The reviews are in and they're... Well, they're all over the place! Seems like we've released a fairly divisive game. With Metacritic scores ranging from 90 to 40, one thing is certain: THIEF leaves nobody indifferent.
With such a lack of critical consensus, how are you supposed to decide if you're going to like the game or not? The best way is of course to play! But if you're still on the fence or can't get to the store just yet, have a look at what some major media, blogs and YouTubers had to say...
When you’ve found your place in its skewed world, Thief can surprise you, summoning up a thick atmosphere of mystery and unease in a moment’s notice and drawing you into the shadows.
I'm almost embarrassed to admit that despite the laundry list of problems, I often liked Thief. Despite its barely intelligible plot and weak characterization, the city is infused with a wonderful sense of identity. It's full of mechanical wonders, and I loved exploring them and getting at the secrets inside.
Thief is best when it sticks to the involving, slow-paced stealth that made its ancestor such a tense affair. In its subtle moments, Eidos Montreal gives your creeping a sense of closeness and texture, in a game where you almost always have your nose pressed against things. Much like Garrett, Thief succeeds when it's quiet, fingers reaching out and almost – almost – touching an irresistible spread of glittering prizes.
You have to admire Eidos Montreal. Not only do they revive one of gaming’s greatest with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but they go right from there to Thief — a series even more niche and more cult. I initially wondered if they could strike a repeat performance with ostensibly more difficult subject material; now I wonder if there’s any subject material difficult enough for these guys. Thief is a rebirth on equal footing with Human Revolution, though some technical limitations butt heads with the game’s potential.
If you’re content to save your game every couple minutes and enjoy a slower-paced stealth game, then Thief rewards you with plenty of moments so tense you might catch yourself holding your breath. Eidos-Montreal may have adhered too closely to the series’ roots, resulting in a reboot that suffers from classic problems like simplistic combat and trial-and-error sneaking missions. However, locked behind this old-school game design is a gem that stealth fans should eye up for their collection.
There's a lot of potential here if you dig deep down into the game's ingenious difficulty sliders and challenge modes. In that sense, Thief succeeds as a bold stealth game, despite its bruises.
On a moment-by-moment level, Thief delivers on the fantasy of being Garrett as well as – if not better than – its predecessors.
Finding routes through the levels peaceably and intact is a genuine challenge on the normal 'Thief' difficulty - and with the aids turned off, it gets much, much harder. Add in the custom difficulty modes, which allow you to recreate old Thief - indeed, which allow you to make a much harder game than any Thief - and it's an enjoyable, challenging customisable sandbox.
They also released their own round-up of reviews.
It's a fun-but-flawed journey that doesn't overstay its welcome, and if you're looking for well-designed, creative stealth through impressively dense environments, that's exactly what I found in Thief. It falls well short of the narrative and polish benchmarks set by first-person stealth hits of the last few years, but Thief successfully dresses old-school notions of sneaking in modern garb, thus revealing and filling a satisfying gameplay niche.
Oh thank God. It’s good. While there’s going to be controversy, I’m arguing that it’s better than good. Thief, Eidos Montreal’s reviving of Looking Glass’s insurmountable series, is a superb game. It’s a tangible relief to write that. After years of really awful publicity, terrible press demos, and trailer after trailer of schlocky crap, our hopes were below waist level. But cast it all aside and chalk it up to abysmal marketing. While there is much to pick at, and I am certain there will be many who are apoplectic in their outrage, as a game within itself, Thief is bloody great.