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Welcome to Through the Looking Glass

Originally created to follow Looking Glass Studios and their games, these days we are many things to different people. Whether you wish to discuss the games themselves and fan content, enjoy games inspired by the legacy of the game studio or just enjoy chatting about games or life in general - Welcome!

Latest News

18th Feb 2015
Underworld Ascendant updates - Renault - 16:15
There's been some big news as of late on the new Underworld game, currently in the midst of its Kickstarter campaign. The game is close to being 80% funded at the halfway point, so things are looking good. Hopefully a late push will not only get the game funded but also allow it to hit some of its stretch goals. Pledge if you haven't. If you have, consider upping your pledge.

It was announced a few days ago that Otherside Entertainment will be working with none other than Stephen Russell. Most know Stephen as the voice of the cynical Thief, Garrett, but he has lent his voice to many other characters in Looking Glass games over the years, in addition to working on major titles such as Skyrim and Fallout 3. It's great to have Stephen on board, especially after he was snubbed last year for the new Thief game.

It was also announced that Terri Brosius, ex-Looking Glass designer and voice actor for some very memorable Looking Glass characters will also be working with the Otherside team. At this point, it looks like Terri will be primarily providing voice talent, but you never know where else things may lead.

Otherside will be engaging in several twitch sessions over the next several weeks, playing through some classic Looking Glass games with the original developers and providing commentary and insight. The schedule is as follows, all times EST:

-Wednesday, February 18th - Thief - 3-6PM, w/special guest, Randy Smith
-Wednesday, February 25th - System Shock, time TBA
-Wednesday, March 4th - Ultima Underworld, time TBA

Check out the twitch stream here:
10th Feb 2015
The Dark Mod updates to version 2.03 - Renault - 15:28
The guys over at Broken Glass Studios have released an update to The Dark Mod, which includes the following enhancements and additions:

AI changes: AI have a few new animations, including a new pickpocket reaction. Many AI, including the citywatch and builder models, should look more detailed, as most AI are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages, allowing greater detail up close and less detail (and less of a performance hit) when further away. In terms of behaviour, AI will now coordinate their searches more intelligently when in groups, sending some AI to guard doors and choke-points rather than stepping all over each other. AI will now react when getting hit by an opening door. An issue that allowed AI to see behind them if their head was turned a certain way has been fixed.

Graphics: Particle effects have been greatly improved, so that they no longer create hard lines when intersecting geometry. Water no longer distorts things that are in front of it, and the skybox will no longer flash grey when the player is mantling. The spyglass will now appear round regardless of the screen dimensions used. A number of entities are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages. You may wish to adjust this option in the Graphics Menu if you see noticeable 'popping' of models.

Assets: More than a hundred new high-quality textures and models have been added to the game, and should start appearing in new maps. A number of existing models have been improved by adding more polys and better textures. A new female townsfolk model and vocal set has also been added to the game and should start appearing in new maps soon.

Overall, you should notice a distinct improvement to the graphics and AI behaviour in maps. And we have some exciting renderer developments in the pipeline, though that will have to wait for the next update.

Thanks to the TDM team for all their hard work on the game - it's great to see that they're continually improving/fixing/enhancing things. To update your installation, run the file tdm_update.exe in your Dark Mod folder. Happy thieving...
9th Feb 2015
New Underworld game on Kickstarter - Renault - 18:36
This could be the start of big things for Looking Glass fans. As many people know, a new game studio called OtherSide Entertainment was started up last year by Looking Glass founder Paul Neurath. Their focus, as stated on their web site, is to reboot classic games franchises. Well, they’ve done just that, in the form of a new Underworld game (minus the Ultima branding). The new game is called Underworld Ascendant.

A Kickstarter project was launched last Wednesday (February 4th, 2015) to fund the game, and they are already well over half way to their goal. It’s also been revealed that several ex-Looking Glass employees have joined the studio and are working on the game, including Tim Stellmach, Steve Pearsall, and Robb Waters. In addition to that, Warren Spector and Austin Grossman will be advising and acting as consultants on the project.

Check out the Kickstarter page and pledge if you haven’t already. There are some interesting stretch goals available that include adding new areas to explore, new races, and even a level editor. Strong support for this title will likely lead to more Looking Glass type games in the future. Very exciting stuff!
7th Mar 2014
My Thief Review - by henke - henke - 10:58
TTLG members review Thief

Thief has been played now and the opinions and reviews are coming in thick and fast. Over the next few weeks, as more and more people complete the new Thief, we hope to be able to showcase a range of reviews from our members.

