Thief Articles RSS Feed | Thief RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Unlocked: The Evolution of Lockpicking in Western RPGs Sun, 22 Jan 2017 06:46:53 -0500 Emily Parker

For as long as the human race has had possessions, somebody has tried to steal them. When doors and latches were invented, so was the lock. It wasn't just about protecting ourselves while we slept anymore: there needed to be a way to secure our treasures while we were out for the day. 

Originally, ancient citizens would learn or invent complicated knots to secure a rope around their belongings. This was only to detect if one of their neighbors was stealing from them, not to actually safeguard their things.

During Ancient Egyptian times, the single pin lock was invented. This is an impressive feat, as it is still the base for the majority of locks we use today. During the Industrial Revolution, mankind made several more advances in lock manufacturing, but it's interesting to note that our standard padlocks aren't very different than what our ancestors used 5,000 years ago.

But just as we need locks in real life to secure our belongings and safeguard our homes, so too do we need them as players -- especially in RPGs.

So how does all of this translate to our favorite role-playing games? In a similar fashion to our real-world ancestors, devs started simple, had a big breakthrough, did some fine-tuning to the systems involved and then haven't really bothered doing much else since. It is truly a shame (considering how much the RPG genre relies on puzzles) that there hasn't been more progress with how loot is locked up. 

With the early addition of puzzles in RPGs, stats-based lock picking was introduced. This was a simple click-and-wait mechanic. If your skill was high enough, the lock would open. Training up your skill was really the only requirement, and RPGs with fewer resources or technical limitations (like WoW, for example) still use this method today. 

Then developers began to implement something called "the minigame," and lock picking in video games started to look like what we see today. This gave game developers and designers an opportunity to combine a player's RPG stats with a timed puzzle, making an old mechanic fresh and new. 

An early (and excellent) example of this advancement was an RPG called Hillsfar. The minigame in question is actually quite a lot of fun -- the player picks up lock picks throughout the game, must match several to each lock within the time limit, and if they do it incorrectly, their pick breaks. The system was genius, as it combined hours of collecting locks and fast-paced decisions with tangible consequences. 

Hillsfar was released in 1989. In the video game world, this is the equivalent to Ancient Egypt. As you can see, there have been no huge innovations since our first lock-picking mini-games -- in realism or complexity. They even remain in 2D, which severely limits their capabilities. 

However, they have been graphically enhanced and re-imagined. The Elder Scrolls series has polished traditional lock-picking mini-games to a gleam. RPGs like Bioshock, Risen 2, and Mass Effect took their lock picking in completely different directions. For example, Bioshock features a strange liquid/tube puzzle to crack open the loots and the Risen series is all about the order in which the player sticks the pins.

While some of these systems eventually get repetitive, they are great examples of developers making a genuine effort at making something fairly easy for the player to decipher a little more complex. 

Mass Effect is a good example of lock hacking. As we're on the cusp of switching completely to digital locks in the real world, it's an easy assumption that video game locks will follow suit. "Hacking" provides a multitude of opportunities to improve how video game players break in -- or keep NPCs out.

So How Can Lock Picking in Video Games Innovate? 

Whether they are digital or mechanical, it would be nice to see a few innovations in the way lock-picking mini-games are presented in our upcoming RPGs. Focusing on tension and movement -- rather than time limits and breaking picks -- would be a nice way to refocus the increasingly tired gameplay of these minigames. This could be best pulled off in a 3D environment, veering away from the typical 2D mini-game, killing two birds with one stone.

If a developer lacks the funds to do anything groundbreaking mechanically, take note from the solution for the same problem in the medieval times. There weren't a lot of resources to create pin/tumbler locks, so most lock designs were ward locks.

Ward locks can be opened with a decent skeleton key, so medieval engineers would hide locks in intricate tapestry and stone work. They would also create several dummy keyholes, to keep the thief occupied until they were (hopefully) discovered (and arrested). 

Think about how that would revitalize the locking systems (and picking systems) in modern RPGs. At the very least, adding this concept in with other familiar systems of locking and unlocking in-game loot and items would make gameplay that much more interesting, enganging, and varied. 

Medieval Skeleton Key


Whether you're questing for it, stealing it, or keeping it safe, loot is a primary motivator in many modern RPGs. And while it might be more glamorous to focus on mobs and bosses as an obstacle between the player and their precious treasure, developers would be remiss to stop developing more creative and intuitive locks in all aspects of their game's world -- not just in puzzles.

Pulling from our own history, humans have always been clever with how they safeguard their things. And while the mechanisms themselves haven't dramatically evolved since ancient times, the ways humans use and implement locking systems and lock-picking methods has seen varied use throughout time.

There are plenty of opportunities for video games, especially RPGs, to draw from this creativity and implementation. 

What's your favorite lockpicking system? What improvements do you think developers should implement to make breaking and entering more fun for the player? Let us know in the comments below! 

Ex-Witcher devs announce Seven, a Thief-inspired isometric RPG Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:29:53 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

Fool's Theory, a new independent development studio made up of former Witcher developers have unveiled their upcoming RPG, Seven.  

Seven is a 3-D isometric role-playing game that is inspired by Looking Glass Studios' classic stealth adventure series, Thief.  According to their website, players will take on the role of a lone traveler and will be able to explore a non-linear, sandbox world.  It also looks like the developers will be applying their experience from their time on the Witcher series by offering branching choices that have moral consequences.

Arguably the most intriguing aspect about Seven is what it's trying to accomplish in terms of differentiating itself from other isometric titles. By and large, players have very little interaction with the game environment, following pretty rigid, pre-defined paths. Most interactions come down flipping switches, entering and exiting doors, or the occasional destructible object. Seven wants to try and change how the player moves about the environment, by introducing parkour climbing mechanics for added vertical mobility.

Seven is described as a world that is "beyond post-apocalyptic," where man has attempted to rip God out of the heavens and bring him down to the earth to answer for the sufferings of humanity. Obviously, this has taken a toll on the world, where once great metropolis' are little more than ruins to be plundered.  

Everything revealed thus far (which isn't much), points to a game world that will combine science fiction and fantasy elements, referencing a faction called the Biotek Order, Technomagi, and something about the earth "farting out buildings" with "pipes full of magic". Hey, they said it, not me.

Five Game Reboots That Crashed and Failed (But Could Have Made It!) Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:08:09 -0400 Elijah Beahm


Syndicate (2012)


My feelings on this game are well documented on this site, and just like The Bureau, this is a game effectively throttled by the original game's fanbase.


It didn't matter that Syndicate basically did Watch_Dogs before Watch_Dogs was a twinkle in Ubisoft's eye. It didn't matter that it was by Starbreeze, who had shown with Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness that they were (and still very much are) a competent developer.


It was Syndicate, as a shooter -- and those five words doomed the game to being shunned.


The particular irony to this one is, it did not review badly. Most places had to admit that it was a genuinely good game, even if a few reviewers, like Jim Sterling, found it forgettable. Most scores were around 7 to 8, which is pretty good for a complete series reboot.


Still, the fanbase insisted it was bad by default, so the game sold terribly. It struggled to break 500,000 units on launch day, and while it still has a trickle of sales now, the damage was done. EA put enough faith in the game's co-op to even remove its Project Ten Dollar from the game, but even that couldn't sway interest. Now it remains one of the highest-polish bargain bin games available.


The lesson here being, sometimes keeping a closed mind benefits no one.


If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $9.99 to $19.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.


THIEF (2014)


After Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a lot of people were both curious and dubious of 2014's Thief reboot. While technically this is a "soft reboot" like Resident Evil 6, you wouldn't know it. In fact, the reboot itself was not very clearly defined in a lot of ways until final release.


Multiple creative teams over the course of several years took the game from first person to third person and then back to first person. There was an experience system for killing and stealing but then fans got upset, so that was cut. There was going to be one huge open world then it became a hub-based game. For some reason, the reboot even chose to focus on the horror aspect the original game had with zombie enemies (sorry, still no dinosaurs).


What released was not so much a game as a melding of confused elements that had, at times, no coherent connection. This was further complicated by Dishonored, which released a year before and was effectively Thief 2.0 with new ideas on top, and an unfortunately similar tone and style as THIEF. So what few unique elements THIEF had to claim became fewer and fewer.


THIEF arguably did better than most of the games on this list, though, in spite of its many problems. Square Enix continued to support it post-launch, and even included it recently in its Stealth bundle alongside Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Hitman: Absolution.


The lesson here being, too many cooks can ruin a great dish.


If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $29.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.


Resident Evil 6 (2012)


While technically Resident Evil 6 is not a hard reset of the Resident Evil franchise, it is for all intents and purposes, a reboot. This is a game made to wipe the slate clean, set up new characters, and drastically shake up the gameplay. How did it do? Well, it sold over eight million copies, but got review scores going as low as 5 to 6 from some critics. It also is decried by a large majority of the Resident Evil fanbase.


This isn't to say the ideas Resident Evil 6 explored were bad on their own. It tried to incorporate ideas from Dark Souls, Max Payne, and the development team's own unique tweaks to the survival-shooter subgenre. The co-op mechanics were built heavily around replayability and crazy matchmaking meet ups.


Unfortunately, this also tied to an utterly absurd narrative, and some awfully prolonged final boss fights. Resident Evil 6 is effectively three games in one package, and as a result, the excess of one-off mechanics and confusing decisions left it a directionless mess overall.


It's hard to tell if Resident Evil 6 is just a case of an intriguing concept stuck to the wrong IP or a genuinely terrible game that only a niche audience would enjoy. Considering the other recent series flop Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, maybe it's best Capcom approach future multiplayer focused entries with greater caution.


The lesson here being, innovating for innovation's sake isn't what people want. They want innovation that grows and aids your product.


If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $19.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.


The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013)


It really sucks, to be 2K Marin. No matter how hard they tried, with Bioshock 2, and The Bureau, their work seems destined to always be treated like unwelcome blots on other peoples' franchises. The Bureau was given such a harsh response when originally revealed, that it went through at least one complete redesign before release. Ironically, this redesign in response is what hurt the game in the long run.


