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Thread: Rank Yer Thief Levels

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields

    Rank Yer Thief Levels

    A thread to rank official Thief levels from the original trilogy of games. NO fan missions. You can provide a sentence describing why you ranked the level the rank you did, but please leave it to a single line as the comments will already be large enough if all of the game's levels will be included. You can also rank in whatever way you like, be it out of 5, 10, 100, whatever. You can also order them best to worst if you wish.

    Thief the Dark Project/Gold - 5/5 - Easily my favourite game in the series. I love the supernatural, and the level design is by far the best in the series. Not too complicated, but very detailed and fun to play.
    1. A Keeper's Training - 1/5 - It's just a training level so it doesn't really matter, but I do think it could have been better anyway. It doesn't look anything like any keeper facility we some from other games.
    2. Lord Bafford's Manor - 5/5 - A brilliant introductory level. Very, very replayable even though it's quite small. Perhaps the perfect first level.
    3. Break from Cragscleft Prison - 3/5 - It's a lot of fun but it's not a great design to roam about, and not setting alarms off is quite a task. You can work around that, but what's really annoying is freeing Basso.
    4. Down In the Bonehoard - 4/5 - The atmospheric in this game is nigh unmatched, and this level is filled with it. Lots of interesting exploration, and blowing up zombies is lots of fun.
    5. Assassins - 4.5/5 - One of the best straight thieving missions in the series. Awesome intro that last as long as it should, with a great break in and case the place setup.
    6. Thieves' Guild - 2.5/5 - I quite enjoy it, and I actually don't mind the huge size, it's just that if you don't do it in a specific order there's a lot of pointless running around and infuriating backtracking.
    7. The Sword - 5/5 - My favourite level in the whole series. This level is genius, and absolutely mind-blowing. It's a masterpiece of level design if you ask me. Stuff the series, maybe my favourite level of any game.
    8. The Haunted Cathedral - 5/5 - Almost as good as The Sword. The best example of Thief's superb atmosphere. It's low-key horror at its very finest, and exploring a haunted town is just incredible to play.
    9. The Mage Towers - 4.5/5 - A very different atmosphere to the rest of the missions, but also unmatched. Cool enemies and a unique concept of casing 4 different towers with different gameplay elements. Amazing.
    10. The Lost City - 4/5 - Sniping flame balls is enjoyable, but it's somewhat confusing. Large with multiple interesting areas to loot.
    11. Song of the Caverns - 3/5 - Another amazing intro to a level but it's not amazing. Still a lot of fun to loot, though, like every mission in the game, it's just the layout's uninteresting.
    12. Undercover - 1.5/5 - It's good once, but it's a gimmick that doesn't make for any good replayability whatsoever.
    13. Return to the Cathedral - 4.5/5 - The cathedral part of the haunted cathedral series. Again, impeccably good atmosphere. The only very slightly annoying aspect of the mission is collecting the 2 bodies.
    14. Escape! - 4/5 - I once thought this mission was legitimately the worst mission ever made. One day, about 4 playthroughs in, it finally clicked for me. Lots of fun with an awesome environment.
    15. Strange Bedfellows - 3.5/5 - Monster hunting is the least enjoyable aspect of Thief, but it's still fun and there' still a lot of stealth here. Another cool environment.
    16. Into the Maw of Chaos - 2/5 - I do like it, it's just very short and not a lot of stealth or fighting. More environment exploring, which Thief does brilliantly, and this is yet another awesome environment.
    Average rating: 3.56

