review
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POSTED 10/3/14


THIEF

Square Enix



Ooh, shiny!

It’s easy to get distracted by twinkly baubles in this first-person stealth-’em-up, and getting distracted means getting dead, as somebody yells “Stop, purloiner!” or similar and gets all bashy-uppy on your arse – and assorted other anatomical bits. You’ll then be told you’re dead. The dead’s in red for emphasis. So you’re dead and red. Bertrand Russell would be suitably flummoxed.

Anyway, you’re the singer from Midnight Oil. Having fallen on hard times as royalties have dried up and all that can be said of your political career is “What career?” you’ve turned to nicking stuff. You’re hanging with a goth chick, no doubt attracted by the sentiment that ‘Beds are Burning’. But then she finds some ritual Da Vinci Code-worshipping Jawa thing going down and gets all glassy-eyed...

To be a good thief you need stealthiness. Garrett has it down after however many oodles of years and is ace at shadow-sticking. Well, as long as nobody fires up ‘Power and the Passion’, in which case he’ll do that naff dance and get all sprung-like.

So, stick to shadows, duck, cover, sneak, extinguish flammable stuff and avoid convulsive boogie outbreaks as you push through The City (the creatives were obviously at lunch when that was named) and booty will be yours, as well as answers, even if they’re not monetarily beneficial.

Much like spoils from pinching a kid’s Halloween booty, Thief’s a mixed bag. For every reminder that you’ve as much geographical roaming freedom as Big Ben due to rigid on-railsiness, frustration at naggy ‘press this button’ popups, infuriating doors that aren’t and boggling at jarring voices in this steampunktorian universe, there’s also undeniable tension, boundless difficulty tweaking, bonus assemblage and seductive sneak vs gung-ho options.

There’s wealth for the patient in Thief, but it could do with a decent dab of Brasso.

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.