View Full Version : Comparative review of TDS with previous games. Final rateing 6 out of 10.

9th Jun 2004, 07:26
Well, so far, I haven’t yet finished the game. However, I’m far enough in, I think, to do a full comparison evaluation of TDS. This is sort of a historical review of how the game rates. I hope this will fully explain why I am giving the game a relatively low rating of 6. That number is subjective and is an overall rating. This includes such things as graphics, sound, how immersive the game is, replay ability, stability, and many more such factors. Any items that are spoilers, I will attempt to place in spoiler tags.

First you had TDP. This was the first of its genre (that I’m aware of.) It was completely innovative. From the moment I tried out the demo, on a friends insistence, I was completely, and totally hooked on the game. The main story line was well thought out, and you were led into it in a subtle manner. There was never any doubt that Garrett was, first and foremost, a Thief, and only saved the world because the main bad guy forced him into it. The graphics were good for their time, and the sounds were just plain awesome. It was a totally new look at the first person shooter, and generated a whole new category, the first person sneaker. On a scale of 1 to 10, I gave this game a 10, an extremely hard rating to get from me. It was totally beyond anything that I had ever encountered. They also introduced a “gold” version of the game, later, that made the story line even more subtle and complete, IMHO. No major changes, just a few missions that were originally cut from the game prior to the first release. A few engine tweaks were also supposed to be present, but I never noticed anything myself.

The second game, TMA, was announced, and I was salivating over it long before it actually hit the shelves. It was the absolutely first game that I had ever camped out a software store to get. Luckily, I had a friend that worked in one at that time, and was able to get him to set a copy aside for me. Again, I had downloaded the demo, and was madly anticipating its final release. Once more, the Thief team had outdone itself. They took the basic structure of the first game, and renewed it with a new story line. It was just as well thought out as the first game. They even introduced the story line in an even more subtle manner. Again, there was no doubt that Garrett was primarily a Thief, and that he only saved the world because he was forced into it. They introduced new opponents and equipment into the game as well. This expanded on the options available to you. They only removed one piece of equipment and 3 types of opponents. They removed the undead, which I greatly missed. Just thinking of the Return to the Haunted Cathedral mission gives me the shivers. They also removed the burricks. These I didn’t miss all that much, really. I wasn’t as down on them as a lot of people were, but didn't really miss them either. The final opponent removed was the mages, who only made a single appearance in the “gold” version of TDP. Again, the game received a rating of 10. They had taken the awesome first game, and built upon it, making it even better.

I was greatly anticipating the release of the 3rd game in the series when I heard that LGS was closing its doors. I was on the verge of tears, I’m not the least ashamed to admit. When I heard that Ion Storms had purchased the rights to the game, I became extremely nervous, but hopeful. When Ion Storms announced that they were hiring as many of the original creators of the first 2 games as they could, I began to feel a lot less nervous. It was then announced that Ion Storms would be designing the game for both the PC and a console system. Along with many other fans, I became distinctly afraid of what this meant for the game. During an interview, (I devoutly wish I could remember the exact interview, maybe one of you remember it,) Ion Storm tried to lay these fears to rest. They announced that the fears were groundless as the game would be designed primarily around the PC, then altered and converted for the console system (at the time I didn’t know which console system it would be.) As far as I know, this made everyone feel a lot better about the prospects of Thief 3. It would have many of the same designers. It would be just as flexible (being designed for the PC first and the console second.) It would eventually be released. More than 2 years go by and everyone is breathlessly waiting for its eventual release. Among many others, I’m sure, I constantly checked all of the information sites, trailers, and interviews I could find on it. Finally, the game was released, I was waiting at the software store for their daily delivery, it arrives, and I buy the very first copy of TDS sold in my city. I rushed it home to install and play, and was faced with the final reality. This time, the game falls short. It only receives a rating of 6. The exact reasons I will explain below.

