Top 5 Features Thief 4 Should Borrow From Dishonored

In spirit, but not in function, it would be really cool to see the following evolved further.

Posted By | On 13th, Mar. 2013 Under Article, Feature

When Thief 4…I mean, Thief was unveiled after a long, long, long time of hype, it was amazing to note the overall structure of the game. A world ravaged by plague and kept in a kind of police state under someone who wields absolute power while the shadowy Garrett pursues his own agenda – but doesn’t that sound a little familiar? It immediately brought to mine Arkane Studios’ Dishonored, a tight little action-stealth game that emphasized the rewards and challenge of sneaking through and lethally disarming your enemies versus going on a total massacre. So it leads to the question: If the new Thief can be inspired by games like Assassin’s Creed, why not do a few things that Dishonored does as well?

Here’s our top 5 list for things that Thief could learn from Dishonored. Keep in mind that no one is assuming knowledge of how Thief actually is; just scratching our heads and asking “Wouldn’t that be cool if”.

5. True Freedom of Choice

dishonored maxed out

Assassin’s Creed gives you that unique feeling of taking several different routes to reach your objective – this is often dressed as “several different ways to complete your objective”. Rest assured they’re two different things. It just feels like taking a bunch of different roads to reach a junction point rather than all roads eventually leading to your final objective.

In Dishonored, this is reinforced by way of the powers you obtain. In the second mission for instance, you could possess a guard and walk through the Wall of Light unscathed. Or maybe use Blink and just traverse great distance. At different points, you could possess a rat and then enter into an area completely undetected. And along the way, you can either take a detour and check out side-quests or collect Runes. There’s choice, and variety – no two roads truly feel the same.

Thief features the ability to vault over different objects and obstacles, and while it may not have Dishonored’s magical abilities, it would be great if there were various ways to complete an objective, rather than various ways to reach a point from where your objective begins. Knowing the variety of things that can be stolen, they present an excellent reward for taking an unknown route while trying to complete an objective.

4. The Silent Protagonist


Yes, we get it. The protagonist shouldn’t be quiet because it’s not “realistic”. But that’s not the point of the trope – it’s about involving you in the game. I don’t yell at my fellow gamers for their corruption of Corvo throughout Dishonored when they take the route of mass murder – I yell at them for corrupting the city around them and most importantly, Emily.

Because the player is Corvo – the setting and characters are extensions of Corvo’s actions. But throughout the game, you feel inextricably linked to him and believe that every action is yours, not Corvo’s.

This fits even better with Garrett. He’s not someone who’s out to do the greater good – his quest is motivated by riches. He’s a thief and he only cares about himself – by that extension, the gamer cares more about his own survival first, and then whether his actions are doing the world good.

3. Variety in Actions

Thief screenshot 10

Dishonored feels so simple at first but the number of toys you have to play with is immense. It’s not even about the upgrades that can be obtained or slowing down time while blowing your enemies away and setting them on fire in mid-air before restarting time and watching them burn.

It’s about how you use those toys in your own way to do things that other people wouldn’t think of, like utilizing Blink in mid-air to more quickly remove threats by murder or knockout, or even exposing different areas of the environment containing plague carrying rats to enemies.

Thief needs that variety and thankfully, it’s been a trademark of the series since the beginning. From the sound of new additions like Focus Mode and the improved combat, it looks like Eidos Montreal has this part sewn up. Let’s also not forget that they’ve worked on Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Variety isn’t that tough for them to accomplish.

2. A Unique World

thief 4_01

The world of Dunwall was interesting because it felt new and above all else, real. This is the advantage of having the art director who brought us Half Life 2’s City 17 on your side, but in all honesty, the elements seen in Dishonored could have been disheveled and awkward. It’s to the game’s credit that it melds them all together. It lets you get as close to the world as you want, and still offers plenty more to see when you’re done. Best of all, how you act affects how the world evolves.

Thief has the opportunity to do the same. The world is fairly new and enough time has lapsed for Eidos Montreal to craft a completely new setting and atmosphere for Garrett to be immersed in.

1. Simple Yet Full of Depth

Dishonored 2

Honestly, this is what made Dishonored such a blast to play. Navigating environments was a joy. Sneaking around brothels and just taking out guards was easy. Combat was exhilarating without feeling overwhelming or easy. You could do as much or as little of the game as you wanted. You could take it slow or play it as a straight up action game. The more you immersed yourself, the more challenging things got – and unless you felt immersed in the world, there is no way you’d go to the trouble one must go through to save it.

