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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Stealth Shooter

 

Publisher

Eidos

 

Developer

Looking Glass

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q2 2000

 

 

- Great gaming idea

- Good gameplay

- Superior enemy AI

 

 

- Steal as much as you can or you're screwed trying to arm up for the next level

- Can you say HARD!!!!

- A huge memory leak problem

 

 

Review: Thief Deadly Shadows (XB)

Review: Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow (XB)

Review: Deus Ex - Invisible War (XB)

 

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Thief II: The Metal Age

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

In Thief II: The Metal Age you continue to play Garret, a master thief who embarks upon jobs or missions to relieve the wealthy of their gold and priceless valuables, while maintaining his affiliation to the brotherhood of thieves. Protecting these treasures are a slough of well trained guards which are always on the lookout for thieves. As one would expect, a head-on assault your target would not be the best approach and therefore stealth is your best ally. Keeping a low profile is a necessity especially when you are not allowed to kill any guards. This would seem to be a difficult task, but Garret has a variety of tools (and weapons) to employ on his jobs: the useful Blackjack (a sack of lead perfectly designed for knocking out unsuspecting guards), a bow with a collection of arrows (water arrows for torches, moss arrows to cross noisy ground, rope arrows to build makeshift crossings), and a variety of potions (some to make you invisible, increase your ability to fall great distances, and most importantly one that prevents you from turning carbohydrates into fat so you'll lose weight FAST!). For fans of the last game you'll remember that Garret lost an eye and had it replaced with a mechanical one - to increase it's potential he also got a scouting orb which can be left somewhere and you'll be able to see from it.

 

theif2-a.jpg (16160 bytes)          thief2-b.jpg (13965 bytes)

The premise behind the game is the presence of a new secret society formed from the remnants of the Hammerites, they call themselves the Mechanists. As the name implies, they are a society of technological geniuses who are building new technologies including some robots who are designed for "protection". The Mechanists are bankrolled by the wealthiest of the citizens, so don't be surprised to run across some of these new robots in the homes and businesses of your targets. It just goes to show you, once again evil Civil Engineers with lots of money will spend all their time trying to take over the world - it's just like Wild Wild West all over again.

The game play is to die for. It's a first person shooter style game which is best handled with a keyboard and mouse (wheel is best for switching weapons). The levels are vast and you can easily get lost in some of these houses or mansions. Making the levels more difficult is the AI of the guards - they not only interact with each other they notice noise and bodies so don't waste someone in a frequently used hallway or an alarm is going to go up real quick. Unfortunately, with such large levels and high graphic detail a memory leak problem has been known to occur - that is the frame rate will decrease drastically and you have to stop and reboot 

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your computer because a crash is imminent. This is extremely frustrating to gamers whose computers aren't exactly the most stable of machines and a crash really screws it up for the better part of a week.

The detractions from this game are few: a serious problem with the difficulty settings - you're pretty much playing the same game no matter what difficulty level it's set at (except expert) and let me tell you that it is one hard-ass game. 

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I've pretty much given up on it after a few tries and switched to a game I'm actually good at. Another annoying problem is the amount of money that you need in this game - you'd better steal everything that's not tied down or you won't have enough gold to buy everything that you're going to need for the next level.

The story-line blends well from the original game, but no so much so to disorient new gamers (and most importantly there aren't any undead characters). All in all, Thief II: The Metal Age is a good game which was a little too big for its' engine and will bring happiness to its' fans.

- Tazman

 

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