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Monday, 24 February 2014

Thief: Shadow Hunter Review

Thief: The Shadow is Your Friend, Your Ally, Your Everything. Review

February 24th, 2014 by Maya Mayfield



Thief-Shadow-Hunter-Review-Playstation-4

I have always been a big fan of the Thief series from back in the day, so when I heard Eidos Montreal had teamed up with Square Enix to release a brand new Thief on the PS4, I jumped at the opportunity to get my hands on the new game to see if it lived up to the hype and expectations. Now that I have giving it a good once over, I am pleased to tell new and old fans of the Thief series they are in for a real treat. Read on to discover why.

Thief-Shadow-Hunter-Review-PS4Thief is the truest form of Stealth-play gaming out there. To further emphasize on this, developers Eidos Montreal have designed the game in a way that rewards you based on how well you stay hidden and undetected within the shadows. Thief takes advantage of lighting effects using it as an integral part of the games mechanics to keep you out of sight. The game does allow for an open style of play, but it truly shines best when you stay out of the light and deal out punishment like a Thief in the night.

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The gameplay occurs in "The City," where you (Garrett The Master Thief) find yourself amidst events beyond your control and power. Garrett must think quick on his feet, lurk in the shadows and silently take down his enemies if he is to defeat both human and supernatural foes in order to rescue the woman he loves. (Isn't that always the case?) Don't expect an overly complicated story here folks, as your overall mission is to pretty much stop the bad guys and save the girl. Despite this I thought the plot was engaging enough to keep me working my way through to the very end.


The Shadow is your friend, the shadow is your ally, the shadow is everything. Garrett's true advantage is in the shadows and from there he is a very dangerous and formidable predator. A well hidden Thief could  be the difference between life and death, and you should remember that as you navigate around the dangerous City.

There are several light sources our Master Thief Garrett can interact with, from quenching torches to switching out lights and blowing out candles. Doing this will give him the vantage point in scenarios otherwise impossible.

Garrett has an entire arsenal of specially design arrows to choose from, each one having its own unique use. For example you can use the rope arrows to climb up or down areas otherwise in-accessible. Water arrows can be used to extinguish flames, blunt tip arrows can make noise distracting guards, allowing for stealthy tactical maneuvers. You even have lethal and non lethal arrows in case you wish to knock out guards rather than kill them.  (Aren't you a good little boy or girl for not killing the bad men.)

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Unlike most average cat-burglars out there our Master Thief Garrett is a little bit more special, as early in the game he comes into possession of an item called the "Focus Sense." This mysterious artifact gives Garrett incredible awareness, allowing him to discover hidden items and locations in which to interact with.  Focus Sense also gives Garrett faster reactions allowing him to move around his environment swiftly. I found focused sense to be an extremely useful bit of equipment, using it to find clues and items to assist me further on my quest.  

I thought the first perspective camera view worked well, allowing for freedom of movement in the world of Thief without a sense of restriction from camera angles. There were a few odd occasions where attempting to navigate around some environments were a little tricky but not enough to detract from the overall ease of walking, run, and scaling around the environments. I believe what really helped with the games visual orientation was the ability to not only see Garrett's arm but his legs as this gave me a better sense of his height and movements in relation to the World.

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Visually Thief looks gorgeous in a filthy sort of way, striking a perfect yet contrasting balance of lights and shadows. The City which is covered in darkness appears to be plagued by a pandemic so real it could appear to jump out of your screen and into your home . . . Ew!  This immersive vision  truly gives you a sense of being somewhere hostile, smelly and suppressed by powers greater than your own understanding. The blend of gritty textures, mixed with various light and shadowy effects created an overall enjoyable visual experience.

Thief also has a lot of side mission to keep you pre-occupied as you work your way through the main story, which is a great way to extend your playtime longer. Most of theses side mission aren't very difficult as they usually require you to steal things from the citizens in the City, while other side mission turn out to be short sub-stories themselves. Beyond side quest, developer Eidos has also created a Challenge Mode that will require you to steal items under a time limit. These time limits can then be saved and uploaded  along with your single player campaign results to the online Leaderboard.

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Conclusion

For Fans of stealth gaming, I can't recommend any better than Thief. Eidos Montreal has done a fantastic job re-imagining a classic game to the next-gen. I got a lot of satisfaction silently moving in the shadows, stalking and killing my prey without arousing suspicion or even  breaking  a sweat in clumsy combat. Thief is great action, stealth plat-former I think fans of the original games and new followers to the series will most certainly enjoy. And although it may not be perfect. It certainly is a great platform for which Eidos Montreal can build other exciting Thief games in the forceable future.

SCORE
4/5


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