Thief Strategic Preview - Prima Games

Thief Strategic Preview

by Prima Games Staff

We aren’t too far off now from seeing the return of Thief, Eidos’ long-standing stealth/adventure series. Sure, other games have improved upon the theme since that time, including Bethesda’s recent Dishonored, but Thief is ready to stake its claim in the genre once more.

In the game, players control Garrett, a man who has mastered his thievery skills and utilizes them to take advantage of the rich. The City has plenty of folks to rob, with a tyrant known as the Baron ruling it all. Garrett’s mission is simple – turn the tide by stealing precious heirlooms, and eventually bring the Baron’s empire crumbling to its knees.

If you’ve played Thief games in the past – including the Dark Project, The Metal Age or the more recent Deadly Shadows from 2004 – then you’ll understand that stealth will play a huge part in this latest game. Garrett is the sort of man that doesn’t prefer to fight, nor does he like the idea of caught. So he’ll use every tactic in the book – whether it’s a distraction tool or jumping to a higher ledge to stay out of a guard’s view – to keep from being noticed.

Using a Focus mode, they’ll be able to see any items in the environment that he can grab onto with ease, such as pipes or nearby ledges. In addition, it also shows items in the environment that can be tampered with to provide him an advantage. If there are lit candles nearby, Garrett can easily blow them out, providing more darkness for him to hide in.

Along with an improved vision, Focus also allows a temporary slowing of time. Should Garrett need to retrieve a key from a nearby guard, this is a vital tool, as it allows him to pickpocket like a pro without giving away his current position. Fiddle around too long, however, and you’re likely to be noticed. The last thing you want is a guard drawing more attention to himself – because that brings reinforcements.

Combat is a last-ditch effort in Thief, but sometimes the situation simply calls for it. Luckily, Garrett is more than prepared. The blackjack is a billy club-like weapon that can knock guards unconscious with a good, swift blow. It’s best used to sneak up behind one and conk him out, although you can also use it in case you’ve got someone’s attention.

A collapsible compound bow is also available, and can be used in a couple of different ways. If you prefer to take a lethal shot at an enemy – a judgment call that is completely up to you – then use an arrow and take them out. Just make sure you’re prepared to hide the body afterward, because if you leave too many lying around, someone will take notice. There are also non-lethal rounds available, in case you’re feeling a bit compassionate. After all, these guys may not share the same greedy nature as the Baron you’re trying to overthrow.

Finally, the grapple is an extremely useful tool, allowing you to pry open objects or reach higher ledges that you can’t get to with your hands. We haven’t confirmed if you can use it to a certain extent in combat, but it’d be interesting to see it used for deflecting purposes.

Along with his tools, Garrett also has physical strength that comes in handy, whether it’s shimmying along a ledge outside of the view of guards, or quickly making his way to an upper ledge, just narrowly avoiding detection from a patrol. He can really get a lot done, but some moves may take time to practice, especially for those players that aren’t used to the whole “sneaking around” thing.

As you proceed through the mission, you can loot knocked-out guards for money and steal goods that you can turn in for a reward. In-game currency can really pay off in Thief, as you will use it to purchase new supplies and equipment, available in a nearby shop following the course of each mission. You should be able to make improvements to your current gear as well, and stock up on more arrows as your crossbow needs them.

Be sure to pre-order your copy of the Thief Prima Official Game Guide with beautifully illustrated maps of every location, tips for every type of thief, a complete breakdown of every weapon, details about the focus abilities, and free access to the living eGuide.

A word of warning when it comes to Thief: sometimes things don’t go according to plan. In the demo we watched, Garrett manages to find the Heart of the Lion heirloom he’s looking for, but the escape quickly turns to a fight for survival, as he has to make a run through a part of the village that has caught on fire. Nimble reflexes are required to get through this section of the game, but if you’re good enough – and with Garrett, you very well could be – it should just be another day on the job.

Even though some may feel that Thief has similarities with Bethesda’s Dishonored, this reboot should have no trouble digging into the roots of the series that started it all back in 1998. It’s just nice to see Garrett back on the job after all these years off.

Thief releases on February 25th for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PC. Order your Thief Prima Official Game Guide today!

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