    Thief II: The Metal Age - 4/5 - A disappointing sequel in my eyes. Still one of the best games ever made, however. I thought it was equal to Gold the first time but now definitely not. Level design is weak.
    1. Running Interference - 4/5 - Probably the weakest intro level in the series, and it's still really damn good. Pure stealth in a basic residential environment. Burnin' and a lootin' tonight.
    2. Shipping... and Receiving - 3/5 - Wow, this level is tedious, which is admittedly how I feel about a lot of this game. It's still great, with some brilliant story telling and world building. Just not amazing.
    3. Framed - 4.5/5 - Not being able to knock anyone out makes this level unique, difficult and a ton of stealthy fun. One of the best examples in the game of its awesome story telling.
    4. Ambush! - 2/5 - Look, it's not the worst thing in the world, but it's not fun. Barely any looting to do, and exploring the city is confusing with few landmarks to help. Really needed more explorable buildings.
    5. Eavesdropping - 2.5/5 - Another example of cool story telling, and the use of undead is well done, but it's another one that isn't much fun to replay, with this one being due to its small size.
    6. First City Bank and Trust - 5/5 - At first I despised this level, but damn is it a joy. My favourite level in the game. Huge and intricate. Also the difficulty is perfect.
    7. Blackmail - 4/5 - Cool intro but an annoying break-in. Lots of stuff to explore and loot to loot and another good use of the undead. The top floor isn't much fun, though.
    8. Trace the Courier - 1/5 - What a snooze fest. There's a reason this concept was only used as an intro the Assassins from the first game. Not enjoyable in the slightest, and managing to get all the loot is tough.
    9. Trail of Blood - 2/5 - The levels in Thief 2 might be larger, but most of them are far more linear imo. Great environment, but each step forward being tiny stealth arenas does not make up for good gameplay.
    10. Life of the Party - 2.5/5 - The most overrated level I've ever played. Its size is more novel than anything, as it's mostly empty. The main issue is the watchtower itself which just isn't much fun to infiltrate.
    11. Precious Cargo - 4/5 - Beautiful atmosphere that's almost comparable with Gold and DS stuff. Interesting secrets and decent layout. Not much to loot though, and the submarine isn't fun to infiltrate.
    12. Kidnap - 1/5 - The second worse level in the game, but more annoying. It's difficult, it's incredibly tedious, it's just a massive chore.
    13. Casing the Joint - 0.5/5 - An average level with a mind-numbingly dull environment, but in itself is quite fun. I gave it a 0.5 for butchering any enjoyment in the superior next mission by being the same thing.
    14. Masks - 3.5/5 - This is far superior to the previous, but is ruined by how pointless the previous level is and replaying almost the same thing but better is incredibly frustrating. It makes no sense for the lasttoexist
    15. Sabotage at Soulforge - N/A - 138 hours on base game and I've never once finished this. It's huge and incredibly difficult and after the last 3 terrible levels I have little desire to play anymore by this point.
    Average: 3.46

    Thief: Deadly Shadows - 4.5/5 - The perfect blend of Thief 2's straight thievery and Gold's heavier focus on looting and supernatural. Infinitely better than its predecessor, but the citylacks and more levelsare needed.
    1. Checking Inn, Cashing Out - 1.5/5 - About on par with Gold's training level, but gets half a point more for better atmosphere. Boring and uninteresting. Not a bad intro, though.
    2. End of the Bloodline - 5/5 - Also almost equal to Gold's first mission. Very big intro level. Great storytelling, level design and atmosphere.
    3. Into the Pagan Sanctuary - 4.5/5 - I want to give it a 5 but it's not quite perfect. Thief's unmatched atmosphere is back for sure, baby, and although the Pagan's voices peeve me off this is damn fine in every way.
    4. St. Edgar's Eve - 4.5/5 - Straight looting mission again. This time, Hammerite theme. Great to explore, very large and ultimately a ton of fun.
    5. House of the Widow Moira - 5/5 - The soundtrack is phenomenal, and yet again, atmosphere encapsulating. Another cool intro, lots to loot, and interesting objectives with a little unique moral choice. Cool, cool.
    6. The Sunken Citadel - 3.5/5 - The weakest level in DS, and I still like it more than the vast majority of Thief 2's levels. Not amazing, and a little odd admittedly, but still quite good.
    7. Killing Time - 4/5 - Short, small, but still really great. Could have been better, though.
    8. Of Brethren and Betrayers - 4/5 - Short, small, but still really great. Could have been better, though. Yes, same complaints as the previous level, and about on par.
    9. Robbing the Cradle - 5/5 - The infamous horrific Thief level. This one always takes me by far the longest to complete in the series. The scares ware off somewhat quickly, but the atmosphere stays enriching.
    10. Still Life with Blackjack - 4/5 - A great straight thievery level, but relies on too many nostalgia tricks and is ridiculously glitchy. Fix the glitches and it might have been a classic.
    The City: A letdown. Small and confined, but some places shine especially later on and there are some truly awesome moments to be found such as Gamall and the Keepers. I would've traded it in for more levels, tho
    Average: 4.1
    Last edited by IAmTheWalrus; 8th Apr 2018 at 08:19.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Thief The Dark Project 10/10 the best game ever after Deus Ex, the sequels not so good

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    I knew this would happen, I knew it would be the very first comment. Thing is, neither of these are still active. One is from 2016, and is only regarding Thief Gold, and one is from 2002, so Thief DS isn't even included there. This is also more specific and slightly different than the others, and there are many new Thief players every year. Comments like these are annoying. Stop it.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Quote Originally Posted by Starker View Post
    If you knew it, why didn't you link to those threads yourself? They are quite relevant, don't you think?

