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A new way of looking at Thief 4


Springheel

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not even a peep from anyone on TDM team about this

 

We're looking into it behind the scenes. We'll post when we know more.

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And I haven't caught up on this thread yet, but can we stop talking about people and get back to the topic?

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A Neutral Way of Looking at Thief 4

 

 

The Good

  • It looks great, really visually appealing even through my monochromacy,
  • Movement seems fairly smooth. I hope there's an option to either not use that glide or make it really penalizing,
  • Dynamic lighting looks great and barely affects performance, even when it's interacting with a lot of geometry,
  • Dynamic score provides plenty of fitting audio cues. In addition to that, it's pretty good music, especially the more electronic, Downwind Thieves Guild track towards the end of level 1,
  • Decently minimal and uniform HUD, can probably turn it off anyway,
  • Depth of field looks good. People have said it's unrealistic but it's a game mechanic to direct attention, not a true-to-life simulation of human eye behavior,
  • Climbing points are, while restricting, still easy to spot and plan out a route with. The animation doesn't take forever and you're able to jump back down if you feel inclined to,
  • Interior design looks lovely and believable, hopefully really grotty in less wealthy residences,
  • Despite being unnecessary, the change to vignetting and the player's hands are fairly helpful, especially if somebody's playing with the HUD off,
  • Loot is laid out fairly logically within the context of the setting. This makes the level design far more important as it's no longer corridors and bedrooms with miscellaneous loot laid around the place,
  • Loot puzzles are present and will probably become more and more complex. Hidden loot is still a target, I just hope they're not all collectibles,
  • I'm a sucker for being given the option to get more or less money depending on risk assessment. Money seems to have a more important role to play now rather than being squandered on things you don't need because it doesn't carry over two levels, meaning I'll be more inclined to find it all,
  • Multiple routes, seemingly without the very limiting skill requirements you saw in DX:HR. If you truly can go any route you like and it's only a matter of finding the best one, it's a big +1,
  • The player doesn't seem to have an abundance of resources, meaning there will probably be the same equipment-related decisions to make as prior iterations, as well as hunting for them in the mission itself.

The Bad

  • Hidden loading screens between relatively small areas as a downside to its detailed geometry. The game does make it clear where these are before you use them, though, so you can avoid leaving an area without meaning to.
  • Location text in the corner of the screen is unnecessary and way too frequent.
  • Too many player-magnet animations, most of which look terrible and unrealistic (landing from a height looks far too weak)
  • A lot of the animations look dumb and cartoonish (climbing up a rope, putting away lockpicks)
  • Hands floating all over the place taking up way too much of the screen at times, might look better with higher FOV.
  • Voice acting is god-awful and the propagation makes it sound like they're stood right next to you. Garrett's cheesy D&D Thief attitude doesn't work post-90s.
  • Lone AI talks way too much, way too often.
  • You can drag bodies forwards...?
  • Generic Dishonored-style readables. Lazy and less than immersive.
  • Far too easy to sneak around, above or behind people, who in turn have unrealistic reactions to splashes in puddles and torches going out in the rain.
  • Sticky takedown animations. Not such a bad thing if there's a way around it or it's more difficult to get close later on. There is a huge delay between attacking them and making to hide them so it won't be an option in most cases.

In summary I think it's pretty, immersive and seems fairly fun to play. That said, it appears to be way too easy. The writing and voice acting is awful, as are some of the animations. This is, however, only the first level. I'm hoping the difficulty ramps up like crazy either by design or player choice. The voice acting probably won't improve and the same animations will crop up all over the place with re-textured ropes and player-magnet points. All I hope is that it becomes more expansive and more difficult in later levels. That's usually the case with these kinds of games, and I'm 99% certain that it won't stay this simple. Hidden loot will become harder to find and there will be fewer easily accessible paths that allow you to cross right over people without incident. I expect my immersion to be broken an awful lot, but then again expect that with all AAA games of late; it's fairly difficult to really get immersed in something when they put so much polish and market influence into it. My most hated characteristic of these kinds of games is to try and sell you parts of the game with flavor text in-game. "Have you checked out this game mode?Maybe try playing like this!" I'm sure there'll be tons of arbitrary DLC that references other games or adds a couple of gimmicky items alongside a pricy mission or two. Then again, expecting anything else is like expecting to go through the pop charts and not be blasted with trashy gangsta rappers and hashtags.

