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Thiourf. Thifourth. Thfieth? So stupid.

News about that new Thief game whose working title is too silly to reproduce here is pretty scarce. For all that it was announced more than a year ago, there have been no trailers, no concept art, no prospective features, no hints about the plot or tone or setting or protagonists it may or may not have (and since the third game rounded off the overarching plot pretty definitely, those parts would be important. Those last four things are Thief - their interplay and interconnection with the game mechanics and design made it beautiful). It's been relegated to the back of my mind lately mostly because SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM SKYRIM and to a lesser extent various other things I've been following. And life, too. I suppose life is involved somewhere.

I just found something to spark my interest again, though; a piece of flotsam kicked up by Good Old Games getting their hands onto Thief Gold and Thief 2: Metal Age and poking them into working on today's computers. (Run and buy them now!) Thief did things with sound that games today still don't do. So it was somewhat of a relief to find the fellow in charge of the new game's noise-making (Paul Wier), despite not being Eric Brosius, making this presentation about generative sound (or making noises that shift smoothly in tone, key, scale and general mood according to specific game states on the fly, rather than composing looped backing tracks for each setting or situation). And it was an instant sell for me because of the slow thrumming atmosphere he brought about. No heavy percussion, no noticeable melody, just...foreboding.

Because of course, Thief is not about being James Bond or Solid Snake or Sam Fisher or Catwoman. It's darkness and stone, old magic and the dead, and the ever-present press of technology and zealotry.

...Anyway it's called Stealing Sound and if you don't want to listen to a somewhat nasal-sounding dude talking about the processes going on you can just skip to the last two or three minutes and listen to the impromptu track he plays. The volume might need to be turned up. Also headphones are possibly necessary for the proper experience. Mmm, tasty noise.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 8th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)
I guess they are unaware that a 4 is usually read as an "A"? Thiaf? That is awesome music, though! Nice and looming.

Also, I can't decide if that first paragraph is a vote for me to keep putting Skyrim off on account of it possibly eating my mind, or if I should take it as encouragement to start it up and damn the consequences. I should probably at least finish Uncharted 3 first. YOUR THOUGHTS?
Feb. 8th, 2012 12:03 pm (UTC)
I have no idea was they were thinking. Or possibly, smoking. I just know it is an awful, awful title. However, if they end up with an actual title as awesome as Deus Ex: Human Revolution (which is cool, relevant and a thematic pun, holy shit), all will be forgiven, especially if the game itself is as good.

Ahahaha, well, Skyrim. It's a great game. The main quest is quite palatable, especially by Bethesda standards, but of course as with all Elder Scrolls games you play for everything that isn't the main quest - including the...two, three...hmm, five questlines that have no relationship to the main quest whatsoever. And the endless faffing about. You could faff around for a very long time. It's dumped a lot of Oblivion's stupid (though some remains), the setting is gorgeous, and the amount of work the devs put into the world is extremely impressive (I'm one of those people determined to collect every single book and buy a house with enough shelves to store them, complete with a rough cataloguing system and a chair to read them in). The lore is a bit daunting, but online sources are helpful. The glitches range from annoying to hilarious, but they're hardly gamebreaking.

The thing is that IT HAS NO END. If you enjoy the game, it will eat your life. Multiple characters created just because, endless wandering, spending an hour and a half in the swamp gathering alchemy ingredients, hammering out stuff in the forge, collecting priceless artifacts, trolling the Daedra...it's almost the exact opposite of Uncharted for me, which I play for a short sharp dose of action and awesome set pieces polished to a glittering shine rather than quiet, lonely ambling through mountains and meadows, chasing butterflies and launching arrows at things, and becoming bemused at the sight of my cheese wheels suddenly rolling wild and free over the floor of my kitchen and laboratory, knocking things over. ...Personally, I'd say finish Uncharted 3 first, or you might very well have lost your place by the time you come back to it from Skyrim.
Feb. 8th, 2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
I have heard a bit about some of the problems with Oblivion, but I've never actually played any of the Elder Scrolls games, so I have no real idea of what I'll be getting into at all, haha. (YOU CAN COLLECT BOOKS? AND BUY A HOUSE TO PUT THE BOOKS IN?! omg!)

But! I do know a little about games with lots of wandering about and no end! (Hello, Final Fantasy XI, we are looking at you.) So that sounds pretty exciting! I look forward to losing hours of my life to it! But, yeah, okay, Uncharted 3 first.
Feb. 9th, 2012 02:09 am (UTC)
Oh man, okay, I tried writing up a crash course with all the important racial conflicts/geography/cosmology and stuff in the Elder Scrolls, but it was too confusing. Basically, there are nine gods/divines (Aedra), sixteen/seventeen of the strongest spirit/demon/things who like screwing around with mortals (Daedra and the Daedric Princes; "Prince" is unisex for them, by the way), high elves (Altmer), wood elves (Bosmer), dark elves (Dunmer), fantasy Vikings (Nords), fantasy Arabs who are also dark-skinned (Redguards), vaguely French half-elves (Bretons), Orcs (who are also elves, the Orsimer), fantasy Romans (Imperials), cat people (Khajiit), lizard people (Argonions), and the dwarves (Dwemer). Who are also elves. And vanished all at once instantly a long time ago. And weren't actually short. If you couldn't tell, every race generally hates every other race and they war all the time, though the Nords and Altmer are the most open about it and the Dunmer, Argonians, Orcs and Khajiit get it the worst.

The important thing to remember is that almost all in-universe sources may not be accurate, due to bias, misinformation, misunderstanding or whatever. When reading an in-universe book (yes! They're mostly only three or four pages, but quite extensive nonetheless), check the author, date and purpose of the text to give you an idea of what the agenda was in writing it.

The only one-hundred-percent accurate accounts of the past or future are the eponymous Elder Scrolls, and that's because they're crazy-god-time-universal-window-things. Also they tend to strike you blind or make you go nuts when reading them, so they're hardly an easily consulted source.

Anyway! Yes you can buy houses once the guy who rules the city likes you enough! And they come with shelves to stick your books in, once you decorate them. :D Some books raise your skills, but I just lubs them because they're books. They're often interesting reading. It's not vital, but it's fun. You can display weapons and armour, brew potions and cook food as well.

Thing is, it's a Bethesda series. They...are ambitious, and with ambition comes glitches. Hilarious ones. Like horses that can stand on vertical surfaces and dragons that fly backwards. Mostly they're harmlessly funny, but they can get aggravating.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )