Thief dev wants the challenge to be in-game, not in the controls

Thursday, 4 April 2013 23:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Bless the early Thief games, but they did require you to have octopus arms to get the most out of them. Eidos Montreal wants the new game to be hard without requiring you to make a keyboard overlay showing off all Garrett’s moves.

Speaking to CVG, Eidos Montreal’s Daniel Windfeld Schmidt said that old school fans probably want to play the same game again with new content, but the broader audience isn’t patient enough to learn Thief’s fiddly control scheme.

“Today’s gamers are a lot less patient. They expect a lot more from the developers in terms of features and so on. Even for menus that are easy to use. For a lot of things that weren’t as extensively developed back in the day. For example: control inputs,” he said.

“It took a while to learn the complex controls. Numbers 1,2,3,4 – There were different types of peeking: peeking forward, peeking sideways, peeking upside down. They had all these things that were very complex and it worked for the hardcore gamers, but a lot of people backed off early on because it was very difficult.

“So our focus has been to say, ‘we want the same amount of challenge, but within the game and not within the inputs.’ I don’t personally have the patience to learn the super, super old games and all their fidelities and hard-learned lessons. I want it to be more streamlined.”

It’s a little sad to say goodbye to Thief’s cumbersome controls, because mastering them made you feel like a hero, but it’ll be nice if the damn thing sells some copies and pulls Square Enix’s western track record out of the mud. Thief is due on PC and next-gen consoles sometime in 2014. Square Enix released a new Thief trailer this week, and there’s a lovely pile of art and screenshots, too.

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