Review by Amakusa42

"Brilliant, Innovative, Immersive.... FUN! Welcome to a revolution in the FPS genre."

So you've played Doom, and you thought it was cool. You've played Quake and Quake 2, you thought it was great. Next comes Half-Life, hard as h_ll, but fun, right? Notice anything similar about these games? how about they are all pretty much the same. Find switch, push this, shoot that, kill bad guy, ect. ect. I dont mean to pick, but the FPS genre has stagnated a bit.

Dont get me wrong! Not a week goes by before I whip out Quake 2 for a little MP shootout. I am currently working on my masters degree in Cart Pushing in Half-Life. Sure as time went on, enemies got smarter, graphics got better, and explosions got bigger.

Who Cares?

once you've killed you're 5000th Pig demon, Used youre 70 Billionth round of you're nail-gun, skinned you're 200th Nali, and given Jerec the Dark Jedi a free sample of the Power of the Light side of the Force (lightsabre included) for the 900th time, these games begin to lose thier appeal.

Enter Looking Glass Studios, a substudio of Eidos looking to make a name for itself. System Shock brought the RPG into the 1st person well, but could they revolutionize the Genre? Oh h_ll yes they did.

Welcome to the world of Thief, The Dark Project. Drop any notion of what you may think the FPS genre is like. Now the emphasis isn't on fighting, but sneaking around. Thats right, you dont get big guns or large missiles, you get a short sword, a small backjack, and the ability to be the sneakiest SOB ever born.

Indeed the premise of the game is to avoid fights. You WILL die if you try to act like Duke Nukem or Kyle Katarn. Garrett is a lousy fighter, and he dies quick. So what do you do? Hide in the shadows, and when you are motionless with backjack in hand, NOTHING knows you're there... Untill you bonk them on the head with you're blackjack and send them into dreamland. The game is called Thief, so steal ANYTHING that isn't nailed down... and use you're sword to pry out the rest.

Also at his disposal are a number of trick arrows. Water arrows douse torches (casts darkness over an area so they cant see you, also clean up those pesky teltail Blood stains that ruin carpets), Gas arrows (my fav) knock things out, rope arrows act like a reuseable ladder (for those hard to reach treasures), and fire arrows blow things up. These are few and far between, so you have to plan you're shots ahead... And pray they hit.

Enemies are varied and annoyingly smart. Walk across a wooden or gravel flooring, and they will hear you. Leave a corpse or KO'd person in the open, and they raise the alarm. Worst of all, if you hit them in the wrong spot (or god forbid, with the wrong arrow), and they'll chase after you like Steve Austin in a bad mood. And if you somehow manage to hurt them, The run like thier butt is on fire and get thier friends to kill you for them. The AI in this game is fantastic, better than even Half-Life.

If I got a gripe with this game, its in the enemies. Garrett is a Thief, not Laura Croft. Why the heck does he hunt thru tombs and other such nonsense? When the heck would a Thief bother with the UnDead? Zombies, Haunts, and Ghosts, gimmie a break.

Still a fantastic game, and one i reccomend for everyone!

Graphics-8. Not top of the line, but not Redneck Rampage either.

Camera-irrelvant. You see in FP, who is going to complain about the camera angle?

Sound-10. Sound is integral in Thief. A 3d sound or Aureal sound card makes this game truly shine. The footsteps you make, the shouts you hear, the moaning of a Zombie are all well done. Sound makes the game immersive and challenging.

Atmosphere-11. Hey i know on a 1-10 scale an 11 isnt possible, but who cares. Spend 5 minutes standing outside and to the left of the guards station at the start of mission one and you'll see what I mean.

Controls-10. Garrett can duck, jump, sidestep, ect. He can ALSO lean around corners and shoot, which is essential. Its also damn annoying to play Quake 2 afer 4 hrs of Thief, and find you'reself unable to lean...Whereupon you sidestep out into a corridor and promtly get shotgunned.

playability-10. if you can get used to it, nothing beats the Rush of silencing some stupid whiny guard and stealing his money... Except perhaps doing it to 2 of them.

Replayability-9. The higher difficulties dont change the number or location of guards like most other games, but add tougher objectives, like DONT KILL ANYONE, or STEAL XXXXX AMOUNT, or GET XXXXX ITEM. This is cool and makes ofr a better challenge on higher levels (personally though, I'd still like to shoot a few people in the back on higher levels. Damn whiny cooks.)


Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 11/01/99

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