Thief 2014: The Revival of Original Cult Series

Good For Some, Worst For Many: People Have Mixed Thoughts Towards This Reboot.

Thief 2014: The Revival of Original Cult Series
Source: mrixrt, YouTube

In the old, dusky passages of gaming history, where shadows often whisper of forgotten treasures and bold adventures, one name stands as the flagbearer of excellence: Thief. With the revival of the cult series, the gamers were privileged to once again step into the shadows and combine their nostalgia with modern creation.

Key Takeaways

  • Thief’s original trilogy has a great fanbase due to its excellent stealthy gameplay.
  • Thief 2014 is a reboot and has many differences from the original series.
  • It didn’t receive good reviews and was considered average.
  • The reboot is a good game but not a good Thief game, in my opinion.

The Original Thief Trilogy

Looking Glass Studios introduced their highly respected Thief trilogy with the game Thief: The Dark Project. People called it a “Fantasy Masterpiece” as it was the first game to focus heavily on the stealth part and allowed players to use shadows, sound, and strategies to pass through the enemies without confronting them.

Thief II
Thief II: The Metal Age
Source: EagleLion

Due to favorable reviews, the game was followed by two sequels; Thief II: The Metal Age and Thief: Deadly Shadows. Since Deadly Shadows could not achieve its financial targets, the trilogy was concluded for good.

Thief III
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Source: EagleLion

The Resurrection

Eidos-Montreal Cooperation, a video-game developing studio, revived the cult series again with the reboot, which was released in 2014. The game was more hyped because of the original series’ already established fanbase, yet it failed to meet people’s expectations. 

Although the studio picked up the elements from the original game and turned it into a more advanced version, it still wasn’t enough to please the millennial gamers.

Let’s differentiate between the original and reboot titles and discover the elements that did not sit well with the Thief’s well-wishers:

Stealth and Action: Thief 1998 centered around the protagonist, Garrett. The game focused more on adventure, puzzles, and exploration. Engaging in combat with guards was discouraged throughout the game, and it was considered risky. Simply put, stealth was the core mechanic of this trilogy.

Thief: The Dark ProjectSource: EagleLion, YouTube
Thief: The Dark Project
Source: EagleLion, YouTube

On the other hand, the reboot had a balanced ratio of both stealth and combat action. The original confrontation element was revamped; this Garret instead had access to various weapons and was an expert in melee combat. 

Thief 2014
Thief 2014
Source: EagleLion, YouTube

Level Design: The original trilogy had many choices to complete the objectives in different ways and could also utilize the idea of puzzle-solving.

The 2014 reboot remained linear in these aspects and emphasized more towards the storyline and predetermined sequence.

Setting: Both games were set in the same universe and had immersive designs. The original game had much of a traditional steampunk-styled setting, while the reboot leaned towards a darker tone. The city in the 2014 game was plagued by diseases and political uncertainty.

Garrett’s Revival: In both games, the protagonist, Garrett, wears the iconic attire of a hooded cloak, armor, and gloves. However, the differences were a lot in characterization:

1998’s Garret was self-centered and motivated by treasuries and personal gains. He is seen as a highly skilled and sneaky thief who can clearly eavesdrop and evade detection. His strength lies within shadows, allowing him to easily hide in the dark area.

Meanwhile, in the rebooted version, Garrett had a long story of struggles and was strangled between his present and conflicted past. His backstory explored his character’s themes of morality and redemption.

Thanks to the advanced technology, Garrett was equipped with several tools and abilities, such as focus mode, to crack new strategies. The game introduced new mechanics of throwing objects to distract the foe and taking cover to hide, both of which were absent in the original series.

Mixed Reviews

Despite such a mechanical advancement, Thief 2014 could not hear the praises it hoped for. Many Redditors called it an “ugly remake” and “wasted potential” due to numerous factors.

Thief Reboot
Source: mrixrt, YouTube

Gamers considered this reboot a good play but a downgraded version of the original game. The game lacked depth in the storytelling, and the pacing was unplanned and shattered. It had poor lip-sync and, of course, bad voice acting. The dialogue seemed cringe-worthy. The characterization was bland and seemed awful at times.

Few of the gamers also didn’t like studio’s idea for not moving forward with Stephen Russell, the original voice for Garrett and hiring a new voice actor instead.

My Honest Take

Overall, Thief Reboot is an enjoyable play of 15-20 hours. The game had its strengths and weaknesses, but using derogatory words seems unfair to the developers. Nevertheless, it did introduce the new gamers, The Master Thief, Garrett, and his world of shadows.

In essence, Thief has delivered a solid stealth experience, but its failure to reach the par level of the original title has left a sense of unfulfilled potential and a question mark.

Is Thief 2014 a good stealth game?

But is it an excellent Thief game?
Absolutely not!

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