Sitrep: Square Enix are the necromancers of our time

Necromancer

By on January 22, 2014 at 4:09 pm

I went to play Thief recently, where I bumped into games.on.net regent Tim Colwill who was also there to see Thief. Do you know that when Tim goes to things like this he wears a branded games.on.net polo shirt with his name on it? Oh my god it’s hilarious. Anyway so I can’t write about Thief because Tim is presumably going to write about Thief. But there was something else I realised on the day, and unlike most of my waking thoughts it did not feature an army of sentient donut men come to claim us all.

Instead it was the realisation that Square Enix are necromancers. I am quite normal, I assure you. I also remember when these guys and gals had no Enix and were about making Final Fantasy games and only Final Fantasy games. Let me tell you something, Jimmy. I just finished Final Fantasy XIII after years of putting it off and I could kill a man with my bare hands. That game is pants. Is Squenix’s new fascination with cadaverous unlife to blame for my most treasured series’ lowest common denominator decline? Maybe so. It also might be totally worth that pain.

Squenix are now unearthing and publishing at least one major waylaid gaming franchise per year. In 2011, we got Deus Ex: Human Revolution. This remains one of my favourite games of that recently departed gen. In 2012, Hitman: Absolution. Not really my thing but I know some dangerous people who liked it a lot. 2013 saw Tomb Raider. FYI I was the first person in Australia to finish this game. I was obligated to for work (yes… ‘work,’ I know right), but I would have anyway. It was awesome. Much more awesome than the hivemind probably believed it would be. This year, it’s Thief. While I’ll let Timbo talk all about that, I will say: It was not terrible. Far from it.

So while my anime hair precious is going to unremarkable pot (although have you checked out Final Fantasy XIII-2? No one did. And it’s great. Fancy), Squenix seem to have found a new niche in the guise of sepulcher robes and spirit fingers. They are revivalists of a new order, and where once ‘reboot’ was a word so dirty as soon as you said it your browser automatically logged onto Motherless, Squenix are redefining the term for gamingdom. This was something I talked to their reps about on the day, and they looked at each other in this way that said, “Huh yeah, we are necromancers, whoa.” Then came the obvious: What will you be resurrecting and polishing the bones of next? A dramatic and uncertain pause, and then: “We can’t talk about anything yet…” Coy looks all ‘round.

Naturally I’ve been awake for days wondering what it could be. I know they’re up to something, I can feel it in my Johnson. My Johnson can even tell the weather as well as suggest what old-ass game Squenix might be eyeing the corpse of (ew?). Tell you what: Omikron. Come on. You know I’m good for it. I don’t know why I said that, I’d have nothing at all to do with this game’s development. I’m just some writer on the internet. Peace.

18 comments (Leave your own)

I just want everyone to know that the reason I wear that shirt is because it’s the only one I can guarantee will be clean

 
dorianGREY326

A great opinion piece, well said Toby.

 

Is Thief ‘not terrible’ in comparison to the originals though with modern day streamlining and.. you know.. the removal of the ability to *jump*? (Sorry I still can’t get over that *design decision*..)
I think that’s the million dollar question a lot of us long time fans are pondering.

I wonder if the upcoming review is done from the perspective of a fan of the series since the 90′s or not…

 

Hi Stoibs, it’s not a review as it was just the first few hours of the game. But I’ve only also played a few hours of the original series, so that’s all I can go from. It’s all under embargo for now so I can’t say any more, sorry.

 

Great article..can I have a GON shirt with Cale on it?

Hopefully they keep up the process of resurrecting old IP.
Also making sequels for the resurrected IP [New DX cannot wait]

Also new Hitman will be good if they keep with taking it back to open area stealth.

stoibs:
Is Thief ‘not terrible’ in comparison to the originals

Tim Colwill:
It’s all under embargo for now so I can’t say any more, sorry.

Well it was worth a shot to see if you’d spill the beans

 

Well Tobes at least it wasn’t the classic faux pas of wearing unintended matching outfits! Presumably because your Games.on.net polo with Tim embroided upon it is used for more nefarious purposes :P

Also I am encouraged by Toby’s view on Thief as I find my PC gaming tastes are seemingly quite similar to his.

Edit: I will add that I have read in quite a few places now about game journo’s getting a good play of Thief but are unable to report yet due to NDA’s etcetera Take that how you will (knowing the internet taken on par with A:CM :P )

 

Guess I’m really just wondering if it does the series justice and remains faithful, been burned too many times over these years with remakes/reboots/Genre Shifts in Sequels of some of my favourite franchises =(

(Max Payne, Fallout, ROTT, Resident Evil, Elder Scrolls etc.)

