Thief: Deadly Shadows - XB - Preview
E3 2003 - First Look
Garrett dwells in darkness. It is his ally, his security zone; from darkness he strikes, and usually he wins, even though the odds never favor him. Ah, such is the life of a master thief.
Thief III, a pending release from Eidos Interactive for the PC and Xbox, was demonstrated at E3 in Los Angeles, and the build (slated for a Winter 2003 release) showed a return to the earlier roots of the series.
Thief II introduced technology into the series and seemed a bit at odds with the original storyline. But the latest evolution of the story has Garrett slinking back into the shadows, and doing what he does best – stealing from the rich and giving to himself.
This game features stealth gameplay where the slightest hint of light, or a loud whisper of a foot slapping gently against stone could alert the enemy to your presence. Other features include an improved AI what allows the guards to see, hear, become suspicious, track, fight and chase you. The dynamic lighting and shadow system are a big part of the graphical elements of this game, and care has been taken to make them an intricate part of the overall gameplay. The mapboard is huge, and Garrett can pick the locks of and break into any building. NPCs are also fair game.
The gameplay also features solid animation. Garrett’s world is viewed from the first-person perspective (the hands working to pick a lock look amazing), but eavesdropping on a guards’ conversation is very well done. Guards move very realistically, gesture and actually move their mouths in rhythm with the dialog.
The sound elements, important in a stealth game, are crisp and clean.
Thief III is a dark-looking game but even in the shadows, there are distinct objects. This game looks to be a return to the format that made the original story and program one of the better ones on the market in its day.