The original concept was to allow you to go in the field as an agent, while retaining all the original game's strategy focus. You'd have to face enemies that would be much harder this time around, requiring you to study them from afar and hope you beat them "next time."


You would have to make significant gameplay choices, like if you'd convert a miniboss as a temporary deployable unit, or break it down for research. XCOM's base management was still fully included, on top of all this. You'd also still have to manage your soldiers and command them in the field using the similar tactics of the original XCOM. Sounds amazingly fun, doesn't it? Well, please feel free to point that out to the XCOM fanbase.


What did we get instead? A really fun but nowhere near as innovative prequel TPS-strategy game in the vein of Brothers in Arms meets Mass Effect. The writing was strong and the game itself was decent, but even after the developers bent over backwards to try and cut out what fans perceived as bad choices, a lot of what might have made The Bureau amazing was lost.


The lesson here being, that sometimes your fanbase isn't the most trustworthy source of input when it comes to game design.


If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $9.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.


Dark Void (2009)


Dark Void was an odd choice by Capcom. A NES era shoot-em' up with a quirky old school science fiction backdrop didn't sound like something a lot of gamers would latch onto. So, when Airtight resurrected it, they turned into a hybrid air combat game like Rogue Squadron, and a full 360 degrees third person shooter. Only problem being, the game had to be rushed for release.


As a result launched with some notable bugs and a fairly short campaign mode. There was also no multiplayer included to compensate for the shortness of the campaign. And, while I will admit that I am one of the few that did find something worthwhile in it, most gamers did not. It reviewed poorly at launch for its limited final product, and despite some additional DLC, Dark Void flopped overall.


The lesson here being, sometimes just because you have a good idea, doesn't mean people will take your word for it.


If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $4.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.


We live in an age of reboots, soft reboots, and reimaginings. Sometimes they blow us away... sometimes they really don't do well. Sometimes you get absolute failures like Bomberman: Act Zero or Resident Evil 6. Other times, a good idea comes out, but no one pays interest. Here are five reboots that, whether rightfully or not, barely made it out the door just long enough to have it shut in their face.

Humble Square Enix Bundle Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:45:28 -0500 Lampstradamus

Humble Bundle is back yet again with another bundle.

This time around Humble Bundle is bringing in another Square Enix bundle (making this their second Square Enix Bundle) and as per the usual, what you get is based on what you want to pay, with proceeds going to the developers and charities.

For the price of 'pay whatever the heck you want' you can get Hitman: Absolution, Supreme Commander 2 and you also get the Hitman GO app for the Android.

If you pay more than the average(which at time of writing is $7.39) then you get 2014's reboot of Thief, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, and the Kane & Lynch Collection. More games will also come soon.

If you pay $15 then you get Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs.

In total, all the titles up for grabs cost $185 but as usual you simply pay for what you want to get.

PlayStation Plus to Offer Transistor, Rogue Legacy Free in February Thu, 29 Jan 2015 17:04:57 -0500 Brian Spaen

Six new games will be available for free beginning February 3rd for PlayStation Plus owners, and it's an impressive lineup that's highlighted with critically acclaimed titles Transistor and Rogue Legacy.

First off, here's the full lineup that was revealed and what system(s) they will be released on at the PlayStation Blog.

  • Transistor - PS4
  • Apotheon - PS4
  • Yakuza 4 - PS3
  • Thief - PS3
  • Rogue Legacy - Vita/PS4/PS3
  • Kick & Fennick - Vita

Rogue Legacy will likely be the most popular of the bunch. At Metacritic, it received a favorable 85 out of 100 across 43 reviews. The 2D platformer takes players in a randomized dungeon for every playthrough. When a player dies, they pick a variety of characters to select and can use their eaned money to upgrade abilities and various manipulations. As they get stronger, the player can progress further in the dungeon.

Having Rogue Legacy on a device like the Vita is a no-brainer. It's tailor-made for pick-up-and-play and shouldn't be missing on anyone's handheld now that it's free.

Transistor is an action RPG made by Supergiant Games, the same group who did Bastion. The game received an 83 out of 100 among 47 different reviews at Metacritic. What are the titles that you are most looking forward to in February?

Image credit: Gaming Trend

Square Enix presents their Humble Bundle Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:10:09 -0400 Ryan "August" Christensen

Being a gamer's an expensive business aint it? With deluxe editions this and DLC add-ons that, shelling out for multiple titles can often blitz your bank account in one fell swoop.

Enter the current Humble Bundle. Square Enix are currently offering a slew of games at a bargain price. The following titles are being offered for payments of $1 or more:

  • Thief Gold
  • Daikatana
  • Mini-Ninjas
  • Anachronox
  • Hitman: Codename 47
  • Hitman 2: Silent Assassin

Pay more than the average, currently $8.20 and you can also pick up:

  • Deus Ex: Invisible War
  • Deus Ex: The Fall
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Nosgoth Veteran Pack
  • Battlestations: Midway

If you're wanting to push the boat out a bit further, by shelling out $14.99 these badboys can be added to your collection:

  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut
  • Just Cause 2
  • Lara Croft and the Gaurdian of Light
  • Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
  • Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, yeah? Especially for all you Deus Ex fans out there. This collection of games would  normally set you back $169.


....and they aren't just leaving things there. More titles will be added in due course. Keep up to date with the offered games by clicking here.

Do Video Games Emulate NSA Tactics? KillScreen Writer Says Yes. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:51:00 -0400 Evan Lower

In a recently published KillScreen article, contributor David Chandler examined video games in the context of surveillance and panopticism, a term outlined by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his book Discipline and Punish

In his article titled "Think the NSA is bad? Games are masters of surveillance," Chandler avoided centralizing the article on the obvious Watch Dogs in favor of old school games like Mortal Kombat and Ocarina of Time, making his way through the history of video games (and ending with the abovementioned Ubisoft game) as regards the sensitive subject of everpresent observation.

The central figure of Chandler's theory is the panopticon, an architectural philosophy invented by Jeremy Bentham and immortalized in Battlefield 4's map, "Operation: Locker."

Chandler envisioned the famous boss battle at the end of any video game episode as the very embodiment of Foucault's philosophy, the boss's presence and awareness as symbolic of the guards in the middle of the prison.

Chandler says a lot more and in greater detail than I could ever relay to you, so instead of wasting any more of your time, go ahead and check out his article

Square Enix's Thief Coming to the Big Screen Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:24:54 -0400 PencilPusha

Square Enix's Thief, an action-packed game filled with snatching, grabbing, and stealthy excitement, will hit theatres. That's right - Garrett, the main character from the game, will soon be the main character in a film.

According to, producers Adrian Askarieh and Roy Lee from Vertigo Entertainment and Prime Universe also did game-to-film adaptations such as Hitman, The Lego Movie, and Hitman: Agent 47 (coming soon). Hopefully, this movie will be just as great as the game! Check out a gameplay video of the prologue below.

Thief was originally released back in 1998 as Thief: The Dark Project (later re-released as Thief Gold) and had two other games released after it (Thief II: The Metal Age and Thief: Deadly Shadows), making the newest Thief game the fourth installment.

Although Thief Gold looks slightly different from the newest installment, Garrett has many of the same capabilities and features available to him - water arrows, rope arrows, flashbangs, stealth (of course), using special items to make his way to concealed areas, and much more. Garrett has come a long way since then, and so have video game consoles in general! Check out a review video of Thief Gold and Thief II: The Metal Age below.

In the new game, he looks the same as far as his outfit, but thanks to the nice graphics of the Xbox One and PS4, he seems more mysterious, especially since he has a different-colored eye due to an unforeseen circumstance in the new game that may not have been in the original three predecessors. Will Garrett look exactly as he does in the film adaptation as he does now in the game or will he look as he did in the 1999 game and then somehow transform into his 2014 self? Only time will tell.

Thief (2014) - A Guide to Combat Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:30:12 -0400 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

This is a guide tailored to the Predator playstyle (or for the Opportunist who is not above killing a few guards in order to boost the bottom line) - particularly for those determined to involve themselves in direct combat with the guards. 

The first thing that you should know is that combat in Thief is hard - and not in an adjust-the-difficulty-slider kind of way. Whether it was a conscious dev decision to impress upon you the importance of stealth or not, it is impossible to go into battle as Garrett like you would with an Assassin or a Dovahkiin.

Still, if you are determined to exact great and terrible justice on your enemies, there are ways to do it. These are some of the things you will need to know.

1. Keep track of playstyle requirements for that Chapter.

Each Chapter has different thieving challenge requirements for each of the playstyles. You should have a good idea what they are in order to help you conserve you resources (see: Arrows and Other Consumables) and formulate a plan of attack once you have met the requirements.

  • Prologue: None
  • Chapter 1: Headshot 4 threats
  • Chapter 2: 10 combat takedowns
  • Chapter 3: 5 aerial takedowns
  • Chapter 4: 10 kills or knockouts
  • Chapter 5: 12 kills or knockouts
  • Chapter 6: 10 kills or knockouts
  • Chapter 7: 15 kills or knockouts
  • Chapter 8: 14 kills or knockouts
2. Use stealth takedowns or kills wherever possible. 

Garrett's strengths lie primarily in stealth, so you should highly consider taking this into consideration while doing battle in order to thin the herd and divide your attackers. On average, the number of enemies Garrett should be facing directly are 1-2 guards, and perhaps 3-4 on the outside once you have managed to acquire a few upgrades and trinkets.

Particularly when you are starting out, your money is best spent towards acquiring your tools (see: Shady Merchant Toolswhich will help you acquire more loot, and access areas with hidden collectibles.

In these stages, arrows are expensive and you are not allowed to use Sawtooth arrows yet (unless you purchased the Predator Bundle DLC) so they will not pierce armor helmets for "sweet spot" stealth kill headshots. 