    Also, so what if they are not active? The information in them is still good.
    No, because if people wanted to speak then they would've. And if I'm creating a new thread on basically the same topic, why would I link people to other threads? People get annoyed when necro, and they get annoyed when same thread. I only knew of the 2016 one.
    The information may be fine, sure, but like I already explained, there are many new players who haven't gotten the chance to say their own.

    I just don't get why it's even a problem and why you felt like mentioning it. Who cares if it's been talked about twice within 18 years. Does it matter?

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Quote Originally Posted by zajazd View Post
    Thief The Dark Project 10/10 the best game ever after Deus Ex, the sequels not so good
    I love both sequels, especially Deadly Shadows. I can agree with the rating and it being second only to the masterpiece that is Deus Ex though.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    You know what, screw it. You can delete your posts and then there won't be these dreadful links in your precious thread.
    Last edited by Starker; 10th Apr 2018 at 06:53.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWalrus View Post
    I love both sequels, especially Deadly Shadows. I can agree with the rating and it being second only to the masterpiece that is Deus Ex though.
    T2 was one of the biggest disappointments in gaming for me, the level design was so plain, it went from masterpiece in T1 to mediocrity in T2, and I didn't dig the mechanists at all, and there was hardly any atmosphere unlike T1 with atmosphere that you could cut with a knife, I still have sour taste after all these years, but the fan missions make up for it I guess.
    Deadly Shadows was good but didn't feel like a Thief game to me.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2005
    Location: The Inverted Manse
    Interestingly, Soulforge is my absolute favourite OM. I loved the 3D nature of it and how all the parts connected to each others (this is why I'm a big fan of JIS's missions too). It is challenging, but it is fun. I have finished it many times and successfully ghosted it on expert (except for the turret room...what a room!).

  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2018
    zajazd, what do you think it was that set Thief 1 so far above 2 in terms of atmosphere?
    Last edited by Proliffia; 11th Apr 2018 at 00:08. Reason: typo

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Everything, but I guess level design and visual style the main things. Compare the first missions of both games - Bafford's Manor is a masterpiece, while the other (I don't even remember the name) is some generic half basement.

  11. #11
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    Running Interference is an entire manor estate, not "some generic half basement".

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    I can understand when people say that Thief 1 is better than Thief 2 or vice versa, but I will never understand those who say Thief 3 is better than either of those. I don't mean that it's bad or that you shouldn't enjoy it, but how is it better than Thief 1 or 2 is beyond me.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2011
    Then it must be even worse than I remember cos all I remember is the basement xD

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Yandros, you registered the date I was born. You've been a Thief fan for as long as I've been alive

    Personally, my main problem with Thief 2 is the level design. It's not nearly as memorable or inventive, I often find the movement glitches on the environment (as well as AI) which is something that has never happened to me on Gold and there are small design flaws that just show to me that the devs weren't as talented as the ones from Gold. The existence of tiny brown coins that blend in well with the environment and are very hard to see even at 4K is a great example of this, as well as how pointless vine arrows are, and how Masks is the same level as the previous and even though you can go up to the top level on the previous and case the place you still have to do Masks which makes no sense. Levels are also mind-numbingly tedious at times. I don't see how there's any joy in having to go back and forth over and over to open all the doors in Shipping and Receiving for example. I also think it's occasionally more linear than the first game. It's just not much fun to play. Also whereas every single mission in Gold had you meet a loot requirement fewer do in Thief 2. It's more about stealing one thing as an objective than a dozen things. This is why I actually think Thief Gold lives up more to its title than 2 which is against what some people seem to say, although I think complaining about a games relation to its title is silly anyway. It also doesn't help that I had no idea for 2 playthroughs that the smaller bots can't even see you... certainly made the Bank a pain to play. My fault of course, not the games'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Haplo View Post
    Interestingly, Soulforge is my absolute favourite OM. I loved the 3D nature of it and how all the parts connected to each others (this is why I'm a big fan of JIS's missions too). It is challenging, but it is fun. I have finished it many times and successfully ghosted it on expert (except for the turret room...what a room!).
    One day I'll finish it. I always did intend on doing it at least once. Who knows, I might love it! Instead of restarting the game, now whenever I feel like playing Thief 2 I work my way through the last 3 levels. So far I'm barely through Masks.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Quote Originally Posted by marbleman View Post
    I can understand when people say that Thief 1 is better than Thief 2 or vice versa, but I will never understand those who say Thief 3 is better than either of those. I don't mean that it's bad or that you shouldn't enjoy it, but how is it better than Thief 1 or 2 is beyond me.
    Its atmosphere, graphics, audio design, music, immersion, personality, level settings, variety and level design is massively superior to Thief 2 personally. No exaggeration. I mean massively. But hey, that's just me.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmTheWalrus View Post
    Yandros, you registered the date I was born. You've been a Thief fan for as long as I've been alive
    Whoa, there's someone younger than me on here? Madness.

