Thief: Deadly Shadows worth $18?
T:DS is now available on Steam for $US18 (along with Deus Ex 1 & 2 and a bunch of others). What I want to know is, is it any good? the Metacritic reviews are a mixed bag.
I loved Thief 2 (right up to the point where you enter the forest, anyway), would T:DS be a nice addition to the collection?
It's well worth 18 doolahs if you haven't played it before. I intend to buy it again on Steam for the convenience of easily being able to load it up when the mood takes me (already bought the DX package and spent all last night playing DX1), but I'll wait a few months since my wallet is a bit empty at the moment.
Although if you haven't already played it you might want to instead consider Vampire Bloodlines which is also now on Steam at $20.
I second that, Bloodlines was much, much better the Deadly Shadows IMO. Really, as far as I know, it's the best vampire type game out there right now. Bought DS for like 5 bucks on the xbox and it was pretty good, (long live the cradle) but I've had a better time with Bloodlines.
Originally Posted by Silent Film
Yeah, you'll likely be able to get a retail copy of Deadly Shadows cheaper (if you're a UKer Amazon Marketplace sellers have new copies real cheap, like for £2). It depends if you're willing to pay for the convenience of having it on Steam.
I saw bloodlines when it came out, and it's not my cup of tea.
Raveness, I was hoping for that sort of post about T:DS.
One of the things that disappointed me most about Deadly Shadows is that there are no Mechanists. There are Pagans however, so if you didn't like the Pagans, then you might not appreciated Deadly Shadows that much.
Also— there's no rope-arrow and the flight of the arrows isn't parabolic (all arrows fly in a straight line like the fire-arrows did in Metal Age).
It's designed as a mainly 3rd person game (you can switch to 1st person, but the camera moves as though nested in the actual 3rd person character model's head, and so moves awkwardly and is disconcerting).
The way the loot is so easily identifiable has also been commented on (it's not as much of a treasure hunt as it used to be).
I have a copy, but I only keep it for nostalgia. The first few levels look really good (but the maps are small, with load zones), the basic aesthetics is 'Thief enough' to be nostalgic enough to play around in, not least because it retains the sound effects and voice actors of the original Thief games (but if it weren't for those aspects having been carried over I would probably have auctioned off my copy a long time ago).
Last edited by Hatesink; 03-31-2007 at 06:52 AM.
It does have its bad points but overall I thought it was a worthy addition to the Thief series. I thought the story nicely concluded the trilogy, so in that respect it ended on a high note I think. Otherwise the game features a handful of great missions, The House of Widow Moira (my favourite) and Shalebridge Cradle spring to mind.
The structure of the game also changed somewhat. You no longer go from one mission straight to the next, instead you have free-roaming city sections in-between - this is something I liked but it could have been more developed. Though one thing I missed as a result were the stylistic mission briefings.
Last edited by Silent Film; 03-31-2007 at 09:06 AM.
Sure thing. I dragged up my old review of the title in question for you:
Originally Posted by v.dog
The game on its own stands out from its predecessors. Truly, one doesn't need to play the first two games, but the historical significance of the series is so spellbinding and concrete, that the first two games do require a spin in your PC's. Garrett is the same person we knew- cynical, sarcastic, and self-serving. He just happens to live in a town that's half as majestic and sprawling as the city in the previous two games. That's a much-accepted compromise for all the brilliant textures, dynamic lighting, and improved A.I. (when compared to Thief 1 and 2) in this package. The A.I. is definitely well improved, but not perfect. No longer can you blackjack guards with weapons drawn or those who've been flash-bombed. Now that Garret's arsenal has no swords, a one-on-one melee is strictly not advisable. In addition, guards now react realistically to torches being put out, or fellow guards being attacked (if they happen to face them). Some old glitches like the guards giving up investigation pretty quickly, and resuming their lackadaisical patrol patterns still exist and could have used some improvement.
Water arrows, gas arrows, and fire arrows are much cheaper and the ability to play an open-ended game in the city, allows Garrett to restock his arsenal in the midst of the mission by selling his loot. This was one aspect I really loved in the game, however, there are pre-set limits as to how much each of the weapons Garret can carry (which pretty much eliminates over-enthusiasm in stocking up water arrows that Thief fans respect and love). Loot is aplenty as innocent citizens of the city provide it in the form of purses, jewelry, and other items for Garret's picking, and in a way supplementing his loot picked during missions.
Creepiness factor is definitely better on this package, with unearthly voices hissing and creeping up on you, for which a 5.1 speaker set with an Audigy soundcard is absolutely essential. The mission to the "Shalebridge Cradle" gave me quite the spook and it took me a few, terrifyingly eloquent hours of playing time to complete, simply because of the claustrophobic desolation you are forced in and the writhing zombies you are forced to contend with. Not that there are many of these straightjacket freaks in the level, it's the ghostly voices that sneak up on you in various decibel levels that unnerve you. The game itself is worth the price of admission for this particular level alone.
Most of the negatives that spring out in the game are the lost functionality or portions being dumbed down for either the bonehead mass audience, or to fit on a technically limited console. Thief DS was mostly was a step back from the previous two following those regards:
- No rope or vine arrows, and instead the climbing gloves that are provided are hardly used within a city in which the biggest building in merely 3-4 stories high, or even in the levels which suffer the same vertically challenged fate.
- The levels became smaller zones. You could have included 4 zones of TDS in one level of Thief 2. Loadzones like what you’d witness are a token example of consolitis.
- We lost the interesting and chilling cutscenes that introduced the next mission, and instead we have a blue screen with writing, accompanied by Stephen Russell's (Garrett's voice) phoning-in narration of the goals.
- Some of the poorest rag-doll physics on victims who are knocked out cold by Garrett. At times they behave like invertebrates, bending over backwards literally upon being clubbed.
- The inclusion of third-person perspective, depending on your perspective, allowed players to cheat by seeing around corners.
- The leaning became a ridiculous half-kneeling motion. Movement was quite jerky, like Garrett was a bit inebriated. Not fluid at all on the PC version, but fit well on the XBox.
- Stupid loot percentage total. For some reason, Garrett was omniscient about how much in valuables was in every place he visited. A symptom of handholding the player that was never really complained about in the previous two installments.
- The tools of the previous games had functionality taken away or hampered (blackjack couldn't be readied at raised position, no sword, arrows were not parabolic)
- The city is crudely tiny, a huge downgrade from the large and mighty city utilized in various levels of Thief 2. Also, when I killed the female thief in front of the cathedral, I proceeded to kill her male companion. But lo and behold, a duplicate of the ‘dead’ lady runs from behind a corner and said, "at least it wasn't me!" Come again?
Besides a few obvious complaints, Thief: Deadly Shadows doesn't fail to satisfy the taffer within us, and fans who had eagerly waited for it. Like the other Ion Storm title DX:IW, on its own merits, TDS it is a quality game. But once you compare it to its predecessors, some disappointment is inevitable.