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... was much awaited, after the success of Thief 1 (The Dark Project) and Thief 2: The Metal Age. In some respects the third instalment does disappoint, and may be a let down for fans of the previous Thief games. Thief was never known for its fantastic graphics, but the storyline was unmatched in the world of PC gaming, and the character strength, editing possibilities and total replayability meant that this was overlooked and only added to the charm. Deadly Shadows has tried to up the ante with state of the art graphics, player interaction with NPC's and sound, but falls short because of the limitations it places on some systems - often, the game will not play at all, or freezes. The graphics are still blocky, and the 'bloom' effect simply makes everything look hazy, instead of smoothing edges.
NPC's aren't as aware as they could be, although their reactions are usually accurate and quite hilarious at times. They have a tendancy to get 'stuck' on terrain and repeat themselves too often, and the respawning in city sections is annoying.
This isn't the first time we've seen The City in Thief, but it's the first time you have had free reign to explore, steal and interact outside of missions. Load zones are annoying and distract from the game, and constantly running through them does take time.
What saves Deadly Shadows is the fantastic Shalebridge Cradle level - often voted the scariest level in a video game. The sheer atmosphere, coupled with the music and ambient sounds, induce a real feeling of terror, and the game is worth playing just for that experience.
After reading this review I was compeled to buy this video game. I have played and played the game it is suberb. Thankyou for this exceptional review! ;-)
thereddragon 05.09.2006 15:32
Good review. You need a high-end ATI or NVidia graphics card for this game, otherwise it could well crash at times and run in 'jerk-o-vision' the rest of the time. I agree that the Cradle level is one of the spookiest levels ever - really gives me goosebumps! But then, this game was made by much of the same team who made System Shock 2, one of the scariest games ever made (if not THE scariest)! I also like that the same voice actress who played SHODAN, the deranged and murderous AI in the System Shock series, plays Lauryl, the little-girl voice of the Cradle level here in Thief: Deadly Shadows!