1) First and foremost, it is obvious that the game was designed first for a console system (the X-Box as it turns out,) and then set up for the PC. Everything about the game just screams the limitations you get even from modern console systems. Each map is extremely limited in size. The configuration options are sadly lacking. The controls are designed almost solely around a mouse (or joystick,) and a few keys. Sure, the PC has some shortcut keys (direct weapon selection, direct item selection, etc..,) but primarily it is obvious that the controls are set up for the limited buttons on a console controller. Even the save game files assume the lack of a keyboard (you cannot “name” the files so you know what each one is.) This leads me to conclude that everyone was completely mislead by that interview I mentioned above. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here and assume that the plans either changed, or the interviewer somehow got it backwards by accident. I would hate to think that they actually lied to all those devoted Thief fans out there. If it was done the way they claimed it would be, most of these issues would not exist on the PC.

2) Even considering that my PC, as it was at the time I purchased the game, was state of the art. It turns out that my video card, which was barely a year old, just could not play the game. They make the game so extremely discriminate as far as technical requirements go, yet turn around and make the game so limited by the limitations of a console system. Luckily, I had the money to order (via next-day expedited Federal Express delivery,) another video card that the game would accept. So, while I was the first in my home town to own the game, it is unlikely that I was the first to actually play it :(.

3) Now I got to see the graphics and I was extremely impressed. It had the same overall “look”, IMHO, that the first 2 games had, only a lot better. The game receives my highest marks as far as the graphics go.

4) The sound, also, was extremely excellent. Again, I got a lot of the same feel that the first 2 games gave me, where music was concerned. I have a few issues with sound propagation in this game, but nothing really major. Pre-set conversations in the game just do not seem to travel like they are supposed too. Two people are having a conversation, supposedly in normal tones, and in at least one case an argument supposedly in raised voices, and a guard mumbling on the other side of them prevents me from hearing what is being said. This could be just a bug that they will, hopefully, fix in the patch. I’m holding judgment on it until after the patch is released.

5) The story line, itself is excellent, however they seem to have lost the prime focus of the series, specifically, Garrett’s personality. In the first 2 games Garrett was primarily a thief, and a reluctant hero a very far second. In the 3rd game, while he does make comments about being a thief, and wanting profit, the game makes his real primary occupation that of a hero. The primary factor that makes me feel this way would definitely be considered a spoiler, thus I am putting it in a spoiler tag below. This total personality shift brings the rating for this game down, IMHO. In TDS it seems that the designers said, “This is the main story line,” and then designed the thieving missions around that, with a few things on the side to round it out. While in the first 2 games, they said, “Here are the thieving missions,” and then fit the story line into and around those missions. In the first 2 games, he became involved with the main story through a “paying” commission. Like Han Solo, he was in it for the money.
This really becomes apparent right at the start of the real game. You have the tutorial, then the single pure thieving mission it leads in too, the 4 mini-missions (get to your fence, get past the thugs, get to the new fence, get to the meeting with the Keepers,) then you get the first real cut scene. The Keepers want Garrett to steal 2 items. What do they offer him? Not money, but access to the Keeper prophecies. The Garrett I know would not have cared about the prophecies, he doesn’t trust the Keepers, and their secret societies and meetings. He would have wanted cash, or some form of “real” favor. A favor that is real to Garrett, not to the Keepers. I would have expected Garrett to tell the Keepers to go get stuffed, and Artemis to find some way to talk him into it.
6) TMA took the first game, added a bunch of equipment to make the play more flexible, and only removed 1 item from the game. That was the Holy Water, which wasn’t needed anyway as the new game did not have any undead in it. This game, adds 2 items (the Climbing Gloves and the Gas Grenades,) and takes away many items. These items include: Rope Arrows, Gas Mines (not Grenades,) Vine Arrows (like Rope Arrows but stick to different surfaces,) Invisibility Potions, Slow Fall Potions, Beastling Eggs (don’t remember, off hand, exactly what those are called,) & Speed Potions. The game actually shrank in flexibility, instead of growing. I would have been more accepting if it had just maintained the same level, as there is such a thing as becoming too flexible. This is probably related to problem number 1 I listed above. That is, the limitations of a console system. I’m not sure of this though, it could just be that the designers didn’t want the players to have too many ways around the obstacles they were designing.

