Zamieszczono: 30 czerwca
tl;dr Anyone who says to play other Thief games first is an ignoramus. No nostalgia either, I'd never played this before June 2015. This is an amazing game with great dialogue, AI that is still impressive, and one of the most unique and interesting stories in gaming, as well as the best in all of Thief.
I'm currently playing the Thief series, and this particular entry gets a lot of hate for bad reasons. Put simply, it's more open-ended than later games in the series in that only about half the game is thieving and stealth. Many of the missions, particularly in the second half of the game, involve survival horror style running from (or fighting if you're good enough, more on that later) monsters, zombies, and demons. Most of the complaints against this game stem from this ("You're only a thief half the time"), and this design itself stems from the game not being a full-stealth game until very late in its development.
So to answer most people's main concern, this is a great game, one of the all time great PC games, but it isn't without negative qualities to the extent its sequel is. Most people relate this to the supernatural elements, but most of the heavily supernatural missions are absolutely fantastic if taken for what they're supposed to be, creepy horror missions where you're forced to run a lot. The Lost City, Escape!, Strange Bedfellows, and The Maw of Chaos are all fantastic, and represent a ratcheting up of the scale of missions as well as intensity of story telling. The Mage Towers more than any other mission perfectly blends stealth (hedge mazes full of guards) with the supernatural (towers full of mages), and is an excellent showcase of the game's strengths.
Dismissing tone complaints regarding the supernatural elements, we can begin to discuss the game's true flaws, which actually relate to a series of gimmicky stealth missions that simply aren't up to par with the rest of the stealth missions in the game nor the ones in Thief 2.
There's just no way around it, Thieves Guild is a terrible terrible mission. One of the worst in any First-Person PC game. Every stereotype of bad FPS design is showcased, it's a confusing blend of underground tunnels and sewers. It reminds you of every level you got stuck in in games like this growing up, and there's no way to defend it. It's worse than just confusing too, in addition to being the second largest level in the game, the objectives even on lower difficulties require you to backtrack at least twice over 75% of the level's length. The gimmick here is that the "thieves" who own the guild keep keys to two locked doors in two different bases, so unlocking the final door requires going to the first, then the second, then back to the first, then back to the second. On higher difficulties, you still have to walk back a third time to escape. Awful.
And while I'm discussing missions I dread when replaying it, Undercover also deserves special mention. Up until this late game mission, I had no idea this game even had NPC AI, as every NPC met up until this point was either found already dead or rattled off a single line of dialogue before dying where they stood. The mission involves dressing up in hammer garb and raiding a hammerite temple for a key stored within. This is better in description than execution, and it becomes immediately obvious the engine wasn't designed for this sort of thing. I've never done this mission without having certain hammers automatically distrust me, turning the game into a match of "avoid the 1 hammer" walking around looking suspicious while the other hammers completely ignore you. The mission ends with a timed race to flip 5 switches that are impossible to find without a guide. The game actively tells you where to look via scrolls, but 3 of the switches in particular are all but impossible to find even with these clues. One clue tells you to check by an Oven, with the stage having two Ovens, and the wrong one being much easier to find. Another one tells you to check behind a tree, but gives no indication of which tree, causing you to strafe circles around trees looking for a switch that's actually under the fence surrounding the trees. Awful.
Everything else about this game is good though. If you can skip or speed through those two missions, a great game awaits you. Unlike Thief 2 with its forced stealth, Thief Gold puts no restrictions on your movement. If you want to, you can play it as the sword fighting game it was originally intended to be and fight every single guard and monster. A talented swordsman can defeat any enemy in this game except the bee-shooting-praying-mantis-men without taking a hit, and you have a bow for enemies like the mantis men with ranged attacks. Your maximum movement speed is likewise, never capped, so all your favorite classic FPS advanced movement works here, including one of my favorite versions of bunnyhopping ever. Instead of putting a speed cap on bunnyhopping, going too fast results in a build up of centrifugal force that tilts your perspective back. When you go at these speeds you can actually hear Garrett's individual footsteps speeding up, until you go so fast Garrett's feet can't keep up and you fall on your head and die. So going fast is an exhilarating gamble, and mastery of bunny hopping involves capping your own speed by letting Garrett take a few ground steps every jump once you reach full speed. I'd love to see something like this in a modern shooter.
I've seen some suggest that this bunny hopping somehow ruins the game, a notion that I completely reject. No one is forcing you to bunny hop through the whole game, it just provides a second emergent gameplay style for people who want to chop up crab people with swords while flying through the air at 90 miles per hour.
Taking it as an entire package, this is a great game. It's not in the running for best game of all time like Thief 2, System Shock 2, and Deus Ex, but it's still a solid 9 or 10 out of 10 game, and is up there with games like Quake 1 in level design and gameplay. In addition, the story is absolutely fantastic, and is significantly better than Thief 2's, as well as being roughly as good as System Shock 2's and almost as good as Deus Ex's. Without spoiling anything, the Trickster is objectively up there with SHODAN, and in my own opinion much scarier, though I think that partially relates to my own fears.
P.S. Setting is Medieval, not Steampunk. This was probably played out at the time, but now that steampunk has been done to death this simply makes the game feel more unique than its steampunk sequels.