04 April 2014


I didn't play the other ones.  Sorry.

I've also never seen Singin' in the Rain.  Shoot me.

So anyways, I played through the plotline of Thief.  I have some good things, and some bad things, to say about it.  I am sure they will be riveting.  One of them is not graphics.

I played it on the PS4.  It's easy enough to go Youtube the graphics.

I don't really play enough games to call myself any kind of expert on them.  So take this from that standpoint - a casual, everyday gamer.  I hate shooters, I like smashing things, and I love being scared out of my wits (I've played Outlast more times than you've seen the Titanic).

I don't usually play stealth games, but when I saw that Thief tracks the percentage of loot items lifted, I had to play it.  Because completion is kind of my thing.  I played DMC recently and I hated (and loved) every fucking minute of it because it was designed for you to go back and replay missions once new weapons or moves had been unlocked - I do not like replaying areas.  I do not like the focus being so strongly cut scenes and storyline, and then being told I can't even complete an area before moving on.  Hate.

So when a friend wanted to play it and didn't have a PS4, I traded time on my platform for being able to bum it when she wasn't here.  Which is really mostly my benefit, because I also get to have a friend over gaming with me, which is kinda the dream.

I found the controls to be clunky at best.  I hear there are ways to adjust the touchpad menu to be on the d-pad instead, but I just adapted.  As long as I wasn't playing anything else in between, I managed okay.  For how scripted interactions with the environment are, it seemed the controls layout was unnecessarily complicated.  Learnable, but not if you pick the controller up once a week like my friend does.  Not intuitive.  Functional, but not great.

My biggest beef, though, was the layout.  It took me at least three hours into the game before I understood the function of the map.  Can we have one map, please?  We have a plot fairy (the linear direction pointer with distance from selected goal), the pop-up map of the immediate area, and the most annoyingly difficult to access full map which is confusing as fuck until you realize the highlighted areas are the height you're at.  As soon as you get that, then it just gets too simple.  I mean navigation is still a bitch unless you go the predator route, but I really don't need three functions directing me while I listen to Sir Whistles-Too-Much.

And really.  Why you gotta make the main map the bottom of the list.  Is there a button that takes me straight to my map that I just missed, that isn't in the menu?  There has to be.


But honestly, I spent far too much gameplay time saying out loud "I don't even know where I'm going."  Because even with a map, the urge to make ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE you're going anti-plot first to explore all areas and open all drawers is overwhelming with this one.

And don't even get me started on getting pitched back to the clocktower after every chapter.  Look, maybe I wanted to replay a mission, but after having a couple of moments to myself.  What I didn't want to do?  Trek all the way across two or three areas past Sir Fucking-Stop-Talking-About-Whore-Smells just to get back to the asylum.

The asylum.


Can't get away from Outlast, even when I try.  This is the best part of the game, aside from the end scenes.  The slow wind-up is tolerable if you can just make it to the asylum and play it with the lights out.  YOUR lights.  Go flip the switch on the wall and play to the gentle glow of the spooky fucking game.  Soak it all in.  It's a game within a game.

So let's move on to the goods, which the Asylum absolutely is.

This game has you half-convinced you're crazy.  I like that.  I like crazy.  I like wondering if my fairly apathetic character is genuinely losing touch, or is being guided by something that does not fit into the established storyline thus far.  You should wonder, too.  Play it, set yourself in this Plague-riddled world with nothing to look forward to except soylent green, and wonder... do you follow your hallucinations?

It takes a turn, and I like turns.  I thought I was playing a rogue in Skyrim, but suddenly I needed to know what was going on.  Suddenly I was playing a less confident amnesiac following fucking POPPIES to find my answers.

I like.

Looking back, the game was clearly a trip.  And the ending, basically just pay attention and let yourself get involved in everything from getting on the boat onward.  Be Garrett for a little while.  Do you really care about her?  Are you just curious about yourself?  Is she salvageable?  Will you "help?"

It's creepy, it's beautiful, it's even a little haunting.  The final face-off could have been more challenging, but I think it was really more of a courtesy if nothing else.

Looking back, it's just a poppy trip.  Looking back, I didn't care about Garrett at all, and I never thought Garrett cared about Erin.  What I thought was - Erin is compelling.  Erin is bratty, careless, tortured, omniscient, resigned, vulnerable, and still plotting.  Erin is poppies, Erin is a ghost, Erin is a goddess.

I guess what I have to say is...clunky controls.  Annoying layout with annoying guards.  Beautiful, interesting cut scenes with no real heroes.  Emerging story which freshens up the game and gives it a creepy factor.

And god fucking dammit now I have to go replay everything and get 100% loot





(shouldn't write while on xanax)