7) During the 2 years of discussions that went on during development of the game, it was stated that TDS would include a free style city section, where Garrett could ply his chosen trade irrespective of the ongoing story line. IMHO, this was a very exciting announcement. However, the final result is little more than a hindrance to how immersive the game is. Most of the time, the city is an annoying way of moving from mission to mission. While I like the basic idea, they went nowhere near far enough in execution. Breaking a sprawling city down into zones is perfectly understandable. However, they then turned around and made those zones plot limited. While, to a certain extent, this can make sense, given certain aspects of the story line, it does, mostly, negate the benefits to having such a setup in the first place. They did this to such an extent as to eliminate any resemblance to free style that the city could have had. When you add in that the city is little more than an avenue for getting from one story line mission to another, you come close to totally destroying how immersive the game could be. When you add in that there just isn’t that much that you can do in the city, well, it becomes rather redundant and repetitive, AKA very boring. Even with the small size of each zone (a symptom of their console addiction,) if they had populated it with enough buildings that could be broken in to, with a more dynamic loot & item re-spawn system, and with an AI movement and replacement system that is more subtle and makes more sense, then this would have been different. They also insisted on pretty much eliminating the “Thieves’ Highway” that many fell in love with in the TMA mission “Life of the Party.” Sure, there is some vertical mobility in the game, but it is extremely limited. After giving it much thought, I can only conclude that the designers didn’t wish to mess with the extra work of adding in above ground obstacles, or handling the problem of designing above ground zone change interfaces. The design of the zone changes also greatly reduce how immersive the game is. That glowing, blue, swirling fog interface makes it look like a “game”!! The least they could have done, since the changes are all in doorways, hallways, or tunnels, is to have the zone interface invisible, and before a “turn” in the hallway (or tunnel, or whatever,) then, on the other side, if you turn around, you see the same type of hallway with a turn in the opposite direction. This would take a little more map space, would have reduced the work on the graphics cards, and would have greatly increased how immersive the game is.

8) Adding in the fences and the equipment dealers was also a good move, and gave the game a more “real” feeling. Adding in that fences only buy part of your loot, and dealers don’t carry everything you need just enhances this. However, they made the system far too simplistic. Breaking the loot down into 3 categories, and then making every fence only interested in 2 of those, just detracts from the game, IMHO. They should have broken it down into difficulty of re-selling instead of type of item. For example, a one of a kind painting would be extremely difficult to sell. However, a simple gold ring would be easy. Then give them a “class” such as they have now (though only 3 classes is still too simple.) Some fences wouldn’t handle anything above a certain level of difficulty, some would handle the more difficult items, but only of a certain class, etc. I am also wondering why, when you steal generic cash, you would have to go to your fence to sell it for cash? If you steal a money pouch with 25g in it, you should just have that money added to your total. The equipment dealers are also too simple. Every equipment dealer sells an unlimited supply of every item, except the elemental arrows and the specialty items (practice locks, climbing gloves, etc.) Every dealer will sell one, and only one, type of elemental arrow, and then they have an unlimited supply of that type. Either pre-set each days stock in every store or make it random each day when you first load that zone. For example, one store would have both water and moss arrows, but they would only have 4 water arrows and 11 moss arrows on hand for that day. The next day, they may have 10 fire arrows, and 15 water arrows. This would make the game feel much more “alive” and increase how immersive it is.

