Review by FruMp
An underated and unpublicised gem, a timeless classic, taffer...
Thief Gold is an incredibly good game. Ever since I played the demo all those years ago it has been possibly my favorite game, nothing beats knocking out unsuspecting guards with the blackjack. In my honest opinion it is better than any of the modern stealth games out there nowadays like Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell.
The basic premise of the game is that you are a thief of the night, you sneak into peoples mansions, abandoned cathedrals, lost cities and mage towers and steal loot and critical items for sale on the black market.
You are Garrett a master thief in the middle ages at a time of convergence between magic and technology. your were found pick pocketing on the streets by the Keepers and then taken in and trained by them. The keepers are a secret underground organization of wise men that seek to control the happenings of the city from a far (kind of like the illuminati). You have taken their training and decided to use it for your own personal gain. The religious group the hammerites who prophesize the return of The Trickster, an evil being who will smite mankind.
And so the game ensues.
This is one of the games weak points, the graphics are outdated and a bit blocky but it hardly lets the game down. There are some pretty good visuals used in the game and you rely heavily on staying in the shadows and putting out torches to remain hidden from potential foes.
Audio/Sound effects 9/10
Some great sound effects in this game, conversations can be overheard which reveal interesting information, footsteps indicating approaching foes, the sound of your own footsteps which might attract approaching foes. The music creates an eerie atmosphere and often creates a scary atmosphere in some places. Overall it is good.
The controls are quite cluttered and there are quite a lot of buttons you need to use but once you get used to it, it is fine.
This isn't a traditional FPS where you take out a rocket launcher and mow down hordes of zombies, in fact if you took on more than 2 foes you would get owned, you need to take the out individually, sneak around them or divert them which is really fun and challenging.
The gameplay is awesome it doesn't matter if this game is 5 years old it is still good. You have an array of weapons including water arrows to put out torches and remove blood after felling a victim, moss arrows to cover your footsteps, noisemaker arrows to divert attention, a trust sword which you can obviously take out guards and other opponents with, gas mines to knock out foes once stepped on. Then comes the blackjack, this is my personal favorite weapon and I'm sure many other thief fans favorite too. With the blackjack you sneak up behind guards quietly and smite them on the head knocking them, sounds simple but it is incredibly fun doing it. There are also lock picks which are a very nice touch, and add to the gameplay quite a bit.
It is very exciting covering your tracks, sneaking places without being heard and taking people out on the unawares. The best part of the game is getting around undetected. This is done by walking on soft surfaces or moss from your moss arrows, and using the visibility gem to show how well lit the space you are standing on is. The visibility gem is a unique aspect which displays how visible you are and comes in very handy.
The enemy AI is quite good considering how long ago this game was made, guards and foes will follow you and the guards reactions are quite humorous often involving the invented expletive 'taffer'.
Very good gameplay, quite fun to play, might be a little on the difficult side but a challenge in a video game is always welcome.
Play this game at night in the dark, you will feel like putting on some black clothes, sneaking out picking a lock on an abandoned building (not that i condone such things :) )
Atmosphere is one of the crucial factors for a game IMO as it is what stays with you after you play the game, and this is where thief shines. The settings are often vast dark and scary, it is really fun and compelling. This is one of the only games where i have been truly scared when i was playing it (the other being doom when is 8 and this cyberdemon snuck up on me, phew). I cant emphasize how good the atmosphere of this game is.
Not much you can do once you have beat it, although it is fun to play on the harder difficulty levels with more objectives (although it is incredibly hard)
10 to 20 hours for a first play, it is challenging and the missions often take longer than an hour to complete.
Very fun to play
Innovative weapons and tools
Draws you in
Controls take getting used to
Graphics aren't the best by today's standards
Definitely a buy, I've seen it around as part of the Eidos premier collection for $20 Australian, and that is not a lot of money.
A classic, I'm upset that this game didn't get the publicity it deserves, although look out for Thief: deadly shadows for PC and Xbox which is being released Q4 2004, should be a good game.
Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
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