 

Discuss. Properly. Without saying "betrayed", "trust", "original trilogy" or making lengthy reference to games past. Leave your "passion" at the door and just discuss the damn coverage. Take the game and talk about what you've seen in the gameplay thus far. Don't talk about forums, communities or things EM have supposedly said, just what you've seen and can safely infer.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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Hidden loading screens between relatively small areas as a downside to its detailed geometry. The game does make it clear where these are, though.

This isn't a bad thing. It's a good thing to have loading screens camouflaged in a way that doesn't interrupt gameplay. At least that principle is good.

 

The fact in this case it may be no more than an animation where you just sit back and wait for it to finish is the bad thing.

And the reason why they are where they are: because maps can't be larger (probably because they're overly detailed) is a bad thing.

Edited by Skaruts
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My FMs: By The Cookbook

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Leave your "passion" at the door and just discuss the damn coverage

 

Passion is not the problem.

 

It's people who seem to want to talk about individuals rather than the issues under discussion. Someone posts something you think is stupid, you explain WHY it's stupid. You don't call them stupid or psychoanalyze them or tell them they don't have the right to post. It's also perfectly valid to read something, roll your eyes, say "what a dick" to yourself, and NOT POST anything about it.

 

Garrett's cheesy D&D Thief attitude doesn't work post-90s.

 

Oh no you didn't! :P

 

You want to explain that further?

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This isn't a bad thing. It's a good thing to have loading screens camouflaged in a way that doesn't interrupt gameplay. At least that principle is good. The fact in this case it may be no more than an animation where you just sit back and wait for it to finish is the bad thing. And the reason why they are where they are: because maps can't be larger (probably because they're overly detailed) is a bad thing.

 

My fault for not making it clear. The fact that they're hidden is great, it's just the fact that there are so many that stop you from going back afaik. I'd rather have more intricate map geometry as the trade-off for a few drawn-out animations though, especially given the lack of impact on performance.

 

It's people who seem to want to talk about individuals rather than the issues under discussion. Someone posts something you think is stupid, you explain WHY it's stupid.

 

Uh-huh, but it seems the moment I voice a less-than-condemning opinion of the game it's a hate crime against either poor people who can't afford to upgrade or fans of the first few. It's quite difficult to rationally explain why it's such an inherently radical and sensationalist conclusion to jump to other than saying it's nonsensical and unfounded, which then prompts another similar accusation. It's almost surreal to come back and get a response like that after having said "that man seems like a nice guy." Sometimes people need to be told off, but I agree it shouldn't take up 3 pages of a thread.

 

Oh no you didn't! :P

 

You want to explain that further?

 

