Getting Spotted Will Have Consequences In Thief
Last week we saw a bit of in-game footage from the upcoming Thief title for next-gen and what stood out was how pure the experience can be from a stealth perspective should you choose to keep all aids turned off. What also made an impression on me was how the lighting physics and use of shadows means that Garrett can remain undetected even at close range to enemies.
This is a relief considering the strong repercussions the developers want to be associated with getting spotted. Especially if you’re not familiar with the level layout and can’t get out of the line of fire in time.
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“We are limiting your escape options and you really have to think about consequences of the enemy,” lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt told Shack News in a Q&A.
“There are hiding spots where you can go where guards are less likely to search. We have a lot of these mechanics where you can get away, but it takes a while to teach. In the demos we have shown, there are a lot of things going on at the same time. You don’t have to be perfect. Guards will give up after a while if they can’t find you. You can also use focus combat to take out a guard or two as needed.”
As you’d expect from Thief, stealth isn’t a matter of standing in a shadow and turning invisible, but an analog state with no real “safe” setting.
“There is this middle state as well where you are kind of exposed. There are several states and the analog value comes from how the eye works. Are you moving, are you standing up, are you crouching. A lot of this matters in how we detect you,”
“And peripheral vision is involved. If a guard sees something move out there, he is going to look in that direction. It is a much more slow reaction if they aren’t sure, but if you are right in front of them, they will react much faster.”
Garrett will have access to certain Focus abilities such as a dash to quickly move out of the line of sight if spotted but purists will opt to restart from the last checkpoint if spotted and like any stealth title worth its salt you can be an absolute ghost from start to finish in Thief. Not a single kill nor seen once.
“You can complete the game without killing anybody, or without knocking anybody out, or without causing an alert. In the demo we are showing, at the end there is a tally screen that show you completed the mission without knocking anyone out or killing anyone – and a second one: completed without causing any alerts,” he said.
I was less than impressed with Thief’s E3 showing despite it’s incredible visuals but that can still change and I’m still a sucker for stealth.