Confession: I was initially dubious about Square Enix's old-school Thief modding contest. It seemed, at the time, like a somewhat cynical attempt at getting Thief's fan-base on-side. In practice, of course, the reasons are less important than the fact it highlighted some exceptional work from a dedicated community. The Dark Mod is an excellent game that neatly captures the feeling of the original Thief series, and so it's fitting that one of its more recent missions has been named as the competition's winner.
So far, the only real world example of AMD’s new graphics API, Mantle, is some less-than-convincing performance in Battlefield 4. Now though, AMD have teamed up with Eidos and are set to release a new update to the latest Thief game, wrestling it away from the Microsoft clutches of DirectX and giving it some Mantle lovin'.
For the uninitiated Mantle is a rival graphics layer AMD have created to replace DirectX on their Graphics Core Next graphics cards. Its promise is of giving developers much closer access to the hardware they’re coding for, and reducing the processor overheads that have recently become synonymous with Microsoft’s API.
Speedrunning a game like the new Thief sometimes means knowing when to slow down. Youtuber prenatual has set a pretty high standard with the complete playthrough documented above, a two-hour, 1300-point custom speedrun with no kills, alerts, or knockouts.
Tangiers is one of the most bizarre, interesting looking games to come along in ages, and new screenshots show that strangeness is turned right up to 11 and stapled there. Inspired by DADAist art, Tangiers revels in the off-the-wall weirdness of its environments—and after years of gray/brown military shooters, the truly strange and beautiful is quite a breath of fresh air.
Thief is back. We've played the reboot from Eidos Montreal and seen what Thief looks like in 2014. But what does the original Thief, released in 1998, look like today? We decided to find out.
With the right mod installed, a modern PC can easily run the classic 1999 version of Thief, Thief Gold, at 1080p. But we played Thief Gold on the Large Pixel Collider, which is never satisfied with 1080p. The LPC worked its pixel-pushing magic to render Thief at 3840x2160, and we took a ton of screenshots along the way. This is The City sharper and higher-res than you've ever seen it before.
The Large Pixel Collider—our "ridiculously overpowered because we can" super machine—considered mining Bitcoin for a while, but with that mountain crumbling, it's taken to indiscriminately swiping shiny objects in Thief. We sneaked into its clock tower lair to capture some video at 1440p with the settings cranked as high as they go.
Thief has a brilliant options menu. Visual aids like loot-glint, objective markers and object highlighting can be disabled for a score multiplier. You can even turn off Garrett's new "focus" mode, and guard alert indicators, and then turn the whole thing into a sneaky roguelike by activating Iron Man mode. Die, or fail an objective, and the whole run comes to an end. Sounds like a perfect challenge for our Thief reviewer, Chris Thursten, who streamed the start of his Iron Man adventure last night. How did he get on? The video is here.
In this week's episode, we talk all about Thief (read our review!), Wolfenstein: The New Order (read our preview!), lockpicking minigames, Broken Age, the Oculus Rift, and "focus" modes. Plus, we give our take on the end of Irrational (read our farewell) and use the word "intrinsic" a whole bunch.
Hold 'F' to slow down time and listen to PC Gamer Podcast #373 - Hocus Focus Mode.
Thief – the series – has been many things. It is the grandfather of stealth on the PC, part of a design heritage that links Quake to System Shock 2, System Shock 2 to Deus Ex, and so on. It stands for the idea that ‘first person’ doesn’t imply ‘shooter’: the original BioShock might be its great-grandchild, but Amnesia and Gone Home are Thief’s descendents too.
It is the actualisation of a very specific fantasy – the outlaw shadow, Robin Hood by way of Batman – and more broadly representative of a particular type of fantasy, a gothic marriage of Hexen’s para-medieval grotesquerie and ’90s-era steampunk. For some players, Thief is about precision – perfect sequences of evasion and distraction forged with much hammering of the quick load key. For others, it’s a game of improvisation, gambits, brawls and hair’s breadth escapes.
For many, it’s about atmosphere. The sense of being an intruder. The latent threat of an Auldale mansion at night, the mysteries of an underground city, the terrors of The Cradle. Thief’s settings are a showcase for exemplary art and level design talent, a legacy that begins with Looking Glass Studios and ends with The Dark Mod, with the gaming community.
I'd forgotten Thief was being released next week. In fact, you could say its launch really snuck up on me. At least, you could if you didn't want everyone within earshot to groan, sign and throw heavy objects of you. Instead, it's probably best to keep quiet and watch this launch trailer, which goes over some of the plot points that are motivating Garrett as he robs his way through a city in turmoil.
We're big fans of The Dark Mod, a fan remake of the original Thief game that won our 2013 mod of the year award. Square Enix, which will soon publish the Thief reboot, is a fan as well. It just announced a partnership with Amazon for a Thief: Gold modding competition, and has directed participants to The Dark Mod if they're looking for helpful modding resources.
We know Garrett feels right at home in dark places. In advance of Thief's launch later this month, Eidos Montreal has released a complete mission playthrough video that shines a light on a few of the dim alleys and dangerous perches that will populate the upcoming reboot to the classic series.
Thief is a game about a thief. Not just any thief either, but a master thief. That means he's silent, untraceable, and likely has permanent spinal damage from all that time spent crouching. All of which (well, except maybe the back injuries) are in direct opposition to the development of Thief, which has been loud enough to rouse the elderly statesmen whose jewellery box you've been rifling through.
Case in point: the new trailer, which takes six minutes to fully detail almost every aspect of how the game plays. Criminals would normally need a Crimewatch episode to get that sort of exposure.
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 new Thief game is coming out soon, and if you're rocking an oldish PC you're probably wondering whether or not you'll be able to play it. If only there was some way to judge whether your Pentium 4 with 128mb ram and integrated graphics will be able to run Garrett's latest pilfery adventure. Good news: there is. Bad news: your Pentium would be lucky to run to the end of the street. Eidos Montreal have revealed the game's system requirements, which I've stashed beneath the break.
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.
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.
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, 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.
Mountains of lofty expectations and nostalgia-drenched skepticism fell upon the Thief reboot as soon as it was unveiled. Eidos Montreal's upcoming stealth-em-up will attempt to revitalize the lauded PC franchise that last saw an entry in 2004. So far, Tom is among the skeptical due to various deviations from the classic games, among other problems. However, one of the design elements not part of the original series will no longer be present in this iteration.