Stealth kills/takedowns will:

  • Decrease your chances of being hit (lowering food consumption)
  • The number of arrows you will need to use (alerted guards take less damage)
  • Lower the number of enemies to a manageable amount for direct combat
3. Watch for guard animals.

You see an example of these right away in the Prologue when Garrett finds himself in a roomful of caged birds. These animals will raise the alarm if their awareness bars fill to the brim as you pass by them.

Caged dogs will also sound the alarm, alerting either guards or, in later Chapters, Freaks (those who have been affected by the Gloom and have had experiments performed on them).

Many of the civilians you meet on the streets (particularly at the beginning of the story when the city watch is not as desperate for your head on a pike) will be able to look at you on the street and continue on with their lives, ignoring your existence. Don't let this make you complacent! Civilians are capable of raising the alarm and calling out for guards.

Note: None of these threats can hurt you, and if you are playing in Master Thief difficulty, killing civilians will result in an automatic failure.

4. Use your consumables. 

Most of the consumables available in Thief are actually the most handy for Predators. 

When you are alerted by the guards, you have the choice of fight or flight. If you choose to fight, you can still use your bow, although in order for it to be fully effective, you need to have a full draw. This can take a long time unless you have purchased upgrades (see: Shady Merchant Upgradeslike Bow Balancing and Bow Shot Strength 

Don't be afraid to use Choke Arrows and Flashbangs to help you control the crowd. Other non-lethal arrows shot into guards faces will usually stun them rather than kill them.

5. Know your combat options.

If you are engaged in direct combat, several more ways of fighting open up for you. The easiest way to succeed in melee combat is first to dodge their oncoming attacks (easiest with a single opponent armed with a sword) and then to counter with a melee attack.

Garrett's Blackjack can knock out someone while they are unaware, but in direct combat it will take quite a few more hits to defeat an enemy

Please note that you do not necessarily need to kill your opponents in order to get the Predator playstyle. In the middle of melee combat, if you deal enough damage you can critically wound your enemy leaving them on their knees and stunned on the ground. If you close in and perform a combat takedown, it will knock them out (rather than kill them) otherwise they will recover and resume attacking.

6. Be aware of what the guards are wearing/holding.

The most predominant enemy you will encounter in Thief are the guards patrolling the streets and facilities you are trying to infiltrate. They come dressed in various types of armor and carry different weapons:

  • Swords
  • Leather armor
  • Chainmail armor
  • Crossbow
  • Plate mail
  • Leather Armor
  • Torches or lanterns

Those dressed in leather armor are defeated much more easily in melee combat compared to those dressed in chainmail (which absorb a great deal of damage from the Blackjack). They are easy to confront in melee combat regardless of whether or not they are holding sword or crossbow (the crossbow is neutralized when you are close to the guard).

Guards in chainmail should be taken out with stealth takedowns or range kills. Guards holding crossbows typically do not wear helmets, and are easily killed with headshots

When you kill or knock out a guard with a torch, it will go out immediately, but you cannot douse them with water arrows. 

If you are still having trouble staying alive in combat, consider picking up some trinkets (see: Shady Merchant Trinketslike the Moss Quiver which will allow you to perform stealth kills silently, and others that provide more health/health benefits, and reduces the chance of being hit by projectiles. 

For more walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

Opinionated Gamers, Old vs. Young: Who is More Entitled? Thu, 20 Mar 2014 02:16:47 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Before you dive into this article I just want to give you an idea what I mean by old and young.

Old is when you were a child or teenager at the time of 8-bit or 16-bit consoles. Think the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive or NES/SNES era, maybe even Commodore 64.

Young is when you were a child or teenager when 3D games were here. Think Sony PlayStations, Microsoft Xbox (not One but the first one), Nintendo GameCube and N64 type eras.

Gamers who are children or young teenagers (below 14) now, and are growing up with the Xbox 360, PS3 (and now Xbox One and PS4) are included in the group Young. However they will be dubbed as baby gamers for the purposes of this article.

Right are we all understood? Great, let’s dive head first into this.

Who Gets the Bigger or Louder Say?

The Debate

There’s been a debate raging between gamers for as long as I can remember so, this is nothing new. It’s got everything to do with who gets the biggest say between gamers and their ages. Do the older gamers get a bigger say about what should happen in the gaming industry because they used to play 8-bit or 16-bit 2D platformers? Do the young gamers get a bigger say because they were the reason 3D gaming became a thing? Do baby gamers have the biggest say because they are the future of gaming? Because they will shape what gaming will be like in the future, how it will be perceived?

As I said, this debate is nothing new. I simply wanted to share my feelings as a young, 20-year-old, gamer who grew up in the PS2 and Xbox Original era. There is no one, of any age, who is right, or better. No one gets a bigger say. No one has a better opinion, but let’s think why some age groups think they are better. Well, my opinion of why at the very least.

The Righteous Wiseman

There are older gamers out there who believe they have the only say. That they have the ultimate power for what games should be like. Gamers who were... say, under 15, when Thief first came out, World of Warcraft, or even Half Life. On the console side, they played the 2D platformers, like Sonic. Scrolling beat-em ups, like Streets of Rage. Fighting games like Punch-Out.

The Original Sonics are the best.

Some of them believe games should go back to how they were when they were kids: they have to be brutal, unforgiving and have no saves. They believe that those sorts of games are the only way to game, and that everyone should love them.

This has nothing to do with if I like the game or not, I personally love Sonic (lately it has gone down a very steep hill). But why do some older gamers feel the need to tell us young gamers what we should and should not play, or like? Is it because they grew up with these games? So they feel if they had to play them, that we must play them also? By "had", I mean if they wanted to play games, they had no other choice than to play what they had. This isn’t inherently bad.

So the above is the stereotype, but these come from where right? Of course the older gamers how have legitimate complaints are voicing opinions like,  hit a button and go, no 100 hoops to jump through. To be able to be in the privacy and comfort of your own room. Having no forced multiplayer, no constant "sharing" via social media. And nobody knowing what you're playing and doing 24/7. Along with no constant patches, updates, DLC, etc. Thank you Fathoms_4209 for bringing this up.

I agree with Fathoms

Why do we have multiplayer thrown at us all the time, along with patches, DLC and social media? Can we not just enjoy a nice single player game? Ok, so this is slightly off the topic. There are games for you, The Last of Us being one of the best examples for this in really recently times.

Can we all be Happy?

Old gamers want their super-tuff-no-save 2D platformers, but I want my not-too-hard, always save FPSs. Ok not me per say, but some baby gamers find the 2D games to be terrible, a waste of time and boring. And that’s fine to. Let’s just have both, with games like Super Meat Boy, Spelunky or VVVVVVVV (how many Vs does the game have?) older gamers have their platformers.

I have yet the play Spelunky as I feel 2D platforming games are a bit saturated. But there are still some great ones out there, and which are going to come out.

With the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises, and now Titanfall, baby gamers have lots to choose from for their FPS gaming.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had some amazing moments, but marked the beginning of the downfall of Call of Duty for me.

Baby Gamers Baby Crying

Baby gamers want JUST Call of Duty (or that fish game, CoD is it?). I mean look at the sales, it shows it’s the best game ever created right? Wrong. There are lots of baby gamers who use the, “it sold more than your game” argument to prove that the game is better. Sales do not equate to quality.

It’s apparent that the quality of Call of Duty, or even Battlefield, has been decreasing. They are getting more and more buggy. But their sales are rising. Why is this? Is it because baby gamers just want the same thing over and over? Well that’s just the thing, there is more and more outcry about how all games are becoming Call of Duty. Even the likes of racing games, other FPS games or even 2D platformers--but why is this?

Each Call of Duty sold more and more, but are they getting better a better?

Online Ranking Systems

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare brought online ranking systems to the forefront of how a multiplayer shooter should be. With its successes, many games started copying it. Which is fine; if something does well why not take its ideas? It works with the Batman Arkham games. They don’t do anything new, but they put a fresh spin on ideas.

As this ranking system got more popular, other genres started to use it. Look at the Forza Motorsport series, most notably Forza 3. This version in the series introduced an online ranking system, which works much like Call of Duty: compete to gain points. Get specific levels you get bonuses, like cars or XP boosts, or a reduction on cost of parts. Look at Ace Combat: Assault Horizon--many calling it Call of Duty in the sky. I tend to agree with them, but it was an enjoyable game. Which brings me to my next point.

Ace Combat changed, but was it for the better?

Gamers Both Want Change and Loath Change

An example of wanting and liking change, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The game is different from the originals by adding a cover mechanic, the praxis points and the ability to lift only very specific things. But they kept the core of what Deus Ex was, the ability to play the game how you wanted.

An example of going against change, Thief (the new one). Again the game is different from the originals by adding a cover mechanic, adding a leveling and upgrade system. Also only allowing you to jump or climb at specific points. They also kept the core of what Thief is, the ability to play the game how you wanted. Ghosting or more aggresive stealth (of course the only option is stealth).

How is this different from Deus Ex? Not letting you jump all the time? Why would you want to? Would Garrett really bunny hop? Have they not kept the core of what Thief is? The similarities between how Eidos Montreal made the Thief and Deus Ex reboots are close. They both add a hub type world, they restrict what you can do without making it feel like you can’t do anything. And, above all, they both made mistakes but, overall are fantastic. Are they not? If you don't like them, tell me why.

With both of these games they tried something new and both had different outcomes on what people thought. They both made mistakes, but both kept to what the series is known for. Young gamers really like the games, but some old gamers do not.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the Detroit hub world.

Whose Voice is for Change?

It seems like there are plenty of voices for change, but there are plenty against. It sounds like to me that most of the noise for change is coming from my era, the PS2 era. But that may be me being a little bit biased. What do you think?

Baby gamers are saying we need more FPS games. Older gamers are saying, with any reboots they need to be made exactly the same as the originals. But the PS2 era gamers are saying we need hybrids of each.

