important to people - certain things, no matter how big or small they are, can make you hate or love the said work - a book, painting or a computer game.
This, however, doesn't mean that there aren't objective criteria. I'm not sure if you can distinguish between the two.
Thief 1 was perfect IMO - I loved most of the missions, with the exception of the last chapters. However, I don't base my dislike for the last chapters on objective criteria. It's just I hated the overall grassy pagan feeling. This is purely subjective - I know there are people who loved these missions, and I didn't. Fine.
Now, Thief 2... I loved certain missions like Life of the Party, Ambush, Framed and Eavesdropping. However, certain dislikes concerning the other missions are based on objective criteria. Shipping and Receiving is ugly and I'm not talking about the graphics quality. No - the game design is just bad, the mission is just a huge box. Same goes for the Soulforge cathedral - it's huge and bland. Oh, and Masks. Masks, Masks, Masks... Rehashing the same level is ALWAYS dull in.EVErY.Single.Computer.Game...
While I agree that Thief 4 has many objective flaws - doors that shut behind you break the immersion, the storytelling is bad from a literary point of view, sound effects are poorly implemented, there are annoying bugs... this doesn't mean that the game doesn't have certain redeeming qualities. Like the graphics AND the game design which are awesome.
And yes, after almost three years, there are no blank spaces in my head. The foundry, the two mansion missions, the brothel.
I'd recommend the review of fett:
A lot of subjective elements, but still many important objective notes:
I think they did a damn fine job of capturing the atmosphere I wanted for T3 - gloomy, smoky, huge gulf between rich and poor. This just wasn't evident enough in T3 and honestly, the City felt quite cartoonish in many ways. It's a lot closer here to what I imagined back when playing the TDP and T2. I remember walking through Mission 3 from T2X when it was in beta and thinking "this is what the City should feel like." And to me, it does here. Could have done with a few more funny guard conversations but the writing team was obviously not up to the challenge (more on that later).
By the second playthrough, I found Garrett's movements and the controls extremely elegant, ala Dishonored. With the exception of contextual leaning and jumping, it was just about perfect. Swooping should have been around from the start as it's about the only edge you have over the AI.
It's tough to beat - ghosting is tough, 100% loot is tough, and combat it pointless, which is as it should be. This was all balanced really well, IMO. Pickpocketing and lockpicking involve just the exact amount of risk needed to keep each time exciting.
Missions - good variety, good maps, lots of hiding places and gotcha! moments, well populated, at times maze-like...my only complaint being the linearity of certain parts.
I thought improvements included: movement, loot variety, AI (though the routes were really simplistic), combat (since it's impossible to beat more than one AI here, unlike the previous games where you could take out 3 at a time with a flashbomb and a blackjack), lockpicking, pickpocketing, specificity of water arrow placement (a little tougher than before), voice acting, overall atmosphere. A note on atmosphere again - it didn't have that otherworldly/spacey weirdness from TDP, but that was largely an accident on LGS's part over a long development cycle. It can't be recaptured and it's unfair to expect anyone to do it (hell, they didn't even manage it with T2 except for the City sections of LOTP and maybe the Maw stuff).
Last edited by Bulgarian_Taffer; 31st Dec 2016 at 11:37.
And again, it all can be reduced to blah, blah, blah, graphics, art design. The swoop, along with other nauseating animations, is like an afterthought: omg, we need to have a hook like Dishonored, let's think of something! Blink is a central idea the level design is wrapped around with, swoop is a skippable gimmick. Voice acting was average at best, characters were forgettable, oh, except for that idiot Thief-Taker general. And someone forgot to replace that Granny Rags clone with some more meaningful character. I don't remember any loot variety, I was getting mostly just tons of cutlery, with the same dull animations that induce motion sickness or make you sleepy.
And yeah, I remember a brothel, the one from Dishonored, which had like 3 or 4 entry points, and made several playstyles possible, like a proper immersive sim should. There was this other one, with the cringe-worthy looped sex scene, but I hardly remember anything else about it... And I probably should, I finished the damned game two times.
I never had the chance to play Dishonored. And I don't care too much about it - I want to play a Thief game... Maybe some day I'll try it.
As for the entry points - if you ignore the arrow in Thief 4 that shows you the way, you see there's a lot of variety, including some well hidden spots for rope arrows.
Dishonored is on sale on Steam right now for three frickin' dollars.
Dishonored is fantastic, but I think the similarities to Thief are largely superficial. I think it hews to the original Deus Ex design-wise more than anything else.
I have to say I totally agree with the OP of this thread. I recently finished playing Dishonored, as well as a couple of its DLCs and just now tried playing the newest Thief game for the first time. Wow. Talk about being seriously disappointed!! Dishonored is more like a Thief game than this (Nu)Thief is, at least in my opinion. (Nu)Thief's controls are awkward, to say the least, the loot-glint reminds me of TDS (which I will always consider to be a travesty) and feels like an insult to my intelligence (again), and the first time I heard (Nu)Garrett's (Nu)voice I wanted to cry. The guys who've done the Garrett voice-overs for our FMs sound more like our Garrett than this other guy and I'm having a difficult time getting past the (Nu)voice. Yes, the graphics are great, but everything else about the game just feels like an insult to TDP & TMA, especially the lack of the ability to become thoroughly immersed in the game, which I blame mostly on the awkwardness of the controls set up. I thought if I waited a couple years before playing this new Thief game that I'd forget all the things I'd heard about it that made it sound like it would be a serious disappointment to me, that maybe I could play it with a more objective attitude. Now I think playing Dishonored first before (Nu)Thief pretty much guaranteed that I would be disappointed with this latest Thief game, that's how good I think Dishonored is. I don't know if I'll be able to finish (Nu)Thief; so far it seems like a reboot of TDS but with better graphics. EM blew it with this one ........ big time. You're right AMG; what a sad ending! (Though I've been hearing rumors of a (Nu)Thief 2 game being in the works. If that's true, then I'll pass.)
Here's an idea that Thief reboot is more a Deadly Shadows reboot than anything else.
I can't say I agree with the whole video, or with Errant Signal guy in general (he's awfully pretentious more often than not, and picky about stuff nobody else cares about), but sometimes he thinks of something I didn't. What I didn't like here is that he omits the whole aspect of mission design, while in the video before (about previous Thief installments) he discusses that in detail.
Last edited by Judith; 2nd Jan 2017 at 07:52.