PC Gamer

Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.

Say what you will about the game itself, but Thief's setting is as evocative as they come. Known simply as The City, this moody hub is equal parts Victorian Gothic and supernatural steampunk, sporadically illuminated by the light leaking from clouded windows and drowning in low-hanging mist.

There's little respite from the blue-black colour scheme besides the seedy rouge decor in the House of Blossoms and warmer tones of the Baron's manor, but that's what makes it so oppressive: it's always night, and it's nearly always raining. I actually took 40 shots in all, so if you'd like to see the ones not linked below, click here.

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PC Gamer
Thief Deadly Shadows

Here's a little something to get the taste of the recent Thief reboot out of your mouth. Industrious, possibly Hammerite modders have been working on a Gold mod for Deadly Shadows for a while now, which among other things removes the loading transitions that were a bit of an annoyance in the original game. While these haven't been excised from the tutorial or the between-mission city hub and by 'excised' I mean the constituent map parts have been carefully stitched together the nine main missions have been lovingly reworked. Thief 3 Gold has just left beta, if you want to try it out.

Thief 3 Gold goes beyond shoving map parts together, however: it also redesigns the bits where loading would have occurred, and makes it so that you don't have to nick the Widow Moira's inheritance on Expert difficulty, among other tweaks. 1.0 won't be the final version of the mod, obviously, but expect it to be integrated into Deadly Shadows' big Sneaky Upgrade mod eventually, which fixes a ton of issues with Eidos' hobbled Thief threequel.

Will Thief 4 receive the same care and attention sometime down the line? We can only hope. One quick fix that would make the game roughly 53.86% better would be to remove that abysmal Thief-Taker General character from the game.

Important stealth reminder: the excellent Dark Mod is now standalone.

Thanks, RPS!
PC Gamer
The Dark Mod

Confession: I was initially dubious about Square Enix's old-school Thief modding contest. It seemed, at the time, like a somewhat cynical attempt at getting Thief's fan-base on-side. In practice, of course, the reasons are less important than the fact it highlighted some exceptional work from a dedicated community. The Dark Mod is an excellent game that neatly captures the feeling of the original Thief series, and so it's fitting that one of its more recent missions has been named as the competition's winner.

Requiem was first released in October of last year, soon after The Dark Mod was re-released as a standalone game.

"In Requiem you step into the shoes of Bolen, a thief living in a sprawling medieval city," explains its creator. "As the game starts, your most reliable fence has just sent you an urgent note telling you to come over to his house. You have no idea what he has in store, but with the sun setting it sounds like you might be in for an interesting night."

A recent update to The Dark Mod blog reveals that, not only is a new 2.02 update incoming, but that Requiem creator Gelo "Moonbo" Fleisher is working on a follow-up. "I've also been hard at work making a two-part sequel to Requiem," Moonbo writes in a blog update. "The first part is fully done, and the second part is well underway." You can see a preview screenshot of that episode below, and find more Dark Mod missions here.

PC Gamer

So far, the only real world example of AMD s new graphics API, Mantle, is some less-than-convincing performance in Battlefield 4. Now though, AMD have teamed up with Eidos and are set to release a new update to the latest Thief game, wrestling it away from the Microsoft clutches of DirectX and giving it some Mantle lovin'.

For the uninitiated Mantle is a rival graphics layer AMD have created to replace DirectX on their Graphics Core Next graphics cards. Its promise is of giving developers much closer access to the hardware they re coding for, and reducing the processor overheads that have recently become synonymous with Microsoft s API.

Unfortunately, while the Battlefield 4 update did offer some boosts, it did so at the cost of smooth performance. It raised the average frame rate on AMD cards, but slashed the minimum frame rate, leading to choppy war-based gaming.

While BF4 is the only real-world example of what Mantle can do so far, Oxide Games Nitrous Engine, shown via the Star Swarm demo, is a great indicator of what a game engine can do when it s been created with Mantle in mind from the get-go.

So far the Star Swarm demo has been the best example of Mantle in action

Mantle performance in Star Swarm is far in advance of what the DirectX 11 version can do at the same system settings.

Fingers-crossed the new update to Thief leans more towards Star Swarm than Battlefield 4, and we start to see some serious improvements to Eidos game running on middle-order hardware.

Alongside the March 18th release of the Mantle update for Thief, AMD and Eidos are also releasing the first TrueAudio update for any game in the market. TrueAudio utilises the compute power in the graphics card to offload intensive audio effects from the CPU, which should give richer sounds to games.

In addition to making the game run quicker on AMD graphics cards with Mantle, it should also sound more realistic on them too. We'll see if this really is a game-changer tomorrow.
PC Gamer
Thief 2014-image

Speedrunning a game like the new Thief sometimes means knowing when to slow down. Youtuber prenatual has set a pretty high standard with the complete playthrough documented above, a two-hour, 1300-point custom speedrun with no kills, alerts, or knockouts.

As we heard in advance of its release, Thief lets players craft some fiendishly difficult and complex custom requirements for different playthroughs. Each of the difficulty settings is assigned a point value which adds up to a final score once the game is completed. Thief's in-game leaderboards then rank these custom game finishes based on this final score as well as how quickly the score was achieved after the game's release at the end of last month.

Prenatual's speedrun includes the Iron Man setting, where any death or failed mission causes the entire game to restart and also doesn't see Garrett make use of extra tools such as the wrench or wire cutters to open up new paths. It's a unique achievement, but also one that could grind on a person a bit, as prenatual mentions in the video's comment section.

