Update: Thief director Nicolas Cantin has clarified his comments about Garrett's new look, stating that the character only looks "less gothic" and more "mainstream" than previous internal designs, not compared to earlier games.
"It's not correct to say that we're trying to make Thief 'mainstream', or that we're trying to make Garrett 'less gothic'... This isn't the case," wrote Cantin on Eidos Montreal's community site. "I was referring specifically to a previous Garrett design we tried out internally and not Garrett from the previous games.
"Our early design went a LOT more gothic - with black nails etc - but we thought that this wasn't true to the legacy of Garrett so we pulled it back a bit. Returning to something more true to the original Garrett is what I meant when I said we made him more 'mainstream', this wasn't a comment about the direction of the game.
"I can assure you we're huge fans of the original games and we've done our homework to create a game that maintains the essence of the original.”
Cantin also noted that players will be able to tailor the game's difficulty and complete the entire story without taking a single life. "Garrett is a Master Thief, not a killing machine," Cantin stated.
Original story: Eidos Montreal has redesigned Thief hero Garrett. He's less "gothic" and more "mainstream", or so we're told. But the key-art of a pasty-faced, black-eyed Garrett looks plenty like a goth to me.
"In the beginning, in the conception, we had carte blanche to completely restart a new design of Garrett," explained game director Nicolas Cantin to GameInformer. "We wanted to keep the main DNA of who Garrett was. We didn't want to change that much because it was kind of working already."
The original Thief games - the first released in 1998 - "have a slightly different flavour", added narrative designer Steve Gallanger. "Time's moved on."
"We wanted to bring him more for the modern audience of today's console market," Cantin carried on. "He's now in the game doing more action moves and that's how we wanted the costume and the suit to reflect that.
"In the beginning he was kind of more gothic; we turned down all the things that feel more gothic. For example: black nails and things like that - we don't have that any more. We want to make him a little bit more mainstream on that.
"But yes, he's a dark character, but we don't want really to say he's a gothic one, even though the Victorian period feels really gothic."
Garrett was an odd sausage in the original Thief games, an orphan turned thief turned betrayer that lost an eye. He preferred not to kill, although he did.
It doesn't sound like his personality has changed much. Gallagher said Garrett doesn't trust other people or talk to them, although he talks a lot to himself. He's a funny guy, he added, but he doesn't crack jokes.
Cantin likened Garrett's anti-hero style to that of the Joker (Heath Ledger) and The Crow (Brandon Lee). Judging by their popularity, Cantin believes Garrett is "in a good direction".