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A new way of looking at Thief 4


Springheel

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

 

Mediocre is highly unfortunate. :(

 

Things that drag it down, but nothing that drags it down to actual "bad" status as a whole; things that simply could have been done better.

 

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.

 

DE:HR was mediocre. It had a brilliant soundtrack and visuals but shitty gunplay, bad boss fights, binary skill path that meant you either could or couldn't progress a certain way without knowing beforehand, repetitive gameplay, terrible AI, crappy pseudo-didactic storyline with the ending-o-matic machine rendering it all irrelevant as a final middle finger to anybody attempting to buy the sloppy illuminati/human nature direction. It rewarded you XP for using a vent, pressing Q while within a mile radius of two guards, opening a door, using a computer or picking your nose. If you mess up stealth you can blast your way out, mess that up you can quick-save and eat chocolate bars while sprinting at people and mashing Q. It's easy, it's lowest common denominator, it's all-inclusive, it's stylized and cinematic and it's as simple and binary as an RPG you can make without taking away the G.

 

Dishonored was a compromise, it was a real compromise. You can flash around wherever you like, murder people just as easily as put them to sleep, see them through walls, have an item that literally points you towards every collectible you'll ever need and have exposition and hints delivered to you NPC dialogue about as subtle as a little robot arm coming out of your mask and handing you the script. It never got too complicated in terms of gameplay or story for the youngest of kids (with bad parents) to play to their heart's content. It was pretty, it was stylized, it was simple, it was easy, it was forgiving and predictable and overly rewarding and condescending and so on and so forth. They're easy, they're casual games. That's what they do: appeal to everybody and remain as inoffensive as possible. Stay easy and simple to follow and you'll pull in all the people who just want a nice, entertaining game to play for 10 hours or so that they'll have fond memories of. That's AAA games and that's what Dishonored, DE:HR, Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite, Sim City, Lost Planet 3, Resident Evil 6, Dead Space 3, Final Fantasy Whatever We're On Now and Splinter Cell Blacklist all aimed for so they can move copies. No matter the game you will find a lot of people with little gaming experience harping on about how great all of the above are. They won't be saying that Infinite had some fun gunplay or that Tomb Raider had great visuals but the rest was crap, they'll simply say "Tomb Raider was brilliant" because they get swept away and have no context or higher expectations given to them by decades having played games beforehand. Pop culture has always existed and producers in that field have always pandered to as many as they can to increase sales, not produce a revolutionary masterpiece.

 

You'll notice the Devil May Cry reboot, The Last of Us and Metro Last Light, to name a few, were all under the public spotlight from day one, advertised to the AAA crowd and eaten up by them as well as the glorious veteran master race. They all succeeded in both cases because they were compelling, immersive or just generally great enough for the casual crowd to keep playing through the difficulty and the elements they were unfamiliar with. They stood up on their own and did something different to make their mark. They're games that are sold to the masses but are their own thing. Dishonored and DX:HR were not; they were easy games marketed to the many with the intent of being inoffensive and movable.

 

When it comes down to it, DE:HR was fun, as was Dishonored. They were both a breeze and both fell foul of some terrible design choices but they were fun. I couldn't give less of a toss whether the dialogue in Thief is crass and cheesy, if the loot is like taking candy from a baby and if I can coast through without ever clashing swords with somebody. Because I'll have fun. I'm looking at it and I know that it looks fun. It looks easy, it looks predictable, it looks awkward and it looks mediocre as all hell but it looks fun. In the end what I'm buying is hours of fun, not whatever the Hell people seem to have been expecting. To be honest at this point I've given up trying to fathom what people wanted. People have said they wanted a game as good as the original Thief but not the same and then in the same breath said that they dislike innovation and want to go back to the late 90s. The bottom line is that if it isn't coming from an indie dev, it's safe to say that they won't take interest in any of your hopes and dreams that could compromise their ability to sell to the Everyman.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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slowing down one of the video's it looks like Garrett uses something like an icepick to initial get up the closed off part of the ladder, its only there in two frames of the video so its easy to miss, so either guards carry the same type of tool, or they can't climb ladders.

 

this is from the official video, play first chapter, from EM not from the hacked game.

