Thief's redesigned Garrett created to appeal to "modern audience of today's console market" [Updated]
UPDATE: Thief Director Nicolas Cantin has a clarification on his earlier statement about a re-imagined, goth-less Garrett. On Eidos Montreal's community hub, Cantin says Garrett's new appearance arose from internal design changes rather than an effort to make the sneakster more "mainstream" compared to previous games in the series.
"It's not correct to say that we're trying to make Thief 'mainstream,' or that we're trying to make Garrett 'less gothic,'" Cantin explains. "This isn't the case. I was referring specifically to a previous Garrett design we tried out internally and not Garrett from the previous games.
"Our early design went a lot more gothic—black nails and such—but we thought that this wasn't true to the legacy of Garrett, so we pulled it back a bit. Returning to something more true to the original Garrett is what I meant when I said we made him more 'mainstream.' This wasn't a comment about the direction of the game.
"I can assure you we're huge fans of the original games, and we've done our homework to create a game that maintains the essence of the original.”
ORIGINAL: Thief fans are going to want to read this from the comforting embrace of a dark room. Every sentence of this GameInformer interview with the developers of the upcoming Thief reboot (formerly, bafflingly, called THI4F) seems designed to make series advocates clench their teeth, slink into the shadows and clutch tightly to their blackjacks. The sweets, I mean. Not the big stick for hitting things.
In the video, Eidos Montreal describe the process of redesigning Garrett for the modern age. The word "console" is used.
"We wanted to keep the main DNA of Garrett - who Garrett was. We didn't want to change that much, because it was kind of working already," says Game Director Nicolas Cantin.
So far so good. But then we hit this sentence: "We wanted to bring in more for the modern audience of today's console market." You would be hearing the sound of Thief's fanbase being stunned into silence, except, as stealth experts, they're already remarkably quiet.
So what does this modern re-imagining mean in practice? "He's now in the game doing more action moves - on that side we wanted the costume and the suit to reflect that. In the beginning he was more gothic. We toned down all the things that felt gothic, for example black nails and things like that. We want to make him a little bit more mainstream on that. Yes he's a dark character, but we don't want people to say he's a gothic one."
Troubling. But as bad as it sounds, we still don't know how these design decisions will pan out in the full game. The hope to cling to is that in the lead up to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Eidos Montreal managed to make that sound like simplified, shallow dross. Instead, it was a deft balancing act between modern development philosophies and - well - Deus Ex.