Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Game Diary - Thief hides from the blinding light of Truth.

I like Thief.  The new Thief, I mean - not the old Thief, which I love.  But I do like Thief - which is a stronger endorsement than I've seen from most places on the Internet.  Thief is a good game, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise - it's just a bit blind to the classic strengths of its franchise, giving them short shrift in the name of a more visually-polished experience - or so it seems.

Perhaps it's due to being a Stealth Guy.  I love stealth games.  That's my wheelhouse - that is where I feel most at home in gaming (well, that and, say, inFamous or Dragon's Crown) - and as such, it speaks one of the languages I most appreciate.  I can't not enjoy a halfway-intelligent conversation when it's spoken in my mother tongue.

At the same time... as thrilling and homey as they are to me, stealth games are often less fun than they are interesting.  They're generally more about planning than execution, and to its credit Thief makes the execution as lovely as it can - but it rarely achieves fun.  I think Mark of the Ninja is the only stealth game I can name that's pure fun, though, so perhaps - between Klei's efforts and Looking Glass Studios' - I'm holding it to a higher standard than is reasonable.

So, today, South Park: The Stick of Truth came out. I got the Grand Wizard Edition with the cloth map of South Park and the Grand Wizard Cartman statue.  And, at first, I was torn.

I've already put ten or twenty hours into Lightning Returns and walked away from that to play Thief.  If I walk away from Thief to play South Park, that'll be two major release in a row I've played and not reviewed in a timely manner.  Unacceptable.

But Kayla was interested in seeing South Park, and I'll admit, so was I.  I pulled Lightning Returns out of my PS3 and put it in.

It's fantastic.  It's absolutely fantastic, man.  As a game, it's a well-constructed, actively-engaging RPG.  As a slice of South Park, it's hilarious.  It is a shining light of gleeful, successful entertainment that sends Thief's acceptable pleasures fleeing for the shadows.

So yeah.  Thief, you're on the back burner.  South Park is happening, and I'm making myself a promise - right now, in front of all of you, who I hold so dear - that I won't walk away from it when Dark Souls II happens next week.

And now, if you'll excuse me, the latest episodes of Archer and Hannibal are calling my name.  But here, watch the launch trailer - it's pretty kewl.

1 comment:

  1. I liked thief for a while too, but man, to say it goes out with a whimper isn't even scratching the surface.

    The final cut scene in particular is like watching a dev team collectively throw down their tools and walk out in solidarity.

    But seriously... how great is the pooping mini-game in the stick of truth?!