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Thief: Garrett redesign more mainstream, less gothic, reflects action focus

Thursday, 14th March 2013 03:00 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Eidos Montreal’s new take on gaming’s undisputed mater thief, Garrett, is designed to be faithful to the original vision while making him more acceptable to a broader audience.

Game director Nicolas Cantin told GameInformer that Eidos Montreal was given free rein to remake Garrett however they wished.

“But we wanted to keep the main DNA of who Garrett was; we didn’t want to change that much because it was working already,” he said.

Duly noted, but Cantin also “wanted to bring in more of the audience of the modern console market”.

“He’s more, in the game, doing more action moves; we wanted the costume and the suit to reflect that.

“In the beginning he was more gothic; we toned down all the things that felt gothic, like black nails and things like that. We wanted to make him a little bit more mainstream. Yes, he’s a dark character, but we don’t want to say he’s a gothic one, even though the Victorian period feels really gothic.”

Cantin’s previous work includes art director on Assassin’s Creed, where he designed Altair.

“It was the same thing I did with Garrett. Both were characters that can feel mystical and we had to make them more action-oriented figures. He needs to stand in a crowd of your NPCs and he also has to stand with all the other heroes on the market.

“People will often say oh he’s too white, he’s too black, he stands out too much – but really that’s a good thing. He has to stand out in a crowd of heroes.”

Cantin said Eidos Montreal wanted to show that an anti-hero like Garrett can be popular in mainstream culture.

Thief was finally unveiled unveiled last week after years of being an open secret. It’s coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and probably Microsoft’s as yet unannounced console in 2014, and you a pile of gameplay details are available, including upgradable equipment and an opening mision sequence.

Thanks, Shack.

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32 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    Cool, so they robbed him of everything that made him unique, yet somehow talk about wanting to make him stand out.

    He doesn’t stand out, he looks like a some random enemy from any game that ever featured enemies with hood and mask. Garretts look was never a problem.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. UuBuU

    What the hell are they doing to this series ??

    First they try to shove in as much third person action as possible into a game that should be exclusively first person ~ then they spoil the gameplay with handholding and stupid features like slow motion ~ then they say they’re using skyrim as inspiration for stealth mechanics ~ and now they’re saying they want Garrett to be more accessible for the modern console market?

    This has all the potential to be the most disappointing game of the next generation

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    People were expecting too much if they thought Eidos was going to make a pure stealth game like the original. Just look at Tomb Raider, Deus Ex and Hitman, they all were not remotely like the original games. They all beat to the drum of appealing to the mass market.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. GwynbleiddiuM

    If there’s a God up there now is your chance, put an end to this torment before it’s too late. :<

    #4 2 years ago
  5. ojinnvoltz

    They have to appeal to the mass market to make up the million dollars they’re spending to make Thief less like Thief. While they do that, let’s all install DromEd and make our own Thief games!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. TheWulf

    Less gothic? Okay. Let’s heartily piss all over one of the things that really made Thief unique. I’ve now categorised the new Thief as rank detritus to avoid at all costs. Seriously, this mainstream bullshit has to stop. Who wants this any more? Do you want this? Do I want this? Who wants this?

    All they’re doing is stripping all of the flavour, character, and worth out of games to turn them into third person action games. I already have trouble telling the difference, mechanically, between most third person action games as there are very few that stand out. There’s only this one-dimensional paper-thin theme that separates them. And Thief’s going to be bundled into that, now? When does this nightmare end?

    In Doctorow lingo; I kind of want to dead-head for a few centuries to see if we ever get over this. Since it seems that right now filtering out anything that could make something unique is a fetish. Even flaws and writer eccentricities can make something unique, but we’re not even allowed those. And even gamers are buying into this bull, attacking anything that dares to be different (see ME3). So the customer is as much to blame as the provider.

    I want to go and bury my head under a pillow and forget that the world exists for a while.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. TheWulf

    New post for this, but…

    “[...] but we don’t want to say he’s a gothic one, even though the Victorian period feels really gothic.”

    How fucking stupid of a statement is that?

    “Oh, yeah. We realise that Victorian England was actually gothic, but we’re afraid that we’ll alienate the tiny, anti-intellectual, brutish minds of our audience. We’re worried that by trying something new we’ll make them so angry that they’ll get all pissed and start charities to get at us, like what happened to EA. We dare not even think of making Victorian England gothic, even though it is, because they’re not bright or well-read enough to realise that it is.”

    Thanks.

    Thanks, gamers.

    This is the kind of shit that we’re now having foist on us.

    Didn’t you think developers and publishers were watching during the ME3 furore? ME3 dared to do something intellectual, clever, and different… and the thuggish, brutish voices of gamerdom just had to shoot them down.

    So now all we’re going to get is this.

    Thanks guys.

    Really.

    Thanks.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but I have faith in the Montreal boys to do right by this franchise. Yes, Deus Ex was not the same as the original (which I loved), but if you ACCEPT the constraints of the modern market, I think that it was about as close as it could be.

