Yesterday, a new video for Thief was released. It captured 17 minutes of gameplay based on the Lockdown mission, which is apparently the first mission in the game after the tutorial. It seems that a Heist has gone wrong and Garrett is trying to make it back to his hideout in the clock tower. The mission seems to be fairly straightforward, with a nice optional side mission included as well. Which surprise, surprise, involves breaking into a jeweler shop.
The gameplay mechanics seem really well done, and I like the first person aspect of it. I felt it helps with the immersion and difficulty. It’s tougher to be situationally aware in first person than in third. The looking through keyholes mechanic is a nice touch. Water arrows were used prevalently (which is what I believe gave the high Opportunist score on the mission recap screen (see below.)) The lock picking mechanisms seem to be pretty well done, very much timing based. We saw a little bit on what lock picking is like in focus mode, but not enough to really build on. The safe portion of the demo was really interesting, I really enjoyed the “finding switch” mechanic. The safe code was a little obvious, but I’ll give them that one, it’s only the first real mission in the game, they have got to build up the difficulty.
Something I wasn’t really impressed with was the bland AI. To me, the guards were kind of stupid. Your brazier goes out and you just stand there looking at it until it comes back on? C’mon, at least move around and look for someone who might’ve done it. You hear something and you don’t go check every nook and cranny around the area you are in? Doesn’t sound like a very smart guard. And worst of all, you are patrolling the valuables inside a jewelry shop and stuff is being taken right before your eyes and you don’t notice? How thick can you get? I mean these are middle of the room display cases in plain view and they’ve been cleaned out and you still don’t notice! It was really frustrating. I’d much rather them notice, sound the alarm and add a degree of difficulty, or a time limit while the guard goes for reinforcements to get the objects you can before more guards come. I was really kind of disappointed that the guard’s intelligence was so low.
One thing I really did like was the large amount of things to do in this mission alone. If you look at the end of mission recap (there’s a screenshot of it above) you can see that in this 17 minute long mission, the player did less than a quarter (23%) of the things that could’ve been done in this mission alone. Which to completionists like me, that means that this game is going to be an incredible time sink. It would probably take me around 30+ minutes to finish this mission the way I want to finish this mission, which is good. The more time I spend playing a game, the better. I actually want to feel like I spent my money on a good purchase, and overall time played helps that. I look forward to finding all the loot and all the collectibles and completing all the challenges in every mission I can.