Review by FProphet

"Befriending the darkness and cursing the light."

You're walking down a hall when you hear a guard walking around. Do you: A) Engage the guard, sword in hand, or B) wait until his back is turned then knock him out cold? Welcome to Thief II - The Metal Age.

The answer, by the way, is B. To begin, Thief II is NOT a first-person shooter. Yes, the game is in first-person, and yes, you can shoot arrows, but it is NOT a first-person shooter! It's a game where you're not some guy who carries around an arsenal and can gun down anything that comes at you. Nor is it a game where you can sustain a hundred points worth of damage. In Thief II, you are (as the title implies) a thief - by the name of Garrett. You rob, sneak, knock out, and do what thieves do best - steal. Though, the game is not just a test of your skills, it also holds a story of man and machine. I won't tell you a piece of it though, don't want to spoil it. Well, I'm beginning to drone on, so let us examine the game even further...

Gameplay (9/10): The game runs off the same engine as the original Thief, which isn't a bad thing at all. In fact, there really aren't that many changes (If there are, then they are VERY subtle). At the bottom of the screen is a light meter, which measures how easily seen you are. Since you'll need to hide in the shadows in order to avoid being seen, this is very important. Locked doors and chests are opened either with lockpicks or keys. Weapon-wise, you have a sword (used in order to combat enemies, which is sometimes unavoidable), a blackjack (used to knock out guards and other people), a bow, and a set of arrows (normal arrows, fire arrows, water arrows [used to extinguish torches], moss arrows [to soften the sound of your footsteps on metallic grates], and noisemaker arrows [used to draw out guards]). There are also several other items: flash bombs, potions, and other things as well. Overall, Thief II's gameplay is very stable and easy to use.

Story (9/10): The way the game reveals the story is very interesting. The storyline is revealed by mission briefings, reading various books and letters laid about the place your plundering, and eavesdropping on conversations. I won't reveal the course of the story, though I will tell you that in the game you'll get to kidnap someone, frame a captain of the guard, and even rob a bank.

Graphics (9/10): The game looks very much like Thief, once again, not a bad thing. The details of the level are very nice and the details of the fire (both normal and magical) are nice looking. The only gripe I have against the graphics is that when the characters talk, their mouths don't move.

Sound (10/10): The sound of the game really shines! The voice acting is great, everything from swinging a sound into a piece of metal, to trying to elude a patroon of guards is great and convincing. The sound of the game is necessary, so turn up those speakers! You need to hear the guards talking, the footsteps of an approaching patrolman, and the whizzing of gears from a mechanical security system. If you can't hear these things, there's no way you can even get past the first level of the game! Thief II uses sound like no other game out there.

Replayability (9/10): The game three settings: normal, hard, and expert. Normal is the easiest, while expert is just insane. With each increasing difficulty level, the objectives of the level get harder and easily found items must be sought out. For example: while a key in on normal may be found on a desk, in expert mode, it may be on a guard.

Overall Fun Factor (10/10): Almost perfect.

In total, I highly suggest you get Thief II. If you want a game where you must look before you leap, Thief II is it.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 04/02/00, Updated 04/02/00

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