The first one on the block is a review by the venerable henke, "the spirit of GenGaming" and all around games-player extraordinaire. Enjoy.

My Thief Review

This is not the old Thief. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing it, but it soon became clear that this is not the old Thief. Aside from hearing the sound of the bell tower and a few other sound effects, I have not experienced any nostalgic feelings during my time in the shoes of new Garrett. The gameplay reminds me more of Mark Of The Ninja and the Batman games than they do classic Thief. Some people seem to go out of their way to play this like classic Thief, disabling Focus and not swooping, but that is a mistake. Framing this game in the context of what old Garrett would do, or what the old games played like, will only keep you from enjoying it for what it is. This is not the old Thief. What it is, is a very good stealth game, and the story of a man named Garrett.

The Story

Honestly though, it’s not much a story. It’s fairly unoriginal and the way it’s told is a bit of a mess, especially early on. After Chapter 5 I had a pretty good handle on what was going on and my motivations were (somewhat) clear. The story hangs together, I guess, is the most positive thing you could say about it. But there are no moments like the final cutscene of The Dark Project here. Remember that? When the Keeper and Garrett are walking through the snow, and those final lines? It sent a shiver down your spine and got you pumped for the sequel. New Thief, by comparison, just… kinda ends.

The Missions

The whole game took me 22,5 hours to beat according to the in-game clock (30 hours according to Steam) and there’s plenty of sidemissions and Basso jobs still left undone. The missions are big, well designed, and filled with more loot than you’ll be able to find. However, they are to a large extent retreads of missions from earlier Thief games (Angelwatch, creepy abandoned asylum, bank, etc.). It’s like a Greatest Hits compilation of Thief levels. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly. On the one hand some more originality would’ve been nice, on the other hand everything about this game is different enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing the same missions over again.

What all that triple-A money was spent on, and what they could’ve spent more on

This game delivers on a lot of what I was hoping for from a triple-A-version of a Thief game. The environments are detailed and gorgeous, and aside from a few glitches, the animations are very slick. The sound, however, disappoints. There are a few sections with annoying repeated dialogue, and in some cutscenes the music and environmental sounds are so loud they drown out the voices of the characters we’re supposed to be listening to. Most disappointingly, the sounds of guards are too faint, and you can only hear them if they're nearby. You can't rely on your ears as much in this one as in previous games.

The Gameplay

As a reboot it does take the opportunity to introduce new gameplay elements and moves. Freerunning feels awesome, it’s almost a shame you get to use it so rarely (really only when retreading familiar ground where you know no guards will be). I like all the new tools in Garrett’s arsenal and the way they’re animated, especially the way he pulls the lockpicks out of his sleeves. Lockpicking feels better than it ever has before (with a gamepad and visual cues turned off, at least). Combat is harder than it’s ever been. Later on you can upgrade your blackjack damage and learn Focus combat takedown moves, but don’t expect to be winning many fights for the first 10 hours or so. Focus itself is… neither here nor there. I used it mainly to look for traps and help with a few puzzles, but overall it doesn’t bring much to the game. Swoop on the other hand is a great addition. It just feels good.

I also must give a special mention to the Challenge Modes. They make excellent use of existing areas and bring a totally new kind of stealth gameplay, one that rewards a delicate mixture of speed and silence.

The Bottomline

Overall, despite audio issues and a somewhat damp story, I had a good time with Thief. It's a solid stealth game. It's definitely better than Deadly Shadows. I don't think it'll sell well enough to warrant a sequel, and it's not like the game sets one up anyway. Already now, most of what I'm seeing on this forum is acceptance of this game for what it is. I think that down the line it'll be viewed as that weird one-off. "It wasn't as good as T1/2, but it wasn't bad, y'know."

Play settings: Master difficulty, 360 gamepad, most of the assists turned off.
10th Dec 2013
New thief gold texture patch by Gecko - Gecko - 09:33
Gecko has released his long anticipated Thief Gold enhancement mod. See below for information or visit the original thread for more discussion.

At long last the Thief Gold HD Mod v0.8.5 is available for download!

- added HD textures for all original missions
- added new vegetation
- added new water and lava textures
- added new torch and fire flames
- added Fog FX (Applies only to following missions: Escape!, Strange Bedfellows, Into The Maw of Chaos)
- added new Bugbeast HD skin
- added new Burrick HD skin
- added new Zombie HD skin (A big Zombie skin-pack update with a setup tool coming soon!!!)
Read More »
29th Oct 2013
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut - fett - 19:38
DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION - DIRECTOR'S CUT from Eidos Montreal released in North America October 22nd and October 25th in Europe. Though the Mac version won't see release until later this year, it is currently available on XBox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii U, and Windows PC.

