World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...


It’s Thi4f versus The Dark Mod...or is it?

Which would you rather have? Thi4f by Eidos Montreal, that has teased about the title for quite a while, and says that it’s only in pre-production currently, or The Dark Mod, which came into being after the last Thief, Deadly Shadows, was released in 2004. It’s been nearly five years and the team, a bunch of Thief fans working on it in their spare time with no funding, says they want to get a beta release out this year.

No points for guessing which one we’ll see first, then. It’s not a race, but rather preference over which you prefer: a big budget AAA title, using newer technology or a mod for Doom 3 which looks dated all ready.
It’s not all about graphics, though, and besides, you’ll be sneaking around in the dark for most of the time, so you won’t even notice. It’ll just be black with different shades of grey, and the occasional light that needs to be extinguished. Doom 3, although it looked good, was never praised for its bright and cheerful appearance. Thief didn’t win awards for its pointy, harsh looking graphics back in the day either; it was the gameplay that people were after, and are still looking for.

The Dark Mod sounds as though it’s coming along nicely, when you take a long look at some of the features that the mod is promising, and if you’ve watched the videos, and seen the screenshots and artwork. There will be intelligent AI, realistic physics, great looking city environments, a great thief’s arsenal of tools and ingenious ways of using them.

Read this: You will be able to shoot moss arrows into windows, and they won’t break, but they’ll grow all over the window pane and make less sound when you smash it in order to break in- sounds excellent.

That’s what I want most of all, is more clever ways of using tools and weapons and not just the same old point and fire approach- sort of like the modern version of alternate fire that we all raved about for years when it first debuted in the 90s.

The Dark Mod
, being made by Thief fans for Thief fans, aims to keep on adding and adding new features, and after the beta release which is all ready shaping up to be quite impressive, will keep updating and releasing new versions with new features for people to use. And since the team working on it is too busy to make more than a few maps, which look great to say the least, there’s also the DarkRadiant tool, which will enable people to make their own maps and campaigns, and take that task off the devs shoulders. It will most likely keep the Thief fan community busy for years until Thi4f even sees the light of day.

Recently there’s been another attempt at trying to get the source code for the Dark engine games, namely Thief, Thief Gold, and Thief II, so that the graphics can be updated just like every other well known and loved game of the nineties, like Doom or Quake. With The Dark Mod all ready looking much better than an updated Thief ever could, there’s really little need, unless you’re a purist who wants to stick with far outdated technology, or a masochist who likes a challenge.

I just hope that The Dark Mod doesn’t get shut down by Square Enix (Square Enix bought Eidos). Think about it- it happened to the fan-made Chrono Trigger sequel recently, and it has happened before to mods for games. Think of UDoom, probably a project which little of you know about which was issued a cease and desist order two years ago. It aimed to recreate Doom in the Unreal engine, and id Software promptly sought to shut it down, and the devs complied, knowing it would otherwise lead to a legal war that they had no chance of winning.

What if Eidos or Square Enix picked up The Dark Mod on its radar and decided that, because it’s a project using the Doom 3 engine and resembles or emulates Thief too closely, which practically fits the description of what UDoom was, it must be shut down. That would be bad.

Best we keep this project in the shadows then.

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Apocalypso said...

Oh dear. I had a comment on here, and wouldn't you know it- the next thing I looked, it was gone. Vanished into thin air, perhaps stolen...tsk tsk.

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