Everyone knows what a thief is dont they? No? Where the hell have you been all your life? Well anyway, a thief is someone who steals stuff, either for the benefit of themselves or for others. Now based on this fact Looking Glass & Eidos created a 3D game set in the old ages (before guns and stuff), where you played a character called Garrett who stole things.
Now the story line for Thief was quite complicated as you got further into the game, so I won't explain, but this is the sequal, so it must have been quite successful. Well I liked it a lot anyway!
Thief II is a First Person Perspective game, just like Unreal Tournament or Soldier of Fortune but instead of your advanced weaponry you get to fool about with Swords and Bows 'n' Arrows, which makes a change I guess.
As a thief your main weapon is your stealth. Staying silent and unseen is the proper way to play the game and in some cases making yourself heard means the end of the level, usually not right away, but the guards are pretty nifty with the old swords and bows, so avoiding any guards is usually best, especially a group of them.
As I said earlier the best way to stay alive and complete levels is to stay unseen, now anyone that's played the first game will understand but for the sake of the rest, heres what you do. In the very first level (a very good example) you have to creep towards and free a person in a cell, now your first mission is getting to that person, now in one part of the level there is a room with 2 guards in. These guards can see, through a window, the corridor that you have to walk along, the corridor is also lit with a torch, which means they see you, they appear, attack you, you die, failure or they see you, they appear, attack you, you win, they die, failure.
The best way to do it, also the correct way is to get your bow out with a water arrow and fire it at the torch, the water douses the torch making the corridor dark enough for you too walk past the guards unseen. Now that's cunning!
As you see from the example above, light plays a very big part of the game, stay unseen and guards can walk right by you and not even know your there. The levels are very well built to take advantage of this too. There is one section where an electric light illuminates the path ahead with a guard standing watch, so to avoid detection you have to take the long way round going upstairs, over the guard, then back down the other side.
The in game weapons are your standard run of the mill old weapons with a twist. You get your trusty sword, your bow and arrows which come in many flavours such as the water arrow discussed above, a noisemaker arrow, a fire arrow which can relight torches, a moss arrow, which allows you to walk over noisy surfaces and many more. You also have your trusty blackjack, used to knock people out, you can then pick them up and carry them to a dark corner out of the way.
The in game controls are pretty standard, the WSAD controls are pretty familiar to all the FPS people and now every 3D First Person Perspective game uses them. As you'd expect the game allows you to configure the controls but there are so many to configure you seem to leave a lot out because otherwise you'll be using every key on the keyboard. Don't get me wrong, they are all useful and depending on your style at least all of the controls will be used at some point.
The in game graphics have really been revamped in this sequal. The character models are a lot better looking, the textures have been redone and look a lot better and a few changes to different light models mean that the variation is a lot better. The levels are lovely, they are well built and can be completed sometimes in different ways. The placement of enemies can be said to be the best ever and thanks to the patrolling they do, you often have to stand still for a bit figuring out where they go and what method of attack is needed. This usually involves your trusty blackjack, but flying in sword draw for a good duel never hurt anyone, unless they were crap.
Sound in this game means more than in any other game, unless you played it, you will never know how much, there are various games that use sound well, but few actually need you to have the sound on. Of course without sound a game looses a lot of appeal, but when you need to scout out your enemy like you do and listen to where they are, it really shows that every part of the game is built to work well, and it does!
There is so much to this game, I doubt ill have time to write it all out, but its so involving. Looking Glass have really listened to the criticism of the first and instead of going on pointless missions fighting ghosts and stuff, you get to steal more, which is what most people thought the first should have been like.
I can definitely recommend this to everyone, if you loved the first, then this is better, if you never played the first, then don't buy that, buy this, its just too good to miss.