Non-RPG General News - Released 20 Years ago - Thief: The Dark Project
PC Gamer looks back at Thief: The Dark Project:
20 years ago, Thief: The Dark Project defined the stealth game
A look back on the game that gave players the tools to sneak, not to fight, and the impact that had.
Footsteps in the dark. Mutterings under breath. The sound of a bowstring, pulled taut and released. To think of Thief is to think of its sound design, from the simplest combat effect to the gravelly narration of Stephen Russell’s Garrett as he hides in the dark, observing a city so corrupt that a man like him can be its unsung hero. It’s to remember that city, nameless and broken, where the cold steel and hot fires of the Metal Age sit atop the weeds and lost secrets of ancient pagan culture and zombie boneyards. The quiet moments. The frenzies as a plan goes wrong and shouts of “Taffer!” fill the night sky. The perfect getaways and the desperate escapes.
Despite all this, if there’s one thing that defines Thief, it’s in the title. Many games, including successors like Deus Ex and Dishonored, are fundamentally built on playing things your way. You get the tools to sneak around if you want, but you also get a sack of guns and explosives, super-powers to break the rules of the world, and levels and enemies built to allow you to explore them. Thief instead strikes a deal. It gives you the tools and experience of a master criminal, but only so long as you’re willing to play the role.
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