Prolegomenon to Reviews for the New Thief
Posted on Saturday, February 15 2014 @ 15:07:04 PST
Eidos Montreal have released a seventeen-minute video of the upcoming Thief. GR has it posted here.
Mr. Osborn, in his remarks on the post notes that while it appears to promise a competent stealth title in the near future, he is not in position to judge its merits relative to the rest of the franchise. This is a fair point and a good admission to make. It reveals a problem, however. Any review of this sort of game - a franchise reboot by a different team using different technology with different design philosophy and no general regard for the series as a whole and no creative input from the franchise creators - must be fully apprised of the franchise's roots in order to offer any kind of effective comparison. It is not a question of resources or technical competence - all three games have community patches to make the software fully compliant with contemporary hardware (including widescreen monitors) and software. The entire series is available for less than thirty dollars.
Any outfit looking to publish a review for the upcoming game therefore has no excuse for reviews written by staff not possessing the required knowledge to render a fully competent review. The game launches in ten days. If one were not furnished with a review copy and therefore obliged to wait until launch day to begin playing that provides one-and-a-half weeks to get through all three games. That is plenty of time.
For purposes of illustration, let us imagine two journalists discussing the political situation in China on the basis of a government-sponsored tour. Further let us suppose that neither of these journalists speak, read, or write a lick of Mandarin or Cantonese. Would they not, then, write credulous and foolish stories? Would they not be raked over the coals? We don't need to imagine. This really happened. The two inept think tank wonderboys were Matthew Yglesias and Ezra Klein. Their reports were staggeringly naive. Ethan Epstein raked them over the coals (http://trueslant.com/ethanepstein/2010/06/01/potemkin-pundits-did-matt-yglesias-and-ezra-klein-fall-for-chinese-propaganda/). The stakes here are far lower. The barriers to entry are far lower. A similar raking deservingly awaits anyone who signs off on a similar exercise in journalistic incompetence.