Review by call me peppi

"Bigger, better and more things to steal."

Garrett returns in the sequel to Thief: The Dark Project, with more missions, more items, and a massively improved storyline.

Description -
You play as the thief Garrett, in a fantasy/industrial age type city, known only as ''The City''. This is Garrett’s second adventure, taking place a year after the events of Thief: The Dark Project. You have to take Garrett through 15 missions, filled with guards, animals and civilians, while a fantastic storyline unfolds before your eyes with cut-scenes between each mission. Unlike most First-Person Shooters, Thief II puts emphasis on stealth, not combat. You need to engage in a different manner of approaching dangerous situations. You need to be able to pick locks, knock out guards, pickpocket passers-by, and if it does come down to swordplay, be ready to hide the evidence. Garrett is given a large arsenal of weapons and tools with which to perform his tasks, including things like the ordinary sword, bow, and club (the Blackjack) to things like, Flash bombs that temporarily blind enemies, Invisibility potions, Slow-fall potions, rope arrows, gas arrows and explosive mines.

Graphics - 6/10
The first thing anyone ever thinks about in a game is graphics, and unfortunately, Thief's graphics are definitely average. This may seem all right, but the fact is, this is the second Thief installment and the graphics are almost exactly the same as the first one. There are far too many graphical glitches, many of which are from Thief: The Dark Project. Guards somehow manage to pass their limbs through walls, doors occasionally vanish, paintings sometimes disappear into walls, and the list goes on. Another improvement over graphics, which could have been made, is the facial detail of guards: mouths still don't move, and the overall appearance just doesn't look natural, but there are a lot more character models in Thief II. However, Thief II also carries on the brilliant lighting effects created by Thief. You can douse torches with water arrows to create darkness to hide in, and new features allow you to turn on and off certain lights with switches. Thief II also has a new sky, no longer just black with white dots, but a very more realistic looking sky, which surprisingly makes a very large difference to the levels. This coupled with added weather effects; add a nice touch to the game.

Sound - 10/10
Sound is what makes the Thief games great, and Thief II has kept the best feature of Thief up and running. The sound, to put it simply, is superb. The game relies more heavily on sound FX and ambient noises rather than music, because of course, being a Thief; you need to be listening for approaching enemies. Walking around a Mechanist Cathedral at night, you stumble across a graveyard. The game suddenly becomes creepy, as you hear quiet laughter and the occasional scream. But then you move on and you hear the gentle chirping of crickets. The game can keep you on edge, as well as make you feel safe and secure, just by simple little background noises. The speech the guards make can also be very good, and occasionally humorous, when they're looking for you and getting fed up, or when they're conversing with a fellow guardsman.

Gameplay - 8/10
Thief II is a very easy game to play, but difficult to master as many people say. It has a few problems, the biggest one being an over-complicated control system, which it inherited from Thief II. However, that soon becomes easy to deal with. The best thing about Thief is the freedom to explore and try things out. You can eavesdrop, read letters and notes, and find out things about The City and it's history, and most of it has nothing to do with your mission objectives. In some levels you can stumble across some dark secrets people possess that will just plain disturb you, like the Sheriffs Torture Chambers, or the mysterious library murders. It just gives a greater sense of freedom, and makes the game feel more real. The levels are considerably larger than those of Thief: The Dark Project, with numerous additions like security cameras, light switches, clocks that actually tell the time and move, much better looking trees than Thief: The Dark Project, some of which house tree-top cities that you can explore, and a new locations outside of The City.

Story - 10/10
Thief II: The Metal Age has one of the best story lines I’ve ever seen in a game, a kin to Silent Hill 2, or Metal Gear Solid 2. The plot has many twists and turns, much involving the religious order of the Mechanists, a secret society known as the Keepers, and an old associate of yours, Viktoria. The first missions, begin with you trying to make a dishonest living while the Baron is off fighting wars, leaving his oppressive Sheriff, Gorman Truart in charge, resembling the Robin Hood tales, except you don't give to the poor. A plot becomes apparent when you learn this Gorman Truart has been hired by someone to kill you. You go in search of this mysterious person, when the story twists, and well, I'm not going to say any more. But the story keeps you thinking until the end, as you try to figure out what is going on before the game tells you.

Overall - 8/10
If you’re into First-Person Shooters, the kind where you shoot everything that moves and basically an indestructible fighting machine, you need to avoid Thief. If you like or don't mind a change that requires brainpower and patients, you need to buy this game. However, it is strongly recommended you get Thief: The Dark Project first, otherwise you won't understand many of Thief II's aspects and references to the first game. Final decision: 8/10.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 03/14/03, Updated 03/14/03

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