Published on April 11th, 2014 | by Mica Rose0
Thief PlayStation 4 Review
Despite not hearing much about Thief leading up to its release, I decided to pre-order it, not only because a good friend of mine enthused about the originals but for a PS4 game it was unusually cheap… now I know why.
The game has very few redeeming qualities. The feature that it has been praised most highly for is the ability for the player to customise the game to adapt to their play style. These include ‘Chapter Only Saves’ and ‘Ironman’ where the player dies after one hit. Personally I think they would have benefited from adding choices to make combat easier, as when you’re spotted and have to defend yourself against more than one person, your only chance is to run and hide.
Unfortunately the tale of Garrett (the lead character – so forgettable it took me a while to remember his name) is a generic one. There’s no heart to the story and it feels like the same old formula that I’ve seen many times before: take down bad guy and deputy bad guy for no apparent reason. However, there was one chapter that did stand out where you visit an insane asylum called Moira. It felt out of place in the game, but for good reasons. It demonstrated how scary games can actually be, by using simple yet effective techniques. All it took to send shivers down my spine was for something to appear that wasn’t there a second before, in an apparently deserted room. This, along with sneaking past the creepy and deadly inhabitants of the asylum, made the chapter an intense highlight of the game.
The game uses the square button like a Swiss army knife. You use it for so much that it’s frustrating when the functions overlap. So often I wanted to loot a bit of coin, only to find myself peeking round the corner of the cabinet it was sitting on, seemingly staring at a blank wall. It seems like such a waste when other buttons had no function at all. Jumping from one ledge to another can be temperamental at times too; you have to time it perfectly otherwise you will fall through the tiniest of gaps to your death. The tricks and traps such as lock picking and pressure pads were interesting at first, but they soon get repetitive and offer very little challenge in way of an obstacle.
One of the more frustrating aspects of the game is that you can’t chapter select from the menu, you have to find the starting point on the map. This wouldn’t matter too much if the map was easy and quick to get around, but it’s not. It’s divided into various areas, with no real indication on how to get from one to another, just head in that direction and hope for the best. I understand the benefits of making a game challenging for the player; however I feel like Eidos Montreal have crossed the line into tedious, making the experience unenjoyable. It also didn’t take long for me to adjust the settings to make the screen brighter; the setting is so bleak and grey that not only is it difficult to see, but rather than adding to the atmosphere it makes the game all the more dull.
The final nail in the coffin for this game is the companion app. I paid £2.99 for the privilege of keeping track of collectibles, statistics and secret areas. Ironically, I felt robbed when I found that only one of these features worked, and the information that actually was provided was far from accurate. Many people have experienced the same problem and no fix or refund appears to be in sight.
If you enjoyed the original Thief game, you may enjoy this, but I fear that you’re more likely going to feel like the franchise has been ruined. There are many other titles that do stealth, and every other aspect of this game, much better.
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