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March 05, 2014

Thief (2014) Content Rundown


The cover "stole" my breath!

Sorry, that was horrible. I'll give you the Content Rundown now, without any more puns. So sorry. My deepest regrets and condolences. Words cannot describe how sorry I am right now.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: Mature Gamers Only (For Brief Sexual Content and Nudity and Strong Language)

Release Date: February 2014

Developer: Eidos Montreal

Publisher: Square Enix

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC

Genre: Stealth



Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man is shot in the hand with an arrow, blood squirting out. This is shown very briefly. He later pulls it out, some blood being shown and he groans in pain.

--Enemies can be shot with arrows; blood sprays out, and cries of pain are heard.

--We see graying, ape-human creatures who grab meat from corpses and appear to eat it.

--A man is attacked by a ghostly woman; he is mutated into a grotesque man, with his face sunken and his fingers bulging. This is very brief and somewhat vague.

--There are some sequences where buildings, bridges and archways collapse, with lots of wreckage and rubble being seen.

--We see several corpses littering environments, some with bloodstains on them and staining the areas around them. Players encounter blood pools and can walk over them, squishing being heard.

--Guards can slice players with swords; blood is shown on the screen, with a crunch being heard.

--A pigeon with a neck wound struggles around and dies, some blood shown on the floor.

--A man is hanged; he struggles around whilst choking, before finally dying.

--Your character can get set on fire; flames are visible on the screen as he groans in pain.

Context of Violence: Shock Value (The violence is depicted for sensational purposes, with the exception of the non-lethal attacks.)

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--In a brothel, we see several suggestively clad women, exposing cleavage and bare thighs. When facing them from the front, their breasts are obviously exposed through their outfits.

Several prostitutes are shown sitting around with men, breasts exposed in full view. Players can hear men groaning aggressively in rooms, one man demanding that a woman give "it to him harder" and groaning angrily. A man later asks a woman to "punish" him, but nothing happens.

-The game also features some sexual content, where players can view couples engaging in sexual acts with topless female nudity visible. 

NOTE: I wasn't able to see anything in the video walkthrough I watched, so the sexual content is somewhat avoidable if one doesn't look too long inside certain rooms. Also, the nudity can be avoided by simply looking away from the women. There is one second of unavoidable nudity in a cutscene, though.

Context of Sex/Nudity: Fanservice (Even if it is avoidable, the sexual content is purposefully added for fanservice. Nothing about it shows any necessity of it being there.)

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Frequent Uses of F**k, S**t, Wh**e, B**ls, B**t**d, P**s, C**p, H**l and D**n.

Context of Language: Grittiness (The language is used to add salt and pepper to the game's already gritty atmosphere.)

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--(Spoilers) The ghost of a woman comes out of the body of a woman. It is mentioned that she controls an alternate reality and that she fused through the city. She is powered by crystals called Primal Stones (End Spoilers).
 
--We see a group of men in hooded robes standing in a circle inside a church-like building. They place a crystal on the table, and the "high priest" (for lack of a better term) mentions that they should channel it.

They push a button on a book and suddenly the crystal turns into an orb as the "high priest" begins chanting in a weird language.

--A prostitute jokes that a man should confess his sins to her, so that they can do worse.

--One of the objects you steal in the game is a ritual book. 

Context of Spiritual Content: Fantasy, Black Magic (While the game does incorporate some dark fantasy elements, all of it is clearly detached from reality.)

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Mentions of opium and we later see opium vats and people under the influence of it.

--A man is shown having a strong drink in a bar; he appears to be drunk.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Atmospheric (The drug use is inserted to depict the game's gritty world in more detail.)

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A woman tells a man to go urinate out in the light (It doesn't really make sense in context, either).

Scary Stuff:

--Whilst peering through a lock, a woman jumps up and obviously scares the player.

--Players encounter an asylum late in the game with several apparitions walking around, who mysteriously vanish when you get closer.
Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

WOW! A GAME CALLED THIEF IS ABOUT CRIME-Okay, okay, sorry. I couldn't resist.

While the player steals a lot of objects and valuables for personal gain, there is a slight "Robin Hood" thing going on, as he lives by a code of honour and doesn't seem to steal from the poor.  On the other hand, he still steals things which don't really belong to evil people, even if they are rich.

Morality Type: Life of Crime (Eh, do I need to explain this one?)

Thoughts & Impressions:


Well, it's obviously very mediocre in spite of some entertaining sequences. The story is unfortunately pretty weak and doesn't really provide us with enough drive to care about what's happening in the game. 
The strongest aspect of the game's story is the atmosphere. Eidos Montreal, two years off the major success of Deus Ex Human Revolution, are still masters at crafting compelling worlds and settings, just like what we saw in Human Revolution. (Good gosh, that game needs a ReMix Review...)

If you're expecting the ending to resolve anything, just know that it's one of those moments where you pretty much nod your head in dissatisfaction. 
"Yep, it ended like that." Yes, myself, yes, it ended like that...
Conclusion:




I'm surprised. To be honest with you, I expected a tonne of sleazy sex scenes after reading the ESRB. Instead, what the game contained was a very brief sequence with some sexual content and nudity.

And it wasn't even focused on. Now, that doesn't mean that I just approve of it, but it just felt, um, "superfluous". This may be a major turn-off for most of my readers, but personally, I was able to look past it fairly easily.

I still personally wouldn't get this game because of the aforementioned, but it was refreshing to see that it wasn't thrown in at every corner of this game.

As for the spiritual content, pffffft. Fantasy stuff. Nothing too major. Violence? What violence? The violence was like really mild! Okay, maybe not that mild, but still a lot less graphic than most M-rated games.

The Preacher: The brothel scene reminded me of an eight year old giving a gift to his/her parents, eyes wide as he/she pleads simple acceptance from their overly demanding audience-I mean parents. It was "superfluous" but hilariously so!

Oh, and what violence?

Trent: Desensitisation for you. The sexual content speaks to the kind of depravity that exists in modern gaming. And yet people want to play games like these and ignore it? We can't ignore sin!

Verdict: 18+


For Brief Sexual Content and Nudity and Strong Language


Outro: While the content may not make some happy, I'd be more concerned about the rather mediocre experience you get from the game. But hey, if you wait until it hits the bargain bin, this game will be a "steal"!

...Yeah, I'll show myself out now.

What do you think? Do you agree with the verdict, or is the game too offensive for you? Also, what's up with the gosh-darned lead voice actor changes? (I'm looking at you, Splinter Cell Blacklist!)

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