Generally favorable reviews - based on 45 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 45
  2. Negative: 0 out of 45
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  1. I have never seen a game use light the way Deadly Shadows does, nor have I seen such realistic environments rendered on the fly. For those who can get it to work well on their systems, this is an astounding visual experience.
  2. What really impressed me about Thief: Deadly Shadows was its exquisite attention to detail in all regards. From the graphics to the sound to the level design, every aspect of Thief: Deadly Shadows seems lovingly crafted by those who genuinely cared about what they were doing.
  3. 100
    The true wonder of the game isn’t in normal mapping or Havok physics, but rather in the low-tech ways in which the game turns skulking in the dark into tons of fun. There’s still room in this business for loving craftsmanship and intelligent design, and Deadly Shadows has both.
  4. Exceptional level design and whet with atmosphere this will elate series faithful and deserves to attract all fans of stealth-based gaming.
  5. Ion Storm has definitely learned some important lessons from "Invisible War" and while there is still room for improvement, this is their best game, and certainly the best version of Thief yet.
  6. Even though some of Ion’s design decisions, like the removal of the rope arrow and the inclusion of the third-person camera, will disappoint purists, it would be difficult for anyone to deny what a splendid experience this release is.
  7. We flat loved the wide open feel of the game, got a ton of enjoyment out of it, and really liked the look and feel of the game engine and the weapons and interaction interface.
  8. It's a surprisingly long game, with plenty to do away from the main story; Thief will consume you for months on end.
  9. Casual gamers may not be bothered by the difficulty bug or AI glitches, but diehard Thief fans would be better off with the PC version, both for definitely available patches and the offhand possibility of future mod missions.
  10. Computer Games Magazine
    Console leftovers or not, Thief: Deadly Shadows is one of the best PC games of the year. [Aug 2004, p.62]
  11. Thief contains a level more terrifying than anything we've ever encountered before. [Aug 2004, p.76]
  12. 90
    Carry out your finest work in shadowy places and dole out dagger lobotomies with little chance of being penalized. It's almost as good as being a U.S. president or Hall of Fame running back!
  13. The AI has been greatly improved from its predecessors, requiring you to use even more thought to get around guards and other characters in the game.
  14. netjak
    The glaring clipping error kept the game from true greatness, as did the minor glitches in the rag doll system and the difficulty modes.
  15. Deadly Shadows has real problems with collision detection. I’ve found myself stuck in midair several times, when I accidentally slipped off a ledge and got caught between it and the building it was attached to.
  16. 86
    A stellar and mood-defining sound environment, excellent voice work, gorgeous lighting, and a slow-to-build but page-turning story fuel Deadly Shadows to great effect, and it's also fairly long and involved, although there is no multiplayer or modding tools to extend the life of the product.
  17. The atmosphere is intact, the story is very nice, the graphics are well above par, the audio is very good, and the gameplay should be interesting both for new and old players. With a few more months of development this game would have been truly excellent.
  18. 85
    The perfect antidote for people who think they've seen it all when it comes to the stealth genre.
  19. The story is great, the tension is real and if you like copious adrenal activity then you won't go too far wrong.
  20. 85
    A terrific game. All of the stealth gameplay, intricate level design, Byzantine story branches, and delightfully larcenous action makes a welcome return in this edition. The godfather of stealth-action games is back. Unfortunately, while Thief: Deadly Shadows stands as an equal to any of the previous games in the series, it doesn't exceed them - nor does it move the franchise forward as much as it was obviously designed to do.
  21. The background story is great, the fantasy world is rich and enthralling, and the ability to explore the open-ended environment during intense and fun missions will certainly have you playing this one till you've finished it.
  22. Not as good as either of the first two games...What it is, is a rather decent homage to the greatest stealth game ever made, which does a reasonable job of recapturing the ethos and style, and a great job of recapturing the gameplay of the game we all fell in love with.
  23. Play Magazine
    This is a case where the synergy between compelling gameplay and environment design, enabled by great technology, is too important to compromise. [July 2004, p.74]
  24. Features a memorable protagonist, a great setting, and some very interesting missions. It also happens to suffer from a variety of miscellaneous, minor flaws. These are unfortunate, since Thief: Deadly Shadows is great game, for the most part.
