Eidos Montreal and SquareEnix did the impossible possible, they recently released a third game set in the famous DeusEx universe by Ion Storm (RIP). They not just brought back the immerse and originality to the industry, they even brought back a franchise that had to be continued after the not very successful second part Invisible War. Until today, even after playing DeusEx3 (I deny to call it just DeusEx since it would be disrespectful to the original from the year 2000), remains the original game on a special place in my heart.
Some say HalfLife was the last game before the downfall of old gaming industry habits, but to me its always DeusEx. The freedom I got as a player while exploring and inhaling the world on its edge before chaos kept stuck in my mind and even forced me to play through it without much sleep and breaks after release in not less than 48 hours straight. I got sucked into its world, tasted the freedom and couldn’t get enough of it. Many games that followed in the decade to come, never thrilled me as much, or half as much as Deus Ex did.
Playing and inhaling the third game Deus Ex: Human Revolution satisfied me to a great extend. I couldn’t believe at first that it can be as near as possible to the original but convinced me pretty fast, even though it had it’s flaws. Nobody will know how the future of gaming will be, but I guess Human Revolution will be refereed to as “one of the best games of that generation” because no other game after it may be as thrilling and immerse like it. But it could be wrong with my vague prophecy. Maybe there could be a second game that can challenge it, a game that got announced 3 years ago and still remains hidden and uncommented by Eidos and SquareEnix. But now, after Deus Ex 3, the time seems right to bring back another long forgotten but by a gigantic fan base long awaited franchise: THIEF4!
As Ion Storm (RIP) got the chance to develop Thief 3: Deadly Shadows, they attempted to lift it into the next generation of games but failed due many limitations of the at their time available technology. Thief:DS got city hubs that sadly got interrupted through annoying loading screens that broke the experience of a live, breathing and constantly changing open ended world. The same flaw could be found in DeusEx2: Invisible War. Both games got released during the same time period and obviously share the same spirit. They’re no bad games, but the time wasn’t right for them to be successful. Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the result of the ideas and mentality found in these two games ten years ago.
Since Deus Ex: Human Revolution proofed that it’s possible to have large city hubs with different layers (sewers, uptown, apartment buildings and rooftops) without to face the need as a producer to split each part of the city hub to allow the world to run without interference on anybodies gaming system of choice, how bad could a possible Thief4 be? I guess, not as horrible as it’s predecessor.
You must blend away the existence of open ended worlds as seen in games like GTA or The Elder Scrolls 4. This franchises just don’t focus on stealth-action gameplay. Eidos Montreal learned from DX:HR and the developer team around Thief4 can only profit even more from Human Revolution’s outcome after release. Some say that a game that is playing with the risk to be denied by gamers worldwide for it’s not as much mass appealing and experimental gameplay can only fail on the market, but DX:HR reversed their possibly small minded opinion.
The people of Eidos Montreal are up to something and we know it. Any employee, press men or administrative at EidosMontreal keep their mouths shut since March 2009, the year Thief4 got announced for the very first time. But if they get asked then they don’t deny it. Lines like “We are absolutely not permitted to discuss any upcoming title releases not being showcased here. We could be fired.” speak of the truth that Thief4 has to be in development. First rumors appeared together with a picture, including two people play testing a game with a hooded protagonist spanning his bow on the official Eidos website in February 2011. Even a senior concept artist job with the description for a “Victorian , medieval architecture and props with a jack the ripper touch” was available for a while until they seem to have found one.
Thief4 is in development, even though any responsible source at Eidos Montreal keeps the iron curtain shut. But we, shall we named nerds, dreamers or fanboys, know what they’re doing, hidden in their sneaksie shadows and behind their closed doors. It’s just a matter of thin growing time for them to make us smile.