The Thief franchise has amassed quite the cult following over the years, with its emergent gameplay born from wide-open level design and the freedom to steal as you see fit. Stealth is central to the exploits of Thief's protagonist Garrett--he's a sneaky infiltrator, not a one-man army,so keeping a low profile is key. For the 2014 Thief reboot, the team at Eidos Montreal are striving to reimagine Garrett's world while retaining the essence of the series' classic gameplay. Doing right by the Thief name means perfecting stealth. But just what is it that defines the stealth genre?
Thief's narrative director Steven Gallagher has an idea. "I think the essence of stealth is anticipation and thoughtful gameplay," he says succinctly. "It's anticipation--'Am I going to succeed? Will I get caught? What's inside the box?' All this sort of mystery. And thoughtful gameplay is to the effect of 'How am I going to get there?'"
Stephane Roy, a producer on Thief, has a slightly different take. "Stealth games are not a definition of how you can feel really powerful [in terms of physical strength]. You're really powerful in another way: voyeurism. Nobody knows that you're there, but you know everything about them," says Roy. "Information is the key. When you know things--when you can read secrets, when you can hear conversations--it gives you this feeling of 'I'm above everything.' Impunity. 'They won't catch me.'"
We're excited to see if Gallagher and Roy's high-level concepts of stealth can shine through in Thief's gameplay; from what we played of it so far, things are looking good. Check out our latest Thief coverage for hands-on impressions and everything else you need to know.