    Anyway, when I really think about it neither Thief game is really ahead of the other, at least for me (I'm not counting TDS- as much as I love it, it doesn't stand up against the LGS ones in terms of overall quality). If for whatever reason I had to pick only one (I'm talking OMs only here) to have for the rest of my life I'd be dithering for ages. The only reason that Thief 2 ultimately takes the crown for me is that there are more FMs available for it, which gives it a longer life in terms of play/replay value. Also, TG's Thieves' Guild is the worst level of all of them. I know that's cliche to hate on it, but anyone I've ever gotten to at least try Thief, regardless of how interested they are, always gives up because of that taffing sewer maze.

  17. #17
    Desperately Dodgy Moderator
    Registered: Nov 2001
    Location: Fields of bluegrass
    There are several taffers on here I know of who are younger than both of you by a few years.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: May 2008
    Location: Southern,California
    i rate everything amazing from t1/g/2/3 except the double mansion mission in t2 and the sluggish movement due to Garrett having a body

    i happen to like the plain simple nature of the level looks/layout over all,why spend forever making a mission most will play maybe 3 times if you lucky

  19. #19
    Man, 2016? Did I really get three congratulatory emails from this Forum already?

    I'm replaying Thief Gold right now, so soon enough you'll have my updated list on that one, The Metal Age and T2X, just hold this thread for a little while!
    (Cricket sound)

    By the way, I'm counting T2X because it is more than a fan-made: it's an act of love, and more a true Thief game than the well-meaning but ill-fated Deadly Shadows.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2017
    Location: Poland
    It sounds like a blasphemy, but I am not a big fan of "The Sword". Yeah, the mansion is designed in a crazy way, but after fifteen minutes of exploring, I just get bored. Getting to Constantine's sword on the top floor provides no challenge - just a combination of moss and water arrows and finally one rope arrow to grab the sword. There are some traps here and there, but they are very easy to avoid once you learn how they work. Patrol routes of guards are not a big deal, you just have to be patient. Required loot on expert (1500) is simple to find. Finding incriminating evidence? Again, easy job. The only thing I like about this mission is music and the general twist of plot that comes after completing it.

    Or maybe I am doing something wrong? Why do you guys like "The Sword"?

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanctus Germanus View Post
    By the way, I'm counting T2X because it is more than a fan-made: it's an act of love, and more a true Thief game than the well-meaning but ill-fated Deadly Shadows.
    Really? I don't see how that could be the case besides it being on the same engine, which I honestly think is a part of why people think Deadly Shadows doesn't feel Thief. Because it's on a newer engine. T2X doesn't even feel like it takes place in the same universe to me.

    Am interested in reading your list!

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2016
    Location: Strawberry Fields
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemanyl View Post
    Why do you guys like "The Sword"?
    The atmosphere is phenomenal. The cutscene preceding it is one of the best in the game. The setup is cool and the visuals are great. Playing it for the first and second times was an absolute mind-fuck. The way the house goes from odd to totally wtf the more you play it is genius. Strange windows and carpet, odd, but okay. Upside down rooms and traps? Okay now this is weird. Twisted hallways, forests with creepy noises, weird traps and a shroom room? What the hell is going on? An entrance to an outer space parkour course and a somehow reverse waterfall entrance to an overwhelmingly massive place that replicates a hugely enlarged room? WTFFF!!! Just amazing. There's tons of looting to do and so much to explore both inside and out. Cool stuff to read and tons of secrets. I just love it. Nothing you're doing wrong, just have a different mindset is all. Nothing wrong with that.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    I definitely was one of those that liked T2 a lot more than T1.... then I got over the undead, and eventually found that T1 is much better with the best levels (a bit small but all great) with fantastic atmosphere oozing everywhere. T2 levels are just too boxy and empty. You just don't feel the emptiness of the streets and rooms in T1*. Texture quality cannot be an issue, since even with higher resolution textures, the aesthetic is the same in T1.

