Aug 24, 2011This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Thief: Deadly Shadows is truly the weakest game in the series, partially due to it being produced for the XBox. The levels are small, and the mini-maps are linked by this unexplained purple gas to connect them. Thus, you don't go through any of the city gates, but actually go around them through the purple gas. Other characters don't travel through the purple gas. As a result of the small levels, I found the cities somewhat boring. Further, some of the fun features of previous Thief games were removed (i.e. rope arrows) and were replaced with a wall-climbing ability, but it just wasn't as interesting. They really missed out on the opportunity to create a much more complex map (utilizing the "Thieves' highway" of the rooftops. Travel through water and flooded areas - once an interesting puzzle - has been disallowed. If you accidentally fall into water, you sink like a rock. No swimming, as in past games! A voice comes through and says you've been captured and taken to prison, which is fun to escape from -- once.
Going through the city and picking pockets is an interesting diversion for a while, but having to sell your stuff at a fence can get tedious.
You can befriend the Pagans and the Hammerites by doing things for them to increase your friendliness ranking. (Okay, that could be interesting... but...) But this just prevents them from attacking you later, and possibly defending you, and if you steal from them, your status goes down. Whether the faction noticed you stealing or not, they still lose respect for you. Also, the favors you do for them are pretty odd. Pagans, for example, like you to shoot moss arrows at green cornerstones to increase your status with them. Hammerites like you to shoot at dog-sized bugs which explode when you shoot them. (Huh?) To make matters worse, I encountered a few annoying bugs. Occasionally, the protagonist would get stuck in a jump and not descend until I exited the level. Occasionally, you could lean just right an look through an object to the horizon. Expect a few little screwball errors like this.
The storyline, as opposed to Thief: The Dark Project, was lacking as well. You don't want to think about it too hard. The villain of the story uses inconsistent resources throughout the story, as if the level designers did not consult with each other when designing the characters or levels. So sloppy all around.
So, yes, Thief 3 is a little disappointing, but possibly worth playing if you can get it cheaply and keep your expectations low. The game was obviously rushed to market, and could really have used another month or two of play-testing.… Expand
May 16, 2015After playing Thief: The Dark Project, and Thief: The Metal Age, Thief: Deadly shadows came as a monumental disappointment.
First - The graphical fidelity was years ahead of its time, I will give it that. The light pillars, character models, 3d rendering, and particle effects are of a standard the rest of the industry wouldn't see until around 2007. The animations for characters howeverAfter playing Thief: The Dark Project, and Thief: The Metal Age, Thief: Deadly shadows came as a monumental disappointment.
First - The graphical fidelity was years ahead of its time, I will give it that. The light pillars, character models, 3d rendering, and particle effects are of a standard the rest of the industry wouldn't see until around 2007. The animations for characters however were pretty terrible.
Second - The free-roaming aspect was new to the Thief series, and they couldn't have missed the point any more. For one the map is almost unusable, where the first and second Thief games showed a highlighted area that you were in, this was just a static map that gave no indications to your location. The individual instances being South Quarter, Stonemarket Plaza, Stonemarket Proper, Old Quarter, Docks, and Auldale were small, confusing and disjointed.
Third - The AI, the stealth was almost useless and the AI especially in free-roam was bad. For example guards will pursue you and kill you without any reason, and stay when you leave an instance, so they could camp there until the next time you zone in and kill you immediately. The stealth was awful, where in the first game you could glide by an enemy and knock them out with the blackjack in passing, in Deadly Shadows you had to wait for Garrett to enter a special "mode" before knocking out making the entire game incredibly clunky.
Fourth - The loading times were abysmal, and for some reason in Windows 7 it shows your desktop before and after loading. SneakyTweaker fixed this, sort of, but makes the game crash frequently.
Fifth - Overall gameplay wasn't anything special rope arrows (vine - TMA) were replaced with climbing gloves which only worked on stone surfaces, the climbing itself was slow which left you open to attacks for a few seconds. Other than that there weren't any new weapons, and the special potions from TMA were taken out. Sword replaced with a dagger. Ion Stoem tried to really play up the "keeper" story which showed signs of laziness and relying on "glyphs" to force the story to work. However I should point out, this had a much better final mission than TMA. Unfortunately you can't free-roam afterwards.
Sixth - Factions, the factions were a fun new aspect of the game, albeit buggy and disjointed from the rest of the series. For example the Pagans are supposed to be exiled from the city and killed on sight by guards, and yet they have their own territory in Deadly Shadows, right in the middle of The City's districts. But sometimes, unfortunately my allied factions would attack me for no reason, especially on the final mission where everything is in disarray.