The Director's cut features all DX:HR DLC, infologs, quick inventory capabilities, beefed-up graphics and combat mechanics, new augs, and probably the most anticipated improvement to the original game: re-worked boss fights.

18th Oct 2013
Interview with Josh Randall (LGS alumni) - fett - 23:49
Looks like TTLGer Valet2 caught up with Thief/SS2 Producer Josh Randall

...and the Russian version:

Discuss the video in our System Shock forum thread.
18th Oct 2013
Lunar Software Discusses Their Upcoming SS2 Inspired Indie Title, Routine - fett - 04:36
Lunar Software's alpha-demo of their upcoming first-person game, Routine, made quite a splash around the web, and particularly at TTLG where we've been carrying the System Shock torch for over a decade. We caught up with Lunar dev, Aaron Foster for a quick Q&A about Routine and what hopeful fans can expect from this promising indie title.
Read More »
24th Aug 2013
Thief 4 Release Date Announced - fett - 13:12
Despite fan criticism over Garrett's new appearance, rumors of controversial gameplay features such as contextual jumping and rewards systems, and the absence of voice actor Stephen Russell, Thief 4 is slated to hit the shelves on February 25th, 2014, according to

Disagreements over concepts for the reboot, as well as internal restructuring at Eidos Montreal have plagued the title's development since its announcement all the way back in May of 2009. Further confidence in Square Enix' handling of the beloved franchise was shaken in late July, 2013 when Eidos Montreal founder and general manager, Stephane D'Astous, resigned, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the parent company.

"The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn't able to conduct my job correctly. I realized that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways."

David Anfossi, executive producer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution stepped into to fill D'Astous' role as Eidos Montreal head. D'Astous' resignation comes on the heels of a $69 million restructuring of Square Enix in the first quarter of 2013.

"Since last year's financial short-coming performance of Square Enix Europe, we (HQ London and GM Eidos Montreal) have had growing and divergent opinions on what needed to be done to correct the situation," said D'Astous. The co-founder's departure follows the resignation or reassignment of several lead designers, animators, and artists for the project in recent years.

Opinions about Deus Ex: Human Revolution have varied among fans of the classic Deus Ex series, and Thief fans remain sharply divided over Eidos Montreal's changes to the franchise and the ability of the development team to deliver a worthy successor to the classic series. Mixed reviews at E3 in July drove a bigger wedge into the fan base, though most hands-on reviews were positive.

Problems with Thief's developers and publishers should come as no surprise to long-time fans of the series. Looking Glass Studio received strong critical and commercial success with Thief II: The Metal Age in 2000, but the studio was crippled by debt problems and slow returns on the game. Subsequently, the planned expansion (Thief II Gold) was scrapped, and the license went to Ion Storm Dallas. The follow up, Thief: Deadly Shadows (or T3) was the product of financial strain with publisher Eidos, and a rushed development cycle.

Though many fans hoped the relative success of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the longer development cycle, and larger budget were signs of a return to the glory days of Looking Glass Studio's vision for Thief, the reboot seems to be a departure from the emphasis on open exploration in early games. Many hold out hope that the reboot will be an improvement over Deadly Shadows. Fans get to test their theories next February.

For the latest Thief 4 News, check out the Thief 4 Article Index at the TTLG Thief 4 Anticipation Forum.

18th Aug 2013
New Bioshock Content from Irrational - fett - 04:50
Fans of the Bioshock series can expect more Rapture action in the upcoming two-part DLC entitled Burial At Sea. Though no target date is set for the release, it marks the first return of System Shock/Bioshock and Irrational alumni Ken Levine to the underwater city since the original Bioshock.

“We are really excited to offer our fans the content that they have been asking for,” said Ken Levine, creative director of Irrational Games. “With the Burial at Sea episodes, we are building a Rapture-based narrative experience that is almost entirely built from scratch.”

With a $15 price tag, there should be plenty of content, but the wiser investment for some fans will be the $20 Season Pass which unlocks Burial at Sea as well as the recently released Clash in the Clouds DLC, a combat/sky line focused extension that takes place in previously unexplored areas of Columbia, the floating city featured in Bioshock Infinite.

Says Levine, “With Clash in the Clouds, people get a pure action experience that takes BioShock Infinite combat to its highest challenge and intensity level.”

Clash in the Clouds brings new enemies and offers 60 “Blue Ribbon” challenges that unlock goodies like concept art, and new Kintescopes,and Voxphones.

Burial at Sea and Clash in the Clouds is available via Steam, XBox Live, and PSN.