    *Okay, so the lack of objects in the mansion rooms does take you out of the moment at times, but then you move onto the next interesting area.

    Thief the Dark Project/Gold - 4.5/5 - While not as polished as Thief 2 in terms of mechanics, this game is fantastic from beginning to end with atmosphere and story and level/enemy variety.
    1. A Keeper's Training - 3/5 - This training missions combines mystic and lore with a largely in-universe means of training new players. Also, I always wanted to return to this compound in an FM to explore it.
    2. Lord Bafford's Manor - 4/5 - For a first mission, this one does everything quite right. Could it be better, yes, does it need to be better to be great.... of course not. This missions keeps it small and simple and normal mode sets a great introductory pace with higher difficulties providing that nice boost of challenges to replay. The introduction of the level sets the world stage well, from the commentary by Garrett in the briefing to the mission's opening conversation. Everything just works. The rooms are sufficiently filled with objects for the most part (good enough to stay immersive). The design and layout is also interesting, presenting a great little home (indoor pool with balconies, lavish bedroom, great little library). The mission also introduces it brand of subtle and optional storytelling with both readables and conversations. Only thing I would like to see is a beefed up version with a bit more decor, perhaps another floor or half-a-floor, and some slightly expanded city-section with some places to visit before going in. It would be really great to hop in through a window into one of the servants (or tough-boys) residences nearby to grab a key to an area inside of Bafford's.
    3. Break from Cragscleft Prison - 4/5 - A prison, mine, hammer compound, and two new enemy types. This mission packs in the variety. First, we get an introduction to the undead - starting simple with the easier zombie type. Definitely a scary mission with the atmosphere, sounds, and danger throughout. We also get an introduction to the Order of the Hammer, who are a fascinating group and plenty of fun to deal with. The factory is hard, but the prison really goes into challenge mode. If variety is the spice of life, then you need a glass of water after this hot tamale.
    4. Down In the Bonehoard - 3.5/5 - Undead... lots of undead, oh and those dog-like things with bad breath. Definitely not a mission for stealth. While grave-robbing does seem fitting with the Thief trope, you will tend to fill like Rambo after a while. I'm sure the mission is quite ghostable, but you might as well leave the blackjack at home for this one. Is it fun? yes. Is it stealthy? Well, I made so much noise, I woke the dead for their final time. The tombs themselves are fun, and it is fun to explore, but either you play scared and with high tension or you feel like a badass Rambo and clear them out of their holes like it was 'Nam.
    5. Assassins - 4.5/5 - The stealthy tailing and interesting cityscape just begging to be explored further, this is one mission that feels right at home in Thief. The stealth difficulty is definitely amped up here. The multiple ways into the Mansion and its many secrets and readables and rooms make for a fun exploration session. Definitely a highlight of replays.
    6. Thieves' Guild - 3/5 - This one leaves me kind of meh. The layout is confusing, the map is not very helpful, and the while the large head count keeps the experience tense and busy; I'm left going to finish it as quickly as possible. The sewers are drab with very little of interest to explore and find. This mission could definitely have more interesting readables and conversations, and variations in the objects around the place. Make each thief a little more unique. The way the sewers are designed is also a little too gamey in places and just doesn't seem like even a haphazardly built sewer, which doesn't seem like something that would be built that way. Also, if they were implying that some areas were originally basements, this needed to be more obvious. The manors of the two Lords were good and fun, and the Overlord's Fancy (though a little sparse) fit the bill.
    7. The Sword - 4/5 - Chaotic and crazy. The garden/greenhouses are great little architectural areas to explore (meaning I want more, especially like that area above the water barrier. A higher res version of this would segment would be good. The upstairs was really crazy, and could have used some more variation in the craziness and difficulty. Also, I would have wanted more realism in the construction. Presumably, most of the place was man-made, so there should be some separation of vegetation and marble/stone flooring/walls.
