Square Enix sat down with the developers of Thief at E3 to give the first glimpse of the gameplay and story that players can expect in the series reboot.  Shown was a portion of the 10-minute gameplay demo that was on the E3 floor. In the demo, Garrett used the unrest in the city as a distraction to sneak into Baron Northcrest’s estate where he is tasked with stealing a gem named the “Heart of the Lion”.  In this early build, the environments were dark, shadowed, and dreary, really giving the game a feel of a city set at the turn of an industrial revolution. The setup of this mission, and the game, is that Baron Northcrest, the game’s main antagonist, is pushing the city forward into an industrial revolution- at the cost of the citizens who are impoverished and oppressed by his rule.

The gameplay is in first person like the other Thief titles with stealth as the focus in the reboot; the developers want to make sure the story is true to the “DNA” of the series. Garrett will also have new abilities, and the return of some tricks; such as water and rope arrows to help make his way through missions. One of the new moves displayed was a swoop move; this move allows the player to move quickly from the shadows to other hidings spots, it also can be used in all situations in the game.  An example given was if a guard had just caught a brief glimpse of Garrett, the player can swoop behind cover quickly.

Another new ability coming to Thief is focus. When Garrett uses focus, it allows him to see hidden items, guards, and paths.  Focus, like health in-game, does not recharge automatically, and there will be consumables scattered throughout the game for the player to collect and use.  For fans of the original Thief, and for those that want more of a challenge, Focus can be turned off via the in-game options menu, allowing the game to play more like the original.

While Thief story-wise is linear, there is no single way to play through a mission, the maps and levels will have many secret passages in them, and even these will vary depending on what type of environment each mission takes place in. There will be plenty of exploration for the player, as well as various tools that, depending on which are chosen, will affect which paths are taken. The AI in the reboot of Thief will also receive an upgrade; guards react to sounds and sudden changes in the environment, like the light going out. The player needs to take care as to which surfaces they walk on, each surface creates a different sound from Garrett’s footsteps, and these sounds will be able to tip the guards off as well. There is a limited combat system in Thief, and this is centered on attacking and parrying but the game is not focused on combat, instead relying heavily on the player to use the shadows and remain undetected.

Eidos wanted to focus on letting the player craft their own experience in Thief, focusing heavily on stealth and use of the multiple paths through missions. Thief will be released in 2014 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

About The Author

Chris C
Audio/Video Editor

Gamer, News writer, Hopefully novelist and all around awesome in human form.