    For me, as someone who played the original game several times constantly re-imagining my dude and slinking through the vents all the time, it was a really fucking good game. If I had a complaint it would be that you could basically upgrade everything worth a shit by the end of the game, which you couldn’t do in the original…

    So as long as they make a game where I can feel like a crafty thief, subverting the traps and defenses of my mark, then it’s all good. :) Same as Human Revolution made me feel like a kick-arse cyborg with all the tricks…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. apollyonbob

    If I were these devs, I would totally start trolling you guys.

    Devs:
    “Yeah, well, we know that it was important to the original character, but we just didn’t think the clown makeup worked. So we had to remove the clown makeup.”

    VG247 Reader Reaction:
    “GOD! THE CLOWN MAKE UP WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT HIM. GAME RUINED FOREVER.”

    I mean, come on guys give me a break here. You remember that Thief was an FPS right? And that the cutscenes took place entirely in shadow?

    Was the original Garrett even gothic? http://i.imgur.com/LJT2vm9.jpg <– Cuz that's not Gothic! http://i.imgur.com/eByUszZ.png <– Neither is that!

    http://i1.ytimg.com/i/X_YJheb4gj6gFCrSh98MRg/1.jpg Oh man that's so gothic, how he's just a silhouette? Is that what gothic means? Standing in front of a light?

    The closest thing I can even find to "gothic" is some kind of weird strap thing from, what I'm guessing is Deadly Shadows, but if Deadly Shadows is your idea of "Thief" then brother, I aint even listening haha.

    Really, look at the pictures I posted and the picture they posted. Since the ones I posted show almost no detail, the only real difference seems to be the mask. So I mean, yeah I guess now that he's wearing a mask, man, totally ruined.

    Seriously guys. I realize that this game was made around the same time as Half-Life but please, stop pretending that Garrett is Gordon Freeman. This is not a character defined by his look, box art, uniform, or facial hair, but by his anti-hero motivations and his voice. The irony being of course that so far as I can tell nobody is even asking if they’re going to bring back the original voice actor.

    Man.

    Am I just forgetting about the tons of Garrett hero pose shots or what?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. manamana

    Ah, the olde Hollywoodaction treating for the younger audience, I reckon. Thanks but no, I’m out.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Vice

    As long as they keep same voice actor, I’d be interested.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. The_Red

    Wow, just wow. I don’t hate the look but these words…

    “less gothic”, “more mainstream” “action focus”. I’m pretty sure a sarcastic Jim Sterling article / episode about ruining old games would have been more subtle.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. mreko3230

    Sorry, I can’t bring myself to have strong over-reaction to a game that has shown zero gameplay. Personally, I’ve always found the mechanics of the Theif series kind of clunky and the look kind of bland. Its not like anyone else was going to reboot the series. But, I get where some of you are coming from. I was saddened by the look of Lost Planet 3 as it seem to take everything that I found interesting about the series, but then I had remember no one played Lost Planet in the first place and the sales numbers were terrible. Basically, you have 2 choices: Make a rebooted series a handfull of original fans aren’t into or just forget about the whole thing and work on a mobile game or make another COD clone. If you don’t make games that sell (and sometimes even when you do) your game company gets shut down.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. viralshag

    @9, awesome. Nailed the community in one there. +1

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Samoan Spider

    Its a costume change. Its perfectly allowed. I remember the fans crying into their pillows at night when Master Chief got a redesign. Then when they gave Dante dark hair, wow there were more tears. The world changes and these companies need to grow their audience. I can’t wait to see what they’re doing with this so I’ll be waiting for the inevitable gameplay vids.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. GwynbleiddiuM

    @9 You missed the whole point therefore your argument is invalid.

    I’m not sure if everyone is stupid or what, less Gothic doesn’t mean a costume change, it means less dark, more bright with cool looking environment designs compared to a dark, gloomy medieval environment, castle buildings and interiors. Get you shit straight before ranting about other people’s complaints.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. TheBlackHole

    @16

    You’re literally making shit up. How can you begin to criticise someone for analogising previous comments, when you then proceed to make an assumption as to what the developers ‘meant’ by ‘less Gothic’.

    The interview doesn’t say ANYTHING about making the environment less Gothic, they’re speaking exclusively about the character, so how about you get YOUR shit straight before ranting at somebody else.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. GwynbleiddiuM

    Well if you consider gothic to be a man in a black cloak and leather armor that wields daggers, you seriously need to look it up. I hear wikipedia is a good place to start.

    It’s part of the process of making it more appealing, accessible and mainstream. It can’t be about a guy’s appearance as the game has always played in FPS, who cares what garret looks like, he’s a thief, and a thief in medieval era doesn’t wear fancy gold plates that makes funny noises and some cool reflections in a dim-lighted environment. A thief wears a black cloak with a hood and some dark leather armor. Therefore the talk is not just on character level, it’s exactly about going from dark setting to a more appealing one, this has happened before when Blizzard tried to go into Diablo III with blue and green environments which caused quite a steer in the fanbase.

