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Thief's focus ability will change how stealth works



3:00 PM on 03.05.2013

Eidos Montreal's reboot is a new approach to the series

Thief (originally titled Thief 4) is a series reboot of the seminal stealth series. It will come to PC, PS4, and the next Xbox in 2014. It started as an Assassin's Creed-inspired third-person action game, but returned to its first-person stealth roots after Eidos Montreal tweaked it for three years. Of its tweaks, the most noteworthy addition to the series is the Focus ability.

Like Hitman: Absolution's Instinct ability, Focus is Thief's way of letting the player navigate the environment and get out of combat encounters. Focus highlights interactive objects, pipes you can climb and candles that can be extinguished. Focus can also stun or kill enemies, depending on how much is used in combat. Bones crack like in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films or Sniper Elite V2. Focus can be upgraded after a mission, along with supplies and equipment, giving a greater radius to its effect. Stealing objects and pickpocketing refills the ability's resources, but Eidos said it is still playtesting this.

"The big difference today is that players don't want to play the same sections over and over again," producer Stephane Roy told Game Informer. "Our job is really to make it so that when you are seen you have options to move through or stumble the guards and then jump back in the shadows."

Other new additions include a navigation beacon, a lockpicking mini-game, a "Fingerprint" system that indicates what drawers can be opened, a throwable grapple (the Claw) that replaces the rope arrows, and advanced AI and NPC crowds (a la Assassin's Creed).

Thief will do away with the magical elements, including undead and other fantasy creatures.

For more details on the development history, pick up a digital copy (Android or iOS) of Game Informer's April issue (or wait for the print version).

Thief cover story [Game Informer]

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