Review by Talonfire

"Guards! Guards! That shadow stole my urn!"

Every so often there is a game that breaks from the main stream and tries to be different, Thief: The Dark Project\Thief Gold is one of these games. Both the original and the additions in Gol will be put into one compact review.

Gameplay 9/10: All of us gamers have played at least one first person shooter in our lives, and it was pretty basic too... Let nothing be left standing. Thief is a first person game, but not a shooter. As a master thief you must travel through manors, mines, prisons, tombs, Indiana Jonesesque lost cities, haunted cathedrals etc. Stealing whatever loot you can find, while avoiding the guards, the undead, and the monsters. Of course, all missions have a primary objective as well, besides stealing loot you may be required to steal a certain object within the mission. You have several devious tools of thievery at your disposal. You have a sword, for those close encounters, a black jack to knock out the unsuspecting guard who foolishly turned his head, and a bow with many types of arrows each with a unique use. You also can buy mines, health potions, flash bombs etc. which can be useful when you're on assignment. You wouldn't want to be caught with low health and no health potions... Thief focuses on avoiding fights, you *can* fight but it's not reccomended since you're not Rambo. For the most part you are encouraged to stay in the shadows and listen to the guards as they chat amongst themselves and observe them as they walk about on their patrols. Watch that shiny tiled floor! One wrong move and that guard will be alerted to your presence, every footstep counts young thief.

Story 8/10: Storylines are rarely adequate in first person games, but Thief is an example that a first person game can have a good storyline when given the chance. You play as the cynical master thief Garrett who left a secret order of guardians called the Keepers (apparently out of anger as the quote before the first mission states) and uses the skills of hiding and stealth that the keepers taught him for thieving. At first you take control of Garrett through four unrelated missions, five if it's Thief Gold which adds the mission ''Thieve's Guild'' right before the first story related mission. When you finally get to the core of the storyline, you embark on a quest for four talismans, in the original TDP you went on two missions with two talismans each, in Gold you get two new missions ''The Mage's Guild'' and ''Song of the Caverns'' giving you one mission each talisman. The story is not radically complex, but it's good, you don't see the true greatness of it unti near the end of the game however.

Graphics 7/10: This is where Thief falls short, the graphics are rather blocky and the character models are quite poor. True, the game did come out in 1998, but still, they could have at least given the guy's noses. Not all of the graphics are bad though, some of the textures are very well done.

Sound 9/10: Thief has excellent sound, guards have conversations, Garrett's deep voice adds atmosphere to the black and white picturesque briefings and his witty in-game remarks, and the echo of footsteps down long dark corridors is superb. The music is also well done, except the techno that occasionally makes it's appearance is quite questionable, though I suppose it fits somewhat since the world is a combination of medievial\magic\steamworks.

Overall 9/10: Thief: The Dark Project\Thief Gold is a wonderful change from standard first person games. I would also reccomend it over other stealth games such as Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell. Should you buy it? By all means yes, Thief was overlooked when it came out and though it's developer Looking Glass Studios is gone, their legacy still lives on through their fans, and the same goes for Thief.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 01/22/04

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