Many of us probably remember the first title in the Thief series that hit store shelves in 1998. The game was a big hit and ended up being one of the best games to hit store shelves that year. Since then we have seen a few sequels, but none have lived up to the expectations. Now in another attempt Eidos teams up with Ion Storm to try to re-create the magic that was first created in 1998 in Thief: Deadly Shadows for the Xbox.
In this day and age gaming has gone far more for shooters then any other genre out there. Let’s face it each Publishing Company Out There either produces sports games or shooters or both. Well what makes Thief: Deadly Shadows intriguing in my eyes is that we go away from all the shooting to a older style of warfare where things are plain and simple. If you ask me it’s a nice breath of fresh air to go away from the typical shooter title.
The story in Thief: Deadly Shadow revolves around the life of Garrett an orphan who was left on the steps of a church as a young boy. "The Keepers" who take Garrett in as a young boy train him in the ability to further help their own faction’s common good. His abilities intrigue the faction quite a bit and you hear more about all of this later on in the game when the story begins to unfold. At first I thought the storyline was kind of lackluster but later on in the game the story begins to unravel and becomes quite engaging.
The game starts with a pretty basic mission that acts as a tutorial mission. Through it you will be given step by step directions on where to go, what to do, and how exactly to pull it all off. I felt as though the tutorial mode was short and to the point and was nicely put together. It gives you just enough practice to let you go through the rest of the basic understanding of what is taking place on screen.
Once you have completed the training mission it is off to the meat of the game where you will be introduced to the life of Garrett the Thief. For anyone who has played a game from the Splinter Cell series you will notice how similar the two games are. Now I can’t say that Thief makes it into the same class as SC but it does have a lot of similarities. One of the keys to success in Thief is the ability to hide in the shadows. The lighting in the game is an essential to hiding from guards and making it through the missions with the least amount of combat possible.
Speaking of combat, Ion Storm realizes that not everyone is going to be professional at stealth so they did give "some" leeway for those of us who would rather be killing enemies rather then hiding from them. Now don’t get me wrong you can’t bow and arrow your way through the game but at times if you need to let some minor aggressions out the game has some room for that. Now, playing the game like this will not satisfy most if that’s what you’re looking for; the game was made to be played in stealth like fashion and not a first/third person action game.
Now I must say there is a ton of great stuff coming out from this game. In fact I think this game really has the potential to have become top notch had a few minor problems not held it back. First off; what great game have you ever seen have load screens "during" a level. That’s right in Thief the game is split up into different zones and when you go from one zone to another you get to sit through a nice long loading process.
Other then the mid-level load process, you have some minor frame rate problems and some monotonous missions that plague the game a bit. Overall though Thief seems like it has most everything in order; solid stealth, good storyline, and interesting characters, make the gameplay quite respectable.
What’s funny about Thief is that my initial impressions were not favorable ones. At first glance I was unimpressed with much at all, but as I played through the game for a good ten to twenty minutes more I noticed that they actually had quite a bit to offer.
What really will impress most gamers out there are the lighting effects that go along with Thief: Deadly Shadows. They look a great deal like the lighting effects from Splinter Cell, which is a definite compliment to Ion Storm. Other then that the character models are solid and the environments are dark and eerie, just the way they’re supposed to be.
Unfortunately the graphics are beleaguered by the slow frame rate that drags the game down a bit. If it wasn’t for the sluggish frame rate you would be seeing a higher rating in the graphics department.
I could tell you right from the tutorial mode forward I had fun when playing Thief: Deadly Shadows. The game just is different, it’s not the same sort of shooter that we have been seeing over and over again but instead it takes the simple stealth concept and made a fun game out of it. Aside from a few missions which have some unexciting objectives, you have a game that combines fun stealth with a good storyline.
Thief: Deadly Shadows is a game that will make any fan of the series I believe quite happy. I would recommend the game to any stealth fan out there. For those of you who were not blessed with patience this one probably won’t be for you, but for those of you who like a slower paced action game you should give Thief: Deadly Shadows a try it may surprise you.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.