Review by kain50bc

"If Thief 3 isn't like this i dont want to play it"

Thief 2: The Metal Age is the second installment in the Thief Series by Eidos and Looking Glass Studio's. I recently picked the game up for a bargain after my friend's copy became too scratched. Let me explain why this is the first 10 I have ever given a game.

Graphics: 9/10. Awesome given the setting of the game. Your object being stealth, it is good to be able to see where the light differs from the dark fairly obviously. The cities, buildings, towns are all exceptionally designed, not too linear but not too difficult on where to go next when you have finished exploring (except one is especially confusing). The video cut-scenes are nice, with Garret (the main character) gives a narration. The only thing that is a little repetitive is the character models. The guards generally look the same except for different coloured uniforms and a paler face if a female guard. A little variation? But otherwise excellent.

Sound: 10/10. There's no music! That instantly moves this came up the queue because then one has no complaints of music choice. Instead you use the sound to detect hostile enemies, whether you are listening for footsteps, the mechanical shuffle of Iron Beasts or recognition of the sounds you yourself have been making. Your character lets off several noises depending on what floor you are walking on (grass and carpet is silent, tiles are noisy!). Also one good aspect of the sound is listening in to conversations. There are many humorous tales to listen into, or one may pick up a hint listening to two guards discussing their work.

Game-play: 11/10. I have never been more thrilled when playing a game. Thief runs on a stealth engine, meaning you have to be invisible and silent else you are going to be found and gutted. While it is possible to take on numerous guards and survive you will have to be an exceptional swordsman with plenty of health potions. You have your choice of sword, blackjack or bow when dispatching enemies. The sword is made for killing, breaking boxes and cutting down tapestries. If you kill with the sword your victim will let out a loud cry before falling, possibly alerting nearby enemies. The blackjack is solely for knocking out your foes silently. Your bow comes with a variety of arrows, including the most useful water arrow used for dousing torches and disabling Iron Beasts. I think dousing torches and gas lights has to be the most ingenious gaming idea in history. If only it were so easy to turn off electric lights.

Challenge: 10/10. It all depends on the stealth. You can be sitting in a dark corner for the better part of 5 minutes waiting for the right time to knock out a passing group of guards, or fleeing the group who was attracted by your noisy footsteps. As the game progresses the game reveals harder enemies including the Iron Beasts, mechanical guards who are a real pain to disable, disassemble and hide. You can run and kill or you can hide, knockout and hide the bodies.

Replayability: 9/10. There is nothing to unlock but there are 3 difficulty settings with new objectives for each level. Plus many secrets are hidden within each and there is always more gold, gems and goods for you to discover if you missed it the last time around.

Overall: 10/10. My favourite first person game EVER!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 06/27/05

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