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Writing flavour text for games must be a strange job. On some days you're shaping the world around you, expanding and enriching the story with a tantalising trail of literary breadcrumbs (the Dishonored series would lose a lot of its depth and charm without the letters scattered about the place, for one). On others, however, you're less an epistolary world builder and more an archivist-cum-forger, creating mundane artefacts from a culture that doesn't really exist.
Last week, a movie production company sparked speculation across the internet that a new Thief game was in development.
Dishonored 2 has assembled a helluva cast to bring its characters to life.
The Xbox One version of Thief headlines the handful of free games for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in December.
Xbox One versions of Thief and Tomb Raider will be available for half price this weekend via the Xbox Games Store, Microsoft has announced.
Thief developer Eidos Montreal has made 27 employees redundant today, following the release of its stealth series reboot.
The return of stealth series Thief may have been a critical anti-climax, but it has topped the UK games chart nonetheless.
Better late than never, Eidos Montreal's rebooted Thief has been lying in wait since as early as 2008, where multiple redesigns and staff switch-ups have cast a shadow over its eventual quality. Our behind-doors preview of the game at E3 2013 showed a solid Unreal Engine 3 stealth title running at 1080p30 on PS4 - albeit with detailing and effects-work reminiscent of a last-gen title. But with the retail codes of Xbox One, PS4 and PC versions to hand, we see that this is the least of the game's problems.
In the spirit of openness among developers as of late, the studio has already declared in advance that the game is running at a full 1920x1080 on PS4, while the Microsoft next-gen release runs at 1600x900 - a state of affairs confirmed by our own pixel count. However, due to the use of high quality FXAA post-processing on both platforms, the dropped pixel tally isn't a major point of differentiation. Bird cages shimmer, while hair and fur shaders show up aliasing artefacts to a more notable degree on Xbox One in motion - but they are also an issue on PS4 and PC too. But for the rest of Garrett's clambering across The City, Thief's base image is neatly presented regardless of platform.
For a showcase of how close it gets, check out the extensive comparison gallery, and the videos below. We also put the next-gen versions side-by-side with the lead PC release on maximum settings, where the turnout is also very respectable. For perspective, the PC version runs here at 1080p with textures and shadows at very high, with extra tricks such as tessellation and parallax occlusion mapping (POM) enabled - plus FXAA and SSAA to treat any rough edges.
Dayport: a plague city, where the poor creep and mourn, the candles tremble and snuff, and where, in the tallest clock tower, arch-thief Garrett dusts his jewellery display cases and plots his next job. Absent for years in a dreamless sleep, Garrett has awoken to find his city - and the game in which it features - has changed a great deal since 1998, when Looking Glass defined first-person stealth with Thief: The Dark Project. Video games of this kind of breadth and ambition cost a great deal more to make these days, for one thing. It's a financial pressure that has brought the original game's designs into closer alignment with current fashions.
So the cobbled, rat-piss-stained streets of The City act as a hub from which Garrett heads out into chaptered missions; these carefully funnel him down corridors of gameplay which offer little capacity for diverse approaches. Each mission has a number of high-value unique items to steal (around six per stage) but aside from these ingeniously hidden secrets, you head in a straight line towards the scooting mission marker as it leads you on towards the next objective. Often a mission builds to a crescendo in which you flee a collapsing building or try to outsprint wildfire in a Call of Duty-esque, summer-blockbuster choreographed sprint. Thief's familiar props are present - rope arrows that can be fired to create routes to new areas; glimmering gold wall plaques put up by the council that can be unscrewed and lifted; glow-eyed zombies with dripping fingers - but they're joined by a raft of new imports designed to broaden the game's appeal.
While it's possible to play Thief on the offensive, knocking out security guards by dropping chandeliers onto their heads with a well-aimed arrow or choking them from behind, this is a game that rewards uncompromising stealth. You learn guards' patrol patterns and dart from shadow to shadow, ensuring you're downwind of any guard dog's twitching nose and taking care not to knock over the farcical amount of pots and crockery left lying about. Perhaps you clamber onto a nearby wall in order to gain better vantage point.
