Thief Deserves Another Reboot on Xbox Series X|S

Thief Deserves Another Reboot on Xbox Series X|S
Thief Deserves Another Reboot on Xbox Series X|S 1
Soapbox: Thief Deserves Another Reboot on Xbox Series X|S

The Thief series has a storied history, whose origins began on PC with the original two games, Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age† However, I was too young to experience those games at their peak, in the late 90s and early 2000s, and even a little too young for many of them. Thief Deadly Shadows on xbox. However, I was very close for the reboot of the series in 2014 and I have to admit that I quite liked it, despite the lukewarm response

Of course it was janky here and a bit broken there. Of course, the game’s map was split into what felt like a million “hubs” because it was rooted in the Xbox 360 era, and sure enough, the frame rate jumped all over Xbox One. But for me, something just worked on it. I loved wandering the dark streets of the atmospheric city (aptly named ‘The City’) of rich people in their rooftop penthouses. I loved the tactile feel of a pickaxe blasting my way through empty condominiums, happily scooping up all the loot I could find. I even enjoyed just sneaking around and observing how both the rich and the poor lived their lives. Thief 2014 is not perfect and towards the end of the campaign it is real derailed, but I still have a soft spot for it.

Thief fights

And all this got me thinking, the series deserves another chance, right? The IP will fall under the wing of Embracer Group once their recently announced acquisition goes through, so at least that prospect seems more likely than it did a week ago. So, what should? Thief ‘5’ contain and which direction should the new publisher take?

For me, a focus on immersion should be a clear goal. Sure, Thief had a world map that you could pick up at any time, but it was kind of useless because of the aforementioned ‘hub’ approach, and I almost think that benefited the game in the end. I’ve hardly ever used Thief’s map, and that combined with the minimalist UI really drew me to ‘The City’. In fact, a sequel could probably take away much of any UI and stick to in-world guidelines for platforming, exploration, and the like.

thief city

Another direction I’d like to see the game move is a more organic approach to campaign design. Perhaps the weakest aspect of Thief 2014 was the story missions themselves, and I actually preferred tackling the various side missions (or “jobs”) doled out by dark dudes around town. Give me a shelter to hide my loot and a list of rich people to go after and I’ll be a lucky thief, all told.

Next-gen only is also a must, which would be quite likely given the planned timing of this acquisition. After the segmented style of Thief’s open world, I want a huge city to wander around with no barriers and certainly no loading screens. Xbox Series X|S can certainly offer that and then some, judging by what we’ve seen from this generation so far. Thief’s city was probably the shining light, even with the 360-era cuts, and I’d love to see what can be cooked up on next-gen consoles in a possible sequel.

thieves hideout

Speaking of the city, Thief took place entirely at night, which makes sense given the game’s focus on getting things from rich people in the dark. However, I’d welcome a full day-night cycle where the game essentially becomes much more difficult in broad daylight. Think Dying Light’s nighttime mechanic, but turned upside down, where daylight raid becomes the game’s hardcore mode and offers an extra thrilling challenge. The developer would have to work to keep the game’s signature atmosphere intact, but I think such a setup could certainly work.

Other than that I don’t really have any other requests, I just hope there’s a sequel. The first three games have received a lot of praise, and fans of those will probably have their own request lists, but I don’t want the developer to throw everything out about the 2014 reboot. Hopefully Eidos Montreal, or whoever eventually develops another Thief game, will get the time and technology needed to make the game shine on Xbox Series X|S this time around.

What do you think of the Thief series? Does it deserve another crack on next-gen? Let us know your thoughts below!

Thief Deserves Another Reboot on Xbox Series X|S 1

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