Edited by stumpy
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slowing down one of the video's it looks like Garrett uses something like an icepick to initial get up the closed off part of the ladder, its only there in two frames of the video so its easy to miss, so either guards carry the same type of tool, or they can't climb ladders.

 

this is from the official video, play first chapter, from EM not from the hacked game.

 

He uses a tool they call the claw I believe.

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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

The funny thing for me about this, is that everyone now knows that the game is a complete sham! And yet, here you are still under the impression that there is something to actually be spoiled! LOLOL

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I'm still looking forward to playing the game. I will admit that the twitch streams have left me with a men feeling but a fee things come to mind

 

1) Thief is a game much better played not watched.. To watch it is a bit boring because you aren't experiencing the tension and are not really able to grasp a good feel on the game. The same is true for me for the older games too. Its much harder for me to watch someone else play then it is for me to play.

2) I still have The Dark Mod and our community has awesome mappers so FMs will still keep coming out here and I still have 600/700+ Thief 2 FMs to go through

3) I have a bottle of scotch on standby.. If the game is really terrible then I will drink until its fun :P (not really... But sort of)

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have just finished Chapter One and I'm enjoying the game so far. No disappointment. It definitely feels like Thief and the City is gorgeous.

I'm playing slow and stealthy.... I'm not rushing the game.

Whether the narrative proves compelling remains to be seen.... I'll find out for myself soon enough.

 

Has anyone here actually finished the game?

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Yep.

 

I felt plenty immersed to be honest. I seemed to skip over all the glitches and borked visuals people have encountered, which is ironic given how I got it. Nothing really took me out of it, although it's definitely not the most immersed I've ever been. More difficulty would have definitely made me a bit more receptive to my surroundings and fear detection more. For what it's worth, I did get to that stage where you forget you're just sitting there pressing keys. I wasn't immersed in the world but I was immersed in the game, so to speak.

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Well, consider me surprised. Between the horrible dialog and voice acting, the nausea inducing animation-locked movement, the on-rails cramped and tiny levels, the butchering of characterizations (Basso the gruff Brooklynite?) and style in general (FINISH HIM!), the hand-holding (every UI element carrot on a stick, upgrades (??), and indicators galore), the annoying twat sidekick (which admittedly disappears early, if I'm not mistaken; hope she's dead, though I'm sure she's not; oh, soap opera sigh...), the very strong emphasis on "show me" rather than "explore and discover" (that was a key point of the originals!), the thrusting of NuGarrett into our faces in contrast to the first games where he was us instead of someone we were simply observing, the bugs (AI, stability, etc), the poor sound implementation, the general "Me too!" dumbed-down design philosophy and consolization of it, the lack of future FMs, and much more (many have a far better grasp of the development and take more interest in it than I do; you can find entire lists, FFS; this is just off the top of my head from a few LP's and reading), I'm really surprised that Thief fans are enjoying Thiaf.

 

Not annoyed, as I'm not really interested beyond Let's Play and what it means for the legacy of Thief; it's not Thief as I know it, and I hope it doesn't fragment and dilute the Thief and TDM editing communities worse than they already are.

 

Just surprised.

Edited by SneaksieDave
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It's more because there are only a few Thief fans here. At least 90% must be people who played, loved and enjoyed Thief, but none of them are really ignorant enough to let something so old influence their perception today. Thiaf was fine, it was fun, it was my first dose of diluted AAA of the year. I had fun playing it despite all the very valid points people are unintentionally repeating over and over. When it comes down to it, you're just describing AAA games in general. People should have expected this kind of game the moment they saw 'Square Enix' on the announcement page and managed to extract the fun from it anyway.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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At least 90% must be people who played, loved and enjoyed Thief, but none of them are really ignorant enough to let something so old influence their perception today.

Really? Maybe while we're at it we can have a good old fashioned classical literature book burning as we move forward towards the glorious new media consumerism future. Blogs and facebook selfies are way more fulfilling than that old stuff anyway.

Also, giving up on big budget productions as a lost cause before they are even started seems like a pretty bad idea. There's plenty of good big budget games and movie stuffs out there. Thiaf could have been one of them. Alas, it is not, and it seems borderline on deliberate that it was chosen to be a throwaway garbage game. I can't find another way to explain all the crap thats wrong with it.

