Stealth

Thief hands-on: meeting Erin, Garrett's troublesome shadow

Omri Petitte at

Garrett doesn't need a sneaking sidekick. I don't need a sneaking sidekick. Stealth is a solitary adventure. Characters come and go for the sake of narrative and theater, but when it's time to get down to the dance of detection, they're left behind. For good reason: nothing gets me to hit “Quit” faster than a wayward ally barging into a carefully planned route, or blowing my position with the umpteenth complaint of “C'mon, we gotta move!”

And so, when I was given the opportunity to experience the introductory sequences of Thief and meet Garrett's protégé Erin for the first time, I could already feel a sneer forming. I had doubts—Garrett had broken his professional partnership with her for Mysterious Reasons. In my mind, she was already a nuisance. When I heard the first few tense exchanges between her and Garrett, however, I realized her qualities symbolized an important facet of the stealth genre—her aggressive, confrontational style shows just how varied approaches to stealth can be.


The Dark Mod's 2.01 update released, alongside info on new fan-made missions

Phil Savage at

If you haven't yet downloaded The Dark Mod, you should. It's an excellent stealth game, our Mod of the Year for 2013, and a refreshing reminder of Thief's better qualities ahead of what would seem to be a troubling sequel. If you have downloaded The Dark Mod, you should probably do it again (or at least run the game's update application). The standalone spiritual platform for larcenous levels has received a new update, bringing the game to 2.01. It's a minor update, as the one hundredth of an increase suggests, but it releases alongside details of some brand new missions for taffers to anticipate.


Styx: Master of Shadows offers vertical, goblin-based stealth

Tom Sykes at

Cyanide don't have the best track record, but you can't deny that they make interesting games. Interesting, ambitious, ultimately a bit *does shaky hand thing* games. There's reason to raise an eyebrow, then, over Styx: Master of Shadows, their recently announced stealth game starring a two-centuries-old goblin named after a hellish river. And raise an eyebrow I did, before I remembered Game of Thrones: The Game of Thrones Game: The Video Game and my other eyebrow shot up as well. I now resemble Malcolm McDowell in that Clockwork Orange reprogramming scene, and it's all Cyanide (and Focus Home's) fault. Hear more about the game below.


Thief difficulty settings dare you to be an "Iron Man"

Patrick Carlson at

What kind of burglar do you want to be? That's the question the upcoming Thief reboot is going to be posing to both new and veteran players of the stealth series. The level of difficulty and UI customization being built into the game should allow for some brutally precarious attempts, according to a new interview with Thief's lead game designer Alexandre Breault.


Thief graphics technology detailed, makes use of "heavily modified" Unreal Engine 3

Patrick Carlson at

A sly thief like Garrett needs the darkest shadows he can find. Thankfully, the team behind the upcoming Thief reboot has its sights set on cranking up the PC edition's visuals—shadows and all—according to an interview with Eidos Montreal's technical art director Jean-Normand Bucci at Dark Side of Gaming.


Thief no longer has QTEs, does still contain customisable UI

Phil Savage at

In the spirit of the latest Thief news, this post contains QTEs. Please press the indicated key at the specified time, or you will die. Well, you might die. Okay, you probably won't die.

As part of Eidos Montreal's latest Thief community Q&A, lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt revealed that [PRESS 'X' TO NOT DIE] the QTEs present in the previous press demo had been removed, along with all other traces of arbitrary quick-time avoidance. According to Schmidt, such button bashing was only a minor part of the game, and thus there removal became an easy decision once fans had voiced concern over their inclusion.


Thief trailer tells the story of The City, via Garrett's behatted fence Basso

Tom Sykes at

Thief, eh? I think it's fair to say we're all a bit worried about the direction it's heading down, particularly when it's on track to creep out of the shadows and cosh us on the head as soon as February. Does this artistic, atmospheric, sadly gameplay-free trailer ease any of our fears? Nope, but it does describe The City in some fancy-pancy words, providing some backstory for Garrett's magnificently behatted fence Basso in the process.

Monaco getting Linux version on Monday, along with "a ton of free/new content"

Tom Sykes at

Monaco - the excellent four-player stealth/heist game from Pocketwatch Games - hasn't quite lit the world on fire as I thought it would, but for all I know there could a million Linux users sitting at their PCs right now waiting for a cracking co-op game to get stuck into. They'll be well catered-for on Monday, when Monaco: What's Thief's Was Originally Mine breaks into the open prison known as Linux. It will come with "a ton of free/new content", though the cunning devils at Pocketwatch haven't elaborated any further.

Thief interview -- mission structure, complexity, lessons from Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Omri Petitte at

Eidos Montreal's latest gig shaping its Thief reboot treads a fine and shadowy line. The modern entry to the esteemed stealth series has the cautious attention of franchise fans who've long awaited a new Thief, but it's also mixing the new in with the tried-and-true: a grittier and more involved Garrett, an all-revealing Focus mechanic, and a conservative jumping/climbing control scheme.


