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Ships Ahoy - Thief & Singles

Eidos sends word of the online release of Singles: "Eidos (NASDAQ: EIDSY), one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced Singles: Flirt Up Your Life is now available for North America via online download. Singles, developed by the German development company, Rotobee, is an extreme reality simulation game for the PC that takes relationship building further than any other game has before. Eidos, in partnership with Deep Silver, a division of the KOCH Media Group, has made Singles: Flirt Up Your Life for PC available for purchase as of today on major online download sites." They also announce the release of Thief: Deadly Shadows in this press release:

Eidos plc, one of the world's leading publishers and developers of entertainment software, today announced it has shipped to stores across North America the highly-anticipated Thief: Deadly Shadows for the Xbox video game system from Microsoft and PC. Thief: Deadly Shadows is the third chapter in the Thief saga, which originated the stealth gaming genre. For the first time in Thief franchise history, the game will be available on a game console and will feature a third-person perspective. Thief: Deadly Shadows leaves actions, decisions and consequences in the hands of the gamer -- the master thief Garrett.

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86. Re: PC Game May 30, 2004, 23:04 fujiJuice
 
This is the case with all games that have bump mapping. Take a close look at the textures in Far Cry, or Halo with bump mapping on...same thing happens to them.

I have to disagree with you there. Far Cry had textures that were atleast 10x more detailed than Thief's. Now don't get me wrong, I really dig the game, but whoever wrote the engine needs to head back to the drawing board. The quality of the graphics vs. the way it performs just doesn't make any sense.

This comment was edited on May 30, 23:05.
 
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85. Re: PC Game May 29, 2004, 14:58 Krovven
 
First and foremost, there is the blurring - can you make out specific detail on items or is it just a soft, blurred mixture of goop-like colors?

Second, even with all this blurring, you can still make out pixels/rough edges on certain textures.

This is the case with all games that have bump mapping. Take a close look at the textures in Far Cry, or Halo with bump mapping on...same thing happens to them.

Edit: Guess I should add that the reason you might notice it more with Thief 3 is because of the slower pace...more time to look around. Where Far Cry and Halo you are constantly moving and dont really stop with a face to face look at textures.

This comment was edited on May 29, 15:04.
 
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84. Re: PC Game May 29, 2004, 04:58 Ray Marden
 
Technically, the graphics are quite low resolution, just blurred quite a bit.

Do you have all the options set to maximum?

First and foremost, there is the blurring - can you make out specific detail on items or is it just a soft, blurred mixture of goop-like colors?

Second, even with all this blurring, you can still make out pixels/rough edges on certain textures.

Lastly, there are issues you could attribute to the geometry. This would cover anything from the poor animation, the incorrect size ratio (look at Garrett's hand in third person while he is carrying somebody - he is an oversized mutant,) models not lining up (hands to weapons, Garrett's hand to carried bodies, cheese that is made of two pieces - so that one piece can be magically floating in the air if you have the cheest turned on it side,) and how Garrett's clothes are just made of blurred textures than actual geometry.

As ever, things are relative. Look at current games; Splinter Cell, Far Cry, Half-Life 2, and Doom 3; and DS easily has some of the worst looking and slowest performing graphics out there. They are not outright terrible, but the performance hit is certainly does not line up with what is on screen...

Having lots of trouble getting the moss markers to activate :|,
Ray

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83. Re: No subject May 29, 2004, 04:23 Tango
 
Random fact generator:
IIRC Thief 2's clouds were generated on the fly by the "cloud engine" from Flight Unlimited 2 - another Looking Glass game.
</random>
Never was a fan of the first two games - I'm an unashamed action junkie, but these comments over the past few days have encouraged me to have a look at the first two games if I see them for 10 somewhere.

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82. Re: No subject May 29, 2004, 01:08 rkone
 
How much video ram? How much computer ram? Crappy hard drives? Other things can lead to this...even maybe the 4.5 drivers you are using.

9700 pros have 128mb ram, my system has 1 gig ram and a SATA 8mb WD 120gig drive (almost half full, fully defragged). The slow down is just enough to be noticeable at points, the worst I've seen so far is the torch-carrying guard in the weapons room in the first mission. The mouselag trick did help, thanks whoever mentioned it.

I've gone back to Cat 4.4, video corruption is much improved, not totally absent though. I can't say the game looks nice, but it's certainly not bad. The bumpmapping works well at times. Yes we could have gotten (much) better graphics, but I'm not going to complain. The game is still great without it.

As far as sound goes, I've never met a game that sounds perfect with EAX enabled. I refuse to spend money on any more Creative products until they clean up their act (Yeah, I was burned by them with my Aureal 2 card). I'm now using a 5.1 system w/onboard sound, and while it would be nice for sounds to muffle and echo, it's not bad without it. It's great that I get proper surround sound, the Dark engine only supported stereo.

 
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81. PC Game May 28, 2004, 23:44 30SomethinGamer
 
The PC Game is incredible. Just incredible. I can't remember the last time I felt such tension in the game - the AI is truly scary!

And WTF was that gamespy article talking about? The graphics are just beautiful in hi res.

