New York Comic Con Goes Hands On With Square Enix's Thief
Before Comic Con started, Square Enix allowed some press members to test out some upcoming games in an uptown Manhatten loft today. One of such games is the hotly anticipated Thief, coming out early 2014 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. I was lucky enough to get my hands on the demo and here are some thoughts I had while playing.
While playing on Xbox 360, you'll notice this game pushes the system to its limits. The game is gorgeous. The townscape can, at times, seem dark and drab, but the people and atmosphere are radiant. It's amazing a 360 launch title like Rainbow Six Vegas and Thief run on the same system. I wish I had been able to play the game on Xbox One but alas, perhaps another day.
The game's art direction has a very Dishonored feel too it. The down feels very run down and dark. I think depressing is the perfect word really. The city streets are inhabited with guards and homeless people.
While playing through Thief, you learn a few things about the game. It will not hold your hand. Granted the demo I played was a few hours in, but the game isn't one to give you blatant hints about the next objective. No glowing objects to interact with. Those text files and books you come across along the way? Read them. They reveal vital information required to complete missions.
The missions are based around you navigating a city while attempting to steal priceless artifacts from the towns more wealthy inhabitants. There are numerous ways you can accomplish these thefts (See! That's where the title Thief came from!), but the biggest component to the game is stealth.
Sure, you could attempt beating the guards in open combat but Garrett (the main character) isn't a combat fighter. He lurks in the shadows stealing gold; he doesn't want to be noticed. Open combat is challenging and against what Thief is trying to cultivate. "There is no way to play this game wrong," - said the man running the booth. However, trying to fight off a hoard of guards will get you killed. So technically, it's not the best way to proceed.
Your bow has a variety of arrows, but I'd recommend you keep it quivered.
The game wants you to avoid people and remain unseen. They want you to break into a girl's bedroom and steal her gold while she sleeps. The best way to accomplish this is to stay hidden. You have a stamina and Health bar (standard first player fare) in the bottom right hand corner. The difference between this and normal FPS fare is the method of interactions.
By holding the left trigger, Garrett free runs ala Mirror's Edge. This acts as your interaction with objects, climbing, jumping, etc... This streamlined free-flow running feels great while running around town. It only really falters while trying to interact with a building and not being able to. I just picture Garrett running face first into a wall attempting to climb something that is un-climbable.
The game had some flaws. I glitched out twice falling off a building and had to restart from my last checkpoint. Certain grates glowed a bright blue (which looked like improperly coded... code) but overall the game worked very well.
If you were a fan of Dishonored, then this game will be right up your alley. You'll want to remain hidden as opposed to fighting in open combat but free flow running to objectives and general stealth never feel like a burden. Despite some minor flaws, the demo got me excited for Thief. You should be too.