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Thief Series

Covering the classic Thief franchise by Looking Glass Studios, as well as its sequels by Ion Storm and Eidos Montreal/Square Enix. The original Thief games informed much of the Stealth genre, including the Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell series, as well as popular games such as Dishonored and Deus Ex. Its status among cult fans and game designers is legendary.

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23rd Mar 2015
Happy Birthday, Thief 2 - Brethren - 19:05
15 years ago today, Thief II: The Metal Age was released. The last game that Looking Glass Studios would ever create.

Let's celebrate - play a little Thief 2 today, and read up a bit on its history. Check these links...

Wikipedia Entry

Why Thief 2 Is One Of The Best Games of All Time (Gameranx)

Thief 2 Retrospective (Eurogamer)

The Making of Thief 2

Reviews of Thief 2: IGN, Gamespot, Neoseeker, Avault (wayback machine archive)

Sneaky Bastards started a series of reviews of each level, sadly never finished: Running Interference, Shipping and Receiving, Framed, Ambush
21st Mar 2015
RIP Terry Pratchett - Author, Thief Fan - Tannar - 18:44
Terry Pratchett, beloved British author and avid Thief fan, passed away on March 12, 2015. He was perhaps best known for his Discworld series of books, but was a prolific author of fantasy works, writing on average two books per year. He sold more than 85 million books worldwide, and his books have been translated into 37 languages. In 1998, Pratchett was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire. In 2009 he received a knighthood for his services to literature, and in 2010 he received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

He was also an avid Thief fan, playing both the original games and many fan missions and was active in Thief gaming groups during the 90's and 00's. According to an interview with Pratchett by PC Zone, he was an avid video game player, collaborating on several game adaptations of his books. He favored "intelligent" games that "have some depth", citing Half Life 2 and Thief fan missions as examples:

PCZ: "What have been your favourite games of the past few years?"
TP: "Far Cry, Call Of Duty, Half-Life 2 and a great many fan missions for Thief! A good fan mission is a joy, because the author reads your mind."

PCZ: "What do you make of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion? What have been your favourite moments?
TP: "I'm a thief and an assassin, and treat the game as a continuation of the Thief universe. I'm in it for the sneaking, but I like the free form nature of the game, the fact that you can ignore the quests and set off into this big, complex world. You really can explore. All the best moments have been in the shadows. Pick pockets, open locks, creep away."

Pratchett had a lovely sense of humor which was evident in his books, as well as in his public speaking and interviews. You may enjoy reading some of his quotes here. And there is a nice article on his passing at ars technica.

In his Discworld book, Going Postal, Pratchett wrote, "A man is not dead while his name is still spoken." To this end, many websites have added a header as a tribute to Terry Pratchett so that his name will forever be passed up and down the internet. You'll likely need a browser add-on to see the header. You can find one in the Browsers and Email Clients section on this page. We at TTLG are proud to be one of the sites keeping Terry Pratchett's name alive among the clacks.

So long, Terry! We'll miss you.
25th Feb 2015
Happy Birthday, Thief 2014 (aka Thief 4, aka NuThief, aka Thiaf...) - Brethren - 21:36
The much debated, sometimes controversial and always polarizing Thief reboot from Eidos Montreal was released one year ago today (in North America anyway). It's been a rough year for the latest entry into the series, and the game has taken it's share of criticism from both fans and journalists alike. Why not come over to the forums and give us your thoughts on the matter, 365 days later?
10th Feb 2015
The Dark Mod updates to version 2.03 - Brethren - 15:28
The guys over at Broken Glass Studios have released an update to The Dark Mod, which includes the following enhancements and additions:

AI changes: AI have a few new animations, including a new pickpocket reaction. Many AI, including the citywatch and builder models, should look more detailed, as most AI are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages, allowing greater detail up close and less detail (and less of a performance hit) when further away. In terms of behaviour, AI will now coordinate their searches more intelligently when in groups, sending some AI to guard doors and choke-points rather than stepping all over each other. AI will now react when getting hit by an opening door. An issue that allowed AI to see behind them if their head was turned a certain way has been fixed.

