Review by ZeoX
"Probably the most underrated FPS game of the new generation"
He's sneaky. He's creepy. And he's back. Good old Garrett makes his comeback in the third installment of the Thief series, Deadly Shadows.
This game brings several good innovations to the last two, namely, a superior graphics engine, which will require a nice machine to work well. The environment is superbly detailed, and the light effects (specially those light hazes coming through the windows, fantastic) are very well achieved. You can now see the game from a 3rd-person perspective too, and while this doesn't really help you much in the game itself, it will allow you to get a better knowledge of what's around you, or to take some cinematic screenshots. Garrett now uses a dagger, that he can use to backstab his unaware foes, and deliver massive amounts of pain. His mechanical eye can be used to zoom in and out, and there is a new lockpicking system too, that will require some mouse-moving skill by the player, trying to figure the several "sweet spots" on a lock, while Garrett moves his picking tools on screen in the process. Very subtle, yet very realistic too.
On to the game itself. Garrett will join forces with his fellow Keepers this time, to unveil the mysteries behind a prophecy of the coming Unwritten Times, prophecies of great chaos and pain, you know, that kind of stuff. Orland, the new First Keeper, is a very arrogant guy, and you will dislike him early in the game. You will play on several missions for the Keepers while trying to keep your throat intact escaping from the city guard and freely exploring the city around you. Yes, now you can roam around the city, go to shops to buy your equipment and sell your loot, or making some tax collecting in houses, taverns or other locations. You will have also two factions on your tail, the hammerites and the pagans, but you can, with time, become an ally with either of them, gaining access to their bases freely, and relieving some headaches on yourself.
The story begins slow, but it develops into an amazing series of events (namely the fall of the Clocktower, the superb mission on the Cradle, while following the instructions of a ghost girl, the revelation of the Hag...) that will keep you wanting more and more (ID and Valve could learn a few things here).
As in previous Thief games, this isn't your regular FPS. Here, you have to be stealthy, avoid confrontation whenever possible, and if you can't, use your wits instead of your muscle (since Garrett doesn't have many). It is mainly a game of patience and strategy, where good timing and sense of opportunity will guide you to success.
It is a very rewarding game for those who like this type. Sadly, the Thief series seems to remain under-rated when in comparison to more "action"-packed FPS franchises, that mainly test your reflexes, aim and the ability to insult people in leetspeak online. Sadly, Thief still doesn't pack multiplayer service, but I hope there will be a mod to Unreal Tournament 2004, like there was one in UT, Thievery, that will allow Thief fans to gather and sneak eachothers out.
A real blast of a game, enough said.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/07/04
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