Square Enix has revived the Thief stealth game series with the first entry in ten years, itself simply titled Thief. The series was once hugely popular, and a reboot has been planned for quite some time, but the project met issues while in development and disappeared for a while. It has finally arrived with us now, on next-gen consoles, but does it do justice to the well-remembered series?

The developers, Eidos Montreal, are branding 2014’s Thief as a remake of the original series, rather than a new sequel in the story. This means that gamers who have not played any of the previous games can safely pick up Thief without needing any knowledge of the previous titles. While the game does take many elements from the original Thief, the core formula has seen many changes, not all of which are necessarily for the better.

The original game was totally based on stealth. The core gameplay entirely focused around remaining silent and hidden at all times. If you made a sound or came out of the shadows for even a few moments, the mission would fail. While this does stay true to a certain extent in the new Thief, it is not true all of the time, and executions have been implemented, as has movement outside shadowed areas. This unfortunately moves the rebooted Thief slightly away from the core gameplay of the original series, and brings in a few different elements.

That is not to say that the new Thief is a bad game; it is far from it. However, it takes away some of the uniqueness the original title had, and fans of the original series may be disappointed with the new title. This is coupled with a slightly lacking story and some underdeveloped gameplay, which could have been better developed.

You play as Garrett, an experienced thief who has a moral code; he does not like to kill people unless absolutely necessary (though it still does occur in the game). Garrett has a well-developed personality and talks constantly throughout the game, something unusual for a game focused on stealth.

The game is based in Medieval times, and you are simply tasked with stealing stuff as a master Thief. Thankfully, stealth still does play a major part in the game, and the levels are designed around this core concept. You will have the ability to leap, climb, sneak and run. The left-trigger controls most of this movement throughout the game. You will pick up the well-developed control system quickly, as you begin playing through the game. A shadow-meter in present on the screen, to notify you when you leave the shadows.

You will have to pay attention to the minor things in the environment, such as small objects scattered on the ground, in order to avoid making excess noise. You must also carefully use the analogue stick to ensure silent movement. The world in Thief is crafted meticulously and is the highlight of the game. On the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions of the game, the graphics are outstanding. The worlds appear realistic, and the lighting system is phenomenal. Weather effects, such as rain or fog, are also presented with immense accuracy. The world of Thief is certainly the most impressive part of the game, and really assists in immersing the player within the game.

There is a disease spreading within this world, called “The Gloom” by the inhabitants. This, again, helps in immersing the player within the world and making the Medieval setting feel realistic. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t really develop into anything exciting or remarkable. It remains pretty dull and repetitive, and is highly predictable. The game lays out all the cards from the start, but doesn’t really develop on any, hampering what would have otherwise been an excellent title.

Picking up on where it falls down are the little details of Thief. While you are playing, you must remember to hide anyone you assassinate, blow out the candles, extinguish the lights, close the doors after you and dispose of ANY evidence. The difficulty is also extremely customisable, allowing you to start from a basic level and then change individual elements of the game, to make it harder or easier (eg. no checkpoints). If the story missions had been a little more exciting and interesting, and less linear, Thief would have been an outstanding next-gen title.

One of the other disappointing things is the way loot is handled in the game. Usually with games, after finding the loot, you must go to a merchant (or equivalent) to sell it, and claim your gold. Unfortunately, in Thief, anything you pick up simply adds automatically to your gold count, taking away from the realism of looting and flogging goods.

The game takes 11 to 14 hours to complete, depending on your skill level, and the difficulty level. There is also an additional “Challenge Mode” present in the game, which focuses on gathering as much loot as possible while staying hidden.

Overall, Thief is a good entry to the genre, yet it could have been so much more. The story and dialogue aren’t all that exciting, yet the world is highly detailed and beautifully crafted. If you are a fan of stealth games, there is no doubt you will enjoy Thief, however, the game could easily have been a next-gen masterpiece.