Graphics: Particle effects have been greatly improved, so that they no longer create hard lines when intersecting geometry. Water no longer distorts things that are in front of it, and the skybox will no longer flash grey when the player is mantling. The spyglass will now appear round regardless of the screen dimensions used. A number of entities are now using LOD (Level of Detail) stages. You may wish to adjust this option in the Graphics Menu if you see noticeable 'popping' of models.

Assets: More than a hundred new high-quality textures and models have been added to the game, and should start appearing in new maps. A number of existing models have been improved by adding more polys and better textures. A new female townsfolk model and vocal set has also been added to the game and should start appearing in new maps soon.

Overall, you should notice a distinct improvement to the graphics and AI behaviour in maps. And we have some exciting renderer developments in the pipeline, though that will have to wait for the next update.


Thanks to the TDM team for all their hard work on the game - it's great to see that they're continually improving/fixing/enhancing things. To update your installation, run the file tdm_update.exe in your Dark Mod folder. Happy thieving...
7th Mar 2014
My Thief Review - by henke - henke - 10:58
TTLG members review Thief

Thief has been played now and the opinions and reviews are coming in thick and fast. Over the next few weeks, as more and more people complete the new Thief, we hope to be able to showcase a range of reviews from our members.

The first one on the block is a review by the venerable henke, "the spirit of GenGaming" and all around games-player extraordinaire. Enjoy.



My Thief Review

This is not the old Thief. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started playing it, but it soon became clear that this is not the old Thief. Aside from hearing the sound of the bell tower and a few other sound effects, I have not experienced any nostalgic feelings during my time in the shoes of new Garrett. The gameplay reminds me more of Mark Of The Ninja and the Batman games than they do classic Thief. Some people seem to go out of their way to play this like classic Thief, disabling Focus and not swooping, but that is a mistake. Framing this game in the context of what old Garrett would do, or what the old games played like, will only keep you from enjoying it for what it is. This is not the old Thief. What it is, is a very good stealth game, and the story of a man named Garrett.



The Story

Honestly though, it’s not much a story. It’s fairly unoriginal and the way it’s told is a bit of a mess, especially early on. After Chapter 5 I had a pretty good handle on what was going on and my motivations were (somewhat) clear. The story hangs together, I guess, is the most positive thing you could say about it. But there are no moments like the final cutscene of The Dark Project here. Remember that? When the Keeper and Garrett are walking through the snow, and those final lines? It sent a shiver down your spine and got you pumped for the sequel. New Thief, by comparison, just… kinda ends.



The Missions

The whole game took me 22,5 hours to beat according to the in-game clock (30 hours according to Steam) and there’s plenty of sidemissions and Basso jobs still left undone. The missions are big, well designed, and filled with more loot than you’ll be able to find. However, they are to a large extent retreads of missions from earlier Thief games (Angelwatch, creepy abandoned asylum, bank, etc.). It’s like a Greatest Hits compilation of Thief levels. Not sure how I feel about that, honestly. On the one hand some more originality would’ve been nice, on the other hand everything about this game is different enough that it doesn’t feel like I’m doing the same missions over again.



What all that triple-A money was spent on, and what they could’ve spent more on

This game delivers on a lot of what I was hoping for from a triple-A-version of a Thief game. The environments are detailed and gorgeous, and aside from a few glitches, the animations are very slick. The sound, however, disappoints. There are a few sections with annoying repeated dialogue, and in some cutscenes the music and environmental sounds are so loud they drown out the voices of the characters we’re supposed to be listening to. Most disappointingly, the sounds of guards are too faint, and you can only hear them if they're nearby. You can't rely on your ears as much in this one as in previous games.



The Gameplay

As a reboot it does take the opportunity to introduce new gameplay elements and moves. Freerunning feels awesome, it’s almost a shame you get to use it so rarely (really only when retreading familiar ground where you know no guards will be). I like all the new tools in Garrett’s arsenal and the way they’re animated, especially the way he pulls the lockpicks out of his sleeves. Lockpicking feels better than it ever has before (with a gamepad and visual cues turned off, at least). Combat is harder than it’s ever been. Later on you can upgrade your blackjack damage and learn Focus combat takedown moves, but don’t expect to be winning many fights for the first 10 hours or so. Focus itself is… neither here nor there. I used it mainly to look for traps and help with a few puzzles, but overall it doesn’t bring much to the game. Swoop on the other hand is a great addition. It just feels good.