Oh well, Time will tell.

 

stoibs:
Guess I’m really just wondering if it does the series justice and remains faithful, been burned too many times over these years with remakes/reboots/Genre Shifts in Sequels of some of my favourite franchises =(

(Max Payne, Fallout, ROTT, Resident Evil, Elder Scrolls etc.)

Oh well, Time will tell.

I’m terrified it will be a dog of a game. They seemed to have listened to feedback from last years E3. The contextual jumping completely annoys the poo out of me as well Stoibs, it just seems silly not to have the option. Hell half the fun with Thief is the freedom of movement and the advantage/disadvantage it brings. Hate it when games have hold your hand features like contextual jumping and not being able to fall off of things >_<

 

meji: Edit: I will add that I have read in quite a few places now about game journo’s getting a good play of Thief but are unable to report yet due to NDA’s etcetera Take that how you will (knowing the internet taken on par with A:CM :P )

That’d be basically because that’s just how it works: companies show the game off to journos globally over a few days, give them a week to get their stuff together, and then drop the embargo (which the journos agree to in writing before being admitted to the building). So yeah, basically every site and his dog right now is sitting on a Thief preview and waiting to spill it.

 

meji,

Is it really a hand-hold? LoZ has context-sensitive jumping, and not being able to fall off things doesn’t really matter unless you’re on an extremely narrow path. It’s really only there for novelty in games like Bioshock: Infinite or Halo (which already have falling deaths as a big part of the engine) and seems like wasted development time when it could be better focussed on other things like bug-fixing.

And from what little I played of the third thief game, wasn’t the series about having lots of freedom for stealth, such as with the water arrows or guard AI pathing changing based on the amount of alerts there’s been? I don’t see what jumping has to do with that.

 

Tim Colwill:
It’s all under embargo for now so I can’t say any more, sorry.

Well there’s some mighty big warning bells. Is the embargo lifted before release or on/after release?

 

The embargo lifts on Saturday morning, quite early, so well before release!

The embargo should not be taken as warning bells, it’s just a standard thing to make sure no outlet has an advantage over any other. Everyone has to go live with their previews at the same time. :)

 
Toby McCasker

Tim’s will quite naturally be the best. Hi Tim, hey. Looking good today

 

rapid101:
meji,

Is it really a hand-hold? LoZ has context-sensitive jumping, and not being able to fall off things doesn’t really matter unless you’re on an extremely narrow path. It’s really only there for novelty in games like Bioshock: Infinite or Halo (which already have falling deaths as a big part of the engine) and seems like wasted development time when it could be better focussed on other things like bug-fixing.

And from what little I played of the third thief game, wasn’t the series about having lots of freedom for stealth, such as with the water arrows or guard AI pathing changing based on the amount of alerts there’s been? I don’t see what jumping has to do with that.

Good points rapid and I agree to a degree. TDS was more restricted in movement than the previous Thief games but it was essentially the same and for me, at least, part of that Thief essence is well, messing up and falling off a thin ledge because you nudged too far or not quite making or just making that epic jump, or accidentally jumping onto that loud surface.

The game is definitely all about stealth and while you had all these wonderful tools to help bend the shadows, it also had that inherent risk of just doing a little too much. It doesn’t mean every fall should be a death but it should be an event of consequence, in previous Thief games that could mean falling onto a surface with a loud clang or borking your roof climbing hijinx and placing you in an uncontrolled position.

I haven’t played the new Thief myself (obviously) and I have yet to see how the jumping is overall – ie it’s known to be context sensitive so does that mean that to rail you into a jump it will make say that roof top jump a little too far but you can jump down behind that unsuspecting guard? that sort of thing. So does it detract from the overall freedom starkly?

So for me it feels like the players hand is being held, sure you can pass it off as hey this guy is a master thief he shouldn’t fall at all, but for me, that does detract from that feeling of playing the game. Kind of like an invisible wall situation.

 

I hate the direction EM have taken Thief. It looks like a bog-standard stealth game; it used to be so much more. They don’t “get” Thief.

Loved Human Revolution, but that was a different team that didn’t waste millions of dollars rebooting their project three times!

 
steve_rogers42

<3 tobes,

dont be upset, your GON polo with 'Tobes' embroided on is still lurking on the floor of my…

oh yea, i'll work those stains out and carrier pigeon it to you…

Or i can leave them in if you prefer….

 
Toby McCasker

steve_rogers42,

XD

(leave them)

 
steve_rogers42

excellent… smithers, a new shirt to wear to work tomorrow…

 
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