By Melanie Gillman. One reason I didn’t regret leaving comics.
I do enjoy doodling Krinxtoons. This was one I did to commemorate Minx going back home, and I was going to finish it out and color it, and then thought “Wahh. Sad feels!” So I didn’t. But I have another cute and upbeat one in mind having to do with Krism’s upcoming UK trip. :-)
French experimental filmmaker Alain Resnais has died, marking another “end of an era” milestone for a classic film generation. I have always had a deep love for the wildly self-indulgent, yet dreamlike and aggressively non-linear Last Year at Marienbad, a movie that single-handedly defines both the awesomest and silliest aspects of what some people call “arthouse” films. Its intentionally incomprehensible script is, upon closer examination, a dissection of the act of storytelling itself, as “X” attempts to construct the narrative of a (possibly imagined) romance with “A,” who responds throughout with passive resistance but never actual defiance or avoidance. Its suggestion that memory reconstructs time and history borders at times on science fiction. Many people don’t know the movie was a nominee in the Best Dramatic Presentation category of the Hugo Awards, the leading award of the science fiction field.
Basically, in 1960, Alain Resnais made the Inception of love stories.
What is this comic book about!?
May I just say that Chinese bootleggers win at marketing?
(found on Twitter)
I Redboxed Thief last night and have been playing it (360 version). Here are my impressions so far. (Kinda long.)
Stealth mechanics are nice, and it’s all very pretty to look at. Some new things to worry about. You can startle birds and dogs, which will catch the attention of guards. You can check behind paintings for hidden safes. But controls are a little complicated and counter-intuitive, despite the fact the game does a lot of hand-holding for you.
My main problem is that in both story and gameplay, it doesn’t feel like Thief. After completing chapter 1, I still haven’t detected that there really is a story. You’re in a city called The City, and it’s ruled by the douchey 1-percenters who have no fucks to give about poor people dying of some kind of plague. That’s kind of it so far.
Odd off-key plotting. In the prologue you’re working with this younger thief chick who’s really full of herself, and pays for her recklessness. But as chapter 1 begins, Garrett acts like the event never happened, and so we have no sense of time between prologue and chapter opening. Has it been hours? A year? Huh?
Unlike the original Thief trilogy, the tone is as deadly serious as a heart attack. The humor of the original games isn’t (yet) anywhere to be found. Benny the Comedy Guard is sadly missed. Also, the lore of the earlier games is being ignored. No Hammerites or Pagans that I’ve seen yet, although some priestly types were doing some unexplained ritual shit in the prologue. To me it just isn’t Thief without pompous clerics running around going “By the Builder!”
The new voice actor for Garrett is decent and tries very hard to capture the half-whispered cadences of Stephen Russell, which only accentuates that he isn’t Stephen Russell. There’s a reason no one wanted to watch Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger after the role had become established as Robert Englund’s defining life’s work. Playing Thief is rather like watching a typically average remake of a classic movie. Even if the remake has qualities of its own, it’s very rare for it to capture lightning in a bottle the way the original did.
Finally, forget open world or even kinda open world. You always follow a linear path to complete a mission, and it’s only in how stealthy or violent you choose to be or not to be that determines if you end a mission classified as Ghost, Opportunist or Predator. It’s hard to gauge during gameplay which you will end up with. I thought I’d done a pretty good job ghosting through Chapter 1, only to find out that ghosting had the lowest percentage on my final level score. Given how much work went into what I have to say is a brilliantly realized world, it’s a disappointing missed opportunity that the designers are (so far) letting me do so very little exploring in it. If the design had truly allowed for multiple choices in how to approach and complete a mission, it could really have been an evolution.
Sum up: Dishonored was a game directly inspired by the original Thief trilogy (it even had a cutscene paying homage to The Dark Project where characters were re-enacting a cutscene from it), and now Thief 2014 feels like an uninspired Dishonored wannabe. I’m not hating it, but I’m always aware of how much better it could and should have been.
I played through Deadly Shadows on original XBox at least 15 times, out of sheer love for it. The only reason I might play Thief more than once would be me doing my usual OCD achievement hunting. Unless this fucker offers something as amazing as Shalebridge Cradle to blow my mind out of my skull, I’m going with 5/10 so far.