Salutations, Eurogamers. Sit back and take a load off, we have another three relaxing videos from Outside Xbox to help you unwind for the weekend.
Classic stealth series Thief is getting a reboot this week. We're promised "unprecedented immersion", "ground-breaking visual elements" and "a truly tactile first-person experience", all thanks to "jaw-dropping Next-Gen technical possibilities". That's right, they capitalised "Next-Gen". That's how Next-Gen it is.
Thief outputs at a native 1080p resolution on PlayStation 4 and a native 900p resolution on Xbox One, Square Enix has confirmed to Eurogamer.
Stealth adventure Thief includes an achievement for taking your time - to unlock it you'll need to play for at least 15 hours prior to finishing the game's story.
Thief is going to be different. Of course, the series is being rebooted, reimagined after ten years in the shadows, so it's bound to step forward cloaked in a very different mantle, and it's unreasonable not to expect some substantial changes. Nevertheless, pull that hood back and you may not recognise the face that stares back. Thief is going to be different.
Want to play the new Thief on PC? Then you'll want to know if your PC can play it.
2014 is upon us, and it promises riches and glory unlike any year before it. With their launches under their belts, the next generation of consoles will, hopefully, show us what they're made of. Virtual reality headsets may make their mark on the mainstream. And with a raft of crowdfunded games due out over the next 12 months, 2014 should tell us whether all that money we pumped into promising projects on Kickstarter was worth it.
Stealth reboot Thief no longer includes any quick time events, developer Eidos Montreal has confirmed.
The change was revealed in a Q&A post with the game's development team, posted on the official Eidos Montreal blog.
"We're not implementing them," studio spokesperson Valérie Bourdeau explained. "To begin with, there were very few instances of QTEs in the game; in fact there was only one in that whole hour-long E3 demo.
Thief developer Eidos Montreal has removed the game's XP system after a mixed reception from fans.
Square Enix has released a new gameplay trailer for stealth game Thief, due out on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on 28th February 2014.
In the video, below, we see series star Garrett sneaking around his hideout, the dark alleys of the City and chatting with old chum Basso.
Developer Eidos Montreal (of Deus Ex: Human Revolution fame) says the new Thief is all about infiltration, theft and escape, and in the video we see Garrett do a bit of each as he enters Baron Northcrest's manor, lifts the Heart of the Lion and legs it.
Thief is another example of a cross-generational game - one available for PS3 and Xbox 360 as well as PS4 and Xbox One (and PC).
Thief publisher Square Enix has announced The Bank Heist, an exclusive mission for those who pre-order the game ahead of its February 2014 release.
The level is being built by developer Eidos Montreal as an homage to the bank mission found within Thief 2: The Metal Age and will include exclusive security measures to disable.
There's also a pile of loot and other secrets squirreled away for you to liberate - most notably a jewel named the Star of Auldale, a family heirloom hidden in the Stonemarket First Bank's vaults.
When Sony unveiled PlayStation 4 way back in February there weren't many examples of how DualShock 4's touchpad and Move lightbar features would better the PlayStation experience.
Edios Montreal's Thief reboot is slated for a 28th February release in Europe and PAL territories, with North America getting it on 25th February, publisher Square Enix has announced. It will be out on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC.
Recently resigned Eidos Montreal founder and general manager Stephane D'Astous has explained the "irreconcilable" differences that led to his departure from parent company Square Enix; notably that the publisher was "lacking" in communication and "has some things to learn" about selling games.
Eidos Montreal founder and general manager Stephane D'Astous has resigned, stating that he had "irreconcilable" differences with parent company Square Enix.
Eidos Montreal narrates 10 minutes of live Thief gameplay on PS4 in this video from E3 2013.
Game producer Stephane Roy explains what's going on as it happens, and shed a little more light in a Q&A following the presentation.
The demo takes place a few hours into the game, when master thief Garrett has taken it upon himself to steal a Heart of the Lion gem from the unpopular Baron ruling the city. He has to infiltrate the Baron's vast mansion as an angry mob approaches. Guards swarm at every turn.