9) When I started playing, the amount of loot I was finding gave me a distinct thrill, I must admit. However, as the game progressed it seriously detracted from the game. I’m sure there are players out there chortling over the 40 thousand in gold they have, but it makes the game, even on Expert level, much too easy. For example, as soon as I got to a fence and started selling my loot, I was able to completely stock up on the equipment available to me. I could go through the missions without worrying about conserving my resources. Even with this, I still had plenty of money left over. In the first 2 games, a single mission haul of 2000 gold was considered rich. Yet, in TDS, a main mission regularly has more, and usually, much more than this. When you add in the miscellaneous loot you can collect through side quests and city actions, you end up with plenty of money for whatever you want. There is no time when you say to yourself, do I want to get 5 more water arrows, or do I want to get a couple of gas arrows? You just buy it all. If they had spent more time balancing the loot availability with the equipment costs, then that wouldn’t be the case, and they could have removed the limit to how many of each item you can have. The fact that most (not all,) equipment items that spawn in the city zones will reappear in the same location the next day, whether you grab them or not, just makes this worse (note: this information is given to you in a loading screen tip, and thus, IMHO, doesn’t constitute a spoiler.) Some items are abundant enough (respective of the amount you are allowed to have,) that you don’t have to conserve them at all, you can use them all during a mission, secure in the knowledge that you can restock fully without spending a single gold. If you keep track of locations and amounts, like I do, you can even have an accurate number of the items you can use in a mission for free. Many would complain, I’m sure, if they just removed these (or even made it so that they don’t re-spawn every day,) but they could have made the number and locations a little more random. Some days, the moss arrows would be sparse, and others they would be abundant.

10) During the long wait for the game to be released, promises were made about the improved AI. However, while there are definite improvements, in some respects, it again falls short of the promises. Now, I do not expect them to be completely real, but I would expect a little more logic in their reactions. As one poster pointed out on a forum, if a guard is supposed to be watching the treasury, when he comes around and that treasury is suddenly empty, he would do considerably more than look around a bit and then forget about it. If a locked door is found open, most of the time the guard just comments and becomes a little more alert for a while. Another item that was sort of promised (or warned about at least,) was that the AI would have the ability to re-light light sources (torches, candles, etc.) I have only found one instance in the game where something similar to this happens. Without spoiling anything, I believe, I think it is safe to say that there is one NPC in the game that will correct a problem that Garrett creates. All in all, they are better than in the first 2 games, just not as good as I was expecting. I have to say that this raises it’s rating a bit, even though I was expecting more.

11) The game is just too buggy. With any new game I expect some bugs. After all, there is no such thing as total perfection. However, I do expect game designers to at least “try” and test their products, and fix any problems they find. I have actually done beta testing myself, and I understand how time consuming it can become. However, there are so many bugs in the game, which are just glaringly obvious, it seems as if they didn’t do any testing at all. I am not going to list them all here. One, they are far too numerous, and two, there is a much better place to list them (and I have already listed many of them there.) The first 2 games also had bugs, but there were nowhere near the number as there is in TDS. Also, they were not any truly crippling bugs involved. This game has plenty of those. I also find Ion Storm’s and Eidos’ lack of communication regarding reported bugs extremely disturbing. The fact that the majority of the development team was fired after TDS was released also concerns me. They may call it laid off or discontinued, but it basically means they are no longer employed, and thus are not around to work on patches. IMHO, this sort of tells me that Ion Storms couldn’t give a rat’s posterior about any bugs that might exist. While I like to believe that they don’t actually feel that way, it sure is the way it looks.

12) In the matter of difficulty, TDS is sadly lacking. The first 2 games didn’t even include an “Easy” setting. The levels of difficulty for the first 2 games, thought titled Normal, Hard, & Expert, could really be labeled Fairly Difficult, A Real Challenge, and Dang Near Impossible. TDS has Easy, Normal, Hard, & Expert. These can be renamed to Laughably Easy, Easy Enough to Cause a Chortle, Pretty Darn Easy, & Still Quite Easy. There really isn’t much than can differentiate between the levels of difficulty in any real sense. I’ve played every mission so far on both Easy and Expert, and find them all to be almost completely identical. In the first two games, there was one setting in the 3 levels that were who you could and couldn’t kill. On Easy there were no restrictions, on Hard you couldn’t kill any non-combatants, and on Expert you weren’t allowed to kill anyone. In TDS, the worst I’ve faced so far, and then only on Expert, was that I couldn’t kill non-combatants. In TMA there was even a mission where you couldn’t do “anything” that would give away your presence. No black jacking, no killing, you cannot be seen, etc… I can accept the addition of an Easy level of difficulty, but the other 3 should have maintained the same level difficulty. Also, I find it poor judgment that they did not include an “over all” difficulty setting for the game. You cannot make the city zones and the side thefts any more difficult than they are. This has an extremely serious impact the replay ability of the game.

