Thief Trailer Response – Stealth in HD

In an earlier post, I had lamented the passing of the Stealth Factor in the Assassin’s Creed series. As it’s fan base grew and story progressed, we saw a definite increased focus on the combat mechanics and visualizations and a reduced emphasis on the slow and methodical demands of the stealth. With the upcoming reboot of Thief, it would appear that we’re getting back to that ideal.

First, let’s take a look at the newly released trailer:

One thing to note is that this game is being developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix – the same studios that put out Deus Ex: Human Revolution. While there was a  healthy dose of combat in that game, the main intent was given to playing it as Stealth; being undetected for a full chapter, not killing any one (although it would be SOO much easier to hack that workstation if that one guard would just DIE!!!), finding secret passage ways through buildings, etc. Given this recent project, I already have a good amount of faith for the final project!

Back to the trailer. The opening scene has some telling characteristics.

  1. It’s night. All good thief and burglar stories take place under the cover of darkness!
  2. It’s foggy. This adds both a gloomy mystique to the setting and adds a tactical advantage by obscuring our vision.
  3. Medieval time period. No robotics, computer hacking, cameras, or cybernetics. Well, there’s always the possibility for some mechanizations, especially if we go a little steam-punk, but for the current trailer it’s looking unlikely.

Next, the camera is brought to a view behind our thief, who is standing in a darkened alley, watching people go by. We are then greeted by, what I’m assuming, is the Thief’s voice stating “There are those that believe that the perfect heist lies in the preparation” and we see him prep himself with a hidden lock-pick and some kind of canister that locks shut. This suggests a few things;

  1. That we’ll be presented with all sorts of gadgetry prior to each mission,
  2. If it really is all in the preparation, I’m sure we have a few reconnaissance missions on top of the smash-and-grab looting.
  3. Oh, and then there’s that cool looking collapsible bow! THWACK!

“Some say it’s all in the timing and seizing the right opportunity” are the next words spoken as he looks at his watch. Slow-mo pass on the necklace, and I believe we have our target as she passes us by. Alas, there’s also a brutish looking guard with her in full plate armor and helm. Heavily armored guards typically win a frontal assault against a thief, so our anti-hero wisely chooses to wait for a better opportunity. Again, the fact that he decides to wait is another emphasis on a stealth system or gameplay style that is probably be persistent throughout the game.

“Others even say its the ability to leave no trace behind” Again to Deus Ex, bonuses were given for being a “Ghost” in a chapter, being completely undetected and leaving no evidence to your existence.

“For me, it’s simple. It’s a way of life.” And we’ve got the prize! So here we have a bit of the psychology of the anti-hero. He’s doing this because he enjoys it, not necessarily because someone is paying him (although I’m sure he flips a good profit from the fence) or because he has a personal issue with the victim. He steals because he can and thus he does.

And then, just as quickly as we can possibly change pace, initiate escape sequence! narrowly dodge a swiping blade, front flip over the guard, and crash through a window to the street below (or does he?) leaving his explosive canister behind erase his trail and provide ample distraction for a secure get-away.

Cue wolfish smirk. Fade to night mist….SNATCH LOGO!

And finally, after the tagline “What’s yours is mine”, we are concluded with the standard “find us on these social networks” screen, and for systems listed we have PC, PS4, and that blasted “AND NEXT GENERATION CONSOLES”. Oh COME ON!  Just announce it already!!

Disclaimer: The last time I played a Thief game it looked like this, and I was more a SNES gamer (LOVED me some Final Fantasy!) than PC, so I didn’t get all that far in the game. I’m sure there are plenty of gamers out there who know what to expect much better than I, so just sound off in the comments.

As for me, I have found that in my, ahem, “refined palette” for gaming I have become less concerned with action and more focused on storyline, symbolism and allegory, and even tactical approaches at times. Therefore, for my stealth fix I’m fairly sure that Thief will replace what Assassin’s Creed has abandoned.

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