 
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80. Thief 3 - Xbox Perspective May 28, 2004, 12:03 Elrix
 
It plays great, the first mission past the tutorial was well done and the graphics are an improvement from Invisible War. The sound is fantastic on my 5.1 home theatre speakers and it's good that the music is ambient and subdued like in the original Thief games.

I do miss the black and white montage introductions that the old thief missions used to have, just having a voiceover and text seems a bit of a cop out.

The combat is not as good as the original, you can no longer block attacks with your sword or prime your attacks.
The sound and graphical effects of the bow seem too arcadey as well. I also hate the buzz sound effect when using the mechanical eye to zoom in. This may be gameplay related in order to drown out other sounds while you are zoomed in, but extend periods of using the mechanical eye are annoying.

I mostly use the first person perspective for game immersion, switching to 3rd when I want to mantle an object or quickly judge my position in relation to the environment.

Overall, I'm really enjoying the game so far.

This comment was edited on May 28, 14:23.
 
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79. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 11:25 Ray Marden
 
Well, we perpetually disagree.

I just knock it (slightly) because I have had a few areas in some of the levels where there is essentially no sound/music and I have found a few inconsistencies with the audio (only working at certain angles, some items being too loud, some items being too quiet, etc.) I really cannot comment on the 3D audio; I still prefer A3D.

I hate hate hate hate the somewhat choppy input, but things are bearable.

One annoying thing, though not specific to this game, is the reappearing enemies in the city levels. I got bored and literally made a pile of about twent bodies...with more to come. Alternately, walk away for a bit, and your meat pile disappears. Although painfull slow, you can literally collect an unlimited amount of loot from these magically appearing NPCs.

I have been having a few (only twice) instances of the game having trouble sorting out a downed NPC and dropped loot, sometimes even causing both to disappear.

I wish they had really kept the story going over from the second game. It does eventually make its way toward it, but the last half of Thief 2 did not seem to happen at all...

Edit: NPC that sees me *everywhere* I go, guards that instantly home in on me now, falling through the level twice, getting caugh in a mid-jump animation and being stuck in this until I reload my game. You know, this game is actually pretty good, but the engine is shit. The Dark engine would have been better and I could only imagine what this would have been like with the Soure engine or Crytek engine...

Happy that the Thief voice actors are back,
Ray


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This comment was edited on May 28, 13:10.
 
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78. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 09:45 Scottish Martial Arts
 
I agree with Ray that audio is of the same level of the previous games in the series. Where I disagree is that that is at a level of uniform excellence, not merely good as Ray implies. EAX is used masterfully and the sound effects are all great, the same ambient audio by Eric Brosius is back, all in all one of the best sounding games ever.

 
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77. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 09:38 nin
 
After playing Far Cry at 1024x768 and often hitting the refresh cap of my monitor, it is a bit harder going back to something like Deadly Shadows and having lower resolution textures, smaller levels, stiffer animation, lower framerates, etc.

I'm noticing the exact same thing with True Crime right now...how quickly we get spoiled to a killer engine.

Jesus...built my car. It's a love affair (mainly Jesus and my hotrod).
 
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76. Re: Another question May 28, 2004, 09:34 Ray Marden
 
I would say the sound and music are fairly standard for the series. I certainly do not think it is quite as robust, there are even a few deadspots, but it does have the same general music style and ambient sounds of the previous two and a half games.

Thinking a few of the sound effects (arrows) sound hollow, but not drastically so,
Ray



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75. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 09:32 Ray Marden
 
I think the performance is relative, both with regards to previous gaming performance and personal preference. After playing Far Cry at 1024x768 and often hitting the refresh cap of my monitor, it is a bit harder going back to something like Deadly Shadows and having lower resolution textures, smaller levels, stiffer animation, lower framerates, etc.

Likewise, things like the input system can make the performance seem worse, Although setting the lag setting to 0 has helped, the actual input is still a bit jerky. Again, it is relative. This is using a MX510 that runs at 5.8 megapixels - this is the first mouse that blows away my dual optical - a mouse that blew away all the other optical mice I have tried. I do not know the technical aspect of this - maybe the game does not sample the mouse as much, perhaps there is an acceleration that causes this, maybe there is too much of a dead zone, mouse smoothing, etc. - but there is a real light and day difference for me.

Generally more sensitive to minute differences than most my associates,
Ray

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74. Another question May 28, 2004, 04:12 Eldaron Imotholin
 
Someone asked earlier if guards see your shadow - they don't.

"but make sure your own shadow doesn't betray you to those who hunt you!" -Thief 3 site

I hope I can rely on the other things mentioned on the site.
Although I don't feel bad that your shadow isn't noticed, after the comments of RKone. At first I thought it would be a great challange.

Why must Europe wait a whole friggin' month untill it's released while North America already is having fun! A good reason for pirating for many inpatient ppl (not for me though, although it does cross my innocent mind).

Another question I haven't heard about yet: How about the music and the ambient sounds? How about the overall sound? I can remember a guy from developers of DE:IW say on an interview that DE2 would have the best soundsystem any other game ever had! Noticed nothing special though..

