One of the problems I have with T4 is the same that I have with most AAA games these days: it's 2014 and most of the mojor points to note about it that I see are aesthetic. The hands are a luxury, it's one of those things that can't really add anything to an empty game. I remember one level in T2 where I evesdropped a conversation between two characters, and boy did that conversation had content. They went for maybe 20 minutes of conversation, and that certainly added to the atmosphere. There might not be a new objective coming out of it, but it surely was a lump of fresh air after lockpicking a dozen doors and creeping around half the map. A moment of soothing recess where you could momentarily meddle into people's affairs. This is one example of the many things which made Thief's such an enjoyable game. Thief revolved heavily around the lore that was extraneous to Garrett, but which was still often useful, or the least, entertaining and immersive. The world felt alive.
T3 had much of it too. People often point out its problems while neglecting to consider how the first two weren't perfect either. But the reasons why it was enjoyable weren't only because the gameplay was easily bearable despite its flaws (which I never noticed until I read opinions on the internet much later), but rather because, apart from the rope arrows and the lack of swimming, it still kept much of the original essence. T3's world still felt alive, and the gameplay still felt like Thief. T3 isn't really that far from what I would envision a proper modern sequel to be.
T4 seems to be very tunnel visioned and poorly thought out. Maybe even pretentious. It hopped on the bandwagon of games with generic content coupled with a set of marketing-oriented features and overdone aesthetics. T1 got me thinking about the future of games, and whenever I looked into that future I saw marvelous things, I saw NPCs being made more alive and interesting, the gameplay mechanics being improved, among many other things. But it's 2014 and very little of that really happened so far. Doom 3's dysfunctional marine couldn't hold a pistol and a flashlight in each hand and couldn't walk over a wall higher than knee height, Oblivion still had characters standing idle and apathetic behind counters doing nothing from dawn till dusk, and claiming to be busy. But that was nearly a decade ago, somehow I still hoped. Well, I stopped hoping a few years ago. I started looking at indies for innovations on what really matters besides physics and graphics and aesthetics.
The fact that T4 doesn't feature undead is seen by some as a good thing, but it's also one example of the series' iconic atmosphere being
I have other issues with it, such as that the HUD can't even begin to fit the theme, the introduction of in-mission cutscenes on a series that set the example of how to tell a story without them, the lame super-powers, among other things.
This is all why I defend that T4 might be a great spin off, but not a main series title. It may still be a good game, but it's probably not a thief game. I'm reserving my judgment until I can play it, but I'm hardly persuaded by it.
Edited by Skaruts, 13 February 2014 - 12:40 PM.