The Thief video game series is returning once gain after a five-year absence. The next game in the series will be called Thi4f.
The Thief series began in 1998. While Metal Gear Solid was redefining the stealth genre on the Playstation, Theif: The Dark Project was reigning in the same praise on the PC side. What makes the original title so different is that, like Metal Gear Solid, it places more emphasis on avoiding combat instead or actively fighting the enemies.
Unlike the Playstation title, Theif: The Dark Project uses a first-person perspective. While it may seem hard at first since you don’t know how well you are hidden without viewing the character, developer Looking Glass Studos did an excellent job at giving you an indicator. Whereas Metal Gear Solid relies on corners and ducts using the third-person perspective, Theif: The Dark Project is mainly about hiding in shadows with the first-person perspective.
The 1998 PC title was a critical hit with a 92 metascore out of 100 at metacritic.com. Although it did not become as popular as Metal Gear Solid, Theif: The Dark Project managed to develop a cult following that was big enough to warrant a sequel. Thief II: The Metal Age was released on the PC in 2000. The sequel improves upon the first game in many ways including better level design and smarter enemies.
Despite two successful games, developed Looking Glass Studios was closed down due to financial troubles after the release of Thief II: The Metal Age. Publisher Eidos Interactive therefore needed to look for another development team. They found what they were looking for with Ion Storm, developer behind the masterpiece: Dues Ex.
Thief: Deadly Shadows was released in 2004 for the PC and Xbox. The third game in the series added some new features including the addition of a third-person perspective and a non-linear open world exploration. Thief: Deadly Shadows, like its predecessors, was critically acclaimed and a cult hit.
However, that didn’t stop developer Ion Storm from closing down shortly after the release of the game. Eidos Interactive therefore had to look for another developer for the next Thief game. This time, they would search internally.
The recently opened Eidos Montreal development studio will be developing Thief 4, which will be officially titled “Thi4f.” This is the same team that is currently developing Deus Ex 3; so Eidos is putting a lot of faith in their internal studio to get the job done.
No release date has been announced for Thi4f, but it most likely comes out after Deus Ex 3, which is due sometime in 2010.