By Cameron M. Bray ’16
6.5 out of 10
In a dark, Victorian, steampunk city, a plague runs rampant through the streets.
The rich prosper in peaceful isolation, free from infection, while the poor struggle suffer the yoke of oppressive guardsmen and a tyrant.
Enter “Dishonored” by Arcane Studios.
I mean, “Thief” developed by Eidos Montreal, published by Square Enix—a first-person stealth game for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Hence, my first complaint: the stories are so similar that “Thief’s” story feels clichéd and unoriginal.
Both feature oppressive noblemen, corrupt guardsmen, a once-prosperous city and virulent plague.
Specifically, “Thief’s” story focuses on Garrett, a master thief, as the title may have implied, whose kleptomania compels him to steal anything that is not nailed down.
Garrett is paired with his former apprentice, Erin, to undertake a job from their contact named Basso.
The job goes south.
A year later, The Gloom strikes the city, whereupon Baron Northcrest puts the city into lockdown.
Garrett must uncover the secrets while simultaneously seeking solvency.
Overall, the story is dull, un-engaging and generally lacks direction.
All the cutscenes run at 30 frames per second on the PS4 version, which I was playing, and on the Xbox One.
Frankly, the cutscenes were visually-jarring and painful to watch.
The dialogue was so grumbly and hushed that I had to turn subtitles on, which still did not help since they did not synchronize with the dialogue onscreen.
Moreover, the in-game dialogue was hilariously broken.
Guards would repeat their lines incessantly. Sometimes before they had even finished speaking.
For example, a guard kept repeatedly asking one of his chums: “What is the penalty for—what is the penalty for—what is the penalty for the third offense?”
That “Thief” does well is stealth.
Sneaking feels natural, and the swoop ability makes Garrett feel like an awesome ninja.
Also, the light-shadow mechanics work well.
It was always clear when Garrett was visible and when he was hidden.
However, the claustrophobic level design often made sneaking difficult.
And when I did get caught, there was little I was able to do besides surrender; retaliation was futile.
Frustrating, yes, but the game’s frequent and lengthy loading times gave me plenty of time to walk away, brew a cup of tea and calm down.
In case you did not catch that, they are unmercifully long.
As a whole, “Thief” is a treasure chest at the bottom of the sea—unpolished and unrefined with a solid core.
And for that, it receives a 6.5 out of 10.