Computer and Video Games have interviewed ION Storm's Randy Smith about Thief 3, the latest in the stealth-'em-up series:
Can you give us an example of how the whole stealth/sneak thing works?
Smith: Imagine you have a guard who's patrolling around, and I'm hidden in shadow so he has no idea I'm here yet. If I were to walk up to him and fight... well, I'm not a sword fighter. I have finesse but I'm not that great in hand-to-hand combat. And he's wearing armour so if I get into a fight he's going to kick my ass.
But if I sneak up on him and ambush him, he doesn't know I'm there so I can take him down with one blow. I could do this with the dagger, which is a new weapon in Thief 3. So that's your power - your power lies in stealth.