Who’s Right?

There is no right and wrong. There are currently games for everyone and anyone, games for all ages, all gamer styles. They are not all old 1980s games, there are plently of older style games which have come out very recently.

Whose Voice is the Truth?

After going off track, let’s bring it full circle. Your voice is the truth, but only for you. My voice is the truth, but for everyone! Ok, everyone who agrees with me. If you are reading this thinking, "God! SpazldNinja has written utter rubbish!" Please write a counter argument telling me why. I always love to hear both sides.

I honestly think that this whole my voice is the best attitude is rubbish, everyone is correct for themselves, and the sooner everyone accepts that, the quicker we will all get along.

Generalising the Minority

Of course for anything said I am generalising. For the purposes of this article, I had to. The people arguing like this are the minority, they are just a bit more vocal.

Back to Entitlement

No one has the entitlement to be the only correct voice. No one has a louder voice. Everyone is equal. So with that cheese out the way, let’s get into the meat of this. I've said this about 10 times by now right? Sorry.

If everyone thinks they are the only truth, then are we not all wrong? After saying your voice is the truth, I am now saying you are wrong, why? For me, if you say Call of Duty: Ghosts is the best game, I will say you are wrong. That means you are wrong, right? Wrong. But... what? You are right for you, and that is all that counts. So, again, your truth is the truth for yourself, and not fact.

What Does your Voice Say About You?

Instead of thinking that your voice is correct, think about how your voice comes across to others. Does it make you seem like you’re arrogant? Does it make you come across as a person with an opinion, who also respects others? Does it say that you’re immature and dumb, even when you aren’t?

Do you think I’m right or wrong? How did I come across to you in this article? What do you think? Have I respected your age group? Let me know in the comments below.


If anything in this article offends you, please let me know. Then I can explain that I didn’t mean to. I will then add to the article explaining why I have said what I did.

All of this was from my head, if I got anything wrong, please let me know.

Thief (2014) - A Guide to Shady Merchant Trinkets Wed, 12 Mar 2014 11:06:11 -0400 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

Playing through the story will get you all the weapons you will probably need... but at a much higher cost, and with a lot less loot available. But where's the fun in that? 

The following are some of the extra trinkets you can pick up from the Shady Merchant that can help you steal faster, live longer, and fight harder.

The Shady Merchant and his location

There are a variety of trinkets that the Shady Merchant (located just outside the door of the Crippled Burrick) can sell to you. None of the other salesmen scattered around the city can sell you tools or upgrades - only resources/consumables.

Please note that not all of these trinkets will be available for purchase right away (and to be fair, you wouldn't be able to afford most of them right from the beginning anyway). 

Basso's Bond

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 750 G
  • Reduces cost of Resources by 25%

This can be quite handy to pick up for all playstyles, since it helps keep costs down for all of the arrows you'll be using throughout your explorations, whether they are being used in combat or not. However it can be quite pricey so I would highly recommend picking up your tools first (see A Guide to Shady Merchant Toolsafter Chapter 1.

Note: This discount is reflected in the cost of resources/consumables only. It will not apply to upgrades, unfortunately.

Grinning Salt

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 375 G
  • Increases the health benefits of eating food

This trinket will increase how much health you regain from eating food. It is handy for aggressive Predators and Opportunists, and is much cheaper than trying to purchase the Leather Hardening (see A Guide to Shady Merchant Upgradesright away in the earlier Chapters. 

Troy's Satchel

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 1299 G
  • Increases carrying capacity of poppies and food by 2

This increased carrying capacity will allow Garrett to carry up to 7 of each, which can be useful for all playstyles. However, it can be expensive, so I would recommend holding off on buying this trinket, particularly in the early Chapters.

You will find Food and Poppies scattered liberally around the levels (a lot more so than arrows at any rate) and you can conserve your Focus energy by simply pulsing it (tapping it on and off) while looking around.

Moss Quiver

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 325 G
  • Broadhead and Sawtooth arrows produce no sound on impact

This upgrade is exceptionally useful for stealth Predators, particularly when taking out snipers in high places (just make sure their bodies don't fall anywhere visible!). I recommend buying this after about Chapter 3.

Embersage Oil

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 170 G
  • Reduces the amount of damage taken from burning and traps

This is useful for all playstyles, although I would suggest perhaps the most necessary even if it is relatively cheaper. Between quicksaving and being stealthy, most players should not have to rely very heavily on this trinket.

Crosswind Medallion

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 140 G
  • Reduces the chance of being hit by enemy projectiles

These include arrows and throwing darts. Handy for both aggressive Predators and Opportunists, this could mean the difference between escape and death while in those few critical seconds of escaping through a grate or picking that last tumbler.

Lucky Coin

  • Available after Chapter 2
  • Costs 290 G
  • Increases maximum focus

This is handy for all playstyles, but largely depends how much and how often you rely on Focus. 

Warm Vest

  • Available after Chapter 3
  • Costs 385 G
  • Increases max health

Best for aggressive Predators and some Opportunists, this in conjunction with damage-reducing upgrades and trinkets will help Garrett weather combat and environmental mistakes alike.

Doctor's Orders

  • Available after Chapter 3
  • Costs 155 G
  • Increases the amount of Focus restoration when poppies are consumed

Useful for all playstyles, but it depends on how much and how often you use your Focus abilities. It is likely that you will be using more of them as you progress through the Chapters and can afford new abilities from the Queen of Beggars. 

Blackwing Feathers

  • Available after Chapter 4
  • Costs 3500 G
  • Increases the damage inflicted by Broadhead and Sawtooth arrows

Best for aggressive and stealth Predators alike, this trinket is deadly when combined with the Moss Quiver.

Ovengut Tonic Water

  • Available after Chapter 4
  • Costs 9800 G
  • Increases max health and Focus energy

You should have a fair amount of gold by this time to spend on extra upgrades and trinkets. This is a good idea for all playstyles in order to stay on even footing with your enemies. 


  • Available after Chapter 6
  • Costs 28000 G
  • Greatly increases max health and Focus energy

Similar to Ovengut Tonic Water, this will max out your health and Focus - although it will certainly cost a pretty penny. Useful for all playstyles

Spectral Aspect

  • Available after Chapter 6
  • Cost 28000 G
  • Greatly reduces chances of being seen by enemies

Incredibly expensive, this will allow you to sneak easier amongst your enemies, and is best for both Ghosts and Opportunists

Note that I recommend purchasing the Shady Merchant's Tools first, but I think Trinkets and Upgrades should be purchased interchangeably in the later Chapters as you start hoarding more and more gold.

For more walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

Thief (2014) - A Guide to Shady Merchant Upgrades Mon, 10 Mar 2014 19:56:50 -0400 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

Playing through the bare minimum of the game's chapter requirements should arm you with the basic tools and weapons you need... but where's the fun in that? Chances are if you are playing Thief, you want more than just progression - you want loot!

The following are some of the extra upgrades you can pick up from the Shady Merchant that can help you steal faster, live longer, and fight harder.

There are actually two places that you can purchase upgrades for Garrett, unlike tools and trinkets.

  1. The Clock Tower: opening your chest in the Clock Tower will also bring up a separate tab for upgrade purchases
  2. The Shady Merchant: located just outside the door of the Crippled Burrick
The Shady Merchant and his location

It is mostly a matter of convenience which option you choose to purchase your upgrades from, but I prefer seeking out this shady fellow since I am often in the market for buying other things besides upgrades whenever I have enough gold to do so.

He is located just outside the door of The Crippled Burrick.

These upgrades can be very useful but extremely pricey. I highly recommend buying the Shady Merchant Tools first before seriously trying to purchase all of these.

If you do not overbuy arrows and other resources from merchants along the way in Chapters 1 and 2, you should have enough money (even if you are only casually looting) to buy a few of these upgrades as well as your tools.

Lockpick Quality

  • Tier I and Tier II both available after Chapter 1
  • Tier I costs 150 G and Tier II costs 420 G
  • Increases Garrett's lockpicking sensitivity - makes it easier and quicker to find the pins' sweet spots

Incredibly handy for all players regardless of whether you are Ghost, Opportunist, or Predator, Tier I is quite cheap when it first becomes available after Chapter 1 and I recommend purchasing it - after you purchase the wrench, that is. (See A Guide to Shady Merchant Tools.)

Leather Padding

  • Available after Chapter 1
  • Costs 500 G
  • Allows falling from greater heights without taking damage

This upgrade is also useful for all playstyles, particularly if you're fond of exploring (and what self-respecting thief isn't?). Many of the hanging ropes around the city lead to second- and third-story ledges, and jumping off of them may not always land you on the poles or outcroppings you expect to.

Bow Balancing

  • Tier I available after Chapter 1 and Tier II available after Chapter 3
  • Tier I costs 700 G, Tier II costs 1800 G
  • Reduces time it takes to aim your bow

This is handy for all styles of play, since Garrett's arrows are constantly used outside of combat and nearly all of them require a full draw before they are of any use. Of course, these upgrades will be most useful for Predators.

Leather Hardening

  • Tier I available after Chapter 1 and Tier II available after Chapter 3
  • Tier I costs 750 G, and Tier II costs 1450 G
  • Reduces all damage taken

This is useful for all styles of play since with it Garrett takes less damage from all sources - including from traps and falls, not just from combat or arrows, although it will be most handy for Predators who enjoy open combat.

Quiver Capacity

  • Tier I and Tier II both available after Chapter 1
  • Tier I costs 600 G and Tier II costs 2500 G
  • Increases the number of arrows that Garret can carry

This is most useful for Predators since they will be the ones expending more of their arrows in combat situations. However these upgrades can also come in handy for all stealthy explorers who do not enjoy making constant runs to a salesman for more arrows since they are not always in the immediate area and one get can easily turned around in the various sections of the city map. 

