This article was originally published on 14 October 1999 on the now sadly defunct gaming site 3DGaming.net.
“Log: 2300 hours. The Downwind thieves guild beat me to the punch in stealing Lord Randall’s Sapphire Vase. Word on the street has it that the two leaders of the guild are at each other’s throats about what to do with it, so a third party should help. Of course, I’m no mediator, so I’m going to steal it instead, by breaking into the Overlord’s Fancy and taking it for myself. They’re so busy arguing they’ll never know I was here…”
“Log: 2350 hours. Sneaking in through the back door took more effort than anticipated. I had to pick that lock several times to jimmy the damn thing. I made it just as the guard was coming around on his nightly shift. Sucker never even heard me coming. I snuffed the chick behind the desk and hid her body in the backroom. The patrolling guard was left to the same fate.”
This is Garrent, and this is his world. One half medieval ages, one half heavy metal, brought to you with love by Looking Glass, the pirates who gave us the Ultima Underworld series, System Shock 1 and 2, Thief, and now, Thief Gold, and the upcoming Thief 2: The Metal Age.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: Gold versions exist to drain a series of all it’s monetary value and sap the life out it. Just ask Lara.
So let’s get down to the skinny, shall we?
The graphics haven’t changed much if at all. 1997 graphics, meet 1999.Although Thief looks mighty purty at 1024 X 768 with the graphics turned up all the way up, the models still suffer from a lack of polygons, and the world itself lacks the detail it could have. But hey, when the gameplay is this good, who cares, right? I’m sure some of you do, considering the times, what with video cards pushing 15 million polygon’s a second.
The kickass sound is still there, with EAX for all you SoundBlaster users. I’m uncertain as to whether or not A3D is supported in game or not (it was in the original Thief), but the sound was pretty amazing. The doors squeaked when I opened them, women cried out in terror when I showed them the hard end of my blackjack, and guards shook in terror when I danced the YMCA.
So what’s the level like? Well…I’m currently trying to figure out how to get into the basement at this point in time. The only solution at this point seems to be jumping down what looks like a laundry chute and landing on a metal floor. And then I’m going to have to kill everyone in the hallway. Old habits die hard for this Quake 2 weaned gamer.
The concept of the level, breaking into a thieves’ guild, is a brilliant one for Thief, but unfortunately, the game suffers due to poor level design. All too often I’ve found myself wandering thinking “now what?” This can’t touch the original levels from Thief, which I don’t enjoy admitting, especially for such a well-crafted and thought out game.
As always, there’s a opening video detailing the heist. Readers beware, there are two versions of the demo, the smaller 42.41 MB has no AVI files included, so good luck trying to figure out the point of the mission. Although the separate movie file can now be downloaded, what’s the point, right? You only really need it once so you know what’s going on in the game. Deathmatch has yet to be added as of yet. Hopefully Thief 2 will present some form of multiplayer option.
So is this happy puppy worth it? Let me be frank. You can be Sally.
There’s only one level. With the opening video it’s 68.91 MB, without it’s 42.41 MB. For one level. After that it’s over.
Size: 68.91 MB
Pros: Amazing atmosphere, slightly updated graphics, a new level for Thief! Swanky intro, easy to use interface.
Cons: Only one level. Enormous file size. Dated graphics.
Bottom Line: If you liked Thief, give this a try, otherwise go play with socks.
Download Factor: 1/5
Overall Fun: 3/5