Overall I would give it a 4.3/10 and Not Recommend it to anyone who has played Thief: The Dark Project (gold) or Thief: The Metal Age.… Expand
Jan 29, 2013I bought this game on sale, since I remembered the original game from a few years back. It came bundled with Deus Ex so I expected a great time. Unfortunately I can't say much has changed since the first Thief. The enemy AI is laughable and the hit detection isn't much better. You get a choice of different arrows and items, but their functions often overlap -- and the "moss arrow" wasI bought this game on sale, since I remembered the original game from a few years back. It came bundled with Deus Ex so I expected a great time. Unfortunately I can't say much has changed since the first Thief. The enemy AI is laughable and the hit detection isn't much better. You get a choice of different arrows and items, but their functions often overlap -- and the "moss arrow" was probably the worst idea of them all. Guards and citizens spawn infinitely in city stages, making it great fun to knock them out or outright murder them (it doesn't seem to make a difference) just out of boredom. As you'd expect of a game called "Thief", every quest is a fetch quest, but some of them are just gratuitous, making you go to far away parts of town and back just to speak to someone. The level design is completely linear, meaning unlike in an RPG, you can't complete other quests along the way -- you're stuck to your objectives. Luckily, they're clearly and briefly stated, as are the important notes you pick up along the way. Lockpicking in this game is a monotonous and pointless task, that involves searching for the 'right spot' and clicking. Rinse and repeat several times for the "gold" locks. The voiceovers, aside from the very husky and manly Garrett, are plainly hideous. This is the company that brought you Deus Ex and Tomb Raider -- and this was the third game in the series! Eidos was not some Indie developer without a budget. I played through it just to get my money's worth, and fortunately there was some fun to be had, and I especially liked the cinematic style, though the non-cartoon cutscenes are horribly compressed and look even more dated than the in-game graphics. Finding your way around is a chore, since your position is not indicated on the maps you steal, and the maps are nearly useless, one of them I recall showing two rooms adjacent as if they were on the same floor when they were on different floors completely. It should also be noted that the graphics are more dated than I originally expected, and all available resolutions are 4:3. The game is also incredibly buggy; I fell through the wall to my death several times, just for turning the camera the wrong way. The whole game is excruciating if you want to play as a legitimate thief, i.e., sneaking and stealing. The wait is just not worth it, and it's more fun to kill stupid AI drones than it is to wait around, pretending there's any feasibility at all built in. The loading screens are horrendous, even on a modern computer -- and you're kicked out of the application temporarily every time you load because of the resolution change (unless you have a 4:3 monitor, which nobody does anymore.) This makes fetch-quests across town even more torturous. I may just be unobservant, but I spent most of the time (tens of hours) in this game just searching for that one piece of loot that I missed -- a real pain since it's not always clear what you can steal and what you can't, since the only indication is a sparkling animation that's not always present and that's not always easy to see, on items that are identical to non-stealable ones. I was masochistic enough to play on "expert" difficulty, which simply means you need to steal more, because the enemy AI doesn't improve and everyone is still extremely easy to kill. There is absolutely NO REASON for the rating to be this high, as it is with a lot of nostalgia titles, even after they become stale and outdated.… Expand
Feb 21, 2011Crappy console port. But that's the least of its problems. The awful engine means that loading screens are plentiful and levels are small. It's been streamlined for the Xbox crowd and features a bunch of nonsensical elements which were not present in previous Thief games (also known as "lore rape"). Very buggy and crashes constantly even on top notch computers. Getting stuck in the sceneryCrappy console port. But that's the least of its problems. The awful engine means that loading screens are plentiful and levels are small. It's been streamlined for the Xbox crowd and features a bunch of nonsensical elements which were not present in previous Thief games (also known as "lore rape"). Very buggy and crashes constantly even on top notch computers. Getting stuck in the scenery is not a rare event, and the ragdoll physics are lazy and unnatural compared to what they should have gone with - good animations. Quite a disgrace to the stealth genre and the Thief series as a whole, simply does not live up to the legacy. The game has a stupid City hub rather than the assumed natural progression between missions ala Thief 1 and 2. Deadly Shadows is also a lot more linear, and suddenly rope/vine arrows don't exist in the Thief universe and Garrett has forgotten the ability to swim (he dies the instant he touches water). I don't know why people seem to think of it as any better than Invisible War is to Deus Ex, it's honestly just as bad.… Expand