"It took me much longer than I expected while being not particularly hard and, frankly, wasn't a very enjoyable experience," prenatual writes. "The ghost playstyle requires that you don't interact with the environment or enemies in any way whatsoever, so most of the time the sneaking boiled down to finding holes in enemies' patrols and swooping past everyone. No distractions or anything fancy."

Still, as an artifact of the way players create game experiences that sit decidedly outside the norm, it's fantastic. The video description includes more commentary from prenatual on some of the issues that come up when speedrunning the new Thief, as well as links to highlights throughout the video and a look at the the stats page at the end. Since the video does show the complete story, the usual spoiler warnings apply.
PC Gamer

Tangiers is one of the most bizarre, interesting looking games to come along in ages, and new screenshots show that strangeness is turned right up to 11 and stapled there. Inspired by DADAist art, Tangiers revels in the off-the-wall weirdness of its environments and after years of gray/brown military shooters, the truly strange and beautiful is quite a breath of fresh air.

The game, which was Kickstarted last year and Greenlit in January, promises stealth gameplay inspired by Thief. Instead of a vaguely Steampunky city-scape, however, Tangiers is set in a surrealist artwork world where you can "collect... discarded conversations, hurling words down the street to distract your enemies, to give you a split second to slip past." Stealth based action not restricted by the (mostly) logical conventions of ninjas or NSA super spies? Yes, please.

In a short blog post, developer Andalusian Games says that Tangiers has hit the feature complete milestone, and that we can expect a new trailer in the next week. Until then, bask in the soft glow of...what is that? Is that a toddler s car seat on a noose? Man, this game is weird.

Check out its website for more updates. See the rest of the new screenshots below.

PC Gamer

Thief is back. We've played the reboot from Eidos Montreal and seen what Thief looks like in 2014. But what does the original Thief, released in 1998, look like today? We decided to find out.

With the right mod installed, a modern PC can easily run the classic 1999 version of Thief, Thief Gold, at 1080p. But we played Thief Gold on the Large Pixel Collider, which is never satisfied with 1080p. The LPC worked its pixel-pushing magic to render Thief at 3840x2160, and we took a ton of screenshots along the way. This is The City sharper and higher-res than you've ever seen it before.
How to play Thief at high resolution
You can download Thief from GOG.com or Steam. We used GOG to play a version of Thief Gold running on NewDark, a modified version of Thief's Dark Engine, which happily runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8 and supports HD widescreen resolutions. GOG's installer comes with NewDark preinstalled. Aside from NewDark's engine fixes, Thief will look a whole lot like it did in 1998.

If you own the classic Thief games on Steam, check out the TFix patch, which includes NewDark and a host of graphical updates like improved character models and dozens of texture changes. We decided to keep things pure while we played, sticking with the old textures but running the game at a much higher resolution.

The LPC handled Thief Gold at 3840x2160 with ease thanks to a technique called downsampling. By creating a custom resolution in Nvidia's control panel, we pushed a 1080p monitor beyond its normal limits. You can follow a guide, like the one above, to try out downsampling yourself, but it can be finicky your video card, cabling and monitor combo will affect how well it works.

Ready for a return trip to The City's shadowy streets? Make sure to click on the screenshots below for the uncompressed, full resolution 10MB images.

For more classic game screenshots at ludicrously high resolutions, check out our gallery for Tomb Raider. Head to lpc.pcgamer.com for more from our irresponsibly powerful gaming PC, including 1440p gameplay videos, system specs, and a making-of video in which we build the Large Pixel Collider with a hand from Digital Storm.

PC Gamer
thief LPC

The Large Pixel Collider our "ridiculously overpowered because we can" super machine considered mining Bitcoin for a while, but with that mountain crumbling, it's taken to indiscriminately swiping shiny objects in Thief. We sneaked into its clock tower lair to capture some video at 1440p with the settings cranked as high as they go.

We built the LPC with help from Digital Storm to record super high-end video like this one. So far, we've hit the Titanfall beta, Max Payne 3, Metro: Last Light, and Arma 3. There's much more to come drop suggestions in the comments!
PC Gamer
Thief bowsplode

Thief has a brilliant options menu. Visual aids like loot-glint, objective markers and object highlighting can be disabled for a score multiplier. You can even turn off Garrett's new "focus" mode, and guard alert indicators, and then turn the whole thing into a sneaky roguelike by activating Iron Man mode. Die, or fail an objective, and the whole run comes to an end. Sounds like a perfect challenge for our Thief reviewer, Chris Thursten, who streamed the start of his Iron Man adventure last night. How did he get on? The video is here.

For our verdict on the Eidos Montreal reboot, check out our Thief review.

UPDATE: If you're having trouble viewing the video, check it out on Chris' Twitch page.
PC Gamer

In this week's episode, we talk all about Thief (read our review!), Wolfenstein: The New Order (read our preview!), lockpicking minigames, Broken Age, the Oculus Rift, and "focus" modes. Plus, we give our take on the end of Irrational (read our farewell) and use the word "intrinsic" a whole bunch.

Hold 'F' to slow down time and listen to PC Gamer Podcast #373 - Hocus Focus Mode.

Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Send an MP3 to pcgamerpodcast@gmail.com or call us toll-free at 877-404-1337 x724.

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@ELahti (Evan Lahti)
@wesleyfenlon (Wes Fenlon)
@tyler_wilde (Tyler Wilde)
@demiurge (Cory Banks)

Podcast theme by Ben Prunty.

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