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I can't find another way to explain all the crap thats wrong with it.

 

You could be, I don't know, objective? Cool-headed? You could always stop implying I endorse AAA dilution when in reality I'm just accepting that pop culture is now properly bleeding into the gaming industry and has rendered a thin layer of its surface overly commercial but still entertaining. "She's accepting that gaming is now occasionally directed to the masses as opposed to entirely to the niche and is no longer considered entirely nerdy. How dare she. Better hyperbolize for her. 'Why don't you just go burn Ulysses you bastardization-welcoming harpy!' Hehe, yeah, that'll show her."

Edited by Airship Ballet
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There's plenty of hyperbole to go around on both sides here.

 

. At least 90% must be people who played, loved and enjoyed Thief, but none of them are really ignorant enough to let something so old influence their perception today.

 

You're joking, right? TDM exists today precisely because we let "something so old" influence our perception.

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TDM exists today precisely because we let "something so old" influence our perception.

 

It exists because a few people enjoyed something old and wanted to continue it with their own touch when it was no more, which is exactly how a million and one amazing projects have come about. Besides, I've seen a lot of cases in which people make an effort to distinguish TDM and LGS' Thief, and not only for copyright reasons, but rather because you've made your own mark on it and would like it to be seen in its own light. What you don't do is regard the latter with rose-tinted glasses and refer to it gratuitously when looking at Thiaf. You know that times change and you most likely never expected it to live up to something as great as the original LGS games. Wherever I've seen your critique, it's always objective and basing it off its own merits. The reason a lot of people are upset is because they, for some reason, seem to think the colossal changes to the industry since 1998 mean a new game will come out that lives up to its standards. It seems that pointing that out renders me the herald of the vain social networking mediapocalypse. Apparently I also have an 'out with the old in with the new' attitude because I can observe and expect consequences from memetic changes beyond a single person's control.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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"Accept things because that's the way they are, stupid."

 

Yes, things, not everything. One noisy part of the industry is hell-bent on producing watered-down play-it-how-we-intended games. It never used to exist, and is snowballing in popularity in terms of investment thanks to people who even struggle while being spoon-fed. It got a huge jump-start from Pop Cap and now it's split into two forms: casual mobile gaming and casual "narrative" (Levine's word for it) gaming. It's incredibly profitable, in demand (unfortunately) and fairly easy to do if you pick a competent, well-known studio. If you can ball-park a method of getting investors to listen to you rather than a jingling bag of gold, and spoon-fed console gamers to desire a bit more stimulation, then I'm all ears. That said, it's just one part of a huge, thriving, expanding, diverse industry. It's a shame that one part even exists, but it will continue to for a long, long time. It's the same as the music industry. We've had pop music for ages, now we have pop games. You cannot fight pop music, only wish it didn't exist while utter shit sells for millions in the same sense that you already can't fight AAA (pop) games. You may as well either steer very clear and lament its existence or take what you can from them while expecting the worst, not expecting the best and throwing your toys out of the crib when a very clear trend continues.

 

tl;dr I don't support the way things are, but can see it's inevitable now in that small, noisy area of the industry because suits have begun to properly benefit from it. The best you can do is ignore it or see the occasional good in it.

Edited by Airship Ballet
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It exists because a few people enjoyed something old and wanted to continue it with their own touch when it was no more, which is exactly how a million and one amazing projects have come about.

 

That and a complete disatisfaction with the direction TDS took the game.

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ignorant enough to let something so old influence their perception today.

That remark will rub some (a lot of?) people here the wrong way. The Thief games might be outdated in some ways but they're also still ahead of modern games in others. Times have changed, but not always for the better.

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...It's the same as the music industry. We've had pop music for ages, now we have pop games. You cannot fight pop music, only wish it didn't exist while utter shit sells for millions in the same sense that you already can't fight AAA (pop) games.

 

This is a great analogy. I've thought the same for a while. Now that games have become such a large and acceptable/accessible medium for entertainment, it's long past time for the industry to capitalize on it.

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