13) The physics of the game are very much improved, for the most part. There are things in TDS that actually work worse now than they did in the first 2 games, but over all it has been improved. The extremely unrealistic way in which unconscious or dead bodies fall detracts from how immersive the game is. The fact that some objects, such as a sealed (and thus, presumably full,) barrel will bounce around when I bump it, yet I have to shove against a small box for several seconds just to move it a couple of inches seems to be a little off, IMHO. All 3 games seem to lack the ability to gently set an object back down, yet TDS is even worse about it than the other 2. In the first 2 games, supposedly, you could crouch, look straight down, and then press the drop button to set something down quietly. In practice, it still made noise enough to attract a guard from across the room. TDS lacks even the suggestion that this is possible. In TDS, though, the propagation of sound for dropped items seems to be handled better. Thrown (or fired from the bow,) objects mostly move in a much more believable manner, though the game seems to want to make things that are perfectly possible impossible. For an example, crouching on a canopied bed, it is almost impossible to throw a candle stick across the room. While in reality this is perfectly possible, the game keeps making that “uh-uh” sound that says you can’t do it. Meanwhile, once you do succeed in throwing that candle stick, it will fly and then fall in a more accurate model. Though there are still instances that are just too strange to believe. I wish I had captured an AVI (or something,) of the time I threw a candle stick at a metal door to try and draw someone off. It flew and landed perfectly upright on top of the door. It is extremely difficult to jump forward, then mantle, and I believe the physics engine is to blame, though I could be wrong. I’ve succeeded at this a couple of times, but mostly I end up just falling.

14) The actions that Garrett can take, some as part of the physics engine, some as part of the game design, are also worse than in the first 2 games. The act of leaning is a prime example. While I like that they gave some thought, and programmed in, the exact movements that Garrett uses while doing this, the choice they chose in what he actually does shows poor judgment. In TDS Garrett leans left or right as if he doesn’t have any sort of concern about how visible he will become. He makes no attempt to keep as much of his body as possible where it was and makes no attempt to maintain his center of gravity in the same place. As a matter of fact, if you hit your lean key, he moves almost his entire body over to the new location. He is “supposed” to be “leaning,” instead it’s more of a shift, and there is little or no stealth involved. This makes it impossible to lean over a ledge without falling off. Also, the ability to lean forwards has been completely removed. When he tosses a piece of equipment, he does so, again, in a manner that I found a little unrealistic. If you watch what you do when you toss something (a flash bomb, a mine, or whatever,) it’s a matter of him just flipping his left (or in some rare cases his right,) hand sending the item generally where he is looking. It would seem more likely, especially considering he’s not trying to hurl the object with great strength, for him to toss the object from the center of his chest outwards. Much like you would throw a Frisbee, but without the spin. This would give someone a lot more control on where the object goes. It would also allow him to throw an object even when up against a wall (and not hugging the wall.) As it stands now, if you are against a wall (primarily if the wall is on your left,) the game either won’t allow you to throw the object, or the object hits the wall and goes off right in your face. I do, however, like his ability to “hug” a wall, though they should have added in the ability to ease around a corner that way. I have no real complaints about replacing ropes with wall climbing. Wall climbing is more versatile in many respects. I don’t like that you cannot seem to “jump” off the wall, like you could the ropes though. I really love the auto climb/descend ladders function of TDS, I don’t know how many times I would end up jumping all around a ladder (or rope for that matter,) in the first 2 games without quite hitting it just right. Mantling, aside from the loss of ability to jump forward then mantle, seems to work much the same, though I wish, like in some other games, that all 3 had made a separate mantle/climb button. Then you would only have to jump when you want to mantle onto something that is higher up than you can reach. There is one other respect where the first 2 games had the edge. They would let you mantle onto something that was short (but still too high to just step onto.) TDS forces me to jump onto those things. I’ve spent hours trying to mantle onto a ledge about the height of my knees without success. I ended up have to jump forward onto it. Finally, I disagree strongly with their decision to remove Garrett’s ability to drop inventory items such as keys and his ability to pick up and “save” notes, scrolls, books, etc…

