Though the evidence is pretty convincing, I am being cautious with my heart. Rumors abound — e.g., at The Escapist and Kotaku — that the game being revealed today by Eidos Montreal is a new Thief title. If this is the case, you should know that I’ll do a happy dance from my office to the kitchen and back, a-w00ting all the way. When people ask me what my favorite (video) game is, it goes like this:
PEOPLE: “Hey, Will, what’s your favorite ga—”
ME: “Thief: The Dark Project.”
Gameplay, world-building, level design, character design, voice acting — I love those games from top to bottom, even when they’re as hindered as Deadly Shadows was. Though that game still contains real brilliance — see Kieron Gillen’s sterling essay on Deadly Shadows‘ insanely scary level, “Journey Into The Cradle,” set in a burned-down orphanage/insane asylum. (At this point, I imagine The Escapist is sick to death of me pitching them articles that use Thief as an example of great design.) The only thing sad about a new Thief game is that I probably won’t get to write a word of it.
Anyway, if a fourth Thief is announced today, you can be sure that my excitement will be positively not-stealthy.
Update: So, yes, I have found hope in my time of woe. Thanks to all of you who wrote or tweeted* the news. To those of you worried about the typographical antics of the placeholder logo — THI4F — take heart in the fact that everything except the logo says Thief 4. I still remember fondly the early Thief logo done up as amber, leaded glass (now so far forgotten that I couldn’t find it in a Google image search), which means I liked the game back when it was just playing garages and bars in Berwyn, Illinois, before it got all popular. You know, back when it had the original drummer.
I even made D&D stats for the game’s monsters, the summer that D&D 3E came out. And, as if that weren’t enough, I just found this embarrassing thing, still online. It is basically a photograph of me as a stunted boy-geek, in an actual basement, treating the Internet like a spiral-bound notebook.
As ballast, here’s something I wrote about the game for The Escapist, after I’d finally put on some damn shoes and gotten out of that basement.
John Hodgman also likes Thief, as you probably already suspected. Here, as I said over there, is why you would also like it: “It is magnificent, catholic-industrial, pagan, and criminal in all the best ways — a first-person steampunk noir that combines stained-glass occultism and mecha-medieval architecture with classic radio-style dramatic storytelling. It’s a wicked gestalt.”