This has to be amongst my all time favourite series of games.
I was given Thief, The dark Project as a birthday gift many years ago, and at first, just didn't fancy it at all. It was therefore relegated to a shelf and forgotten about. Until that is one weekend I was feeling ill. I had nothing new left to play so reluctantly, loaded it up.
All I can say is what a fool I was. That is, leaving it sitting there for such a long time. What can I say, Instantly, I was hooked!
Aptly labelled, 'First Person Sneaker' this game takes you into the world of stealth, where all out assaults will see you lying in a bloodied heap. There is just something about sneaking around, right under someone's nose that is so appealing.
Yes, by today's standards the graphics are dated, but don't let this put you off. The Thief series contains some of the must memorable and engaging environments I have ever encountered. Even more so given the mythical time period in which this game is set. With a combination of the medieval and Victorian world you will often find yourself just wandering around looking at stuff. But it's the stealth which really makes these games.
Sitting in a shadow may not sound like much fun, but don't be fooled. Sit, watching and waiting for your chance to blackjack someone, not knowing if they will see you, is very addictive indeed. Furthermore, once you venture out of the city and into the more barren locations, there is this sense of being truly alone.
And there is more! The environments are truly immersive; this is not your typical linear game; each new level and environment offering numerous variations in how it can be traversed and tasks completed. Which makes for a very enjoyable experience as it allows you to return and play these games time and time again; each visit discovering something new.
Thankfully, the creators didn't take the rout of the continuously sporning enemy. Rather, there are set numbers in each level which can be dealt with as you see fit. Though don't be fooled into thinking that they are all easy to deal with, or find for that. Nope, some are hidden within the depths of each level, and only true exploration can yield their location and the goodies which they often defend. Furthermore, as the difficulty settings go up, so do the tasks. Yes, you are there to make money for yourself, it is called 'Thief' after all!
Each environment has its treasures, some easily located, others requiring skill and patience. Not to mention, at higher difficulty settings, you are no longer allowed to kill none combatants, who, if seen by, will run off to find the nearest gaud.
Thief 2 and 3 both continue along these well though out lines, encompassing huge story arches which reach across all three games.
The Thief series has to be one of the best kept secrets in the gamming worlds. So go on, give them a go, you know you are just dying to sneek up behind someone and blackjack them for their gold. Mwhahaha.