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 sport as cryptically titled as Thief Simulator sneaks its means onto Swap, it’s already in a great place to steal our consideration (and our wallets) from the get go.
Just a few ‘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 count on the form of narrative tour de pressure you get with the Uncharted video games. There aren’t enormous open-worlds to a steal en masse within the vein of the Grand Theft Auto sequence, both. What you do get is a handful of neighbourhoods filled with unsuspecting residents and their treasured 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 observe, Thief Simulator works like a cross between the Thief video games (the nice ones on PC, not that godawful reboot from 2014) and Payday 2. A sandbox sim is spent completely 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 through the use of a crowbar to crudely smash a window and steal some kettles and saucepans. However later you’ll be taught to select a easy lock so you possibly can acquire entry to a property with out making a lot noise. Not so lengthy after you’re studying scope out a home, tagging the occupants to be taught their routines and get away with extra cumbersome gadgets.
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 exhibits you simply what number of choices you actually have. Pulling off easy jobs earns you XP, which in flip allows you to buy higher expertise. It’s right here you’ll discover ways to choose more durable locks or establish gadgets of curiosity quicker. 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 expertise subsequent time you attain a brand new degree. Stealing gadgets and promoting them on the native pawn store will acquire you money, whereas extra particular gadgets could be offered 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 observe their actions once you’re close by, which makes for some tense moments as you’re slowly opening drawers and cabinets seeking jewelry or money. That very same sense of intense concern comes into play once you unintentionally journey an alarm system by smashing a window on a dearer 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 once you’re slowly increase the main points of a goal location – increase a set of notes on routines and potential invaluable areas earlier than taking the danger to interrupt in throughout the day or at nighttime after they’re asleep – the sport comes collectively like an unlawful dream. However when you must bounce right into a automobile and really ‘get away’, you realise you may as effectively be driving a moist cardboard field. Even the automobiles within the Far Cry video games drive higher, and so they have horrible driving fashions. It principally renders escaping completely 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 cellphone (full with a knock-off New York accent) and intel you should purchase on a sure location. The following tips are costly, however figuring out a specific property has a high-tech safety system or that there’s a key to the entrance door hidden outdoors can utterly change the result of a thieving run. You should purchase new gear as you degree up and make more money – together with mini cameras that may match into mailboxes for some helpful surveillance or cutters than take away planes of glass in a window – and a few of these later expertise successfully flip you right into a silent god of theft.
The AI at play in Thief Simulator isn’t good, which may make them each straightforward to keep away from when 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 could hit the identical handful of properties in a row, however there’s no repercussions. If a home with loads of valuables abruptly had bars on the window after you smashed one the night time earlier than, or had a canine patrolling at night time since you entered the property throughout dusk, you’d have to regulate your techniques for the promise of even higher loot. Such systemic parts aren’t right here, however the artwork of theft continues to be an addictive one.
As a brief time period expertise, Thief Simulator is a variety of enjoyable. However when you spend various hours, you start to seek out your self repeating the identical missions over once more. With sure story quests locked behind sure character ranges, you’re compelled to hit the identical set of homes again and again. That preliminary thrill does briefly reappear each time you purchase a brand new ability or degree up excessive sufficient to earn the flexibility to drill locks or hack safety techniques, however the grind turns into a little bit an excessive amount of at instances.
As a port, Thief Simulator is an honest effort on Swap. Regardless of the essential character, automobile and placement designs, there are some moments of slowdown and pop-in turns into a reasonably common prevalence. It needs to be mentioned that it is a sport that doesn’t look wonderful on PC both (one thing the developer meant in an effort to focus completely on the craft of its gameplay), so this shouldn’t be mistaken as being completely the product of poor optimisation for Swap.
If you happen to’re uninterested in 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 continues to be an intriguing one. He may not be Garrett, however The Thief has loads of expertise to steal a spot on Nintendo Swap.