Home Gaming Thief’s AI was too tricky, had to be “dumbed down”

Thief’s AI was too tricky, had to be “dumbed down”

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The Thief reboot is finally coming, and will be released here in South Africa next week Friday. From everything we’ve seen , it look pretty damned good, even if it does seem to borrow heavily from Dishonored, which itself borrowed rather heavily from Thief. Still, unless you turn off the assistive features, the game looks a bit easy. It used to be much, much more difficult – but its AI was proving too tricky.

"The engineers were very proud," Thief game director Nic Cantin told ArabicGamers. "With the AI they did something that was really good, but when you were trying to distract a guard in that direction for example, they were so intelligent he’d anticipate you and find you and there’d be a big fight.

"So it was too realistic at some points and we had to balance those elements and spend a lot of time with AI to make sure there is no anticipation.

That could introduce a problem that existed with Dishonored, and indeed exists in most games that heavily feature stealth. Guards tend to rush in and search around their dead friends, allowing you to hilariously build up a pile of dead bodies. But Thief is all about fun.

"It’s not about being hyper-realistic, it’s about being credible but it’s still a game," Cantin said.

Thankfully, for those who do like more challenge in their games, Thief comes with a wealth of options to make the game a little less forgiving; you an turn off the HUD, threat markers, disable takedowns and alerts and even disable non-critical upgrades.  In Ironman mode, you can even have it so that if you die in a mission, you have to start the game from the beginning.

Last Updated: February 20, 2014


  1. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    February 20, 2014 at 15:06

    I for one would like if they gave the option to have either the hyper realistic Ai or the slightly dumbed down. That would allow me to decide for myself whether or not the hyper realistic option was too bad


    • Unavengedavo

      February 20, 2014 at 15:12

      Just remember that they need to cater for a country that don’t even know that they speak English and not “American”


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        February 20, 2014 at 15:36

        I’m laughing coz it’s true


    • Zubayr Bhyat

      February 20, 2014 at 15:27

      Then they could name the game Dark Shadows. And rightfully so.


    • Acornbread

      February 20, 2014 at 15:47

      Exactly! If they achieved that level of realism, why not leave it as an option? Hang on, smells like future DLC….


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        February 20, 2014 at 15:48

        Eish, you may be right


    • HvR

      February 20, 2014 at 17:12

      Well it looks the problem is actually AI “precognition”.

      Because your in an artificial environment the AI has more data available to it than a real person would have in the real world. So with the AI tuned to high it would be able predict or be omni-conscience of the players position and actions.

      What a lot of games still lack is randomness, real world no two guards intelligence and observance will be the same.


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        February 21, 2014 at 07:29

        For sure. I hear you. I’m sure that hurdle will be overcome one day


  2. Milla Von T

    February 20, 2014 at 15:07

    I have my pre-order in and counting down the days to release since I’ve only waited 9 years or so for a new Thief game.


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    February 20, 2014 at 15:09

    I’d rather have the difficult AI.

    There was a little stealth-based game called Stolen a few years back. One of the things I really liked about it was if you knocked a guard out, he’d come to a few minutes later & immediately go to set off the alarm. You had to be really careful.


    • RinceandLeSIGH

      February 20, 2014 at 15:28

      I would also like some kind of hyper realism. Playing metro last night, knocking the guards out may as well be killing the, because they never get up again.


  4. Brian Murphy

    February 20, 2014 at 15:34

    Stalker’s AI had to be turned down also, it would conquer the game before you could originally.


  5. CypherGate

    February 21, 2014 at 09:15

    I think they should have released the game with that tricky ass AI and if its tooooooo difficult send out a patch. I mean it shouldnt be that difficult. Loads of games have become way too easy. For example i tried Lords of Shadow 2 and in that demo the camera makes it so clear what you need to do to beat that gold flying freak. it made it so so obvious. What happened to the days when you REALLY need to figure out proper tactics or puzzles? I miss Resident Evil 1 and 2…


  6. Aberro

    February 24, 2014 at 00:54

    Yeah, right, their AI was so ‘smart’ that it will rush to player even if he is in another room, because it always known where player is. Something so ‘smart’ that we seen it even in early 90’s action games.
    Their engineers should be proud only if their AI would be so smart that it will fear of the dark if it alone, will need to go for pee, will use torches, tactics, collaborate with other guards and other things that real people would do.
    As far as can be seed in streams of leaked game, there is only one thing to be proud with one term – their engineers are monkeys and they still made at least something like AI.


  7. Ribins

    March 3, 2014 at 05:08

    i personally am sick of dumb AI i want a change something super real……if you dont like the fact tat its so hard then jus play dishonored or assassin creed T_T


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