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Welcome To The Shadows
Ion Storm Austin created the game Thief: Deadly Shadows in 2004, the last in a series that was started previously by Looking Glass Studios. The game sets a new bar for stealth in a medieval setting that has yet to be surpassed. Despite its age, this game is still a fun endeavor and can hold its own in a lot of ways. Lets take a look then at what is done right in this fun title and why you should pick it up.
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A Dark And Complicated Tale
While I won't spoil the game for you, I will mention that the writing in this game is very nicely done. For those who have played the previous Thief games, you'll recognize the main character Garrett - the character you play - as well as others. But even if you haven't played any Thief games in the past, its still easy to get the gist of whats going on. There is some depth to the storyline and there are some moments where you get a good idea what type of person Garrett really is. While the basic premise is that you play as a thief, there are larger things going on and you easily get caught up in all of this. Its accurate to say that the storyline is exemplary, something that current games could definitely use as a prime example of excellence in writing.
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Controlling Your Murderous Intent
The controls for the game are usual for a FPS. Yes this is technically a FPS-type game, but thats like saying a Corvette is just a car. The environment for one thing is much more open than your usual FPS, so you can actually sneak around in the various city sections, interacting with the populace through pickpocketing or assassination. While there are missions or quests you work on, there's no particular way that you have to use to get there for the most part. The equipment you utilize is revolutionary and interesting. You carry a medieval arsenal, from the blackjack - used for knocking out foes - to the various types of arrows, such as water arrows to put out torches or moss arrows that cover the ground with moss to help you creep silently by. The AI is well done, such as when the guards become alarmed when a body is found or they see something in the shadows. Darkness is your friend, and the light indicator helps you stay in the shadows. There are too many good things to be listed with regards to this title, but its enough to say that gameplay is well done.
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The Sounds Of Silence
For a game that is almost five years old, this game still holds its own in the graphics department. The entire game has a very dark feeling to it, which really helps wrap you up in the stealthy imagery. Light plays a very important role, particularly since you are trying to not ever be seen. While the game isn't as good as some of the best out right now (Crysis for example), its still well done. The visuals pull you in and the tone is definitely in line with the rest of the game. The music and sounds of the game are also immersive, perfectly in tune with everything else the game provides.
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What Do You Need?
This is an older title, so you should expect some fairly low requirements. The game says you should have the following:
- Windows 2000/XP - older OS's are not supported
- Pentium 4 1.5Ghz or better
- 256MB RAM
- Various Radeon or GeForce cards that support pixel shader 1.1
- DirectX9 compatible sound card
- 3Gigs of hard drive space
The system I ran it on exceeds most of that by a large margin (including using WinXP64). A couple things to note however are this. You can't have a graphics card with the 4MX, 4 GO, or Nforce2/3 chipset. This is probably not likely unless you haven't upgraded your gaming PC in quite a while. There is also an error that comes up when you run the game about CD Emulation software. While I wasn't running any, I found that I had to close out pretty much all programs running in the background. There is also one patch you can easily find on the internet for this game.
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Embark On A Dark Adventure
Overall this game is a must have, one your gaming library really must include to be called complete. The developers have put a lot of effort into the depth of the game, so much so that music, sounds, visuals and storyline are all tied together in a nice package - one that draws you in and doesn't let you forget what you should be experiencing. Replayability is not really there of course, but the game leaves enough fond memories that this is okay. You finish up feeling satisfied with a decently lengthy gaming experience. The game has aged well also, so its still fun to play despite being a bit older. Since you should be able to find it quite cheap, the price is right too. Find a copy and see for yourself what makes this excellent game a worthwhile purchase.