15) The lock picking interface is a vast improvement over the first 2 games. It is much more intensive, yet remains simple for the player to use. It also makes more sense in terms of the actual mechanics involved with picking a lock. The circular cylinder graphics do detract from how immersive the game is, but it is something that I could live with. It would have been much better to display it all with the movement of his hands and the sounds made. As it stands now, I can almost perform the task with just those symbols. I also don’t like the fact that in TDS you cannot chose “not” to use a key to a door. If you have the key, you automatically use it. There is no guessing if you have a key, or which key is the right one. It’s just a case of, you have the key, so you use it. You also cannot re-lock a door behind you. That is one thing I really liked about the first 2 games. It may not have been necessary, but it allowed me to “pretend” that I was leaving people confused as to “how” items disappeared out of a locked room :lol:.

16) I’m actually on the fence where the HUD is concerned. I like the overall look of the first 2 games much better. With the little shields for your health, your light gem, etc… I do, however, much prefer the compass around the light gem of TDS. I really like the little gear and lock symbols around equipment and weapons. I do not like that the health status disappears. I also don’t like that the message text is so large and intrusive. I also like the ability to have a piece of equipment, and a weapon both “readied” at the same time.

In conclusion, TDS lacks the totally immersive quality that the first 2 games had. While playing the first 2 games, I would constantly “shush” family members for fear that the guards would hear them. I have also panicked when a loud noise occurred, for the same reason. I have not once felt this while playing TDS. TDS just does not have the same amount of replay ability as the first 2 games. The so called free style city falls flat and boring, IMHO, and the difficulty settings are pretty much a joke, as they are all easy, with only minor differences. While there were some improvements from the previous games, there were far more reductions as well. All in all, while the game is still enjoyable, it is in nowhere near the same league as the first 2 games. I would have to rate this game as only “good” and an overall rating of 6 out of 10. Ion Storms did a “good” job, but only a “good” job, on the game, nothing outstanding or special.

As a final note, the fact that almost the entire development team was let go tells me that there is no plan, now or in the future, to ever continue the Thief saga beyond TDS. Considering the quality of this game, this is nowhere near as big a disappointment as it normally may have been. TDS seems to be suffering the same fate as many of the serial movies produced. That is, the producers seem to want to rest on the reputation of the previous games (movies,) and depend on that reputation to carry a product of lesser quality. In considering the quality of the product, along with the actions, or lack thereof, of Ion Storm, it almost seems as if they purchased the rights to the series for the sole purpose of killing it off. I’m sorry, but that is the way it looks to me.

p.s. Dear Moderators, while some of the statements may appear to be “slams”, I attempted to make it clear that these were statements of opinion and/or appearance only. For example, the statement that the game would be designed first for the PC, then later for the console has the appearance of being a lie. This does not mean that it was a lie, it just means that it appears to be one. It may have been miss-quoted, it may have been an honest statement of intent, that was later changed, or it may actually be true, though the nature of the game itself doesn’t seem to support that. Much of what I said is harsh, I know, but it reflects my sever feeling of disappointment, while attempting to provide a review that is as fair as I can manage. My apologies, in advance, for anyone who may feel insulted by anything stated herein.

9th Jun 2004, 08:38
You have many good points especially about the physics and the size of the maps. However, I don't think they detract from the game so much (although I agree they make it seem more like a console port) as to ruin immersion. The atmosphere is the main thing.

