Thief's New Third-Person Mode Explained

Thief is traditionally a first-person game, director Nicolas Cantin discusses why they implemented third-person view in the reboot.

The Thief series has been a first-person game since the first release all those years ago--Eidos Montreal is mixing it up a bit with their upcoming reboot, however. In an interview with Stevivor, Director Nicolas Cantin revealed the reasoning behind the decision to include certain third-person moments in the game. Cantin went into the thought process of the team as to the view mode:

We have third-person sequences in the game, but it’s still about 98% first-person. We realized that, yes, some sequences – not a lot though – work well in third-person. You can see more of what’s around you. It doesn’t happen often, but we still feel it’s an important part of a Thief game.

"In the beginning, we tried that a little bit; it was easy to try with the Unreal engine to go into third-person. But, we quickly realized that the most important thing in a Thief game – for it to be immersive – is seeing what you’re going to steal; seeing what’s around you, rather than seeing your character.

Garrett is really cool and we’re really proud of him, and I think that’s why we’ve gone third-person in some brief scenes so you can see that.

Call me old-school, but I would prefer to keep Thief in a first-person view--it makes everything a little more real and immersive. Once you pan back into a third-person view, everything becomes a little less personal, like you are playing in someone else's body.

Thief will be hitting PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on February 25th.

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Published Jan. 29th 2014
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    I'm fine with third person for navigating rooftops and such, just like how I was fine with using third person perspective while in cover in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. However, the transition needs to be smooth and fit the gameplay style as required.
  • eN!gMa
    somebody should play with the code and make a mod for the pc version.
  • Knock_9084
    I do believe most people would have preferred it to be 3rd person. While I don't mind aaas much, being an avid player of Mirror's Edge, I have a brother who was extremely disappointed after anticipating the release of Thief for a loong while.

    It does seem that 3rd person is much more appreciated than 1st. I actually feel you get to know the character MORE in 3rd person than 1st. I feel it might even capture attention better as well. Especially, as people have mentioned, the kind of movement that's involved in the game would be more appropriate for a 3rd person game.

    What I'm trying to say is Eidos should reconsider for the next Thief.
    Psht. Canadians. (Joke)
  • kolokoy
    YOU JUST FUCKED UP THE GAME WITH 1ST PeRSON VIEW. You just made ur own conclusion and not the whole gaming really wants... look at assasins creed, splinter cell, the witcher..besides only letter "e" all the time in screen is annoying.
  • Michael _9440
    Hate the 1st person view on a update or sum can you make it 3rd person please
  • Diego_1915
    I haaaaaaaate 1st person games. HATE!... Moving around is a pain, you can't really tell when someone or something is sneaking up behind you, jumping on things is more difficult. It's just an all around lesser experience imo. I agree with BobTheBuilding, It just seems lazy to me not to at least give a 3rd person option and let those who want 1stPerson opt-in. Sigh... Yet another game I won't be buying. I'm basically using my xbox as a voice controller for my tv at this point. games are coming out soooo slowly. and the ones that are coming out suck.
  • ian_3691
    I have played all the thief game, i was hoping it will be in third person this time
  • Gary_9627
    Im gutted it doesnt have 3rd person perspective as i cant play games that are 1st as they make me ill so i guess as much as i was interested in this game ill have to pass
  • leonardosky
    this game will be much better if it's on 3rd person view 1st person view is great if there is no clear protagonist in the game like COD or any other fps games but in a story driven game its much better to see the character and there are some games that proves 3rd person view is much better in shooting game if you have a protagonist in the game like tomb raider,mass effect,spec ops the line and MGS and there are many more and saying that n the beginning, we tried that a little bit; it was easy to try with the Unreal engine to go into third-person. But, we quickly realized that the most important thing in a Thief game – for it to be immersive – is seeing what you’re going to steal; seeing what’s around you, rather than seeing your character" there are many ways to deal with that for example the first person view will only activate if you were about to get/steal something then go back to 3rd person after that, instead of adding immersion it felt like im watching a drama movie and all i can see is the hand of the actor, well they can still make some changes i hope they make a patch where you can choose a 3rd person view because it lessen the immersion instead of adding more. and they cant compare their 3rd person moment in deus-EX bcoz there is a big difference in execution and timing in implementing deus ex 3rd person moments is well thought and more natural.
  • saqib_1457
    here is the solution to make 3rd person
    we want 3rd person thief game please implement and when it seen something for theft the character will transparent automatically.
  • Shaun_8000
    Bad move, pro and even casual gamers today have come to think of games like Tomb Raider, Dead Space 3 and Deus Ex as and FPS. Even though a true FPS is still directly from the characters point of view. You can still get pulled directly into the game and be more aware of your surroundings this way, I actually never played the original thief games. I never knew it existed till this release, and I saw great reviews and game play. Which most of the game play I caught was actually in 3rd person view. Lucky for me I didn't buy this game I got it for free with a coupon from AMD when I bought a 7990. I probably wont play it but I guess I have it just incase :(
  • BobtheBuilding
    3rd person is the way to go. First person is for lazy developers who don't want to bother programming for complex animations. Thief's 1st person is not as lazy as other first person titles, you actually see parts of your body which helps alleviate the floating camera syndrome, plus the animations when you're squeezing into tight spaces are awesome. Still, 1st person may be more "immersive," but 3rd person is definitely more cinematic. Also, the first person view really limits your vision as it cuts off all peripheral vision.
  • Brian S
    Featured Correspondent
    Eh. The third game had a third person option, and it really helped with the wall hugging and some of the jumping. I always have trouble with jump puzzle in first-person. Seeing my feet helps, but it's weird. Anyway, it worked in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and they're using it even less in Thief. I'm hopeful.

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