Leather Oil

  • Available after Chapter 2
  • Costs 1400 G
  • Allow Garrett to walk more quietly over noisy surfaces

This is most useful for Ghosts and Opportunists since it allows you to be much stealthier. Of course Predators may also find this upgrade handy particularly if are stealth Predators, and require some positioning before they start picking off their enemies.

Bow Shot Strength

  • Tier I available after Chapter 1, Tier II available after Chapter 3, and Tier III available after Chapter 5
  • Tier I costs 900 G, Tier II costs 1400 G, and Tier III costs 2600 G
  • Increases the damage of Garrett's arrows

This is best for Predators, since enemies will go down quicker and with fewer arrows. This combined with the Sawtooth Arrows (see A Guide to Arrows and Other Consumables) will be extremely useful in taking down armored opponents from a distance with a single shot.

Blackjack Damage

  • Tier I available after Chapter 1, Tier II after Chapter 3, and Tier III available after Chapter 5
  • Tier I costs 750 G, Tier II costs, 1750 G, and Tier III costs 2495 G
  • Increases damage of melee attacks in combat

This skill is also best for non-stealth Predators, who enjoy direct combat with the guards rather than by stealth kills. This upgrade should be paired with Leather Hardening in order to be effective as possible in combat.

For walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

Thief (2014) - Jumping is Overrated Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:15:48 -0400 iTrigonometry

For some time now, the video game industry has been playing a game of their own. Some of us have played as well back in kindergarten. Remember follow the leader?

The rules, however, are slightly different in this scenario. Whenever a developer has a good idea, another batch of developers jumps on the bandwagon to profit from it. It happened when DayZ proved that gamers were interested in the survival aspect of the Zombie Apocalypse, and it happened again when Dishonored showed how there was still a market in first person stealth games. It is true that Thief was in development since 2009, but it is obvious that both Dishonored and Thief  took inspiration from each other.

This, however, is not always a bad thing. Despite all the cheap copies of successful titles that come from this, it also spawns some new and interesting titles from time to time, with their own take on the game type. The Thief reboot is by no means trying to appeal to the Dishonored fanbase, neither was Dishonored attempting to appeal to the Thief fanbase. The reboot deviates slightly from its roots, but remains its own game.


The Good: Immersive, not entirely streamlined, relatively enjoyable and challenging.

Thief is a game with a focus on stealth and stealing valuable loot. It follows the character Garret, a Master Thief, on several of his heists in The City. It offers very good stealth gameplay as well as some features not seen in other stealth games. Feeling around a painting to find a hidden switch, or examining a bookcase to pull one specific book and trigger a secret passage have been a first for me. It isn't a feature that seriously affects gameplay, but it immersed me in the world and provided something new.

As seen in the previous titles, Garret is a thief, not a murderer; although he walks about with a bow and a quiver full of arrows, his trademark weapon is the Blackjack, with which he knocks guards out when he has to. The bow itself is mostly used to shoot rope arrows so he may climb onto rooftops, or water arrows so that he can put out torches and make sneaking about easier. The way the game plays is up to the gamer--Thief adapts to one of the three playstyles: Ghost, Opportunist and Predator. Each playstyle offers a challenge that may be completed in each of the levels, rewarding the player with extra gold if they succeed.

Although not as unforgiving as its predecessors when it comes to difficulty, Thief can still be a somewhat challenging game. It comes with the standard three difficulty settings (let's call them normal easy and hard), as well as the possibility to customize the difficulty you want to play in. The challenge, though, doesn't come from the game itself being hard, but from limitations the player decides to impose on himself/herself by aiming to complete one of the three playstyles mentioned above.

The game never really explains how to aim for any of the three, and the player has to do some digging around online to learn what playstyle they are aiming for based on how they play the game. It is the first mistake that the game makes as it doesn't state the rules one has to follow to achieve a specific style.

Playing the game as a Ghost involves not interacting with the environment in any way, and leaving no trace that you were ever there (besides all the missing valuables).

The Ghost playstyle is perhaps the most challenging to perform but the most rewarding as well. The challenge in a Ghost playstyle is always the same for each level: Don't get caught. Playing the game as a Ghost involves not interacting with the environment in any way, and leaving no trace that you were ever there (besides all the missing valuables). This means that you may not alert guards with distractions, you may not put out torches, you may not disarm traps. It is a playstyle based on player-made challenges from the older Thief games that one may find in the Eidos forums, and I was pleasantly surprised to see them implemented in this way on the reboot.

This is the playstyle I aimed for, but the limitations imposed on the player by some of the gameplay decisions made by the developers made playing the game as a Ghost also very frustrating. It is clearly obvious that not every level has a Ghosting path, which influenced the difficulty of a Ghost playthrough. Missions 2, 3 and 4 all end with Garret having a face to face with the Thief-Taker General (especially mission 4 which involves a room with 5 guards actively searching for you.) it felt like your attempts at Ghosting weren't really worth the trouble, since your presence was noticed by a character in a cutscene even if it had no impact on the actual gameplay.

Achieving an Opportunist playstyle in any level is very easy, since all one has to do is put out candles and torches, disarm traps and distract guards.

The Opportunist is like the Ghost in some aspects. He is also stealthy, but he will interact with the environment to achieve his goal. Achieving an Opportunist playstyle in any level is very easy, since all one has to do is put out candles and torches, disarm traps and distract guards. This makes it the easiest playstyle to achieve, since if you get caught you aren't really penalized for it and first timers are encouraged to interact with the environment. One should still aim to avoid harming guards and to remain stealthy though, since that falls into the portfolio of the next playstyle.

A predator remains in the shadows and strikes when the opportunity presents itself. 

The Predator should be self explanatory. One does not have to completely disregard stealth, since performing nonlethal takedowns with your blackjack will still count towards this playstyle. A predator remains in the shadows and strikes when the opportunity presents itself. It is still encouraged to be stealthy as a Predator since combat in Thief was designed to benefit the enemy rather than the player. A very skilled gamer can still go through the entire game through direct combat, but because of the purposely awkward nature of combat in Thief a player that aims for a Predator playstyle will naturally prefer to not get caught, but will actively stalk every guardsman in the level.

Focus lights up the darkness, points out objects of interest and provides clues to some of the game's puzzles. The drawback is that some secrets aren't really secret anymore.

Due to an event at the start of the game, Garret finds himself more capable when he focuses. The Focus mechanic is new to the Thief franchise and can be used to make the game slightly easier by highlighting traps and objects, as well as with the right upgrades allowing the player to look at the inner workings of a lock to open it quicker, for example.

This is where all of the money you collect in the game comes into play. The game has implemented an upgrade system in the form of three different types of upgrades: The Focus upgrades come from donating money to the Queen of the Beggars, while Tool upgrades and Trinkets come from the black market. Some are more significant than others, with some upgrades being entirely unnecessary depending on the playstyle you are aiming for. Why would you upgrade the damage your blackjack does if you're trying to avoid direct combat? Why upgrade focus to come into play in combat if you're intent on not even getting close to guards? The option is there for players who wish for a more aggressive experience, but with the combat having been built around discouraging the player from engaging in it actively, it makes these upgrades sound counter-intuitive.

The AI in Thief was a treat to observe. Guardsmen engage in conversations with each other, some of which may reveal information about the level that is worth listening to. When a guard is patrolling an area, if they notice a cupboard is open when it was previously closed, they will immediately be alerted to the presence of someone in the area and will begin to search for the intruder. These are little things that are usually overlooked in stealth games and made the game slightly more difficult to go through in a full stealth playthrough (Ghost).

Guardsmen aren't entirely blind either. There are different levels of illumination in Thief, even in complete darkness, a Guardsman walking close enough to Garret might be able to see him through his peripheral vision. However, the game overlooks a couple of details as well. Guards will notice open cupboards, but not when a painting has been moved to reveal a safe underneath, even if the safe remains closed. With no real way to put paintings back in place, it is rather obvious why they would not be alerted to this, but it was just a tiny detail that irked me. 

In addition to the human Guardsmen, there are also other creatures Garret has to worry about. Besides the Freaks in some of its levels, which I won't go into a lot of detail with, there are animals like birds and dogs that react when Garret is near. Alert these animals and the Guards will be inclined to investigate.

The Hub, however, is also a source of frustration as it is where Thief's shortcomings are noticed the most. 

Besides providing several missions, Thief also has a city 'Hub' like Deus Ex: Human Revolution. In-between missions Garret has the possibility to explore the City and engage in side-quests for his fence, or simply breaking into homes and stealing valuables for the sake of satisfying the player's greed. The developers included a collectible system that doesn't break immersion, with Garret finding unique valuables that he can put on display at his hideout in the city. The kleptomaniac in me was therefore encouraged to collect every piece of unique loot just so the wall of my abandoned clock tower could be filled with paintings.

The Bad: 'Interactive' jumping mechanics make movement problematic. There is a lot of running around in the City and getting from place to place becomes a chore.

The Hub, however, is also a source of frustration as it is where Thief's shortcomings are noticed the most. The first thing a gamer will notice when they start playing Thief is that there is no jump button. On the PC, spacebar is used to perform the Swoop action, which allows Garret to dash from shadow to shadow stealthily, climbing, and when facing a gap, either dropping to your death or jumping across. Garret has this disorder where he will only jump over gaps his size after he has sprinted a certain distance in a straight line. If he has to turn before he jumps so he can do a diagonal jump he will instead drop from the ledge. If he has to do a slightly shorter gap, he will drop down as well. There is a drop button, but the 'jump' button decides to have the same function in situations like these. Traveling therefore becomes a chore. There aren't many rooftops that one can actually use as a quick way to get around the City and the streets are filled with patrolling guardsmen. 

As one progresses through the game, this issue with movement becomes even more noticeable. With the player clearly seeing traps and their respective triggers (especially with the focus mechanic), but not being allowed to jump over them, players are forced to either disarm the trap to proceed and find a long way around, or just taking the damage.

