Eidos Montreal’s new Thief won’t even let you jump when you want to

Thief 4 - 3

Left: Eidos Montreal. Right: Legacy of the Thief series.

Not to mince words here, but Eidos Montreal’s new entry in the Thief series is sounding like an unmitigated disaster. It looked pretty dreadful during E3, and now a hands-on preview over at PC Gamer has revealed even more baffling design decisions. Including the fact that Garrett can no longer jump when you want him to.

The damning section in question reads: “I look to a nearby edge, and a prompt appears telling me I can jump across. Jumping is now a context- sensitive action.”

But wait, there’s more! In defense of this awful, awful decision, Eidos’ lead level designer (in italics, because holy shit) William Schmidt explains that “Jumping, bouncing up and down, kind of broke the immersion … We didn’t want you to be the master thief and you just tend to fall off stuff all the time.”

So let’s get this straight. Giving the player 100% freedom to jump whenever they feel like is less immersive than having no control over jumping except when the game tells them they do? Are we in bizarro world?

Consequently, we can determine that this means level design will be far more restrictive than in the original games. Entryways into (say) mansions will now be hardcoded as “yes, you can jump here” points, rather than open to emergent exploration as before. We already knew from E3’s shameful display that rope arrows have been gimped to the point that they can only be fired at pre-defined surfaces (rather than anything wooden like previous Thief titles,) but this just adds to the horror.

Thief is coming out in 2014. Maybe we can hope for another total redesign of the game before then.

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  • Tim McDonald

    Oh God.

  • Kiroptus

    *sigh* I was looking forward to this…

    It looks the main concern of all game developers nowdays are to restrict the player as much as possible…

  • Rushster

    It’s called dumbing down, a popular “feature” with devs these days.

  • Sweetpea

    I was really looking forward to this game. Now, I don’t think I don’t even want to hear from it ever again.

  • Springheel

    This is the most baffling thing I’ve heard yet about development.

    The real future of Thief-like gaming will continue to be The Dark Mod (www.thedarkmod.com)

    • metabaron

      Yes. This will be the future of playing THIEF as it should be.
      Keep up the good work ….. DARKMOD-Team…. 🙂

  • unclecid

    i recommend going over to pcgamer and reading the WHOLE preview article and not just this cherry-picked opinion piece.

    personally i think that playing thief on ‘old-school’ will be fun.

  • DavidTheSlayer

    Well there’s no point if you can’t friggin jump when you need to/rope climb. Thief 4 levels should be a more open world perhaps? Players should not be restricted in making noise so can climb through windows for example, not run up to it and press space bar when the context pops up at a predefined point in the game.

    • c0rw1n

      They could make jumping as a quick time event challenge.
      Impressive !




  • Diana

    I have 2 favorite games: Tomb Raider and Thief. Tomb Raider was a revelation, with more and more moves, freedom to explore and so on… And what about the long awaited Thief 4? Why did they have to screw up a good thing? I waited so long for this, only to be so f**ked by the developers? So what if I decide to jump off a legde to my death? Being a master thief equals being pampered like a baby? Geeeezzzzzzzz….

  • Disco Dan

    Spank the monkey! Spank my child! Make a big deal! Out of nothing wild! Thief can sneak, Thief can climb, when do Thieves fight zombies instead of causing crimes? Your old games suck. That is the truth. Get over it babies. Rose tinted glasses have had it with you. Your faces are sweaty and no one remembers you, nor the games you defend, until your faces are blue.

    • Yigger

      You suck the weiner of mediocrity. You are the sellout piece of fecal matter known as the MTV/Generation Y scum that will eat any vomit no matter how low the standards are. Enjoy licking your vomit, loser.

  • steamboat

    that’s a drastic decision to make… they must have a pretty strong vision to do this kinda thing though right? there are plenty of good linear and cinematic games, and i’d be happy they are trying something new with the franchise, freedom isn’t always a good thing

  • 8riCkH0u53

    Combine GTA 5,Blade Runner(movie) with thief 2.I would buy that without even thinking twice about it.

    • jonnyohio