    BTW, it’s OK for everyone to make assumption and mock others based on those assumption but when you’re on the receiving end of that, it suddenly is less cool and even rude? amirite?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Takeshi

    Amusing to see the comments section going ape-shit over this kind of statement. I’m with #8, Eidos Montreal know what they are doing. I’m sure it’ll end up being a good game.

    I never did play a Thief game, but I am definitely interested in this new entry since I have issues playing older releases.

    @Phoenixblight: That argument is only really valid for Deus Ex. Hitman was developed IO Interactive and Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @7: What the fuck are you on about? ME3 dared to do something intellectual, clever, and different? Do you mean Mass Effect 3? Are you seriously talking about the ending?

    #20 2 years ago
  21. TheBlackHole

    @18

    Eh? What are you going on about? Again, you’re making the assumption that the above, where they talk solely about the character, is going to extend to the environment.

    “In the beginning HE was more Gothic… We wanted to make HIM a little bit more mainstream. Yes, HE’s a dark character, but we don’t want to say HE’s a Gothic one”

    See, no mention of anything but the Thief.

    Also, I don’t give a crap if someone wants to rant at people, but I’d prefer if it a) made sense and b) wasn’t patently hypocritical.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Gheritt White

    @ 8, 9 & 15: Hear, hear. Thank heavens some sanity prevails in these comment sections.

    I, for one, am really excited about this direction and can’t wait to see where it goes.

    Let’s not forget that DX:HR – from the same studio – was very well-received and remains a highly regarded game (even against the pre-launch negativity from so-called “fans”), so there’s a precedent for success rather than failure here.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    “…Gamings undisputed *mater* thief”?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/21/MaterCars.jpg/250px-MaterCars.jpg

    Spelling mistakes aside, surely Gamings master thief is Zynga? Right? Right? Oh fuck you guys :-/

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Phoenixblight

    @19

    “That argument is only really valid for Deus Ex. Hitman was developed IO Interactive and Tomb Raider by Crystal Dynamics.”

    And owned by Eidos when Square picked them up so it is valid for all of them.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Gnosis

    I kinda get the feeling that their word choice was just really bad. Descriptions like “less gothic” and “mainstream” leave a lot of space for overblown interpretations (and in the case of “mainstream” it leaves a very bad taste in the mouth). It’s pretty obvious that everybody’s got their own picture of what “gothic” and “mainstream” looks like. I’d rather wait for some more pictures.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. fearmonkey

    I have mixed feelings on this…..

    This is the same studio that made Deus Ex:HR and it blew me away, so I have to give them the benefit of any doubt I may have.

    As a huge fan of the Thief series, I am a bit concerned at his statements in the video.
    The whole thing for the thief series for me was the slow + take your time gameplay to achieve your goals. In the video they say its not 1998 anymore and that the game has more action, so what it sounds like is Dishonored with stealing, or Assassins creed with stealing and its going to be a mixture of the two most likely.

    From the video, I imagine that going into “stealth” mode entails going into third person, and by action it means that the idea of going through an entire level with human enemies and only blackjacking them is gone. The thief series was never about action, if you found yourself in a one on one battle you would lose, you had to sneak.

    So, does that mean that stealth items like moss arrows, noise arrows, and water arrows are in the game but not a required necessity and we can chop our way though? Does this mean that sitting in a dark corner waiting for the guy to come by at the right time is just as good as killing him right away like AC.

    I loved the dark brooding feel of the world in Thief, but it seems like it going to be a brighter world now.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. karma

    Everything I hear and see about this game just gets worse and worse. Eidos should take a leaf out of Ken Levine’s book, “If you aren’t going to do it properly, then don’t do it at all.”

    This is the only look I want to see for Garrett.
    http://gamefiles.alphacoders.com/boxart/original/front/thumb-10858-1.jpg

    As far as i’m concerned the redesign isn’t Garrett, and they aren’t making a true Thief game.

    As for the DE:HR Commentators, yeah HR was okay, but it wasn’t half as good as the original. This time, they’re really off base. You CAN mess with the Deus Ex universe, give it your own look and feel, its pretty open to reinterpretation, but not the Thief universe. Its very specific, and if you don’t get the specifics right then you may as well go home.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. OrbitMonkey

    @27, So if they like, completely copy the box-art you value so highly, it’ll be like a *true* thief game & you’ll be like, over the moon?

    Deep.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Gheritt White

    Great, looks like we have to put up with another 12 months of whiny, purist/elitist fanboys until an awesome, critically acclaimed game that successfully reboots an IP is released.

    See: Devil May Cry, Tomb Raider, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. viralshag

    @29, +1.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. hunchpunch

    Awesome! Assassin’s Creed Whatever: The Thiefening

    #31 2 years ago
  32. ManuOtaku

    I just hope is a mixture of deus ex and sleeping dogs then.

    #32 2 years ago

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