TSA’s Top 100 of 2011 – #18 Thief 4

Truth be told, we have a sneaky suspicion that some of Deus Ex: Human Revolution’s dazzling shine may have rubbed off on Thief 4, hence going some way to explain why it’s done so well in this list. That’s not to say the series doesn’t have its partisans – by word does Thief have some anal fanatics – but the two titles have always been connected somewhat as a duo.

Both in production at Eidos Montreal, both sequels to insanely popular games from yesteryear, both having developer Ion Storm involved at some point (they developed part three); announcing the pair at the same time was something of a masterstroke on publisher Square Enix’s behalf. A real one-two punch, as positive feedback on one title was invariably associated with the other. “You see that new Deus Ex trailer?” “Yeah! And they’re making a new Thief, too!” Smart.

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Unlike the aforementioned new Deus Ex, we’ve seen very, very little of the next Thief. Indeed, because of this particular fact, and considering it’s been some time since ole Garrett appeared nonchalantly on a castle wall, quiver stocked full of special arrows, we wouldn’t be surprised is some people hadn’t a clue what the hell Thief 4 is in the first place.

Predating Deus Ex, the Thief series ironically hit just after Metal Gear Solid, hence nearly earning itself the title of the first released 3D stealth game. Nearly, because that’s actually Tenchu’s honour. Subtitled “The Dark Project”, the debut chapter in the series appeared in the late 90s and instantly garnered what would become a loyal following. It was something different; a pensive, patient affair where players had to monitor their sound output and lurk in dense shadows or risk detection. It was these two variables, in fact, that dictated the flow of the game. Make too much sound and a guard will come running, or stray outside of the permitted illumination as determined by your light gauge, and you’re sprung.

Primarily it’s a “stealth fantasy series”, though fantasy is not the only genre that contributes to the franchise’s varied aesthetic, as there is a lot more going on here besides. Elements of steampunk and baroque imagery are peppered throughout the metropolis main protagonist Garrett traverses, with industrialisation evident in such things as the presence of electricity, albeit the technology presented as a weird blend of magic, alchemy and machinery.

“The Dark Project” was followed up with “The Metal Age” in 2000 and then 2004’s “Deadly Shadows”, which even made the jump to the Xbox. The sequels had varied success, with “Deadly Shadows” especially receiving the ire of many a Thief fan none too pleased with the direction the series had taken.

Stéphane D’Astous, Eidos-Montreal’s General Manager, has described the next entry, Thief 4, as “incredibly ambitious” and that it should make an appearance late next year. And that’s about all we know. If you’re a fan of the Assassin’s Creed games we definitely think Thief 4 should be on your radar.

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23 Comments

  1. THI4F? Seriously. THI3F I can buy, but this?

  2. Can’t wait. It’s been too long since the last thief game.

  3. Wha? when was this announced I’ve just got the 3rd months ago looks promising having not played the game much

    • Look up!

      Related stories (more)
      Thief 4 Heading To PS3? [20]
      Thief 4 & Deus Ex 3 On Another Level [4]
      Thief 4 Announced [19]

      :)

  4. Wonder if I can “Ghost” this one? I couldn’t on any of the others by the way. Have you met my friend BlackJack.

  5. Never even heard of this series. Is it good?

    • I was a tad worried adding the line “many people won’t know what Thief 4 is” to the above for fear of being called patronising (again!).

      Thanks for your comment, as it basically confirmed my suspicions that many people are not really aware of this franchise.

      On to your question. Well, it depends on what type of games you like. The combat in the Thief games has always been a bit iffy. It’s slow-paced and quite high-brow. Like I say, if you like Assassin’s Creed, there’s a good chance you’ll like Thief. I don’t know why (and I have no evidence to support this theory) but I think Eidos Montreal will likely move Thief in that direction. Large city roof-top traversal. Think Altair with a bow and arrow and more RPG elements.

      • Ah thanks. By the way you described it, it really sounds like the kind of game that i would enjoy. Will keep a look out for this.

      • You’re making me feel real old :(

    • Same, first time I’ve heard of it. Sounds good though and as I’ve planned on at least renting every game next year that’s on the TSA top 100 for PS3 then this is obv goin’ to be played. I think the task is ambitious and I may end up buying a few titles along the way which are just too good to rent n who knows this could be one of them.

      • Damn good luck with your renting. Hope you do it.

  6. Would love to play this now!!! One of my all time favourites – sorry Snake but I’d rather play with Garrett.

  7. i have metal age in a box somewhere. i guess its worth playing it for the first time to see what all the fuss is about

    • Imo, the metal age was the best one..

  8. I’d heard good things about the development of this game without ever really knowing much about the specifics, if that makes any sense!!?? The last sentence of the article has suddenly got me very interested with the comparison to Assassin’s Creed. :)

  9. I love AC so I’ve been keeping my eye on this for a while now. Hopefully we’ll see some video’s soon!

  10. I had no idea they were making another! Is it set for consoles as well as PC? I’ve never played the originals but they have piqued my interest for some time, so it would be nice to ne introduced to a shiny new one!

    • Yep – if you check the related stories section above, you should find out some more information about the console versions. It should be noted that platforms have yet to be confirmed, but if Eidos have any plans on competing with Assassin’s Creed, I think you can expect the big three.

      • Gameboy Colour, PS2 and Megadrive.

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