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So, Thief 4, the sequel to the ground-breaking and influential PC stealth game is coming, and - among other things - the ability to jump outside of designer-approved places has been put on the chopping block. Why, you ask? Because it is more fun that way, and - get this! - the old method of allowing you to jump where and how you liked was a broken, outdated feature that had to go. All for you, Dear Beloved Customer!

Here is what the publisher's community rep has to say (emphasis mine, note how familiar it is):
LOL! Everybody needs to calm down and relax.

This is such a non-issue. You can absolutely jump and move through the world fluidly and freely. The game has been designed specifically to achieve this goal. You're looking at this like you're losing a feature, but the reality is that you're gaining dozens more.

Anybody claiming the game will somehow be ruined because you can't free jump, when there is no reason to be jumping, would have to agree that Gran Tourismo is ruined because you can't choose to pop the trunk - right? No, of course not.

Saying that immersion is broken because of the absence of a feature allowing you to physically break out of character is akin to dividing by zero. Garrett would never randomly hop, skip and jump through the world. He just wouldn't. Honestly, if you need to spam the jump button continually for no reason to truly feel immersed a game, or need to be able to randomly pop yourself into the air like a grasshopper with the hiccups - then hell, maybe Thief isn't for you. But, check out Team Fortress 2 - it's free to play and you'll probably love it!

As someone who has played the game more than anybody else outside of the dev team, I can assure you that free jumping would ruin immersion. Pogo hopping through the world like a shop manequin on a spring would seem incredibly out of place, dated and overly simplistic within the context of the rest of the rich and tactile mechanics that have been created soley to make you feel like a Master Thief slipping through the world.

Like I said yesterday, this is not tomb raider, this is not The Last of Us, this is not an early 2000's game with cheesy pre-programmed hot spots. Forget what you know about the word "contextual" - it's been turned into a dirty word of late, but don't make the mistake of judging Thief on how "contextual" actions have been handled in other, completely unrelated games.

Consider that this only has become an 'issue' on the forums here after someone quoted a snippet of a text interview. It was never brought up when you guys first saw the E3 gameplay footage. Nor was it ever brought up as an issue by any of the journalists who played the game - including the few more 'critical' reports. MT didn't even scream bloody murder or beg the team to change the feature after he played the game. Why? For 1 very simple reason: It's just not an issue. Nobody felt restricted. Nobody felt they were missing anything. Chances are when you're finally playing the game, neither will you!

You can't free jump just for no reason - but you can jump whenever and wherever you need to jump. It's fluid. It's slick. You tap the jump button in the EXACT same way, with the exact same timing as if you had a free jump. In fact, if you weren't told that you couldn't free jump, and only tried to jump when you needed to jump to, you would have NO idea that you couldn't bunny hop around like convulsing jack-in-the-box. It's only when you tap the jump button while standing in the middle of a room with nothing to jump on that you DON'T jump.

So, I hear you asking, what happens when you DO press the jump button, but there is nothing to jump on?


It's AWESOME - just like a very small dash.
In fact, if Garrett didn't hunker down to avoid being seen, you would say that it feels like a jump, in a way (be clear: It is NOT a jump). The swoop is used to empower stealth gameplay, and can be used in any direction - forwards, backwards, side to side. You can even rotate/change direction while you're swooping. It cannot be spammed for a continual speed boost. It offers total freedom and mobility, completely aligned with the movement and grace of a master thief who makes his living by sneaking from shadow to shadow. Those hoping for Garrett the Master River Dancer will be disappointed, everyone else has nothing to worry about.
The future is in good hands, everyone!

(Also, they removed the game's traditional factions and replaced them with an Evil Baron Running a Police State, threw out most of the game's weapons and equipment, changed the main character from a cynical and world-weary professional into a consummate eyeshadow-wearing artiste living for thr thrill of thieving, and hired someone else instead of the protagonist's usual voice actor because, I kid you not, "he could not perform the character's physical stunts". All for you! Well, except for you nostalgia-ridden Master River Dancer-wannabes and bunny-hoppers, I guess.)

English / Europa Universalis: How is it?
« am: 18. Juli 2013, 15:48:29 »
I'm thinking about getting into this series, but I am slightly wary it may be too challenging/complex for me. Civilisation/Colonisation/Master of Magic is my generally preferred level of complexity in strategy games - how does the EU series compare? And, in general, how is it?

English / Picaresque adventures in the 17th and 18th century
« am: 12. Juni 2013, 10:35:53 »
We all know Grimmelhausen's Simplicissimus (along with Courage, The Notorious Thief, Whore and Vagabond and The Wonderful Bird's Nest) is one of the great works of world literature, and an adventure story beyond compare. This is evident to all with good taste. We also know Bürger's Münchhausen and Jókai's rather more obscure Told by the Death's Head are good. We might have seen Barry Lyndon, Moonfleet or the Agfacolor Münchhausen (which is almost surreally devoid of every evil its birthplace was noted for). In modern fantasy, Moorcock's War Hound is one of the masterworks, even if the sequel is pretty meh.

So what else is there for someone looking for historical or quasi-historical adventures in the age of stagecoaches, robbers, gits-in-wigs and flintlocks? (Preferbaly not including pirate stories.) What about Christian Vulpius, for instance? Good? Bad? Outdated junk? Moll Flanders - does it live up to Courage?

There must be a lot more out there.

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