    8. The Haunted Cathedral - 4.5/5 - This places has so many hints of its past. I found it an absolute joy to explore, just wish we could break into more areas. More rubbish and zombies are definitely needed in the mission (seriously less than 12 zombies, why were we ever scared). Lots of fighting things and blasting undead, lots of movement up and down, and lots of hints to its past leave me very satisfied by this mission. Just give me more environmental details and areas to explore.
    9. The Mage Towers - 3/5 - This FM is rather more meh than one would expect. There are some interesting readables and conversations here, though the foreshadowing from the statues is a little lost on veteran players (apart from going oh-yeah that is what happens). The central keep is well textured and decorated and does have some interesting areas, but the towers are just poor. The water tower is too small, and there is nothing interesting about any of the three. The only tower that employs its element well for gameplay is the fire tower (though it does seem a little gamey). The real problem I have with the towers is they don't provide clues into the daily lives of these mages. They don't have the appearance of magical work and living areas, just mazes of platforms, tunnels, and lava. It is not even good at being gimmicky since the elements are not well-played into gameplay-wise. And the water tower is just too short on the inside.
    10. The Lost City - 4/5 (3.5 for Thief Gold version) - Strange, mysterious, no undead (which was really nice when I was first playing it). Burricks have never been a particularly fun creature for me to deal with - a chore to kill and noisy to KO. The fire elementals are fun but also nasty to evade, quite numerous (I generally speed-potion to the fire talisman first thing, so twice the number of these enemies), and hard to hit (quick-load crazy). The level is intriguing with lots of clues about the past and interesting navigation challenges. Definitely a fun adventure, but the level definitely was lessened by the removal of the Water Talisman. I feel like this level was the one level had the two talisman protections done well, its removal was just not needed. Cannot say the same for the Earth and Air talismans - that needed to be split.
    11. Song of the Caverns - 4.5/5 - Just an amazing level, from the streets to the caverns, to the lavish opera house packed with treasures, lore, secret passages, and marbled halls. Everything works in this mission. It is my favorite of the Thief Gold missions/mission versions with only Assassins giving it a slight edge. Since this is the Thief Gold mission that was never converted to Thief 2, I only got to play it when I bought Thief Gold in 2012 on Steam, so it is also my least replayed OM. One other advantage of this OM was the plethora of great assets that have been well-used in FMs. Only change I might consider making is adding more to the streets and caves (though I can understand the potential pacing issues that would cause).
    12. Undercover - 3/5 - An interesting concept brought low but an AI was not yet completed, so the AI does tend to bug out a bit. The exploration of the Hammer life-style and area was fun and interesting. These guys are just far more interesting than the mechanists were. I guess it helps that these guys feel aren't as blind and genocidal as Karras's followers were nor were their areas so sterile (and those mechanist machines, yuck).
    13. Return to the Cathedral - 4/5 - Undead slaying at its most intense, and Garrett isn't even well loaded for the job. He has to rely a bunch on what he can find there. Definitely a dark and lengthy mission. I had no issue with Brother Murus' quests and its a fun excuse to go rummaging through all of the areas. The patrol routes of the zombies with some of the destruction certainly made St. Yora's feel larger and more crowded with undead. You almost have to sneak through there when you are low on supplies after clearing out the cathedral section.
    14. Escape! - 2.5/5 - Man is this level too bright and packed with beasts. It is hard to sneak through anywhere, so you feel like just slaughtering your way out, except there are so many, this task becomes difficult. Although that fire elemental helps - drop a dead body, rouse the locals to that area, and laugh as the fire elemental burns through some beasts for you.
    15. Strange Bedfellows - 3/5 - The underground portion was kind of interesting during earlier playthroughs with those older areas hinting of past. Now it just too little detail and complexity or even challenge. The mission is still an okay level and a bit different from other missions.
    16. Into the Maw of Chaos - 2.5/5 - Linear... way too linear. And packed with enemies that you really cannot fight through, you have to stealth by many of them. There are two things that keep this mission from being lower: the elemental areas are very interesting, especially after the first segment; and the Trickster's ritual with great and sometimes funny lines (dotty soil? seriously).
    Average rating: TDP: 3.58 / TG: 3.53

