8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
After day one - a Thief 3 fan's review - PC version,
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This review is from: Thief [Online Game Code] (Software Download)
So for anyone that cares I took some time to write something of a (longish) preliminary review after day 1 of "Thief4". Overall I would say the game is better than I expected. We are not blown away but after a rough start we *are* enjoying it now. Any real thief fans should get it and check it out. Be prepared to be quite disappointed and hate it a lot during the tutorial. The game does get more enjoyable though, and more "Thief3-like" as time goes on. It helps once you figure the game out, configure the game to your tastes/skill level, and get used to certain changes.
Firstly I recommend setting Master difficulty and disabling the "focus" mode immediately which is essentially a lame immersion-breaking cheat/help mode you should only ever use if you are very stuck, imo. Master difficulty has not seemed too hard, we were happy that we got caught and failed/died sometimes. These are reasons why we hated it at first :
1 .There's too many help-features that make stuff too easy to find and break immersion, such as aggro-icons and health-bars.
2. Lockpicking feels lamer/is way too easy
3. The Shinies shine too fast and are too distracting/obvious
4. The new voice-actor isnt as good as Steven Russell sounds more generic like most video game tough-guys).
5. Garret looks a little too girly/wussy now (kindof elf-ish) and is too "fancied-up".
6. They trivialized some of the game-play that was better when it was more tactical/difficult (like blackjacking is now just a single-key takedown, and archery seems dumbed-down)
7. The keybinding interface and menu system in general is pretty basic and bad (e.g. you can't bind like shift-f or cntrl-anything).
8. You can't jump whenever you want (which nearly made my head explode at first), only where it makes sense
9. The game won't let you fall off of beams easily and kill yourself which feels lame.
10. During the tutorial you end up having to following this annoying emo thief-girl around who seems to be your student of sorts that just makes you want to slap her every time she says anything. First of all, Garrett works alone! Secondly, she's just annoying.
11. Almost forgot - the first person cam is so wobbly when looting things, at first it was making me a little nauseous.
12. the guard dialogue lacks the amusing personality they had in t3
That's the worst of it and you get hit with every bit of it during the tutorial, so it leaves you reeling a bit. The Thief 3 tutorial definitely was a lot better/smoother more immersive and more fun. That said, things get a lot better in Chapter 1 after you've suffered through the tutorial. Here is how the above "gripe - list" gets addressed as the game goes on (these numbers correspond to the complaints above):
1. The game is very good about providing a lot of options for disabling HUD-hinty type of stuff to make the game harder and increase immersion. However I recommend leaving everything on at first (except focus mode) until you learn the game. We turned everything off at first and it was making the tutorial even more annoying as we couldn't figure out how to do certain things. As time went on we have disabled health-bars and aggro-idicators as well. I expect we'll turn more off as we get better with the game.
2. You run into locks that are much harder than the tutorial in Ch1.
3. You get over the quick shining rate (and you can disable it entirely if you really want to)
4. The new voice actor will never be as good, but you start to notice that he does put some style into it, and he is starting to grow on me more.
5. Garret's new look still bothers me, but it's a minor complaint.
6. I can accept some of the dumbed-down game-play one as part of main-streaming the game to more modern standards.
7. The keybinding interface's basicness still annoys me, but you learn to work with it.
8. The lack of jumping is somewhat countered by a new move: swooping, which is a short slide move, akin to Mega Man X
9. You find later there are places you can fall and get hurt/die accidentally, so it's not all on rails.
10. The annoying chick doesn't persist into Chapter 1 and is gone (thank god), at least for now.
11. You get used to the wobbly looting pretty quick.
12. Some of the guard dialogue is amusing but in a more boring/crass way. I still miss the t3 gaurds, i miss benny. I miss "taffer" (now they curse for real instead, it's kinda generic and lame).
There are other positive points:
- obviously the graphics etc are modern and much better, yet the retain the "feel" of The City from t3.
- they did a really good job, I think, on making the first person animations well done and immersive
- i'm somewhat impressed with just how much HUD/help-mode stuff they allow you to disable. In fact they let you take it too far, imo, if you want and you can choose to make the game too hard this way.
- the AI is improved, at least for visual discovery on Master mode. The guards were better at catching us in iffy visual situations from pretty far off. so far they are pretty dumb on sound but I expect they will become more keen.
- the movies are solidly well done and entertaining, and the storyline is good enough and interesting so far.
- I have been enjoying the new slide move
- I also enjoy the new ability to grab bottles etc and toss them as a distraction, I think this is a nice addition that is fun, somewhat realistic and actually adds to immersion.
- I enjoy the new first-person angle movies quite a bit.
- jury is still out on the new melee combat moves (dodging etc). Fighting in thief is not my play style.
and one more negative:
The game feels less sand-boxy and more mmo-like in terms of finding special items now seem to be mostly discovered via side-quests your dealer gives you, and not items you find by listening to towns-folk and guards.