Formal reviewing format out the window, I’d rather just address what critics have complained about and whether or not it’s justified:
1.) Critics say it’s a linear obstacle course rather than a proper multifaceted stealth game.
This is true. There are usually only one to two paths at your disposal for any given mission, and odds are that you’ll only have the equipment to use one of them, most of the time. The fun of dodging guards and their patrol routes is present, and the sensation of ducking past an entire area completely unseen is a rush, but ultimately it is little more than an obstacle course. A very stealth-oriented obstacle course.
2.) The frame rate and graphics are bollocks.
Some people actually believe this. It’s completely false. If you play on the PC version and have the necessary setup, you can have a stellar frame rate and have every visual setting maxed out, no problem. I do hear that the PS4 and Xbox One versions have crappy frame rates though, so choose your system wisely.
3.) The boss fights are utter garbage.
This is semi-true. I mean, they shouldn’t exist in the first place for Thief, but considering they’re nowhere near as bad as everyone says they are, the fights aren’t a deal-breaker. The penultimate fight is a hassle but far from horrible if you come prepared with super sharp arrows, and the final fight is piss easy if you have some health-food stuffs with you.
4.) Thief just isn’t fun whatsoever.
Almost every review of this game that was negative said it’s because the game is just piss poor. I’d like to respectfully disagree. The game is divvied up into eight chapters, and while I can only say I had fun with the latter half, it was enough fun to justify a purchase. The first four chapters are so absurdly linear and anti-intuitive gamer that I could barely plow through them, but chapters five through eight made up for this (by and large).
-Cool “swoop” mechanic, makes you feel like a real thief speeding through the shadows
-Nice mechanics/tools, allows for limited improvisation
-Very grounded approach to a stealth game
-Gloomy atmosphere (once you play the game you’ll see the pun I just made)
-Decent boss fights
-Visuals and framerate (tech specs) are downright gorgeous on PC
-Combat is horrible
-Half the game is rubbish
-Not a lot of creative level design present, few optional paths
-Combat is horrible
I got this game back when it launched and had yet to finish it until today, to give you an idea of how compelling Thief is. If you can nab it for thirty dollars or less, power to you. Get it if you absolutely love the stealth genre.