    Thief II: The Metal Age - 4/5 - This game is much more polished and the engine more capable of handling those large missions. Unfortunately, the levels are just too empty (especially streets) and it is much more noticeable here than in the smaller missions of Thief 1. The levels also seem a little too simple architecturally at times. I think probably the biggest influencing factor is how you are generally only facing humans or those stupid robots (they tend to kill themselves off too easily) and after this many years of facing standard human AIs, it makes the levels rather dull gameplay-wise. The locales in the levels, just aren't as interesting either. Compare the cities in Assassins and Haunted Cathedral with Framed and Ambush (Trace the Courier - same area). These areas are vastly different in style with the former providing a lot of hints to let the imagination go compared to the later.
    1. Running Interference - 2.5/5 - I originally found this a fun rump in the early years, now it just a tiny mansion with nothing interesting going on inside of it. Bafford's Manor threw you into the world of Thief, this mission just had you rob some random place and do a less traditional objective.
    2. Shipping... and Receiving - 4.5/5 - Now this is what the first mission should have been. Clues of the wider Thief world abound here including recent events in the city. I love the ambient and large and varied areas to explore. Both Warehouses are just fun with enough verticality to make it particularly fun. Only real negative here is the lack of the variety in the objects and ease with which you can wave your sand-bat and send everyone to slumber-land.
    3. Framed - 3/5 - The city area is flat and uninteresting. There is just too little to evoke curiosity about the surroundings. The forced ghosting is less frustrating the more experienced I've become, but I still dislike the playstyle and I always feel a bit of dread (because of the less fun aspects of it) going into this mission. The underground areas and secrets were interesting, but the decoration is nice. It is a decent level. Although, it does seem a little too much like a modern 20th century police station with swords, torches, and minimal tech.
    4. Ambush! - 3/5 - I liked this mission in the past as it has some fun gameplay and a bit of variety in the areas. Unfortunately, it is overall a little too flat and clean. The areas you can access are simple and poorly decorated (from a worldbuilding perspective) and serve only as passthroughs. The repetitive lack of places to enter and loot really left me bored; and the areas themselves, don't evoke the imagination. In Assassins by comparison, the areas were really chaotic and different. Each door represented an accesspoint into a different place. The area was also fairly small compared to Ambush, so the lack of accessible areas did not get to you.
    5. Eavesdropping - 2/5 - Boring, boring, boring, boring. It has always been a boring level. Go in, listen to a conversation (little replay value) then go on a key hunt for a very particular key and make a copy of it (don't forget where you actually found it either). Very few areas have anything interesting about them. The bit about the servant conversion was meh, and probably only has some punch on a first playthrough when you did not know much about the Mechanists yet... no replay value there. The converting of hammer areas was interesting, but this was really only one spot. Definitely low on my interest level.
    6. First City Bank and Trust - 3/5 - The mission is tough, but the size is rather excessive for a bank. Some areas are kind of weird and don't make much sense outside of providing variety in areas and gameplay. It is fine in terms of non-linearity and exploration, just the stuff you find is not that interesting.
    7. Blackmail - 4/5 - Now this is a mansion level! Large, filled with secrets and interesting details, plenty of loot, and a variety of rooms to explore. The Red Hall was great in terms of surprise and pacing. Just an all around fun level.
    8. Trace the Courier - 1.5/5 - And we have our first repeat map. Not only are we going through the same level again, but the purpose of this level is to tail two different individuals. It feels like an attempt to repeat the first part of Assassins, but what made that mission good was the interesting city section and the brevity of that part of the mission. The FM Sammy Pays His Dues replicated the Assassins experience much better.
    9. Trail of Blood - 3.5/5 - The walls of forest texture are bleh but understandable given the time period this was created. Though the mission is quite linear, its progression and variety of areas keep it from being a boring train-ride. We get more information on the Pagans than we ever had in Thief 1, and the introduction of Victoria in the cutscene is good. Those Treebeasts are just ouch, still a tough fight one-on-one even today.
    10. Life of the Party - 4/5 - This one has fallen a few pegs due to being bested by several T1 and T2 style FMs and the city portion of the map was reused too much for FMs. It just made the level less interesting. The exploration of the city areas is an absolute joy in general, and the mechanist tower is fun to sneak through and clear out. Great exploration and gameplay.
    11. Precious Cargo - 4.5/5 - The old pirate areas with the lighthouse is just a fun local to explore. The atmosphere of the mission is also quite different from the usual, and gives the place the feel of small island. The mechanist base is also fun to traverse and explore complete with those old caves and the submarine. Really adds some steampunky tech to mix. The biggest issue with the bad texture work. Wood texture next to metal texture without any breakage is immersion breaking. In a Thief 2 Gold, this underground pirate/mechanist base would need some fixing architecturally to make it more visually believable.
    12. Kidnap - 3/5 - Revisiting the lost city was an interesting idea, and I keep finding myself comparing the current areas with the way they were in Thief 1. Unfortunately, some areas are just evacuated earthwork, and the mechanists don't add anything since it is just pocket after pocket of mech machines to chew through. And that bridgework just ruins the look of the place. I think it would be more interesting it was just there were fewer machines, pockets of beasties, and some pockets of where the mechanists have set up shop only. Not tried to civilize the whole place. And most of all, kept most of the place relatively intact and the same. Just open up some pathways between places, cover or negative some of the lava segments. And open a few of the lost portions of the lost city. Also, the main objective here is boring.
    13. Casing the Joint - 0.5/5 - And more ghosting, only this time, it is totally pointless. We have gone on so many missions before now being completely blind with little in the way of maps or knowledge of security. Repeat levels are just bad to begin with, and this level is just rather empty during the level and is not actually much better decor-wise in the next mission. And everything is basically complete anyway when we go through this place. At least have some variation and added challenge between this mission and the next.
    14. Masks - 2.5/5 - This is an okay mansion, not great. The secrets are boring and meant for traversal unlike the secrets in Assassins and Blackmail. The mission quality in all areas and decor is not much better than it was in the last mission. It just too much of same thing as last time, only easier since you don't have to worry about ghosting. The top floor is fun and much better, but suffers due to an extreme lack of polish.
    15. Sabotage at Soulforge - 3/5 - The building of equipment and parts was actually interesting and fun, and certainly felt like a nice idea to use Karras's stuff against him. The areas, however, were just too contrived in design and the repetitive killing of bots has just really turned this into a dull-dull exercise at this point. The place was also just too large given what you are really trying to accomplish in it. The size adds nothing to immersion or gameplay.
    Average: 2.97
    Last edited by Iceblade; 17th Apr 2018 at 10:55.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2017
    Location: Poland
    1. A Keeper's Training - 2/6
    2. Lord Bafford's Manor - 5/6
    mansion, City Watch, nobility
    3. Break from Cragscleft Prison - 5/6
    prison, Hammerites, undead
    4. Down In The Bonehoard - 5/6
    tombs, tunnels, undead
    5. Assasins - 4/6
    City streets, mansion, City Watch, nobility
    6. Thieves' Guild - 2/6
    sewers, guild, mansion, thieves
    7. The Sword - 3/6
    mansion, nature, City Watch
    8. The Haunted Cathedral - 3/6
    urban exploration, ruins, monsters, undead, Keepers
    9. The Mage Towers - 6/6
    towers, mages
    10. The Lost City - 5/6
    ruins, underworld, monsters, mages
    11. Song of the Caverns - 5/6
    opera house, sewers, monsters, City watch, nobility
    12. Undercover - 4/6
    temple, Hammerites
    13. Return to the Cathedral - 4/6
    cathedral, undead
    14. Escape! - 5/6
    caverns, nature, mansion, monsters
    15. Strange Bedfellows - 3/6
    temple, Hammerites, monsters
    16. Into the Maw of Chaos - 5/6
    other world, nature, monsters

