Xbox One/360 Review: Thief

Is this the sequel that fans have been waiting almost a decade for?

This is the first Thief game I have played and I honestly don’t know what to make of it. On one hand, I love the stealing, sneaking and atmosphere of the game. But on the other hand, it has a ridiculous story, repetitive combat and poor AI.

Xbox One screenshot

The story follows Garrett, the master thief as he steps from the shadows into the city ruled by the oppression of the Baron’s government, along with a plague that is killing its citizens and a bloody revolution hanging in the balance. Sounds like Dishonored a bit, doesn’t it? That’s the feeling I got the second I started playing, it has the same look and feel to it but with added stealth elements for stealing like picking door locks, safe locks, putting out candles and lights, leaping from shadow to shadow and a “Assassin’s Creed” version of Eagle vision which highlights objects for stealing, climbing and enemies near to your position. It does disorientate though, so use it sparingly is what I would recommend.

The city is paved with only a few ways to your objective, so you don’t exactly have free roam when it comes to missions and side quests, which is a shame. The climbing controls work well for the most part, it’s just picklocking that becomes repetitive quickly as it’s so basic and yet so time consuming. Combat should be avoided at all costs and in some cases, being spotted will make you replay the section again anyway, but seriously avoid it if you can because its clunky, the AI is dumb and predictable, not to mention the combat is seriously dull to boot.

Xbox 360 screenshot

I don’t think this is the reboot or sequel that fans wanted; it just doesn’t live up to the hype that came when it was announced. It tries to impress, perhaps a little too hard but it’s far too rough around the edges to reach its potential. Besides the main game, there are challenge rooms where you aim for a high score on a map and post it to the online leaderboards, it’s a nice touch but there’s already paid DLC for it, which is always frowned upon.

I was lucky to review both the 360 and Xbox One versions and I have to say that while the 360 version is pushing the system far, it does look dated. The Xbox One version is much better looking with greater facial animations, better lighting and shadows, but it’s stuck at 900p while the PS4 version triumphs again at 1080p. It’s a shame, it’s not the end of the world but it’s just another nail in the coffin in the resolution wars.

The Verdict

Overall, I did enjoy Thief and I do recommend giving it a go if you are a fan of the series, but lower your expectations. It’s not the reboot or sequel that the series deserves, the combat is dull and repetitive, picklocking gets old quickly and the AI isn’t up to par. Despite that, Thief does have some good moments that are worth checking out, just as long as you are prepared to overlook its many flaws…