Thief’s PS4 imagining wins on style but lacks the options of modern stealther Dishonored
The strange thing with Thief on PS4 is, having Garrett perform third-person takedowns and search for loot using the now ubiquitous focus mode (seriously, Square, what gives? Court-ordered mandate?) doesn’t feel all that wrong.
Back when we saw the curtain rise on Eidos Montreal’s reimagining of that treasured Looking Glass stealth-’em-up, these seemed like less-than-elegant concessions to modern homogeneity that would dilute Thief’s charm and hardcore cred. We’ll put our hands up and say we misjudged the Canuck studio’s ability to blend old and new mechanics: third-person coshing is all right by us.
We’re given plenty of opportunity to get to grips with Thief’s unique control set in a generous chunk of gameplay set in The Stonemarket, one of seven districts in the returning City. We snoop around the master thief’s digs, an abandoned clock tower that couldn’t get more Poe: candles, crows and loot cabinets that fill up with plunder as the game progresses comprise your abode.
Then it’s out into the city to visit Basso, former safecracker turned mission-giver. He’s standing around in the local pub with four assignments waiting for us after we indulge in a spot of Steampunk parkour over the rooftops to reach him. Each mission is located within this area, which matches the original game for size but, inevitably, lacks its finesse in atmosphere and level design.
Thief’s vertically minded levels grow
from puzzling to wearisome, lacking the
mouth-watering options of modern
stealther supreme Dishonored
Achieving each objective is a matter of finding the beam you’ll need to fire a rope arrow at, climbing said rope and fiddling around in people’s drawers (not like that) or behind paintings to find their valuables. That would be fine if the journey was more fun than the destination, but Thief’s vertically minded levels grow from puzzling to wearisome, lacking the mouth-watering options of modern stealther supreme Dishonored.
The torch we carry for Thief flickers slightly with this playthrough, but it still burns: Eidos Montreal is a talented chameleon, recreating the original’s atmosphere. Show us some levels dripping in nefarious potential and we’ll be really interested.