Written 30/07/2012. First posted here.
When the Thief 4 ‘trailer’ leaked last month, the internet went mildly enthusiastic. Intrigued individuals and 200-word articles as far as the eye can glance. Bit of forum activity, even.
Less a big splash than a skipping stone, but that was to be expected. It’s a 30-second clip for Thief goddamn 4; the next in a series which most people have never played, and which Eidos Montreal have released Sweet F.A about. Most of the attention it got consisted of ten words and a video link, or a sweet little teaspoon of rampant paranoia about The Creeping Inevitable Doom That Has Fallen Upon This Game.
Me? I was pretty psyched, because look at this motherfucker:
I see water arrows. I see lockpicks. I see a lanky streak of piss in a cloak rummaging through someone’s treasured heirlooms, and I could not be more fucking jazzed if this video had come with a free blowjob.
While there’s no gameplay to be gathered from a 30-second lighting and composition demo, it has given us a nice look at Thief 4’s visual style. Our beloved shadowy steampunk aesthetic is still front and centre, and the new composite bow Garrett’s boasting is both stylish and sensible: the two must-haves for this seasons thieving bastard.
Garrett’s world is made of murky, secretive corners, and the corridors cry out for furtive creeping. Moonlight doesn’t shine, but spills through the fragile window glass. It makes me want to use words like ‘opulent’ and ‘treacherous’. Combined with the storyboards leaked last year, there looks to be some downright beautiful design. This image of Garrett tiptoeing through a room of caged birds borders on the haunting, and could be hinting at a tense, eerie level:
Would I like more information? Yes. I think every Thief fan out there does; even if only so they can prophesise its reincarnation as a 3rd person shooter comprised entirely of quick time events. And if that’s how they want to spend their evenings then hey, we all have our hobbies, but I intend to fritter mine away dreaming of rainy rooftops and shooting guards in the face.