I also must give a special mention to the Challenge Modes. They make excellent use of existing areas and bring a totally new kind of stealth gameplay, one that rewards a delicate mixture of speed and silence.

The Bottomline

Overall, despite audio issues and a somewhat damp story, I had a good time with Thief. It's a solid stealth game. It's definitely better than Deadly Shadows. I don't think it'll sell well enough to warrant a sequel, and it's not like the game sets one up anyway. Already now, most of what I'm seeing on this forum is acceptance of this game for what it is. I think that down the line it'll be viewed as that weird one-off. "It wasn't as good as T1/2, but it wasn't bad, y'know."

Play settings: Master difficulty, 360 gamepad, most of the assists turned off.
28th Feb 2014
Thief IV - Stealing Around the World Tonight - SubJeff - 22:52
Thief IV is out today.

Well it was out on the 25th in the USA but it's now out worldwide.

There is a lot of healthy discussion going on in the newly re-branded Thief IV forum, and some in General Gaming of course. Enter the forums and join in the discussion. Check your spoilers though (we have spoiler tags), we haven't all played it yet!
24th Feb 2014
Days before Thief arrives - The Dark Modding Competition - SubJeff - 14:07
Thief Modding Competition

With only a few days to go until everyone gets the new Thief (yeah, we know, it's out in the US tomorrow but hey we're international so...) this interesting development has sidled out of the shadows. Square Enix, publishers of the upcoming Thief reboot, have partnered with Amazon and errr, The Dark Mod for what they are calling the Square Enix Thief Modding Contest.

The Dark Mod has thus far not had permission to use any official Thief IP but for this competition it seems things are about to change.

Competition entries can take two forms:


- A video of a mod you've created.
- A video of a mod idea you have.


You can use any "Thief" modding platform that exists - the Thief 1 or 2 editors, the Thief 3 editor or The Dark Mod.

That last one is the surprise since mod in this respect is classed as "a modification of the Thief program code in order to make it operate in a manner different to its original version" (their words, not ours) and The Dark Mod isn't based on any Thief program code. However, that doesn't seem to matter; The Dark Mod is an acceptable, nay encouraged, platform for this competition and Square Enix and Eidos are allowing Thief IP to be used in it, but so far just for this.

The top prize is:

- A high-end gaming rig from AMD which includes an AMD Radeon R9 290X graphics card
- An all-expenses paid trip to E3 2014 with Square Enix
- Steam code for all Square Enix Games with the matching Prima Guide
- An Amazon Kindle DX
- A bundle of game development books on Kindle

Unfortunately this competition is open to US citizens only, but for us at TTLG it's the idea of Thief IP in The Dark Mod that's exciting. And let's not forget that Eidos is giving away Thief Gold as part of this competition.

Go get it here.
10th Feb 2014
Changes Afoot in the Thief World - SubJeff - 00:00
We've been a little behind in recent times and it’s time to remedy that.

The Dark Mod

The first, and most important, news to report is that The Dark Mod is standalone now meaning you no longer need Doom 3 to run it! We can’t express how amazing this is in truth and the finalising of this long wished for event marks a significant technical feat for the Dark Mod team. More than that it shows how dedicated the Thief community continues to be by supporting oldskool stealth gameplay and it removes one of the barriers to entry for potential new players.

The second piece of overdue news is that The Dark Mod has won PC Gamer’s Mod of the Year award. Some of us really can’t believe that this didn't happen sooner but it seems people get what they deserve in the end and The Dark Mod deserves this. http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/12/26/mod-of-the-year-the-dark-mod/

Head on over to The Dark Mod now and see what you’re missing. Free, stand alone Mod of the Year oldskool stealth is what.

Well done to everyone at The Dark Mod from TTLG.

