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    dkirschner's Thief: Deadly Shadows (PC)

    [December 26, 2012 12:27:35 PM]
    I'm prematurely finished with Thief. I didn't make it through before the holidays, and now haven't played it for 2 weeks and am hopelessly lost. I've got 2 missions left, the enemies are harder (i.e., a knife doesn't kill them anymore), and the maps are difficult to read. The maps have been tough throughout the game, but it's been halfway between annoying and realistic. The maps aren't *bad* but just don't provide a lot of information. And many places in the game become locked, then open, then closed, then there are all these secret passageways, and you constantly have to go back and forth from here to there to there and I am so lost! I spent a lot of time this game trying to figure out where to go in the city. Within the missions, it's okay. The sprawling fortresses and things I can navigate and enjoy sneaking my way through, but I would like to burn down the city and rebuild it and hire some mapmakers. Anyway, I've very much enjoyed this game and feel like it's something I missed out on a long time ago. It turns really really creepy later on like a survival horror. There are zombies, other undead and stuff. The sound in this game is phenomenal and it's very atmospheric.

    There were a few weird bugs that kept popping up. One, I would float. Usually after jumping or going down stairs, I just float, can't crouch, can't jump, and eventually it'll stop. Mildly annoying. The other one is I found out several enemy types can be kneecapped. Your character is a terrible fighter, but if you crouch against, I found out, lizardmen and sometimes the undead zombies, you can just kneecap them to death and they'll just miss you forever. It's weird.

    On to the next one.
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    [December 12, 2012 07:33:01 AM]
    My last 'play an old game' experiment didn't go so well. This one is better, but is driving me insane because it doesn't have any autosave feature. No autosave, no checkpoint, no mission selection, no nothing. I found this out the hard way when I died after an hour or so and had to start the whole game over. I've since not thought about saving when I should have thought about saving probably 20 times, died, and lost a lot of cumulative time.

    I realize that autosave features are a rather modern invention in video games, and that I take some form of autosaving for granted. As a kid, I had no problem manually saving games. I have no problem nowadays manually saving at 'save spots' like in RPGs. But pretty much every other type of game saves automatically when you move from one area to the next, at some loading screen or another, after a tough fight, after finishing a mission, at set checkpoints, etc, etc. I feel that this is something where, if your game doesn't have an autosave feature, you will piss a lot of people off.

    Thief is outstanding otherwise. I had no idea this was such an important game, but it *obviously* is influenced by early Elder Scrolls games like Morrowind, other FPS stealthy games like Deus Ex, and whatever else that I've never played. And having just played Dishonored, Thief feels like an earlier version of that. It's very similar in many ways, and focuses exclusively on the stealth part. Your character, Garreth, is a terrible fighter. But he's sneaky and agile and invisible in shadows. You have a dagger, a bow, and various types of bombs. For the bow, you have different arrows that do different things. Water arrows put out fires to create shadow. Moss arrows coat the ground in moss allowing you to walk across previously noisy metal surfaces quietly. Noisemaker arrows draw guards' attention. It's clever and fun. You can one-shot guards with your bow or dagger if they are "unaware." If they see you, they become "aware" and actively search. You can't one-shot them in this state, must wait for them to give up looking for you.

    The AI is basic. They patrol in set paths, just waiting to be killed. But they will respond (predictably) to noise and search. They notice dead bodies and blood, which alert them. Although the shadow element is nice, it is silly when they can't see you 1 inch away. Sometimes they get stuck in doorways. Today, in an interesting occurrence, I died and was ready to reload my save from 15 minutes earlier when the guards said something about taking me to prison. Huh? Sure enough, they put me in jail this time and I had to escape. First I had to find my things in the requisition room. I was trying to figure out how to get in, when I saw a guard open the doors. Aha! I can follow him in. He went in and shut the doors before I could get in. Then...he couldn't get out. I think he locked himself in somehow. It was amusing.

    Anyway, I'm really agitated by lack of autosave. I played almost an hour tonight and just kept doing the same parts over and over because I keep forgetting to save. The game is wonderfully engrossing, so I don't think about stopping to save! So I'm going to take a break from Thief, try another "play an old game" experiment, and come back to it later. I do want to continue. When I'm not reloading old saves, it's very fun.
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    Status

    dkirschner's Thief: Deadly Shadows (PC)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got frustrated

    GameLog started on: Monday 10 December, 2012

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 26 December, 2012

    Opinion
    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Engrossing. AI a bit dumb, a little easy to get lost, but engrossing. -------- Marking this as frustrating because of the map and the fact that I can't bother to finish. It's a very good game though, ends up being survival horror.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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