If you get caught by guards in Thief, you won’t just be able to hole up in a nearby bin and wait out the alert; if you don’t know the level layouts you could be in a lot of trouble.
“We are limiting your escape options and you really have to think about consequences of the enemy,” lead level designer Daniel Windfeld Schmidt told Shack News in a Q&A.
“There are hiding spots where you can go where guards are less likely to search. We have a lot of these mechanics where you can get away, but it takes a while to teach. In the demos we have shown, there are a lot of things going on at the same time. You don’t have to be perfect. Guards will give up after a while if they can’t find you. You can also use focus combat to take out a guard or two as needed.”
As you’d expect from Thief, stealth isn’t a matter of standing in a shadow and turning invisible, but an analog state with no real “safe” setting.
“There is this middle state as well where you are kind of exposed. There are several states and the analog value comes from how the eye works. Are you moving, are you standing up, are you crouching. A lot of this matters in how we detect you,”
“And peripheral vision is involved. If a guard sees something move out there, he is going to look in that direction. It is a much more slow reaction if they aren’t sure, but if you are right in front of them, they will react much faster.”
Garrett has access to a short burst of speed to get out of danger if a guard has partially spotted him, but this will only be available in small amounts; it won’t allow you to run around in the open or zoom away if you’ve caused an alert.
Of course, old school fans know the best tactic is not to get spotted in the first place, and Schmidt confirmed the game can be fully ghosted, which will reward skilled players with achievements.
“You can complete the game without killing anybody, or without knocking anybody out, or without causing an alert. In the demo we are showing, at the end there is a tally screen that show you completed the mission without knocking anyone out or killing anyone – and a second one: completed without causing any alerts,” he said.
The full Q&A has plenty more juicy info, and is just the latest info dump the stealth-’em-up has produced; here’s another from the Eidos community.
Thief is due on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2014.