This is how Thief shoots itself in the foot as it is the source of many of my woes with the game. Progress being lost because I didn't save before making a certain jump I wasn't meant to, or because I dropped into a group of guards and got spotted was a common immersion breaker. To make this matter worse, if one wishes to replay levels, they have to travel to where the level begins when they first took the mission. There are no markers on the map telling you where these are, although an experienced player will know where these locations are from memory, and more often than not they will have to travel through the mazes of streets in the City due to the lack of shortcuts over the rooftops.

It does not end there, however. Within the districts of the City, the district itself is divided into different zones and the player will often be met with a loading screen because of this. Thief is a graphically heavy game, and although it can be run well on a good computer, when it starts actually loading up the textures after the loading screen the player will be met with graphical lag. This problem persists during and sometimes after cutscenes as well which can get in the way of gameplay.


Dark, Gritty and devoid of proper sound propagation.

 When it comes to the graphics and the atmosphere within Thief, I can really say that the developers did a great job and I have no complaints about it. The world is dark and gritty, just like one would expect, and the environments change enough for the art design to not feel too repetitive, but also ensures the new environments don't feel entirely out of place.

I will also have to point out that a particular level actually felt scary. The supernatural exists in the Thief mythos, so I wasn't very excited about having to explore an abandoned asylum in an isolated island. It didn't depend on jump scares to set the tone, and it really only brought the monsters out of the closet by the end of the level, which is a good thing, since it means the game is capable of setting a good pace. There isn't much more I can add to this since it fulfills the expectations we would have for a Triple A release in this category.

Fans of the original games, however, might be slightly disappointed when they play this reboot due to the absence of the Dark Engine. It had some of the best mechanics when it came to sound propagation, which the game severely lacks. You will know a guardsman is in the next room because you hear him, just not where exactly in the next room. You can look through locks though, so you won't have to experience that awkward moment when you open a door and the Guardsman is on the other side staring at you very often.

Levels are also a lot smaller in Thief and fans will obviously notice. Newcomers to the franchise however will be satisfied with the level design. It is more linear than the original's and uses the gameplay design choices made by the developers well since most of the big issues with this release go unnoticed during missions. The Hub, on the other hand, could have been done better with the inclusion of more rooftops and shortcuts, and is where the game suffers the most as its flaws become plain to see without the linear paths and the veil of fake freedom lifted.



Garret remains uninvolved in the narrative of the City, making the player feel uninvolved as well.

The story is one of the low points of this game. Garret is portrayed well, being somewhat of a loner and more interested in the act of stealing itself than the implications behind it. He is not one to care for politics, so when the first half of the events that are relevant to the world are about the powers of the city, because the player isn't directly involved with them at all, the narrative becomes uninteresting.

Garret only really starts getting involved with the plot after the second half of the game and a couple of plot twists, when it becomes obvious that he will have to play a part in the events to come whether he wants to or not, and that some of the few people he actually cares about might need his help. The motivations of certain characters become questionable, and some of their actions after learning about Garret and his unique situation just don't make sense. Needless to say, when I played through Thief, I wasn't playing for the story and eventually I just shut it out entirely.

Finishing Thoughts and Summary

TL;DR? This is the place for you.

Going into this game, I did not have high expectations for it due to previous exposure to some of its gameplay mechanics and from having played the previous Thief games. I saw a trailer that included a Leveling System and rewarded EXP for landing headshots on guardsmen, when Garret has always been strongly opposed to senseless murder. These gameplay features however were not included in the final release of the game, and I found myself enjoying it regardless.

It has a lot of flaws. The 'interactive' jumps were a thorn at my side during the entire game, but since levels were built around it, I didn't notice it while playing through them and it offered enough unique features, even if they were just small little details, that made me want to keep playing. But then I'd have to go back to the Hub, and I was reminded of how much I disliked getting around in Thief. It is because of this and its weak narrative that I give it a 7/10. Hardcore fans of the franchise would score it a lot lower though, as even though the reboot adds some good features, it also removes some of the good things about the original, and simplifies the gameplay to appeal to a broader audience. 

Thief (2014) - A Guide to Shady Merchant Tools Sun, 09 Mar 2014 20:40:33 -0400 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

Merely playing through the game will arm you with the basic tools and weapons you will need to play through the game... but chances are you want more than just progression, don't you? You want to explore, you want to outwit silly little traps... and most importantly you want loot!

The following are some of the extra tools, you can pick up from the Shady Merchant to help you steal more and live longer. 

The Shady Merchant and his location.

There are three extra tools that the Shady Merchant (located just outside the door of the Crippled Burrick) can sell to you. None of the other salesmen scattered around the city can sell you tools or upgrades - only resources/consumables.

These are incredibly useful and I highly recommend buying them as quickly as possible! If you do not overbuy arrows and other resources from merchants along the way in Chapters 1 and 2, you should have enough money (even if only casually looting) to buy these handy tools.


  • Costs 500 G
  • Sold by Shady Merchant after Chapter 1
  • Used to open grates and gain entrances into rooms you might otherwise be unable to
  • Will also unscrew bolted plaques from around the city which are then displayed as collectibles in the Clock Tower

This is also incredibly useful for quick getaways from guards - no guard can follow you through the crawlspace. But be careful! The short cinematic that you see pulling the grate open and crawl through is ample time for them to run up to you and attack you with sword or crossbow bolt if they have already spotted you and are hard on your heels.


  • Costs 250 G
  • Sold by Shady Merchant after Chapter 2
  • Used to cut out paintings from their frames

This is handy for those who are interested in finding all the collectibles in the game, although not perhaps as much of a necessity as the Wrench and Wirecutter.


  • Costs 225 G
  • Sold by Shady Merchant after Chapter 2
  • Used to cut the wires in control boxes

These control boxes can help you disable traps and open doors, often leading to new secrets and more loot. It is handy to check around a room with Focus to see anything glowing a conspicuous blue or red, many of the glowing lines that lead away from traps and doors will lead to a control box. 

For walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

What To Watch This Weekend: Geek Remix Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:15:30 -0500 Andrew Wynans

Last week, GameWisp relaunched to content creators.  The reception was amazing, but unfortunately prevented us from bringing you great gaming video here on GameSkinny.  But we couldn't leave you to wander aimlessly through the world of gaming video.  So we are back with a brand new What To Watch This Weekend.  

Once again, the weekend is upon us and we face the prospect of having to fill the hours with entertainment.  As the weather warms up, you are probably thinking that a frisbee in the park is a grand idea.  Eventually though, when your legs are tired from chasing that elusive disc, you will need something to watch, and GameWisp is here to help you sift through the enormity of gaming video.  

This weekend, in honor of GameWisp's return, we have chosen to bring you a channel who recently joined the GameWisp platform. This week, you should be watching the hilarious ladies of Geek Remix. 

2 Girls, 1 Let's Play

What Geek Remix's videos lack in polish, they more than make up for with flair and style. The channel name alone is brilliant in it's simplicity, and the channel art portrays a kind of quirky and happy-go-lucky feel.  But when the first video begins to roll, Mari and Stacy quickly bring to bear quick wit and sarcastic, wry humor which creates a delightful juxtaposition to any initial expectations.  Please don't misunderstand, these ladies are full of fun and quirk, but their dry humor is the really intriguing aspect of this channel.  Gaming video is all about the personality of the gamer, and this kind of juxtaposition is the stuff that grabs a viewer's attention and doesn't let go.  

Our header video today is from their signature series, 2 Girls, 1 Let's Play, and is the first episode in their LP of Thief.  I have often said that co-op Let's Plays are difficult, with many YouTubers failing to create the kind of chemistry necessary to pull it off.  Mari's and Stacy's personalities blend exceptionally well and rather than talking over one another, they feed off of each other, pushing the humor to ever more increasing hilarity.  Mari and Stacy are not afraid of crude, though they never cross the line into vulgarity.  But if you are a cautious person, these videos are probably best not watched at work in earshot of your boss.  

Overall, I really enjoy 2 Girls, 1 Let's Play.  Game selection is important, and Mari and Stacy do a great job, playing such titles as Mass Effect 3 and Beyond: Two Souls.  You can also find the rest of the Thief series here.  The mix of good game selection with excellent humor makes this a series worth watching. 

Easter Eggs


Many Let's Play channels focus almost exclusively on long videos.  Channels whose average video length is twenty minutes or more are common even if the channel has a first-impressions series or something similar.  As a viewer, however, it's often difficult to take the hours necessary to watch very many of those videos.  This is why every well rounded channel needs short form videos.  The Easter Eggs series is Geek Remix's answer to short form videos.  The name says it all: Mari narrates as she (or possibly Stacy... it's never made clear who does the actual gameplay) finds a number of hidden gems in various games.  

Mari also takes this opportunity to let her more informative side shine.  The videos contain interesting extras, and Mari describes them in a straightforward manner giving whatever detail the viewer needs to find them on his/her own.  It's clear she either has plenty of inherent knowledge or does plenty of research, because she is very good at pointing out each hidden reference that developers love to sneak into their games.  In addition to this easter egg video of Halo, other episodes in the series include Mass Effect 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Kingdom Hearts. 

2 Girls, 1 Quick Look

It seems that no Let's Play channel is complete without some sort of first impressions series.  Mari and Stacy have their own version: 2 Girls, 1 Quick Look.  In their quick looks, Mari and Stacy play through the opening stages of games, bringing along their great chemistry and signature humor.  Each of these videos could easily be the first episode of a longer series, though their game selection is a bit more quirky than in their longer series.  Titles in this series include Don't Starve, Flow,  Assault Android Cactus, and Paranautical Activity.  This is their quick look at Octodad: Dadliest Catch.  The game lends itself to ridiculousness anyway, but Mari and Stacy's wry humor helps to make the experience that much more fun.  

Overall, Geek Remix is a great up and coming channel with plenty to offer.  We are incredibly happy to have Mari and Stacy on GameWisp, and are excited to watch their channel continue to grow and develop.  Geek Remix is definitely a good choice for anyone looking for great, humorous Let's Play content this weekend.     

