"Thief Purists Will Have Options" Says Thief Director

By Ishaan . March 26, 2013 . 5:30pm

In Eidos Montreal’s upcoming Thief game, Garrett has an increased ability to focus, due to an event that takes place early in the game, the studio reveals on its official blog. This ability speeds up his reaction times and helps empower the player.


“But, it’s not something that you’re forced to use,” the game’s director, Nicolas Cantin, clarifies. “It’s something that you manage, something that is one of the tools at Garrett’s disposal that he can use to tackle the various situations he is confronted with.”


Cantin elaborates: “Focus is something that you have to manage, that you have to accumulate. The player will have to choose when the best time is to take advantage of Garrett’s Focus, as he has many different ways and abilities that Focus can be used. It’s completely up to the player to decide and manage how Focus is used in the game.”


Aside from using Focus in combat, you can use it to enhance your lock-picking, pick-pocketing and marksmanship. Additionally, you’ll also be able to use it in conjunction with Thief’s object highlighting system, which is similar to previous Thief games. However, Cantin insists, if you want to play through the game without using Focus for the added challenge, you’ll be able to do that.


“All I can say now is that Thief purists will have options—those types of players will definitely be pleased,” Cantin promises.


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  • Keyanf

    Wow, the sheer number of marketing words in this…

  • SirRichard

    Would’ve been more pleased had it not existed at all, frankly, because its inclusion doesn’t bode well for their overall approach to the game, and I’ve not heard promising things about their approach to combat, either.

    Yes, this is my “I hate new players, filthy casuals” moment, just let me have this.

    • FetusZero

      This might be Hitman: Absolution all over again, in terms of “purists”.

      I still have hope though.. solely because I’m a bigger fan of Thief than I was of Hitman and I want this to work.

      • digitaldevil0

        It’s funny that Hitman: Absolution was nigh unplayable on purist without the blend ability since the enemies have ridicolous hawksights to see through your disguises.

        Purist settings don’t mean a thing if the game hardly plays as its predecessors.

    • Minsec6820

      With some slight para-phrasing you would sound just like the the last dude I killed in Bioshock Infinite. I totally ripped his face in half with the skyhook……

  • Sylveria

    I’m kinda.. confused.. how the modern approach to appease people who are upset the reduction of difficulty by putting in a bunch of “casual friendly” mechanics is the Final Fantasy solo white mage run mentality – increasing the difficulty through self-imposed restrictions instead designing a game that’s easy to learn but difficult to master.

    But if no-small-portion of the MGR reviews taught me anything it’s that people just face-mash their way through tutorials, don’t learn the mechanics, then blame the game when they don’t know how to play it. Sad times we play in.

    • Mr_SP

      Making a game that’s “easy to learn, but difficult to master” is… difficult. Compared to higher difficulty levels and the restriction of mechanics, you could increase your gameplay development costs by a dozen times.

      For Thief, such things might not even be possible – this is *not* a combat game. It’s a sneaking game! You can’t reconstruct the mechanics in a way that’s more complicated than “be quiet, don’t get caught”. If they tried, it would no longer be Thief, and you would suddenly have something worth worrying about. If the idea was applied anywhere, it would be the combat, because you are not supposed to be able to win fights.

      And, yes, the simple answer is “you don’t have to use it”. It always is. You don’t *have* to play on Easy. You don’t *have* to grind for hours to grossly out level the story enemies. Welcome to the world of choice.

      • JustThisOne

        If that was the case, I would have preferred an option like this to be on a different difficulty, or something like. Maybe have a hard mode where you can’t use focus.

        I understand what you mean and it makes good sense. However, even if you don’t *have* to grind or use this mechanic or so on, gamers tend to do it anyway. Why? Because it’s available. It’s like Disgaea and the item world – you don’t *need* a maxed out weapon, but you want it. You don’t need to use “focus” to play, but why wouldn’t you use it if it gets the job done faster?

        Maybe I’m only speaking for myself here, but that’s how I think gamers tick. And that’s also why I think sometimes, games need to be designed with that in mind.

        • Mr_SP

          Well, yes. That’s how Hitman did it. While you had Instinct, each increased difficulty reduced it’s usability. This feels like the same thing: an unnecessary hand-holding gesture. Most likely, there’s going to be a no-Focus difficulty, or option, or at least a trophy for it.

          In this case, the ability is added so that it’s beatable by the average gamer, and quite often, games need to be designed with that in mind to be profitable. Gamers have long since proven that they are perfectly capable of restricting themselves, because they don’t believe they need such things. The sheer number of crazy restrictions – and guides that have been written on how to do it – that some gamers have implemented for games like Final Fantasy X have shown that.

          Yes, gamers will want to use that feature. That’s what it’s there for. I’m not saying that it will go unused, I’m saying that it’s rude to assume that people that don’t want to use it are going to use it anyway, because they are too mentally weak to choose otherwise. Many times have I used a feature to make things easier on me, and many times have I chosen not to use a feature, because it isn’t interesting or worthwhile. The same choice exists here, and players can make that decision themselves.

          Though Disgaea was a bad example. The Item World is “unneccesary” for going through the story, as are maxed out weapons… but if you’re playing the game for long enough to FULLY upgrade a weapon, as that is a big time investment, you’re going after the hardest bosses and such… in which case, a half-upgraded weapon, even of the highest tier, is not really all that useful. That is to say, in Disgaea, abusing easy levelling maps and Item World, if you play long enough, really do become necessary – the post-game is scaled to expect it. Admittedly, it wasn’t really so back in Disgaea 1, since they never expected anyone to manage it, but since then they’ve tried to match players limits, as well as making those features even more extensive.

          • JustThisOne

            Hmm, that’s fair.

            Welp, looks like we’ll have to see how they decide to play it out. I’m sure focus isn’t going to end up being too intrusive anyway.

  • ZekeFreek

    Even Hitman: Absolution has a purist mode that eliminates all the tools and even the HUD.

  • Riseabovethesky

    Do you think Garrett might have got his hand on some Ritalin?

  • DongT

    this is bringing back horrible flashbacks of splinter cell conviction…

  • Lunar_Outcast

    Not a good sign…

  • Göran Isacson

    Yeah, just gonna say what others have said down here- it’s NICE that you can turn this feature off, but then you better make sure the game is designed so that it’s playable and fun WITHOUT the feature. As long as this is treated like an extra and not something central, then removing it or having it won’t really make THAT much of a difference, and then we purists can have fun. If not… well, another one down the modern drain I guess.

  • Universe

    Modern gamers should have options, not the hardcore Thief fans.

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