<p>Thief: The Gaming Everyman
May 21, 2016​
My relationship with the Thief games will apparently forever be a complicated one. I've never been
able to make a final decision about any of the games in the series and (spoiler alert!) things haven't
changed much with the latest installment in the franchise.
The FirstPerson Shooter genre has been crowded with copycat macho war fantasy shooters ever
since Doom solidified the genre in 1993. Because of this, Thief was a welcome change of pace that
caught many gamers (myself included) off guard. Instead of running and gunning, you had to rely on
your wits and skulking with just a bit of clobbering guards thrown in for good measure.
It was incredible. I quickly found myself mesmerized with how well the advanced graphics (for the
time at least) and the light meter mechanic immersed me in the world. I found the world to be well
crafted and amazingly realistic. That is, right up until the point that I went into a dark crawlspace and
encountered a spider as big as my face.
You see, in my mind’s eye, I had put myself into “Realistic Story Mode.” The Thief development
team had done so much to make me feel like I was playing in a simulation of a realistic world that I
had a bit of a shock when I was caught off guard by an entirely unrealistic enemy. The disparity
between realism and threefoot spider immediately killed the immersion and sucked me out of the
experience. It appears that immersion killing circumstances are still an issue with the Thief franchise.
But before we get to that, let’s talk about game consoles.
Game consoles have become surprising similar to PCs in the last few years, especially so with the
current generation of boxes from Sony and Microsoft. However, despite all the similarities and
shared architecture between modern consoles and PCs, designing games for a console has a very
particular set of design constraints. Without getting too far into the technical and economic specifics,