    Average: 4.13


    1. Running Interference - 4/6
    mansion, City Watch, nobility
    2. Shipping... and Receiving - 2/6
    warehouse, docks, City Watch
    3. Framed - 5/6
    police station, City Watch
    4. Ambush - 3/6
    City streets, City Watch
    5. Eavesdropping - 2/6
    seminary, Mechanists
    6. First City Bank and Trust - 5/6
    bank, City Watch
    7. Blackmail - 5/6
    mansion, City Watch
    8. Trace the Courier - 1/6
    City streets, City Watch
    9. Trail of Blood - 5/6
    pagan village, other world, nature, pagans, Mechanists, monsters
    10. Life of the Party - 6/6
    castle, Mechanists, nobility
    11. Precious Cargo - 5/6
    island, submarine, Mechanists, pirates, nature
    12. Kidnap - 1/6
    ruins, underworld, Mechanists
    13. Casing the Joint - 1/6
    mansion, museum, City Watch, nobility
    14. Masks - 2/6
    mansion, museum, City Watch, nobility
    15. Sabotage at Soulforge - N/A (I never finished it!)
    cathedral, Mechanists

    Average: 3,54
    Last edited by Aemanyl; 12th Apr 2018 at 14:24.

  25. #25
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    Quote Originally Posted by Aemanyl View Post
    Why do you guys like "The Sword"?
    It's one of my favourites not because of the mission itself, but rather the architecture and atmosphere. It's like being inside a surrealist painting, and I always get a kick out of looking around, even though by now I know pretty well where everything is. I understand why some people don't, though. It's easy to get lost the first couple of times through, and the fact that the mission is probably one of the first examples of what I'd label "tile abuse"- though not as gratuitous as some FMs, it's still there. Sure, the objectives and guard placements are conventional as it gets, but the architecture being the main challenge sets it apart from the others.

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