Thief (2014) - Lyegrove's Jeweled Mask Guide Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:59:52 -0500 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

Chapter 1 opens to a city on lockdown due to the effects of the Gloom. A strict curfew is imposed at night, and guards patrol the streets, itching to snap up anyone who dares poke their nose out of doors. But none of this is enough to stop a master thief!

In order to get his bearings, Garrett has to make his way back to the Clock Tower, his base of operations. Along the way, he has to pass through an impressive-looking jeweler's shop in order to get past a locked gate.

As you case the joint, you may notice two guards stop in front of the window to comment on an expensive-looking jeweled mask sitting in the front window. Sounds like paydirt.

Getting into the shop

There are four different ways you can enter the Serendi Jeweler's Shop:

  • The front door
  • A crawl space in the north wall
  • A locked cellar door on the west side
  • A rope in the west alley leads up to a high window

While it is possible to enter the front door using lockpicks, it is out in the open and there are many guards that are patrolling the street.

I went through the north wall crawl space: Jump up using the claw tool and crouch to sneak in and you will now be standing on the rafters inside the first floor of a shop, directly over the head of a patrolling guard.

Alternate routes: The cellar door will lead into the cellar where the jeweler is working, and the high window leads you into the shop's first floor in an area without patrolling guards.

From this route, you have the option of either sneaking around his notice (if you are trying to make it through with a Ghost playstyle) since the carpets are kind to your movements, or you can simply knock him out. There is quite a lot of loot available in this room so clean it all up. You also have the chance to pick the lock to the front window where you will find the Jeweled Mask.


The mask is a fake! Undaunted, Garrett is not altogether unhappy with the grab - he can still find a buyer who'll pay a pretty penny for this. But the real deal has to be around here somewhere. 

Head down into the cellar - it's small but filled with plenty of loot. The jeweler is down here as well. Close the door behind you or he may notice that it is open and grow suspicious.

(Note: If you are playing on Master difficulty, this is one of the few civilians that you will be able to knock out without automatically failing the chapter mission.)

Either knock him out or put out the candles so that you can sneak around the room under cover of darkness.

There is a document on the east desk that you can pick up and add to your collection.

(Note: The documents in Thief are not just one more set of collectibles, many of them actually offer useful hints to accessing valuable loot or story background so they are useful to read. Don't worry, none of them are very long.)

If you read it, it will give you a useful clue that will come in handy soon. 

Check the safe

Loot the basement. You will find a box with your first Fire Arrow in here. In the southwest corner is a painting. When prompted, inspect the frame for a trigger and press it to reveal a wall safe. 

On it is a combination lock, one that cannot be picked. You will have to know the combination... and the answer to it comes straight out of the letter you picked up in the cellar:


Inside is Lyegrove's Jeweled Mask. Success!

For more walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

Thief Review: A Tragic Example of the Necessity of Game Delays Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:29:14 -0500 Matt Whittaker

I had fairly high hopes for the new reboot of the Thief franchise. I never played any of the original Thief games (the final sequel, Thief: Deadly Shadows, came out when I was 13 – when I was firmly trapped in the Halo series), but I am a big fan of stealth games. Rather than relying on arthritis-inducing button mashing, stealth games involve a heavy reliance on the mind. Your biggest tool in a stealth adventure is your brain, not a strategically placed rocket launcher. There has also been a drought of AAA titles so far in 2014, so I figured Thief could occupy some of the time before the release of one of my most-anticipated games of the year, Infamous: Second Son. In reality, Thief is one of the most disappointing missed opportunities in recent gaming memory.

The framework for an excellent game is absolutely present in Thief, which is the main reason why it is so maddening.

The glum, isolationist main character, Garrett, is one of my favorite protagonists in recent memory. Garrett is colloquially known as “The Master Thief” to outsiders. He dons black leather, lurks in the shadows, and steals anything that isn’t chained down. His dialogue, which I found to be the only enjoyable part of the story, can be witty as well as empathy-inducing. I found that the depressed nature of Garrett was endearing (though some might disagree, which is fair), as it differentiates him from the “Rah Rah” action movie heroes of so many blockbuster games. Garrett will make quips about enjoying alone time, and not enjoying crowds, which I found easy to relate to, perhaps due to my similar personality type.


The highlight of Thief is the first person stealth gameplay, where one uses the shadows to hide from (admittedly spotty) AI.

While the environments are not perfect (the climbing is more like Uncharted in its linearity than Assassin’s Creed or Infamous), there are always multiple ways of getting from point A to point B. I found myself being aggressive in my secrecy; I would use stealth to get a drop on guards and take them out, only to flee to the shadows and repeat the process. Garrett’s signature movement technique, the “swoop” (a quick silent dash in whatever direction one pleases), made this a fluid process. My absolute favorite thing to do in this game was to 
“swoop” from shadow to shadow, and see how fluidly I could link swoops and take-downs from behind.

The “swoop” quickly became one of my favorite movement techniques in years because it allowed the crouch to actually be usable. Too often in games, one will press the crouch button only to have the sudden feeling of being surrounded by quicksand. This is absolutely not a problem in Thiefas one can move quickly while minimizing their auditory presence with the crouch.

The custom difficulty settings are also a highlight.

I played the game on the hardest setting and was able to make items and upgrades more expensive, which forced me to conserve arrows and precious health-restoring food. If one wants to break away from the hand-holding that most modern games have in place, Thief sets a phenomenal precedent. Among the custom settings, the player can turn off the HUD, focus mode, button icons, and save points. If one wants to play non-violently, a setting causing the mission to reset when an enemy is attacked is available. Each custom difficulty setting has a point value, and this can be linked to an online leaderboard for bragging rights. It’s one of the best features of the game, and something I hope to see more in the future.

Unfortunately, the greatest parts of Thief have been overshadowed by technical issues and, what I perceive to be, developer laziness.

One of the most glaring technical problems in Thief is the multitude of obtrusive loading screens.

I can almost understand minute long loading screens when moving from one section of The City to the next, but what is unforgivable are the loading screens that pop up during some window opening sequences. I lost count of the times I opened a window only to have the framerate grind to a halt, leaving me to press the square button with no visual feedback from the game, followed by a minute long loading screen. Most times when this happened, I would enter a carbon copy room that only had one or two pieces of loot in it, and then have to endure the loading screen once more upon my exit.

While the loading screens were obnoxious, the lack of true sound localization was essentially game-breaking.

I played Thief with a high-quality pair of noise-canceling, non-surround sound headphones. I understand that I should not be able to tell whether or not someone was behind me due to the lack of surround sound, but that wasn’t my issue.

In a stealth game, usually one can tell the distance of their enemy through the volume of the noise they are outputting. Unfortunately in Thief, it seems as though there are two settings for enemy and NPC noise, on and off. An example of this immersion-breaking issue came about halfway into the game. As I was navigating towards the next story mission, I passed a mob of villagers discussing their feelings on the political climate of their city. I passed by them with two feet of clearance, and their voices were (naturally) quite audible. I then took a right, went 20 feet forward before taking a left and travelling another 20 feet. At this point, the volume level of these voices was exactly the same as when I was two feet away from them before abruptly stopping completely. Had I not seen the mob in the first place, I would have no idea where they were, something that is outrageously unforgivable in a game where knowing one’s surroundings is absolutely paramount to survival. 

There were endless examples of laziness by the developer in the environment of Thief. 

While I understand that there can only be a finite number of collectibles in the game, they were lacking in variety of placement.

After a certain point, I knew that if a desk had four drawers, there would be a collectible located in the top drawer on one side and the bottom drawer on the other. When I opened a cabinet that had a large upper section and two drawers below it, I knew I could find a collectible in the upper section and in one of the drawers. The lack of variety in collectible placement screamed formulaic laziness, and it was noticeable quite early in the game.

While a developer cannot customize every inch of texture in the game, they should make sure that when they do repeat textures, they are spaced far enough apart so the player does not notice.

Being that one way to save is to enter cabinets, the player should be in them quite frequently. If one takes a second to look around these cabinets, they will see that the paint chipping and wood rot detail is exactly mirrored on both sides of the majority of cabinets. I made a mental note where a few spots were in each type of cabinet, and I found that they were present in virtually every cabinet of the same type. When I went down brick hallways, I noticed that the scratches and stains on certain bricks were copied and pasted multiple times on each wall. Every time one has to squeeze through a narrow crevice, a large wooden beam is present (even if there is no wood anywhere in the surrounding environment).

After a certain point in the game, the enemy type is changed in accordance of the story. Shockingly, the placement, some of the dialogue, and the movement patterns of the new group of enemies is literally no different than their predecessors. It is almost like the developers changed the outfits of the previous enemies, inserted two new lines of dialogue, and thought the player wouldn’t catch it. The casual player may not notice some these things, but for someone who enjoys taking in the aesthetics of the environment, this will almost always break immersion (even if slightly). It indicates that time saving was more important than proper world-building, and it’s certainly disappointing. The setting is one of the highlights of the game, and to sell it short this way is a shame.

The narrative in Thief is an unmitigated disaster.

It takes a good amount of time before you realize “Oh it’s a year later.” There are times when the suspension of disbelief cannot possibly be present (and not due to the supernatural elements).

Without revealing too much, about halfway into the game Garrett realizes that part of his face is different. Now this wouldn’t be a big deal, except it’s been over a year since that part of his face has changed, and there are hand mirrors that you can steal everywhere in this game. I couldn’t help myself from yelling “Really?!” at the TV and completely discounting the rest of the story as nonsense. The ending was bizarre at best too, and not in a good way. I actually laughed out loud at the way the game culminated, as your efforts throughout the main missions seem to be completely pointless afterwards. 

Overall, Thief has some fun gameplay and novel concepts scattered about in an unpolished, glitchy, immersion-breaking package.

This game is an absolutely perfect example why game-delays are necessary in the industry. It seems as thoughThief was rushed out so that money could be made during a game drought.