In general I would give this game an 8.5, and if it weren't for the fact discussed in your 'spoiler' I would give it a 9.

BTW. I would give TG a 10 and TMA a 9.

van_HellSing PL
9th Jun 2004, 09:13
As for the spoiler part: Garrett is a dynamic personality. He has changed much since Thief1. Remember the final cutscene of Thief2: "Tell me." At the end of the Metal Age Garrett became to believe the prophecies, he is now interested in them.

So tootired, you might as well give the game a 9 :D

9th Jun 2004, 09:19
Originally posted by van_HellSing PL
As for the spoiler part: Garrett is a dynamic personality. He has changed much since Thief1. Remember the final cutscene of Thief2: "Tell me." At the end of the Metal Age Garrett became to believe the prophecies, he is now interested in them.

So tootired, you might as well give the game a 9 :D

Good point there, however it still makes it seem as if Garrett was more concerned with saving the world than with being a thief. More details in the spoiler.
It would have reduced that feeling, in this one particular case, if Artemis had mentioned, somehow, that this was stuff that Garrett had asked for in the first place.

van_HellSing PL
9th Jun 2004, 09:29
Ghe he he, I'm getting a deja vu ;)

As I said on the Ion boards, this I agree with.

9th Jun 2004, 14:22
Originally posted by tootired
You have many good points especially about the physics and the size of the maps. However, I don't think they detract from the game so much (although I agree they make it seem more like a console port) as to ruin immersion. The atmosphere is the main thing.

Go back and play Life of the party on thief 2 and then go play TDS again and you may see his point. The map sizes also limited the open ended feel of the missions. Look at at the bank map in T2 compared to the museum in TDS. There were so many ways to break in Bank each having its own problems. This is what created the replay value in the first 2 games.

9th Jun 2004, 14:38
I think you guys are just not giving the game enough of a chance. I've found 3-5 ways into some of these buildings in T: DS, and the missions feel big enough that I'm not finding more than 80% loot unless I spend hours on a mission, and I'm certain I've been missing entire rooms from some maps.

Only thing I don't love about the game so far is that I have no possible way of spending all this cash! :D Garrett needs some kind of regular between-mission expense, like paying rent or something, to make me want the loot a bit more. I even find myself skipping some 'special loot' items in really difficult spots, just because I have way too much money already.

Maybe a way to pay off the guards in a section of town, to let you walk around more easily. (maybe in the next Thief anyway)

9th Jun 2004, 17:27
Originally posted by Thiefinthenight
Go back and play Life of the party on thief 2 and then go play TDS again and you may see his point. The map sizes also limited the open ended feel of the missions. Look at at the bank map in T2 compared to the museum in TDS. There were so many ways to break in Bank each having its own problems. This is what created the replay value in the first 2 games.

I still don't think the map size is that big a problem because it doesn't ruin it for me to have a blue fog transition area. What I don't like is that you can't go any where in the city from the start. Of course I would like the city to be one huge map covering 3 or 4 square miles. And I want every door to work and every window breakable and every building populated but it doesn't kill the game to have transition points.

And I've found at least 2 ways into most areas in missions. I stand by my 8.5.

11th Jun 2004, 19:12
I still don't think the map size is that big a problem because it doesn't ruin it for me to have a blue fog transition area. You know, I've been thinking a bit about that. It's really odd, don't you think? The doors with loading scenes in Deus Ex 2 really bugged me a lot, maybe because they looked like just any other door, but made me do a loading screen. But in Thief 3, they have these mysterious looking blue fog things that obviously don't belong in the game, to the point of "breaking the illusion" because you know they aren't part of the T3 world... And they work perfectly!

DX:IW: Open door. WTF? loading screen? But I just walked three steps from the last one!

T: DS: Big honkin' blue cloud... Cool, that's the way into the next area then! No problems!

Just weird how that worked out so well isn't it? I mean if we'd heard on the forums pre-release that they were putting big blue clouds in for loading screens we'd all be mad as hell, but somehow they work better than anything else.