Note: As happens sometimes, we experienced a problem with HyperSnap being unable to take pictures of the game using the game's internal brightness settings. This means that we were forced to adjust gamma manually, from a dark image, which has resulted in artifacts on some textures. Our apologies.
I came into Thief: Deadly Shadows expecting a problem which didn't exist, finding no new others, yet in the end I came out feeling the game is lacking something. Let's sit down on the couch with the good doctor and explore the origins of that feeling.
Thief: Deadly Shadows has a tough legacy to live up to. The original two Thief games were developed by Looking Glass Studios, the defunct game developer known for its quality, innovative games that almost inevitably ended up as commercial failures. With the demise of Looking Glass, gamers were quite bitter towards publisher Eidos for permitting this to happen, pointing out the fortune spent on ION Storm and Daikatana. Apparently Eidos management isn't without a heart (or sense of irony) since development on a new Thief game began not long after… at ION Storm Austin, the office of the famous Warren Spector. In addition, a fair sized chunk of the Looking Glass crew found themselves at Austin.
The stars were aligned and the gaming universe seemed set to rights. Then Deus Ex: Invisible War was released to a massive backlash. It's not that it was a bad game, it's just that gamers resented the console-oriented nature of it, and it didn't really try to do everything like its somewhat overhyped predecessor did. Given that Thief was being developed at the same studio and using the same engine, concerns arose about how it would turn out.
Don't worry, it's not a console game. The only console legacy shared between Deadly Shadows and Invisible War is that Thief also has the levels which are broken up into smaller parts. Fortunately the designers limited themselves to two parts per level at most, with an exception for the City which spans multiple zones. Although the sections are no larger than they were in Deus Ex, and in fact not even as content filled, they do take longer to pass. After all, you're not running and gunning, you're sneaking by. The only time they become an annoyance is at the start of the mid-game when Garrett finds himself running back and forth across the City during the errand boy phase of the game.