Thief has a long illustrious history with the PC platform. A stealth game about thievery where stealth is of uttermost importance. I was always envious of people who could play Thief (back then my rig could barely run it at 10fps)
So this review comes from someone who never got to play the original games but can still appreciate its roots.
You are Garrett, Master Thief and...pretty much that's all there is to know. Thief is both a sequel and a reboot and as such (rebooquel), it takes a 'don't ask, don't tell' approach to Garrett's sordid history. They don't openly acknowledge his past adventures nor do they pretend this is his first outing so as to not scare off potential newcomers to the series.
The story is pretty uninspired. Right off the bat, Garrett is saddled with your stock buxom 'action gurl' sidekick whose disappearance guilt trips Garret into saving the city. To unravel the mystery, Garrett will have to sneak inside Morgues, Insane Asylums, Manors and pilfer some riches along the way.
On the character front, every one besides Garrett could easily be described with one sentence or even one word. Let me prove my point with this...there is a character who comes across as a potential ally and says to you "We're not so different, you and I." I shouted; "Cut! Cut! If you're gonna say that, at least do it whilst stroking a white cat. Ten yards penalty, buck-o!"
Thief plays in 1st-person perspective. As Garrett, you traverse the city's rooftops in search of your next big heist. Upon exiting your hideout, you are treated to a view The City which would serve as your hub. You can either follow your pointer to the next objective and begin a story mission or you may explore the rooftops, sneak through windows and pilfer whatever golden goblets you can get your grubby hands on. Now normally this would be a solid concept except that the hub is incredibly narrow, tight and claustrophobic. Multiple loading points between each section of The City makes exploration tedious.
When you're in story missions, each chapter plays out in the same three-beat manner. Sneak into level, find story object and escape during an elaborate running sequence. Do NOT think this all occurs in the span of one sitting, because each level is broken into mini-chapters (breaking in, exploring the level and finally the escape) thus, you have *Very* little choice in how you want to achieve an objective. Sure, there are multiple paths but that usually translates to having bought a screwdriver which unlocks an air-vent for you to bypass one guard.
This isn't Dishonored where your exploration is rewarded or you can use your abilities in an inventive manner to complete your objective. Thief is linear as hell. It still rewards for different 'playstyles' but that's basically how many guards you knocked out and how many alarms you've set. The path towards your goal is still very much linear.
That's not saying the game is boring but it lacks the versatility of Dishonored and the dialogue options of Deus Ex: HR.
Surprisingly, Garrett controls very well. There's a real sense of weight to the character when he runs ala Outlast. It really made me appreciate how far 1st person games have come. Holding the L2 button is your equivalent to Assassin's Creed free-running mechanism, causing Garrett to leap over boxes, ledges, frog hop from one beam unto the next. Time it right and you could pull of an exciting sequence of events like sliding over a table, jump out of a window, bunny hop a couple of beams before jumping over to the other roof.
Aside from that, the only worthy mention is the use of the Touch-pad. Your touch pad controls your inventory wherein you
This is my biggest tripe with the game. If this game was a human being, it would have been born with the name Generique El Generico. Everything about The City is lifeless, drab and uninspired. You might be playing the devil's advocate that this reflects on The City's inner turmoil or whatnot but I felt the setting lacked personality. It didn't stick me after I had finished the game.
Sound is competent, music is serviceable.
Voice acting can range from tolerable to grating. Garrett comes across as your wanna-be bad boy, constantly telling people to leave him alone yet can't stand to go two minutes without making a wry comment whenever he sneaks somewhere or steals something. Erin, to top it off, can't decide whether she's trying to be a femme-fatale or moaning in pain.
Thief's campaign is fun for a single playthrough over the weekend. Completionists might be find getting all the collectibles to be an arduous tasks what with the loading times between sections of the city's hub and the level's aren't varied enough to warrant a second-playthrough to see what different paths you could take. There's a level editor somewhere but I care very little to finding out what it does.
Thief is a creatively bankrupt game. It's a generic sandwich. Filling but ultimately forgettable.