Thief 3: Deadly Shadows
Developer: Ion Storm
The third installment of the Thief series finds Garret back in the shadows. This is known as a ‘stealth’ game, meaning creep around in the shadows a lot, taking people down like an assassin. Which makes the game play somewhat slower in pace, but allows for a richer story line to be absorbed.
Rather than slap together a few cut scenes with some trite dialog that gives you a thinly veiled reason for going from A to B, Thief has a rich backdrop of a story that pushes the game along as you find answers that uncover new questions. Lots of side missions are melded seamlessly into the overall story so it’s all just part of a thief’s life. Picking pockets and stealing loot and then having to fence them to gain the cash to buy more supplies adds a small RPG element (the more loot you steal, the better equipped you can enter the missions). A nice selection of weapons are offered: Water Arrows (to put out the torches and make more shadow), Moss Arrows (to cut down the sound of footsteps), Fire Arrows (to do some lethal damage) are among the more unique. Add in some flashbombs, gas bombs, the requisite health viles and some other goodies to fill out your arsenal. The foes get scarier and creepier as the game progresses and almost approaches a horror/survival atmosphere.
Thief 3 makes a good balance of forcing you to take some degree of stealth. You can kill most bad guys, but attract more than one or two and its flee or die. Picking locks takes full advantage of the Xbox rumble pack to ‘feel’ out the sweet spots. Graphics are slick and soundtracks are rich setting tense atmospheres. A bit of patience and willingness to ‘get into the game’ will bring maximum enjoyment.