This might not be the game for thieving.
When it first came out in 2014 Thief did not capture the hearts like the originals did. It homogenised the core gameplay too much, turning a more open world stealth game into an average linear stealth game with an uninteresting story. Garrett became another gruff voiced hero who did things because ‘it’s what I do’ and he lost any possible depth.
And if you didn’t like Thief for that you sure as hell won’t like Thief: Master Thief Edition. A simple steam sell with a few added extras. At its most base, the game is Thief with a little extra, though if you haven’t got the game on PC this edition would be a good chance to get it.
So what is Thief actually like as a game? It is a somewhat typical first person stealth game. You play a Garrett, a master thief who is investigating strange happenings within ‘the city’ (yes, that is what it is called.) This is done by going through various missions, each built in the same fashion of ‘go from point A to point B’ and stealing everything not nailed down along the way. Getting there is somewhat of your own volition as there is no definitive route through and a mix of stealth and tactical action is the way to travel. Stealth is very much encouraged and full-frontal violence is frowned upon and the systems are built to improve your stealth action over time and make you feel like a master thief, or at least a stealthy one.
Thief has several things going in its favour. Stealth is tough yet fair, giving you breathing room at the right points and the focus view lets you plan routes quickly and effectively. The difficulty has very nice scaling, and doing a mission at the highest difficulty with no crosshair and no advantages is some good bragging rights. Your rating is also given based on various factors including your approach giving an extra level of depth to your thievery.
Thief’s failure was its lack of polish and its homogeneity, like many other games of 2014. The story was rather unusual for a game with its legacy, departing from thievery to a strange story of the occult and Garret’s past. Movement felt a little clunky, especially traversing vertically as you are unsure what ledges you can just drop from and what ledges require a button prompt to do so. The hub world also seemed pointless, something which could have been done in a menu rather than having to stealth around another area permanently and giving you very little downtime.
So what do you get in the Master Thief Edition? Well very little extra game content with just the opportunist package booster pack to give you some arrow upgrades from the beginning. For fans you get a digital art book, digital comic book, and the digital soundtrack. I personally did enjoy the soundtrack, and the art and comic book are, while not a replacement for actual game content, still a nice addition.
We reviewed Thief back in 2014 when it first came out (here) and it was praised as a good experience. If you have not yet gotten Thief and you have a good PC then Thief: Master Thief Edition is a good entry. Personally, I did not find it too bad a game and considering it more of a reboot than a continuation makes the experience less painful.
But as a special edition, Thief: Master Thief Edition is one of the worst I have seen. The only game content you get is a booster pack which diminishes the progression of the game and is as useless as the rest of the content. I can recommend this if you do not have Thief already and this is on sale. Otherwise I cannot recommend this. This is a below average special edition earning a 3. Nothing in this is special.