Thief returns in 2014

Having successfully revived seminal stealth game Deus Ex

Release Date: 06/03/2013

Having successfully revived seminal stealth game Deus Ex in 2011, Eidos has confirmed it will be bringing back one of the most influential titles in the genre next year when it reboots the Thief franchise.

First seen in 1998, the Thief saga casts the player as Garrett, a light-fingered sneaky fellow who creeps about in gloomy medieval-meets-industrial locations on the look out for things to swipe. The series has long been held up as one of the only true stealth games, with design that insists on absolute secrecy rather than constant neck-breaking ninja moves. The last game was Thief: Deadly Shadows, released in 2004.

That approach will be retained for the new game, which will simply be titled Thief despite being the fourth official game in the series. That's an approach that has paid off well for other revived gaming properties. XCOM, Tomb Raider and SimCity have all started afresh with their titles in recent months.

We're promised a new sneaking system, which uses a "focus" ability to highlight useful environmental features, while focus also earns you "attack points" which serve to channel your combat options. One attack point will allow you to shove an enemy away from you, but to inflict serious damage you'll need to accrue many more. NPCs will also be much smarter than we're used to, programmed with specific knowledge of the areas they patrol, enabling them to work out the hiding places you're likely to use.

Some of the original 1998 Thief team went on to form Arkane Studios, which developed the similar BAFTA-winning Dishonored last year. Nicolas Cantin, director of the new game, has told Game Informer magazine that the new Thief will be less "action-oriented" than Dishonored.

Thief will be out in 2014 for PC and PlayStation 4.

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