The more I think about it, the more I can’t escape the notion that most of the problems with this new Thief come from the overbearing focus on the story. The linear levels. The lack of a “jump” button. The removal of rope arrows as a general-purpose tool. The crescendo music when you knock a dude out. It’s all an effort to keep the player constrained and make them behave as “cinematic” as possible.
It’s one thing to waste money on features that nobody wants. (The requisite multiplayer deathmatch we get in so many games comes to mind.) But it’s another thing to waste TONS of money on something that requires you to replace beloved actors AND remove key gameplay elements.
And to rub salt in the wound, the story is broken, disjointed, thematically confused, and needlessly cluttered.
It’s heartbreaking. And the real shame is that the money-men will probably learn all the wrong lessons from this. Instead of realizing they’re not in the movie business, they’ll probably figure the audience just doesn’t want “old school” stealth games.