  25. 83
    T: DS is a very atmospheric game which has just one too many small faults to make its gameworld a compellingly believable one.
  26. The games sound by far outshines the graphics with everything from idle non playable character conversations to discreet footsteps pacing through the dark environments.
  27. Problems aside, Thief 3 is overwhelming salvaged by three of the cornerstones of the franchise, an engaging, well crafted plotline, solid premise and impressive sound values.
  28. Any fan of stealth games needs to pick this one up and try to look past the technical issues to the excellent gameplay and sense of style beneath.
  29. I've played Thief the third time now. It's time to elaborate and expand. The small touches implemented by the developers, like the City, factions and stores are mostly cosmetic, never taken advantage of fully.
  30. A taut, atmospheric and engrossing experience. The only real gripe is that The City sections become long-winded, lacking as they do the focus of the story missions and as a result make the game feel a little bloated.
  31. It’s the creepy atmosphere and the easy-to-pick-up-but-tough-to-perfect gameplay that most impress, and there are enough quirks and twists to ensure that you will do your damnedest to complete this compelling title.
  32. Computer Gaming World
    Works so well in third-person mode that it makes you wonder why it wasn't offered earlier. [Sept 2004, p.70]
  33. GMR Magazine
    Deadly Shadows sticks closely to the formula, albeit with a highly refined touch. [Aug 2004, p.101]
  34. 80
    The slow-burning story is fun, and the dedication to stealth results in game mechanics that easily surpass the competition. It's an essential purchase for anyone who values an atmosphere of great gameplay over body counts.
  35. Graphics so pretty, it's a genuine shame to turn out the lights... A great title. Witty, stylish, and entertaining.
  36. This is not going to leave players breathless or have critics singing praises of innovation, but Thief: Deadly Shadows does the franchise proud by delivering a solid, worthwhile, and memorable game experience.
  37. Strangely, the game that I've played lately that Thief: Deadly Shadows reminds me of most is the cell-phone version of "Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow."
  38. The difficulties and player skill involved vary the time greatly, but don't expect to finish it in less than 30 hours. For stealth junkies, Thief: Deadly Shadows is a pure, powdered-to-perfection, Grade-A addiction.
  39. A good addition to the stealth genre, but Garrett would much rather run and hide than to stand and fight.
  40. 80
    Without the guns, gadgets, and radars of modern-themed games, it's a much tenser experience, and the cunning level design and excellent sound effects really draw you into its world. The variable difficulty levels mean no one should get seriously stuck, but there's still plenty of challenge for those that want it.
  41. Longtime Thief fans who can overlook the game's handful of flaws will find Deadly Shadows a worthwhile continuation of the series, even though some sacrifices were made to bring it to the PC and Xbox platforms simultaneously.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 320 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 320
  1. May 7, 2011
    I love all of the thief games they are entertaining with interesting stories. This is a good game if you like to use strategy and be naughty.I love all of the thief games they are entertaining with interesting stories. This is a good game if you like to use strategy and be naughty. :p Not a run up and kill stuff and make everything explode sort of game. Hours of fun and glory. Full Review »
  2. Sep 16, 2011
    This is one of the best games i have ever played, the story and atmosphere just sucks you in to this world of its own. Every single level is aThis is one of the best games i have ever played, the story and atmosphere just sucks you in to this world of its own. Every single level is a masterpiece and all of the supporting voice acting, sounds and music is there to spellbound you, it feels like every single character in this game has a personality. This is really a thriller with a story that makes you want to find out whats going on and whose dark hand it is moving the pawns in such a sinister way.

    What is locked - can be opened. What is hidden - can be found. What is yours - can be mine
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 7, 2012
    This game was the first game I had ever seen or played. It was what got me into gaming and it made me love stealth. Now whenever I play an FPSThis game was the first game I had ever seen or played. It was what got me into gaming and it made me love stealth. Now whenever I play an FPS I find a way to be sneaky when its not what the game is about. If you dont care about graphics then pick up this game. If I could describe it in any outher way it would be a double rainbow all the way. Full Review »