There is a distinct reaction you will get in any fandom or community when a sequel or remake is announced, but none is stronger than the cries of anguish that are heard from the video game community. When new content is announced, many are happy and excited, but when it comes down to it they will rip it apart. Why do gamers seem to hate video game sequels so much? Is it because their nostalgia blinds them to the idea that anything could possibly be as good as they remember, or is it something else? Something deeper and possibly more sinister?
I’ll explore this in a series of articles focusing on game remakes and sequels, and what better game to start with than the much anticipated and much-hated remake, Thief (2014). It’s a game that was railed against from its announcement and still incites anger among the gaming community.
Thief was originally released in 1998 as Thief: The Dark Project (later re-released as Thief Gold, a definitive version of the game that offers more content and bug fixes) In the game, you play as Garett, a master thief who takes jobs in The City, Thief‘s take on a Victorian or Edwardian city in the mid-1800s.
Back in 1998 games were a lot different, so this was a state of the art stealth adventure and it was one of the first of its kind, or at least one of the first to stick with people so long after playing it. It had a sequel released in 2000 to rave reviews as well as a third installment released in 2004.
If this series is so loved by its fans, what happened to make them so angry about the 2014 remake? Simply put, nobody likes remakes.
The original game is from 1998, the controls are clunky and difficult to learn, and the premise is extremely difficult to follow. I had to look up a tutorial just to find an entrance to the mansion I was supposed to be infiltrating. While this game must have been an epic for its time, there’s no denying that much of its continued praise is from those who remember playing it during the good old days. That’s not to say the game is bad by any means, simply that it’s one of those games that you probably had to be there for.
Whereas the newest release in the series was heavily criticized for losing the magic of the original games, I don’t think struggling for fifteen minutes to climb a ladder in the sewers is entertainment.
Thief (2014) puts us in control of Garrett once more as we travel through The City and take jobs to steal things as always, but it adds a new storyline of supernatural proportions, as well as better graphics, better gameplay, and a more intuitive GUI. All in all, Thief is a very solid game that did not deserve the hate it got on release.
But others don’t see it that way and I guess you can’t please everyone in the world, but this writer enjoyed the game, had a lot of fun with it and thought it was a worthy addition to a series loved by an ardent, if overly critical, fanbase.
Did you enjoy the rebooted Thief? Do you think it did justice to its origins? And do you believe there could be a new addition to the Thief series in the future?
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