As unlawful as it’s in real-life, there’s one thing oddly satisfying about larceny within the digital world. From numerous questlines for the Thieves Guild in The Elder Scrolls to the procedural heists of The Swindle, few issues get your blood pumping in equal elements concern and elation fairly like scoping a joint, filling your swag bag and legging it earlier than the fuzz flip up. So when a recreation as cryptically titled as Thief Simulator sneaks its approach onto Change, it’s already in place to steal our consideration (and our wallets) from the get go.
A number of ‘missions’ in, and it quickly turns into clear that Thief Simulator does precisely what it says on the tin. There’s no deep storyline filled with double-crosses and elaborate heists, so don’t anticipate the form of narrative tour de power you get with the Uncharted video games. There aren’t large open-worlds to a steal en masse within the vein of the Grand Theft Auto collection, both. What you do get is a handful of neighbourhoods filled with unsuspecting residents and their valuable valuables. You’re taking part in a personality actually referred to as The Thief, so that you shouldn’t expect something aside from straight five-finger reductions.
In apply, Thief Simulator works like a cross between the Thief video games (the great ones on PC, not that godawful reboot from 2014) and Payday 2. A sandbox sim is spent fully in first-person, you’re slowly launched to the easy-to-learn mechanics at play and the way greatest to make use of them. You’ll begin by utilizing a crowbar to crudely smash a window and steal some kettles and saucepans. However later you’ll study to choose a easy lock so you possibly can achieve entry to a property with out making a lot noise. Not so lengthy after you’re studying how you can scope out a home, tagging the occupants to study their routines and how you can get away with extra cumbersome objects.
Thief Simulator has a variety of little techniques operating alongside each other, but it surely does a superb job of slowly introducing them to you at a tempo that reveals you simply what number of choices you really have. Pulling off easy jobs earns you XP, which in flip lets you buy higher abilities. It’s right here you’ll discover ways to choose more durable locks or establish objects of curiosity sooner. While you’re out on a job and also you attain a climbable fence you possibly can’t clamber over – as a result of your agility isn’t excessive sufficient – you’ll know the place to focus your abilities subsequent time you attain a brand new stage. Stealing objects and promoting them on the native pawn store will achieve you money, whereas extra particular objects may be bought off on a black market market on the PC again at your storage HQ.
Occupants you’ve tagged will seem with white silhouettes, so you possibly can monitor their actions while you’re close by, which makes for some tense moments as you’re slowly opening drawers and cabinets in quest of jewelry or money. That very same sense of intense concern comes into play while you unintentionally journey an alarm system by smashing a window on a costlier property, or stroll out right into a avenue and get noticed carrying a stolen TV. Now you’re driving away to outrun the cops or hiding in a close-by dumpster whereas the rozzers try to discover you.
That is the place Thief Simulator begins to journey itself up. As a result of while you’re slowly increase the main points of a goal location – increase a set of notes on routines and potential priceless places earlier than taking the danger to interrupt in in the course of the day or at the hours of darkness once they’re asleep – the sport comes collectively like an unlawful dream. However when it’s important to leap right into a automotive and really ‘get away’, you realise you would possibly as properly be driving a moist cardboard field. Even the automobiles within the Far Cry video games drive higher, they usually have horrible driving fashions. It mainly renders escaping totally pointless, so that you’ll at all times have to cover when issues go awry.
There’s loads of methods to boost your jobs, together with missions given to you by a cringe-worthy contact over the telephone (full with a knock-off New York accent) and intel you should purchase on a sure location. The following pointers are costly, however realizing a selected property has a high-tech safety system or that there’s a key to the entrance door hidden exterior can fully change the end result of a thieving run. You should purchase new gear as you stage up and make more money – together with mini cameras that may match into mailboxes for some useful surveillance or cutters than take away planes of glass in a window – and a few of these later abilities successfully flip you right into a silent god of theft.
The AI at play in Thief Simulator isn’t sensible, which might make them each straightforward to keep away from in the event you’re hidden in sufficient shadow, but in addition troublesome to foretell when a pedestrian simply seemingly seems out of nowhere on the most inopportune time. It’s additionally odd you can hit the identical handful of properties in a row, however there’s no repercussions. If a home with loads of valuables out of the blue had bars on the window after you smashed one the evening earlier than, or had a canine patrolling at evening since you entered the property throughout dusk, you’d have to regulate your techniques for the promise of even higher loot. Such systemic components aren’t right here, however the artwork of theft remains to be an addictive one.
As a brief time period expertise, Thief Simulator is a variety of enjoyable. However when you spend quite a lot of hours, you start to search out your self repeating the identical missions over once more. With sure story quests locked behind sure character ranges, you’re pressured to hit the identical set of homes again and again. That preliminary thrill does briefly reappear each time you purchase a brand new talent or stage up excessive sufficient to earn the flexibility to drill locks or hack safety techniques, however the grind turns into just a little an excessive amount of at occasions.
As a port, Thief Simulator is a good effort on Change. Regardless of the essential character, automotive and site designs, there are some moments of slowdown and pop-in turns into a reasonably common incidence. It ought to be stated that this can be a recreation that doesn’t look wonderful on PC both (one thing the developer meant with a purpose to focus fully on the craft of its gameplay), so this shouldn’t be mistaken as being fully the product of poor optimisation for Change.
For those who’re bored with Payday 2’s usually loud and at-large theft antics – and also you’d wish to take a detour into the extra quiet vocation of thievery – Thief Simulator has the brand new profession for you. Whereas it’s not the prettiest of video games and it quickly begins repeating itself, the sense of freedom you’re given to rob neighbourhoods filled with unsuspecting victims remains to be an intriguing one. He may not be Garrett, however The Thief has loads of abilities to steal a spot on Nintendo Change.