Thief to sneak back on to gamers’ screens

Thief 4 is apparently in the very early stages of development. | Image: Eidos Montreal

Games company Eidos Interactive announced this week that it is working on the next game in the Thief franchise.

The fourth outing for the steampunk stealth game is currently being developed by their Montreal studio, who are also handling the third title in the legendary Deus Ex series of dystopian science fiction games. The two titles are also the first two to be developed by the studio, which was set up in 2007.

Stephane D’Astous, Eidos Montreal’s general manager, said that they are currently at an early stage in Thief 4’s development. Even so, it is heartening that such well-respetced franchises have been picked up for another instalment.

However, it mustn’t be forgotten that the last outing for both the Thief and Deus Ex series was at the ill-fated Ion Storm. Although the third Thief game, ‘Deadly Shadows’, was generally well received, the second Deus Ex game, ‘Invisible War’, was met with derision.

Not long after the release of the two games Ion Storm was closed by Eidos.

Though Deus Ex started life at Ion Storm, Thief’s lineage goes back even further. The first two Thief games, ‘The Dark Project’ and ‘The Metal Age’, were created by Looking Glass Studios, who went out of business in 2000.

While Eidos Montreal is untested, hopes are high. Despite previous games developed in-house by Eidos being somewhat of a mixed bag, Montreal is well known for another successful studio.

The city was put on the map, as far as games development goes, largely due to the efforts of Ubisoft, a French developer. Its subsidiary in the city, Ubisoft Montreal, is the developer behind the recent Prince of Persia series, Assassin’s Creed, and also many of the Tom Clancy-branded games.

Thief 4 and Deus Ex 3 both have a long way to go before they’re ready, but perhaps when they emerge Eidos’s studio in will be able to match the quality of Ubisoft Montreal’s productions.

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