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.