Thief, Eidos Montreal's reboot of the much-loved stealth series, has been been confirmed for Microsoft's Xbox One.
Stephane D'Astous, general manager at Eidos Montreal, seems excited enough. "The next generation of home consoles allow us to create the best and the most immersive THIEF game ever," he said in the official press release. The feedback we have received so far is simply amazing and we can't wait to show more at E3 this year."
Tom had a look at Thief earlier this year, when Eidos Montreal struggled to hide the fact that the game would be heading to next-gen platforms. Still, it sounds like a solid return for the series.
Concept art and in-game models.
Eidos Montreal's reinvention of the famous stealth series.
Eidos Montreal has told Eurogamer that there is "no competitive multiplayer" in the upcoming Thief reboot.
Thief developer Eidos Montreal has explained why it ditched the voice actor behind series star Garrett for the new game.
Last month there was a minor uproar when Thief game director Nicolas Cantin appeared to indicate that the game's hero Garrett had been designed with more mainstream tastes in mind than those of the series' existing audience. As it turned out, he was actually discussing how the character had evolved during this Thief game's development, rather than claiming it was a shift away from the series' enduring values. "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," Cantin wrote in an official forum update.
Square Enix has released the first trailer for its new Thief game.
It video confirms that developer Eidos Montreal has drafted in a new voice actor to play series star Garrett, with previous voice actor Stephen Russell ditched.
Square Enix's official blurb for the game says it's coming out for PC, PlayStation 4 and "other next-generation consoles". That'll be the next Xbox then.
We haven't heard much from Garrett in the last nine years, which makes a certain amount of sense considering he's a master of shadows who can go through entire games without being identified by anyone else in them. But the way the new Thief game is being pitched, with Garrett as a simmering anti-hero, means we may be about to learn a lot more about him. He even has a catchphrase. "What's yours... is mine." That's what he purrs self-confidently as the new logo lingers on-screen at the end of his first outing for the press. Please adjust your gamma slider until the hashtags are barely visible.
What do The Joker, Brandon Lee, a raccoon and an outlaw have in common? They all went into reinventing Garrett. Game director Nicolas Cantin talked in detail about the process and we document it for you elsewhere in our Thief coverage.
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.
UPDATE 2: Some more details have emerged about Thief from GameInformer's cover story.
Thief 4 is now a PlayStation 4 and next Xbox game, according to a new report.
Amidst all the excitement about E3 press conference stars like Beyond, Watch Dogs and Need for Speed: Most Wanted, it's easy to forget that not everything we hear about will make it to fruition, and that the time it takes for a game to go from spectacular reveal to an ignominious death that no one even bothers to report is only as long as it takes for a trailer to fade from memory. Given that we've published 478 videos so far this week, and some of them were for games like that Nike Plus thing, that's not long.
Eidos Montreal's firmly-under-wraps Thief 4 will feature online capabilities and run on Unreal Engine 3, according to freshly uncovered developer resumes.
A series of purported storyboard images from Thief 4 have hit the web.
Square Enix is blaming a bad year on a "weak" console performance; the "continued delay in billing" for embattled MMO Final Fantasy XIV Online; the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan; and the write-off of goodwill - i.e. companies bought by the publisher now not being worth as much.
No longer does the floor space of Eidos Montreal belong to Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Thief 4 production has properly begun.
Hold your horses, for the first screenshot of Thief 4 may have been found.
Thief 4 will make its long awaited debut at the annual Games Developer Conference in San Francisco next month, according to a schedule listing.
Eidos Montreal boss Stéphane D'Astous reckons we'll be "very happily surprised and impressed" with Thief 4, which was officially announced yesterday.
Eidos Montreal has finally confirmed Thief 4 on its studio website.
"We're in the early development stages for Thief 4, but this is an incredibly ambitious project and a very exciting one," writes Stephane D'Astous, general manager.
"It's too early for us to offer any specific game details; right now we are focused on recruiting the very best talent to join the core team at the studio and help us make what we believe will be one of the most exciting games on the market."