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Thief: Deadly Shadows Review

Developer: Ion Storm Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: May 26, 2004 Also On: PC and Xbox

If Sam Fisher lived in the Middle Ages, he might have very well been named Garrett. Then again, our modern-day spy might just be a long-lost relative of Thief’s Garrett, a master-thief that uses stealth, in a similar fashion as Fisher, in order to achieve his objectives. You have to get bread on the table, right?

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Thief has game elements in common with Splinter Cell. Running makes more sound than walking, making you more prone to being caught. Surfaces, such as metal, will also increase the risk of detection. Pick locks, Fisher-style, by finding “sweet spots�. Turn your control stick until the vibration in a single location is the greatest.

Sneaking up and black-jacking enemies is more meaningful than assaults that blow your cover. After doing your Fisher move, dispose of the body. Guards will become alarmed of your presence if bodies are found.

Stealing loot, among other things, is required in completing objectives. Most levels will be fetch quests, but the parts in-between them, involving some mystery work and stealth-action, are worth your time, despite the otherwise tiresome missions.

There are quite a few escape/distraction goodies to select from. You have fireworks (distracts guards), smoke bombs, oil (guards slip on it), water arrows (darkens rooms with firelight), and moss arrows (softens steps on hard surfaces).

Portals take you from one area in any given level to another area. Blue mist signifies the location of a portal, all of which are loading areas. The loading itself will take anywhere from thirty seconds to a minute.

Thief has some major glitches left unchecked. While these aren’t Enter the Matrix-fatal, where you lose all of your progress, it is frustrating for what is meant to be a top-notch game. Sometimes the start menu will go haywire, displaying gibberish, in place of “Gear�, “Goals�, “Save�, etc. Characters will rarely, but indeed have, gotten stuck in hallways, proving computer players aren’t agile at all.

The shortcomings might not exactly outweigh the positives, but the overall lack of polish affects the gaming experience present in this title. The graphical errors, slow load times, and dimwitted artificial intelligence turn what could have been a contender in the stealth-action genre, to a tolerable alternative.

Graphics: 5
Sound: 8.5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 6.5
Final: 6.2
Written by Kyle Review Guide