Thief IV - incoming

The other little thing you may or may not have heard of is that this month another Thief related (sort of related you might say) event is happening - the release of Thief. No, not that one, the new one. It’s not “technically” Thief 4 but it’s the 4th Thief game (if you don’t count T2X :p) so here at TTLG we’re calling it Thief 4 (or IV) in the forums to distinguish it from the original Thief.

Actually some of our long term members started calling it ReThief, because it’s a reboot, but that was soon dropped for the altogether more amusing NuThief because of (Nu)Garrett’s perceived overuse of eyeliner and general Brandon-Lee-in-The-Crow emo-ness.

If you can’t dress in black and skulk on the streets looking moody and tortured on the streets of The City where can you?

25th of Feb is the date, and you can get hold of Thief for PC, PS3, PS4, XBox360 and Xbox One at all the usual places. And by that I mean you can get it on Steam for your PC because you are going to play with mouse and keyboard, aren't you? :p
10th Dec 2013
New thief gold texture patch by Gecko - Gecko - 09:33
Gecko has released his long anticipated Thief Gold enhancement mod. See below for information or visit the original thread for more discussion.

At long last the Thief Gold HD Mod v0.8.5 is available for download!

New:
- added HD textures for all original missions
- added new vegetation
- added new water and lava textures
- added new torch and fire flames
- added Fog FX (Applies only to following missions: Escape!, Strange Bedfellows, Into The Maw of Chaos)
- added new Bugbeast HD skin
- added new Burrick HD skin
- added new Zombie HD skin (A big Zombie skin-pack update with a setup tool coming soon!!!)
Read More »
24th Aug 2013
Thief 4 Release Date Announced - fett - 13:12
Despite fan criticism over Garrett's new appearance, rumors of controversial gameplay features such as contextual jumping and rewards systems, and the absence of voice actor Stephen Russell, Thief 4 is slated to hit the shelves on February 25th, 2014, according to Thief4.com.

Disagreements over concepts for the reboot, as well as internal restructuring at Eidos Montreal have plagued the title's development since its announcement all the way back in May of 2009. Further confidence in Square Enix' handling of the beloved franchise was shaken in late July, 2013 when Eidos Montreal founder and general manager, Stephane D'Astous, resigned, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the parent company.

"The lack of leadership, lack of courage and the lack of communication were so evident, that I wasn't able to conduct my job correctly. I realized that our differences were irreconcilable, and that the best decision was unfortunately to part ways."

David Anfossi, executive producer of Deus Ex: Human Revolution stepped into to fill D'Astous' role as Eidos Montreal head. D'Astous' resignation comes on the heels of a $69 million restructuring of Square Enix in the first quarter of 2013.

"Since last year's financial short-coming performance of Square Enix Europe, we (HQ London and GM Eidos Montreal) have had growing and divergent opinions on what needed to be done to correct the situation," said D'Astous. The co-founder's departure follows the resignation or reassignment of several lead designers, animators, and artists for the project in recent years.

Opinions about Deus Ex: Human Revolution have varied among fans of the classic Deus Ex series, and Thief fans remain sharply divided over Eidos Montreal's changes to the franchise and the ability of the development team to deliver a worthy successor to the classic series. Mixed reviews at E3 in July drove a bigger wedge into the fan base, though most hands-on reviews were positive.

Problems with Thief's developers and publishers should come as no surprise to long-time fans of the series. Looking Glass Studio received strong critical and commercial success with Thief II: The Metal Age in 2000, but the studio was crippled by debt problems and slow returns on the game. Subsequently, the planned expansion (Thief II Gold) was scrapped, and the license went to Ion Storm Dallas. The follow up, Thief: Deadly Shadows (or T3) was the product of financial strain with publisher Eidos, and a rushed development cycle.

Though many fans hoped the relative success of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the longer development cycle, and larger budget were signs of a return to the glory days of Looking Glass Studio's vision for Thief, the reboot seems to be a departure from the emphasis on open exploration in early games. Many hold out hope that the reboot will be an improvement over Deadly Shadows. Fans get to test their theories next February.

For the latest Thief 4 News, check out the Thief 4 Article Index at the TTLG Thief 4 Anticipation Forum.


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