Hehe, well in almost every game I've played that works off D&D rules, the Thief/Rogue is always a walking cliché. You get all sorts of mages, warriors, bards, rangers and healers but the Thief is almost always a gravelly-voiced, apathetic, loveable rogue. It tended to fit in with those games as they still worked off the culture that brought you the awesomely ridiculous Fantasy novels that really were fantastical and had awesome covers busier than a Rubens painting. That was where the archetypal rogue was born and it's since become a cliché people try to avoid. Garrett, I think, was the last example of an apathetic and cynical yet loveable rogue that worked, largely due to the game's setting and its fantastical quirks you saw with craymen and the like. He wasn't very cheesy at all, despite having some lines that are cheesy, moreso when re-used in fan missions. I think they were just used in the main games at exactly the right points with the exact mood it needed to stop it sounding silly. There's a dissonance between that kind of person and the more secular-feeling city that this rendition seems to have, because I've only ever really associated the character with thoroughly fantastical settings. That aside, Stephen Russell was simply far better at making it sound like an inner monologue. The writing also wasn't as fourth-wall breaking in terms of objectives since that had all been dealt with in the briefing. It's a mixture of a bunch of things really, but it's the lack of 90s context that makes the 90s Thief Archetype fall short here.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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Garrett, I think, was the last example of an apathetic and cynical yet loveable rogue that worked, largely due to the game's setting and its fantastical quirks you saw with craymen and the like. He wasn't very cheesy at all, despite having some lines that are cheesy, moreso when re-used in fan missions. I think they were just used in the main games at exactly the right points with the exact mood it needed to stop it sounding silly. There's a dissonance between that kind of person and the more secular-feeling city that this rendition seems to have, because I've only ever really associated the character with thoroughly fantastical settings. That aside, Stephen Russell was simply far better at making it sound like an inner monologue. The writing also wasn't as fourth-wall breaking in terms of objectives since that had all been dealt with in the briefing. It's a mixture of a bunch of things really, but it's the lack of 90s context that makes the 90s Thief Archetype fall short here.

 

I like the part in Song of the Caverns when Garrett reads Crib's play and says "People actually pay to see this stuff?" That was funny but moreso because Stephen Russell is from theater/performance, so it was nice to hear him poke fun at his own craft. I think the theater/acting experience of Russell also gave him great strength of many voices for many characters sounding distinct.

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"Tombs with piped in music. How classy."

 

Garrett's the right kind of cynical, I think. Russell has ridiculous range and it makes me so disappointed that they gave him so many roles in Skyrim that were all the same kind of person.

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Horn of Quintus is such melancholy and relaxing sounds! Bonehoard is a def favourite. Great navigating / exploring in that level. The Mystic Heart and Mystics Soul felt like real achievements with the traps / puzzles. Such desolation too. The vertical space is a bit nerve racking, even tho I'm not afraid of heights, it's still mesmerizing.

 

I just finished up Return to the Cathedral (I'm replaying TG), and oh man I love it once you grab the eye and all Hell breaks loose in that place! I had headphones on and was playing in the middle of night......I was so immersed fearing for my safety from the zombies/haunts that a door shut behind me (like all the doors in that level do), and I jumped from the bang!

 

Currently on Escape. I love how Thief revisits areas and opens up more to them, or alters the area to show change.

 

General question, do you guys think that the Monkey guards were humans turned into beasts by Constantine or that they were always monkeys but Constantine gave them human disguise for The Sword? For me, I like to think that they were once human because it makes their fate that much more terrifying!

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My fault for not making it clear. The fact that they're hidden is great, it's just the fact that there are so many that stop you from going back afaik. I'd rather have more intricate map geometry as the trade-off for a few drawn-out animations though, especially given the lack of impact on performance.

 

 

 

Uh-huh, but it seems the moment I voice a less-than-condemning opinion of the game it's a hate crime against either poor people who can't afford to upgrade or fans of the first few. It's quite difficult to rationally explain why it's such an inherently radical and sensationalist conclusion to jump to other than saying it's nonsensical and unfounded, which then prompts another similar accusation. It's almost surreal to come back and get a response like that after having said "that man seems like a nice guy." Sometimes people need to be told off, but I agree it shouldn't take up 3 pages of a thread.

