Thief: Deadly Shadows continues the high standard of stealth gameplay set by the previous games in the franchise and was released in 2004 for Windows and the Xbox (and eventually backwards compatible with Xbox 360). Marking the third game in the franchise you’ll find both a familiar and fresh stealth focused experience with the most notably improvement an open city available for exploration in between your core missions.
One thing that is unchanged though is Garrett who makes a return as the main protagonist and will have players once again stepping into the shoes of this master thief with all the respective skills required. The game is set in its own world which blends the Victorian era with medieval elements that will have players sneaking amongst sword wielding guards and stealing all manner of golden trinkets. Your adventure begins after Garrett steals a valuable opal from the noble castle and then being called upon to steal two powerful artefacts for the Keeper Artemus that leads to a darker plot that you need to prevent from the shadows.
Players can control Garrett through both first and third person perspectives and most players will find themselves switching between the two regularly as both have their uses in scouting the area. Garrett’s specialty is of course stealth but lacks the combat finesse to beat foes in a direct engagement so you’ll have to use all of your available mechanics to succeed.
While hiding in the shadows and avoiding guards is your number one ability players will also have distract guards or knock them out to clear a path forward to your loot. While most things can be looted once within range Garrett is also a lockpicking expert which requires a mini game to be completed to access locked doors and locked chests. Garrett also has some special theme skills that allow him to magnify his vision and climb sheer surfaces with the right ability item.
Blending these mechanics together in the individual missions you’ll sneak and rely on staying quiet out of sight. If the need does arise for you to deal with a guard then a silent take down is generally necessary although not something you can rely on every time. Hiding the body of your crime is then recommended to prevent other guards being alerted to your presence which requires forethought of their own potential patrol routes. To help players will generally have a hand drawn map to rely on although this also serves as a game mechanic by requiring players to deduce their current location.
Loot is more than just a story element though with this having a real impact on your chance of success in future missions by being able to be sold for weapon enhancements or additional utility. These come from the black market shops and primarily provide you with different arrows, bombs, mines, oil and healing potions that will give you an easier time at your current mission. This mechanic also provides a potential avenue to alter the difficulty of particular missions by first moving around the town to steal from homes or accept a side quest that will help you gear up for a different mission.
- A classic game in the stealth genre and the third in the Thief series.
- Explore the broader city to find additional loot or side quests.
- Purchase utility items from the black market shops to help with your next main mission challenge.
- Leverage the abilities of master thief Garrett to lockpick, climb walls and magnify your vision.
- Stealth based title that explores a dark storyline for Windows, Xbox and Xbox 360 (via backwards compatibility).
- Buy Thief: Deadly Shadows (Humble Store)
- Buy Thief: Deadly Shadows (GOG)
- Buy Thief: Deadly Shadows (Amazon)
Review Platform: PC