The custom difficulty settings and exciting stealth aspects are overshadowed by obtrusive technical errors, lazy development, and constant loading. This game is an absolutely perfect example why game-delays are necessary in the industry. It seems as thoughThief was rushed out so that money could be made during a game drought. If an extra six months to a year were given to smooth out some of the rough patches, you could be looking at a phenomenal game. It’s really a shame that such a great protagonist is trapped inside of a technically disappointing package. 

If you need something to satisfy your big-budget title needs until Titanfall or Infamous: Second Son come out, then consider getting it as a time-suck. However, don’t expect to be blown away by anything but disappointment.

Thief (2014) - A Guide to Arrows and Other Resource Consumables Wed, 05 Mar 2014 11:55:49 -0500 Stephanie Tang

If you are looking for help with any other issues, please feel free to check out the Thief Guide Master List for more!

Broadhead arrows, sawtooth arrows, fire arrows, water arrows, choke arrows, blast arrows, blunt arrows, rope arrows, flashbangs, bottles, food, and poppies.

Being a thief requires a little bit of investment before you start raking in the gold. But with so many options, depending on the style of play that you decide to adopt in Thief (Ghost, Opportunist, or Predator), a lot of them will simply start to feel like extra inventory to sort through.

For the average player, no matter the playstyle, the most useful arrows are: blunt arrows, water arrows, fire arrows, broadhead arrows, and rope arrows. 

Note: I am playing on Master difficulty and I believe that this alters the max carry limits somewhat.

Blunt Arrows

  • An arrow that does little damage
  • Sold by shady merchants scattered around the city for 1 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 25
  • Ideal for interacting with the environment because of their low cost; shoot them at lightswitches, pulleys, ladder switches, etc.
  • Easy form of distraction when you don't have a glass bottle handy; shoot them at walls behind guards or shatter breakables to make them look away and investigate
  • Can be used to attack guards to stun rather than to kill

Broadhead Arrows

  • Standard attack arrow
  • Sold by shady merchants for 15 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 15
  • Ideal for headshots on guards that have not been alerted to your presence (e.g. snipers)
  • Can be used to kill dogs and birds instead of sneaking past them (warning: this will count as kills towards Predator rank)
  • If playing through as Ghost, these can also be used like blunt arrows or bottles; shoot them at walls to distract guards and to activate environment exploits (e.g. switches and pulleys)

Water Arrows

  • Releases a small burst of water on the target
  • Sold by shady merchants for 4 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 20
  • Douses torches, braziers, and other exposed flames in the the environment that cannot simply be snuffed out with a wave of your hand
  • Useful while sneaking through wide outdoor areas that are well-lit; guards will periodically stop to light torches and braziers from time to time

Rope Arrows

  • Fires an arrow with a rope attached to hanging beams 
  • Sold by shady merchants for 15 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 15
  • Allows you to reach higher/lower places by climbing the rope or to use it to jump a large gap; many areas of the city/environment cannot be accessed without these

Note: Rope arrows must be shot at sections of beams that have white rope wrapped around them in order for them to stick. You must pull the string of your bow back all the way or else you will lose and waste the arrow.

Fire Arrows

  • Releases a small burst of flame on impact
  • Sold by shady merchants for 20 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 20
  • Ignites flammable articles such as torches or candles
  • Will ignite explosive barrels and/or oil spills
  • Killing Gloomers; they hate light so anything that draws them into light will kill them quickly

Note: Largely considered the bane of a master thief's existence, the player will find themselves putting out more candles than lighting them. However, aside from deal with humans affected by the Gloom, there is currently a curious number of talking candles that can be found littered throughout the city. These candles placed on various ledges need to be lit by a fire arrow although I am not quite certain whether or not they unlock an achievement later on.

Choke Arrows

  • Releases a toxic gas on impact that knocks out the target for a short duration
  • Sold by shady merchants for 15 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 15
  • These work on both guards and animals
  • Can be used to shoot guards; torso shots will only stun them and does not knock them out
  • Will also extinguish open fires just like water arrows (although much more expensive)

Flash Bombs

  • Creates a blinding flash when thrown
  • Sold by shady merchants for 25 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 5
  • Creates a bright flash that disorients nearby people
  • Extremely effectives against Gloomers
  • Used to set up takedowns or to help facilitate your escape


  • Restores approximately 1/3 of Garrett' s health bar when consumed
  • Sold by shady merchants for 25 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 5
  • Most handy for those who follow play as either Opportunist or Predator which can occasionally rely on direct confrontation with enemies that are better armed than you

Note: food packages can be found fairly frequently in the environment unlike arrow caches.


  • Restores approximately 1/3 of Garrett's Focus energy when consumed
  • Sold by shady merchants for 35 G each after Chapter 1
  • Max carry limit: 5
  • Similar to the Detective Mode in Batman: Arkham Origins, focus uses up a seperate bar to gain more insight into the surroundings (e.g. switches will light up making them easier to see)

Note: These can be found fairly frequently in the environment unlike arrow caches. If you purchased the Master Thief edition, there will be a large supply of poppies waiting for you in Garret's chest in the Clock Tower. 

Blast Arrows

  • Creates a large blast on impact
  • Sold by shady merchants for 140 G each after Chapter 4
  • Max carry limit: 
  • Using these will kill enemies, break target objects, and ignites flammable surfaces
  • Will ignite exposive barrels and/or oil spills
  • Used sparingly as they are very expensive

Sawtooth Arrows

  • An advanced version of the standard broadhead arrow
  • Sold by shady merchants for 50 G each after Chapter 4
  • Max carry limit:
  • These attack arrows have armor-piercing abilities
  • Allow you to kill enemies with helmets even while alerted with a single shot


  • Small bottles that can be picked up anywhere
  • Can only hold one at a time
  • Max carry limit: 1
  • When thrown, these can distract the guards and cause them to leave and investigate the sound
  • Can be thrown directly at a guard's face to stun them


Note: If you throw the bottle too close to a guard, he will become suspicious rather than curious.

Once used, none of these arrows or consumables can be picked up for a second try from the environment and must be re-purchased.

For walkthroughs, FAQs, bug fixes, and other tips for Thief, please check out the Master List.

Thief Review: Garret comes out of hiding. Tue, 04 Mar 2014 16:20:52 -0500 Dillon Chaney

Rebooting a classic

Having never played the original, I had no idea what to expect with Thief, but I am happy to report that, aside from a few misgivings, Thief is an excellent stealth title and a welcome addition to the currently limited variety of next-gen games.

Darkness is your ally

Light is a key element of Thief's gameplay. In order to stay hidden, you must avoid light sources. These lights can be extinguished by using water or choke arrows or putting out candles. Some lights cannot be put out and require skillful navigation and timing to escape a patrol undetected. Staying in the shadows offers a fun challenge in order to avoid detection.

Arrows of death, arrows of stealth

As a master thief, you have a variety of arrows at your disposal. If silently dispatching enemies from a distance is your goal, broadhead or sawtooth arrows should do the trick. If you prefer a nonviolent approach, you can use water arrows to keep hidden in the dark or blunt arrows to create distractions or paths to your objective.

Focus man, focus

You also have an ability called focus. This can be used to highlight loot, guide you if you are lost, or reveal hidden traps and switches. You can also spend focus points to acquire focus abilities such as instant knockouts or silent movement. It is entirely possible to get through the game without using focus, but it is a welcome tool if you are having trouble with this difficult game.

Getting caught sucks

While the game offers a variety of options in the stealth category, options are limited when you are detected. You can either run (recommended) or fight. If you fight, you must use your blackjack and dodge abilities to knock guards out. The combat is very repetitive and controls awkwardly. As a result, I found myself reloading my save anytime I was detected.

The plot

Thief follows Garret, a master thief interested only in loot. After an accident during a heist, Garret's partner is killed and he is knocked out for over a year. When he next awakens, he remembers nothing before the accident and is caught up in a conflict between the baron and his cruel watch and Orion and his rebels. During his search for answers, Garret will find himself on both sides of the conflict and uncover a few secrets along the way. While the plot is interesting enough and it manages to sneak a few twists in, the ending is ultimately a disappointment, leaving a bad taste in your mouth.

The graphics are nice, though

Technically speaking, Thief is top notch. Textures are detailed and character models are sharp and realistic. The game also performs excellently, with no bugs or hiccups in frame rate. The sound effects are also solid, even if the synthetic soundtrack feels oddly out of place in the more historic setting.

Stay hidden, you'll love it, Get caught, well not so much

As an action game, Thief does not impress, but as a stealth title, it is amongst the best in recent memory and a welcome addition to any next- gen library.


Square Enix Announces Job Cuts at Thief Development Studio, Eidos Montreal Tue, 04 Mar 2014 13:05:37 -0500 Brandon Morgan

Publisher Square Enix has announced they have performed layoffs for the Thief development studio, Eidos Montreal. The news comes just one week after the Thief reboot hit stores shelves. In total, Square Enix has cut 27 jobs from the development team. They've explained why in a statement to GameSpot, saying:

Yes it is true, we've let 27 people go today. Unfortunately it's something that every major studio has to do sometimes in order to ensure you have the right set up for current and future projects. It's never a nice thing to do but we are genuinely trying to offer as much support as much as we can.

We're trying to re-locate as many people as possible into other roles here or at our other studios and we've been in touch several studios in Montreal to arrange a career day for those affected by this. We're very thankful for all their hard work and we sincerely wish them well.

As someone who has played the recent Thief reboot, this comes as quite a shock. The game is rather incredible for being a reboot of an extremely old franchise. While some minor hiccups do occur, overall it an enjoyable and enthralling experience on the PlayStation 4.

Thief was released on February 25th for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. Review scores ranged in the mid area overall from the majority of sites, around 5 or 6 out of 10 generally.

What did you think of the Thief reboot? How about the numerous layoffs being experienced at Eidos Montreal? Let's hope the talented team there find new homes quickly.