Thief is still a ways off from release and thankfully hasn’t garnered the buzz of being a “next generation” title like most other games have. It has a ton of momentum to ride off of but if it wants to succeed, it needs to be able to break free from its niche while still inviting players to partake in it. And there’s no better example of how to do this than with Dishonored.

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  • Please don’t do a silent protagonist, I prefer enjoying a character than pretending to be him.

  • Diego

    The main inspiration for Dishonored is clearly Thief. The fact they they, Thief developers, are seeking inspiration in Dishonored is a huge red flag for me. They should stop looking at assassins creed and dishonored and start playing The metal age.

  • Mrowr

    Uh, the image used under “A Unique World” is from a four-year-old Unreal Tournament 3 map, not Thief 4.

    While a silent protagonist might have worked well in Half-Life and semi-well in Dishonored, any Thief fan worth his salt would know Stephen Russell’s voicing of Garrett is an integral part of the Thief experience.

  • McFaggy

    This is fucking bullshit, and the author is a fag. Thief is miles above Dishonored. MILES.


    Has the writer of this ever even played Thief? First of all, the original games already had multiple different ways to tackle objectives, they had far more interesting environments and more depth than Dishonored, and tools that actually emphasized stealth. And the silent protagonist thing is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. Since when is Garrett, the snarky, cynical loner who makes quips at everything and is an incredibly fleshed out character, the same as that blank-slate piece of shit called Corvo?
    0/10 article, I think I’ll go gouge my eyes out now.

  • Have you even played any of the Thief games. Garret is one of the greatest video game characters ever. Why would you want him to be silent. Thief is already set in a unique world. (Dishonored’s world is very bland) Thief should be about stealth, not variety in ways to play. Thief has always been open ended (less so in T3 case) Dishonored is heavily inspired by Thief. Some of the people that made Dishonored worked on the Thief games. Thief shouldn’t take any inspiration from Dishonored.

    • Jacquasse la Crasse

      Eh, u guys didnt play the Dark Messiah of Might and Magic? That’s the game from which Dishonored took her ground in my opinion, Dishonored and Dark Messiah are from very same Arcane Studios. but ye, the article sucks, what else can we do.

    • Bull shit. As soon as this is announced all the fanboys with rose tinted glasses come out to disparage Dishonored, which was never meant to be pure stealth. And it was awesome for it. They’ll be lucky to make as good a game.

  • …seriously, I’m with the others when I ask – have you ever even seen a Thief game? Ever? The world is already unique, Garrett is easily one of the most charismatic and compelling characters in the history of FPSes and… wow. Simple yet full of depth? Okay, no, you’ve almost certainly never played a Thief game, and sure as hell not the first two. I’d go on about the variety in gameplay bit but you openly invalidated your own point even as you wrote it. As for the freedom of choice, Thief is famed as one of the most sprawling, non-linear games ever made. There are so many ways to accomplish your goals, you get optional (and even secret) objectives and you get to choose your loadout for each mission from a massive array of tools.

    This article is one impressive whole lot of nothing. Did you have a deadline to meet that you’d forgotten about or something?

  • The writer is talking out of his ass.

  • Unique world? You are obviously full of it and are a kid. Go play Thief games and look at the world design. Ramp up the grafical fidelity and its Dishonored, because that game inspired itself very, very heavily in Thief. Freedom of choice? Well there was only 1 legit way to play it and that was stealth, cause i don’t know, how about you look at the bloody name of the game? But as far as story is concerned, there were a lot of options. Silent protagonist? There is only few characters as badass as Garrett.
    You shouldn’t write about something you know jack about, and since it’s something as legendary as Thief, it’s even worse.

  • Nathan

    I think they should stick to the way it’s always been and just further the story line. If anything is to really be changed just go into the dark ages with plated guards and Templars. Have black alley type bars that are populated and can interact with the peeps inside to get gossip or even side jobs or tips. Wish I knew how to write code because I have so many ideas to make a new installment. And I feel that if a new thief is made is will suck like diablo did and was some bullshit all online crap with a story line you could beat in a day. People seem to over think games now. If the game was and still is good. Don’t change your core! Just add to the story and hop up the graphics so its not blocky. Thief deadly shadows is my fav game still to this day.


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