This comment was edited on May 28, 04:15.
 
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Future: Dead Space 3.
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73. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 03:35 Krovven
 
It's playable, but my 3ghz P4 and 9700pro should be able to run it smoothly, and in a few of the larger rooms, it definately was not smooth.

How much video ram? How much computer ram? Crappy hard drives? Other things can lead to this...even maybe the 4.5 drivers you are using.
Athlon XP2800+, 9800pro 128mb, 1gig ram, SATA drives...I'm running it very smoothly at 1280x1024x32. I'm running 4.3 drivers and the Hardware button on the Autorun told me to upgrade, but I ddnt bother...figured I'd see if I have any problems first....which I havent. Just an FYI, DX:IW ran like crap on this same system at 1024x768x32 with Bloom off.

 
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72. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 01:25 rkone
 
Well that explains why no one else was complaining here. Thanks SMA.

 
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71. Re: No subject May 28, 2004, 00:09 Scottish Martial Arts
 
RKone: the issue you have with the lighting is the result of using the most recent ATI drivers. Roll back your drivers and the issue will disappear. The flickering light is a problem that the latest ATI drivers introduced to Ion's engine. Try playing DXIW with latest drivers and you'll see lighting glitches that weren't there before. Anyway just rollback and the lighting will be back to normal.

 
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70. Re: No subject May 27, 2004, 23:46 rkone
 
I've finished the first level - expert, took me 109 minutes first time through. It does feel like thief, which is good. I can't wait till I start to get deeper into it.

The control is ok, it seems a little clunky, definately not as elegant as the first two, but not bad enough to fuss over it. Same goes with the first person view that lets you see your body. I'd prefer to look down and see nothing casting a shadow rather than noticing my arms and legs as I'm looking around - reason being is the shadow problem wouldn't present itself that often (you don't usually look that far down), whereas seeing your arms happens quite frequently and a few times so far has distracted me enough to do a double-take. I'm sure I'll get used to it and it won't bother me. I'm not going to bother with third person view. I switched to see what Garret looks like, then switched back.

As far as the level partitions go, the one in the first mission didn't bother me much. It didn't detract from the gameplay enough to worry about.

What does bother me though is how the light is handled. I'm surprised I haven't seen anyone else complain. When I started playing I felt like I was being assaulted with light glitches. Sections of walls would flicker from being lit to being dark and then back again every step. In other places, walls would shine brightly while items right in front were pitch black. Thankfully turning off light bloom fixes this for the most part, but there still are many light problems that remain. For example, in the kitchen, closing the oven door would prevent the light from the fire from showing on the floor, but the wall opposite to it still brightly glows orange.

I prefer the dark engine's static lighting to this. At least it was consistent. Where the floor is dark, you'd be dark. Thief3 actually plays the same, you can safely walk anywhere where the floor is dark. However now a torch with a light radius of 5 feet on the floor has its dynamic light casting shadows 20 feet away. By the end of the first mission I'm used to it, but it doesn't make much sense and really lowers the level of immersion.

While I'm on it, someone asked earlier if guards see your shadow - they don't. I've walked up to guards with my shadow in plain view on the floor in front of him without any response at all. With how the lighting is messed up now, I'm quite thankfull it works that way.

As mentioned, the engine gets a C- for speed. It's playable, but my 3ghz P4 and 9700pro should be able to run it smoothly, and in a few of the larger rooms, it definately was not smooth. It's not a video limitation either, running with 4xfsaa and no fsaa gave about the same framerate. I hope this isn't worse for people with slower CPUs...

This comment was edited on May 27, 23:47.
 
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69. Re: No subject May 27, 2004, 21:53 Krovven
 
I am very pleased with Thief 3. Graphics are fitting for the style of game and are a huge upgrade from Thief 1 & 2, the screenshots don't do it justice at all. Dynamic lighting, and shadows really enahnce the gameplay.

The glint on the loot is barely noticable and I like it being there since you wont end up picking up a worthless candlestick, only to have to drop it making noise and atracting guards.
I was expecting to hate the glint as being a stupid console feature, but it works well.

The game runs very smooth at 1280x1024x32 with everything set to max. Overall this game is a winner...so far. I just hope it doesnt turn into an undead kill fest like the first two games did.

 
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68. Re: No subject May 27, 2004, 18:57 Panick
 
its not such a bad game after all, most people have already said what there is to be said. Just one thing, look at your shadow when you swing with the knife or the blackjack in first person, and in third person, and you will know what i mean

And sometimes when you throw a body down some limbs dissapear. Sometimes an arm or leg or both. Not to often though.


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This comment was edited on May 27, 19:03.
 
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67. No subject May 27, 2004, 14:31 fujiJuice
 
Well I've been playing it some more, and I must say Im having a lot of fun. Getting zero work done today as a result.

I really thought there was no hope for the game after DX:IW, but I'm happily proved wrong. Sure it has problems, some of which I mentioned earlier. But the bottom line is, it's a fun game, and manages to capture the atmosphere of the originals. And when you get right down to it, that's all that matters.

 
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