Thursday, April 18, 2013

Double-Plus Geekified Gaming: Thief 4

This news is awesome!

My all-time favorite gaming franchise is back for a fourth installment: Thief 4Not only did the first installment of this PC game introduce the world of gaming to one of the earliest and best examples of the the stealth genre, it was also my first exposure to the steampunk aesthetic (or at least one vision of steampunk).

Most video games involve blowing stuff up and wreaking havoc with atomic-punches, heavy artillery, and crazy shooting skills.  However, Thief: The Dark Project (1998) -- and it's expansion pack, Thief: Gold -- was a a different kind of gaming experience.  It was more along the lines of crouching silently in dark corners and sneaking around in order to avoid detection.  If you were spotted or heard by anyone, your demise was probably immanent.  While this may sound dreadfully boring, avoiding detection by undead creatures and hammerite cult members delivered some of the most intense gaming experiences in all my gaming years.  Here is the opening movie sequence for the first installment of the game (and here is the game trailer).

The game ended up with an ultra-dedicated fan base, as well as some of the coolest fan websites featuring fan-created missions, fan art, fan fiction (like Correspondence of Thieves), annotated maps, discussion forums, mission walk-throughs and guides, and other stuff  (e.g., the Thief universe timeline).  Websites of particular note include Thief: The Circle and The Circle of Stone and Shadow.

The second installment of the game takes the protagonist, Garrett, into scenarios where he has to deal with a new faction, the Mechanists and their infernal robots.  Here's about 20 minutes of gameplay from Thief 2: The Metal Age (2000).  The Metal Age trailer can be found here.

With the release of Thief: Deadly Shadows (2004), the third installment was not only playable on the PC, but was available on the X-Box as well.  The trailer for that installment can be found here.

Then the franchise died ...  until 10 years later... when it was resurrected with the announcement that Thief 4 will be released in 2014.  Sometimes... life can be good. 

The Thief 4 trailer looks great.  More information here.