Thief: Deadly Shadows is definitely the weakest addition to the Thief series, as it catered for the broadened player base as part of it’s developed for the Xbox console, making it nowhere near the level of its predecessor, but still a solid stealth game and probably one of the lasts of its genre. Despite that, the developers have put in an effort into recreating the world of Thief.
It takes what was best from Dark Project and adds a new layer of surreal horror to it that results in one of the most widely playable games yet. The setting is familiar to the first instalment and the story becomes similarly weird and mysterious. The controls have improved over Metal Age and enable a flawless exploration of the world. The story is what really tops the two previous titles.
However, the dated graphics engine means that loading screens are plentiful and levels are small. It's been streamlined for the Xbox crowd and the consoles limitations and features a bunch of nonsensical elements which were not present in previous Thief games. Getting wedged in the scenery is not a rare event and the rag-doll physics are lazy and unnatural compared to what they should have gone with - good animations. The game now uses a ‘City-hub’ rather than the assumed natural progression between missions as seen in the previous titles. Deadly Shadows is a lot more linear, and suddenly rope/vine arrows and scouting orbs don't exist, and Garrett has forgotten the ability to swim as he dies the instant he touches water. The combat system as expected is not one of the Thief’s strong points, and it would be safer altogether, to just avoid an enemy in the first place.
Die-hards fans might consider it a disgrace to the Thief series, and as a whole, it simply does not live up to the legacy, but despite all of this, the game does deserve credit for maintaining the Thief atmosphere and keeping the series going.