Thief hands-on: the life and times of a kleptomanic clock tower cosh-ninja

Tom Senior at

So, Garrett is a ninja that lives in a clock tower now. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I always had him pinned as the sardonic vagrant sort, scraping a difficult living eating mice in stolen basement spaces to avoid the authorities. That's the trouble with Thief, I've filled every dark low-poly corner of the game with assumed lore. In the long years since I first played it, it has become a better game in memory. It's easy to forget how blind and thick the guards could be, the silly hats they sometimes wore, and those damn giant spiders.

How can Eidos Montreal ever hope to meet the expectations of Thief fans? They've certainly ticked off the general feature list well enough. Hiding in shadows - check. Rope arrows, fire arrows, water arrows - check. A dark city full of bawdy crooks and racked with sociopolitical strife - yep. I spent a few hours sneaking around the market hub district that surrounds Garrett's clock tower home, and came away worried. I got a good whiff of the grimy, mysterious atmosphere I associate with classic Thief, but in the final ten minutes - side missions completed - I ran around the level easily coshing sword-wielding guards into unconsciousness in dull face-to-face combat. Hmmm.


Sir, You Are Being Hunted lets players sneak into the alpha through Steam Early Access

Phil Savage at

I'll have to be quick. I took a wrong turn on the way to the office and now I'm lost in the woodlands, being tracked by posh, yet murderous robots. Coincidentally, it's a situation reminiscent of Sir, You Are Being Hunted: the open world stealth-'em-up from Big Robot, which is now available to buy in alpha form. Here, let me hastily embed a trailer, before metallic dogs track my scent, or, even worse, this flask of tea goes cold.


Thief release date announced, Gamescom trailer slips out while you're distracted

Phil Savage at

Typical. Eidos Montreal open their window just a crack so they can shout to the streets the release date of the upcoming Thief, and what happens? Their Gamescom trailer leaps out into the public eye, to be snatched up by interested eyes. It continues the studio's insistence on promoting the game with CGI movies, but this time focuses on the city and it's increasingly harrowing problems.


Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag stealth video sneaks into view

Perry Vandell at

ost of my attempts at stealth in previous Assassin's Creed games look like something you'd see in an episode of The Three Stooges. Sure, I'll mingle with a bustling crowd to pass a few guards, but something will always go awry, and I'll be left with a pile of bodies lying at my feet. But the latest gameplay video for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is doing its best to show how the overt can become more covert.


Tangiers Kickstarter funded, first stretch goal reached

Perry Vandell at

The rather peculiar stealth game known as Tangiers has finally cast away the shadows and is basking in the warm glow of being officially backed. Or maybe it ventured deeper into the shadows. That's what stealth games do, right?


Volume is a stealth game from the creator of Thomas Was Alone

Phil Savage at

The freshly announced Volume is being made by Mike Bithell, creator of the quadrilateral platformer Thomas Was Alone. Which means I'm fighting the urge point at one of the abstract red cuboids emerging from the ground and going "lol, Thomas in 3D!" I'll continue to struggle against that base temptation, because Volume looks to be an intriguing stealth distract-'em-up with an emphasis on making noise.


Mark of the Ninja's special edition DLC dated

Phil Savage at

Earlier this year, Tom Sykes managed to scribble down a description of Mark of the Ninja's Special Edition DLC before it disappeared into the shadows. Since then, we've been searching for more information on the elusive update - poking around in bins, and shining lights down rat-ridden alleyways. It turns out that all we needed to do was follow developer Klei's twitter feed, as they've now announced August 16th as the date of the DLC's release.


Incognita livestream shows off 40 minutes of turn-based tactical espionage

Tom Sykes at

I was assuming the title of Klei's next game would be another helpful instruction like 'Don't Starve' or, you know, 'Shank'. Instead it's 'Incognita', which is the kind of name you'd give a Spanish secret agent in a Saturday morning cartoon. I am entirely OK with this. Another thing I am OK with: a forty-odd minute livestream of the turn-based espionage title, which if you missed it has been recorded and embeddified below.


Splinter Cell Blacklist trailer: Sam Fisher is a salty ghost panther

Tom Sykes at

Sam Fisher is equally adept at sneaking, killing, and killing-while-sneaking, as the latest in Ubisoft's long-running Splinter Cell Trailer series suggests. Sneak like a sneaky Ghost, pounce like a Panther, or kill everyone like an Assault - in Blacklist, you can mix and match these methods to your murdery heart's content. Me? I'm waiting for the Zombie/Giraffe/Avinegar DLC, to see what three playstyles they bring.


Tangiers gets new details along with Kickstarter

Perry Vandell at

I’ve seen a lot of stealth games during my time on Earth, but nothing has looked quite as striking as Tangiers, a “dark 20th-century avant-garde stealth game” where words are your weapons and shadows are your protection. We caught a glimpse of the surrealist, open world game a couple months ago, but Tangiers’ new Kickstarter page has illuminated some additional details for us to examine.


Splinter Cell: Blacklist trailer puts the fear into terrorists (and scriptwriters)

Phil Savage at

Like a morally dubious, neck-bothering Batman, Sam Fisher wants to make you think he is everywhere as part of his tireless campaign to stop ALL OF THE ATTACKS. He's in you house, he's in your office, he's in your pantries, he's in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft's upcoming sneak and snap 'em up that continues to pump out unintentionally hilarious trailers.