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I have this clear memory of playing the first Thief, crouching against the wall in a dark stairwell as a guard walked closer. I held my breath until he passed, hidden in a shadow inches away. The games in the original Thief trilogy were all about light and darkness, with a light gem at the bottom of the screen to indicate whether you were really in the dark, reducing the guesswork created by the oddities of first-person bodies and your own screen settings. It’s an obvious idea more stealth games should borrow.
A a lot of things from the original Thief games didn’t become standard in the genre, and even the 2014 reboot/sequel didn’t pick up on some of them. For that we have The Dark Mod [official site].
Every Sunday, we reach deep into Rock, Paper, Shotgun’s 141-year history to pull out one of the best moments from the archive. This week, Adam’s 2012 article singing the praises of videogame cities which are more than mere reconstruction, but are built from the bricks and mortar of ideas.>
I’ve been visiting various cities recently, which always fill me with confusion and wonder, then Dishonored made me think about how much I miss Looking Glass. Put the two together and this happens. Join me in a meandering word-search for cohesion and theme in the use of the city across Thief, and the selected works of Rockstar and Charles Dickens. Be warned, there are spoilers for all three Thief games.