Review by Nivla

"A great change from the usual fist person shooters"

So far, a lot of first person shooters are the same. Kill everything that moves, hit a switch of some kind, advance to the next level, and the same thing over again. There is no real variation on any of the levels. However, Eidos and Looking Glass Studios changed all that with the release of Thief:The Dark Project. Thief is like a lot of first person shooters in a lot of ways. But unlike a lot of first person shooters, you do not kill everything in sight. Instead, you use your mind to figure ways to get around enemies without being seen, killing as little as possible. In addition to that, some missions have special objectives that forbid you to kill a single soul (that includes animals!!!). That adds to the overall intensive challenge of the game.

Thief follows the story of a poor boy by the name of Garret. Garett picks pockets just to stay alive. However, one day, he picked a pocket of a Keeper. The keeper informs him that he has a special skill and that with training, he will become something more. And so, the game begins....

Of of my favorite characteristic of the game is that this game is designed for beginners as well as veterans. There is a tutorial before the first mission. The tutorial will teach you all the basic moves of the game such as running, jumping and fighting. Also, there are three difficulties you can play the game on. Each getting harder, obviously. As you increase the difficulty, more objectives are added, and the enemies become smarter.

The gameplay is really quite simple. All of the moves are similar to all first person shooters. Garret can run, sidestep, swim, climb and much more. He can also peek around corners. However, unlike a lot of first person shooters, Garret's visibility is vital to his success. A lot of the time, he will spend his time hiding in the shadows, just waiting for the right momment to make his move. Therefore, players who do not have a lot of patience will not be very successful at this game. The challenge is quite intense. One wrong move and guards will be alerted to your presence. If you do not hide dead/unconscious bodies, of if you forgot to clean up the blood you made, the guards will be alearted to your presence. That is why this game requries a higher degree of thinking to play. You must carefully plot out your plan before wandering mindlessly into the open killing people.

The controlls, however, can be much improved on. Because Garret has so many moves, much of the keyboard is used. That is why that the controlls can get a bit confusing at times. With so many different functions, it is easy to get one key mixed with the other. And at certain times, that can proove to be fatal. On the other hand, a plus side to the controlls would be the option to customize the controlls (at least most of the keys can be customize). With this option, the player can change the controlls to anything he/she desires.

What first person shooter would be complete without weapons! And Thief does not dissapoint when it comes to weapons. The game offers everything to a club, to a sword, to a bow and arrow. The bow and arrow includes many different types of arrows, each with its own purpose. Also in this game, weapons and ammo (in this case, the ammo is often refered to as arrows for the bow), is very often found on downed enemies. Instead, you buy weapons, ammo and healing potions after every mission with the gold you are rewarded.

The graphics are wonderfully done. You can see great detail in the buildings and the character modles are such a pleasure to look at. The movies run very smoothly, without a hint of any glitch. All of the sounds sound very realistic. Something as simple as footsteps or a clanging of a sword can be reconized. That makes the game so much easier because you don't have to strain your ears to hear what is around the corner. You don't have to guess what is around the corner. It is easy to tell by just listening. That is how good the audio is. Also, for once, the voice acting is done really well.

The fun factor will vary amongts the players. If you have a lot of patience, you will really love this game and find it to be very fun. However, if carnage is your cup of tea, then you won't find this game to be very fun. This game relys on sneaking around, not killing everything you see. The replay value is quite high. After completing the game on a easy difficulty, you may want to increase the difficulty and play it again, to really test your skills. As I mentioned earlier, the increased difficutly will enable more mission objectives. But once you finish it on the hardest difficulty, there is nothing else to do.

In conclusion, I would not buy this game right away. This may not be to everyone's liking. Instead, ask a friend to borrow it.

Fun Factor:8 (will vary amongst players)
Replay Value:8

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 06/24/00, Updated 06/24/00

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