 

 

 

Hehe, well in almost every game I've played that works off D&D rules, the Thief/Rogue is always a walking cliché. You get all sorts of mages, warriors, bards, rangers and healers but the Thief is almost always a gravelly-voiced, apathetic, loveable rogue. It tended to fit in with those games as they still worked off the culture that brought you the awesomely ridiculous Fantasy novels that really were fantastical and had awesome covers busier than a Rubens painting. That was where the archetypal rogue was born and it's since become a cliché people try to avoid. Garrett, I think, was the last example of an apathetic and cynical yet loveable rogue that worked, largely due to the game's setting and its fantastical quirks you saw with craymen and the like. He wasn't very cheesy at all, despite having some lines that are cheesy, moreso when re-used in fan missions. I think they were just used in the main games at exactly the right points with the exact mood it needed to stop it sounding silly. There's a dissonance between that kind of person and the more secular-feeling city that this rendition seems to have, because I've only ever really associated the character with thoroughly fantastical settings. That aside, Stephen Russell was simply far better at making it sound like an inner monologue. The writing also wasn't as fourth-wall breaking in terms of objectives since that had all been dealt with in the briefing. It's a mixture of a bunch of things really, but it's the lack of 90s context that makes the 90s Thief Archetype fall short here.

What excuse do we have not to sculpt, and sculpt, and sculpt, until the job is done?

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I was very much so looking forward to Thief but after watching a twitch stream of two missions (the 1st and the 5th) I really came away with a... meh sort of feeling.

 

I don't know if it's just because i'm over tired but just seeing the game being played how it probably would be played takes away a lot of the "hype shine" they put on everything.

 

Hopefully the game when being played is great as Thief and that style of game usually isn't fun to watch but rather much better to sit down and play and take in the atmosphere, feel the tension.

 

If you haven't seen the twitch streams yet (the official ones and not the leaked game lets plays) I recommend that you don't watch them. Not for spoilers sake but just because it leaves you feeling weird afterwards.

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I am not watching the twitch streams in order to avoid spoilers. Its hard to resist though... but resist, I shall. :D

Edited by Viktoria
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Garrett's the right kind of cynical, I think.

 

Agreed.

 

So far, the things that I'm looking forward to the most in the new Thief are how they handle guards waking up other guards, the visuals, and deconstructing the development decisions. I want to see how they handled some of the issues that were difficult for TDM. For example, is there stamina? Can AI climb ladders? What do AI do when you're unreachable? What do AI do after they've calmed down from an alert? Are all AI identical when it comes KOing, or are some easier than others (helmets, etc?). Are there any interesting new movement controls, like reverse mantling? How smart are AI about searching? How much do they (appear to) cooperate?

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Watching those streams actually made me more positive towards it.

 

I haven't watched any myself (don't want any spoilers), but I'm hearing a lot of predictable complaints. What did you see that made you feel more positive?

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It just seems mediocre to me. It's been railed like crazy and a lot of people are still beating the dead horse but to me it just seems mediocre. I've seen nothing at all that's bad. Nothing has made me cringe or get angry and nothing I've seen has particularly struck me as bad. It's simply uninspired and unambitious. I think the reason a lot of people are calling it awful is because they had high hopes and the game has fallen very far from those, hence they have a harsher response. I was cynical when it was a rumour years ago and I've been cynical right up until I saw gameplay footage. When I did, I saw that it was just okay. Good in parts, meh for the rest.

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It's a game targeted at the masses. It's a AAA game produced by a AAA dev and a AAA publisher . I don't know what people expected other than mediocrity, despite them picking up a stellar franchise. Just look at what they did to Final Fantasy.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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It's a game targeted at the masses. It's a AAA game produced by a AAA dev and a AAA publisher . I don't know what people expected other than mediocrity, despite them picking up a stellar franchise. Just look at what they did to Final Fantasy.

Absolutely ridiculous. There are lots of great AAA games. Dishonored proved it possible to make an immersive-sim style game popular without compromising. Heck, Eidos Montreal did a great job with bringing Deus Ex to a modern audience.

 

As Platinumoxicity said over on TTLG:

 

Yeah, at first I was preparing to see a bad Thief game, but to my surprise it might turn out to be just a bad game in general.

 

http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=772097

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it just seems mediocre. I've seen nothing at all that's bad.

 

What about that big list of "bad" things you listed earlier?

 

Mediocre is highly unfortunate. :(

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