Thief: Deadly Shadows
Content at a glance:
Violence: A small amount of blood spurts when you shoot or stab an enemy, and blood pools under them when their dead. There are some gruesome looking creatures.
Language: D**n is said 3 or 4 times.
Spiritual Issues: The game has many occult references, including pagan blood sacrifices (which you participate in), a secret order of magicians, and a group that serves only to mock Christianity.
Story: To go into detail about the back story, lore and myth that’s found inside the Thief series would be way beyond the scope of this review. It would easily fill a couple of volumes, if one were so inclined and dug deep enough into it. Suffice it to say that the Thief series is one of the most comprehensively-crafted universes to be found in electronic entertainment. The characters, the factions, the myths, the events, etc. To give you a crude analogy, as far as material goes, we’re talking about the Lord of the Rings of gaming. Everything, even material that’s perhaps inconsequential in the big scheme of things, is fleshed out with copious detail. When you pick up a Thief game, you’re not just playing a game. You plunge into that universe and become part of the story through the eyes of our anti-hero, Garrett the master thief.
The story is great. It starts out relatively simple, and then grows more and more complex, and, with the help of some cutscenes, darker and darker. However, the “darker and darker” is what ruins it. And the “more and more complex” is what makes it a convoluted mess near the end.
Gameplay: Thievery and robbery is the name of the game, and it’s a game in which Garrett truly excels.
As you might guess, you’ll spend almost all of the game creeping from shadow to shadow, blackjacking or knifing enemies in the back, and putting out torches with your water arrows. Garret has a relatively small collection of weapons at his disposal: His blackjack, dagger, and bow. The bow is your most useful weapon, due to the large variety of arrows: Water, fire, noisemaker, moss covered (makes the ground softer or temporarily chokes your opponents), gas, and your basic broadhead for killing. However, the game is not for action lovers, and even those who like stealth games like Splinter Cell may find it incredibly boring. Frankly, the game was fun for about 2 hours, and then just became tedious.
Graphics: Good for it’s time, with the environments being very detailed, even if they are a bit drab looking, and the characters look pretty real. The rag doll physics on the other hand seem to say: “Look at me, I’m about as unrealistic as you get!”. An example of that is if you blackjack someone, they will end up in some of the strangest positions you have will ever see (think “no spine”).
Sound: The voice acting is top notch, although the guards and some citizens sound very medieval in a stereotypical sort of way (“Who goethsthes?!”).
Violence: In what I played of the game, the violence was relatively mild. Whenever you stab or shoot someone, a little bit of blood will spurt and then pool on the ground beneath them (you can clean it up with a water arrow). I met “undead” twice, and they look like inside-out humans. One of the cutscenes shows a man with a mask pouring blood on the ground.
Language: I heard D**n twice.
Sexual Content: None that I saw.
Spiritual Content: This is where the game truly rears it’s head. Occult content is everywhere! Most of the cutscenes have at least some occultism, including pagan rituals (i.e blood is poured on the ground and plants sprout from the ground that it covers). The 3 main factions are all somehow religious: The nature-loving Pagans (think druids with a sprinkle of hippy), the fanatic and zealous Hammerites (think medieval church) and the mysterious and cryptic Keepers (think a secret order of magi). The Hammerites are what offended me the most. Their symbol is a large “T”, they call their god “The Builder”, and I even heard one hammerite telling the story of the “man who built his house on the sand”. All of this is meant to poke fun at Christians. The pagans worship the “Trickster” god (Satan anyone?), but they’re portrayed in a better light than the Hammerites. In one mission you have to drag a body to an altar, and make it bleed so that it counts as a “sacrifice” to the trickster God.
Not to mention that you play as a thief, so you murder and steal from innocent people.
Overall: Thief: Deadly Shadows is a decent stealth game that is absolutely ruined by occult content, which is why I didn’t finish it. But I read the ending, and it has no redeeming values. I don’t remember a game that made me feel this dirty before. I can’t honestly recommend it to anyone.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.
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