Thief of Thieves is a comicbook style stealth action-adventure game released for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. The game is based on the best-selling comics of the same name created by Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead.
The cel-shaded graphics art style combined with the dialogue-based encounters and stealth action think Telltales The Walking Dead game meets Metal Gear Solid or Hitman – sans violence.
You play as Celia, a punk-style cat burglar, with beautiful short black hair, a brow piercing, and badass neck and sleeve tattoos, yet can be quite the femme fatale in a cocktail dress. Your mentor is Conrad ‘Redmond’ Paulson, the master thief from the comics who helps you leap from apprentice to master, as you lead a team of thieves on high-profile heists across Europe.
The art style in this game is simply stunning, from the starting moment in the opening scene, the cel-shaded art style graphics combined with the fixed camera angles creating comic-strip-like frames, and the text bubbles as well as the comic strip overlays blend perfectly into a breathtaking visual masterpiece that blurs the lines between comic book and gameplay and epitomizes the beauty in story telling in video games. I personally do not think i have been stricken by a games visual beauty as Thief of Thieves ever since i first played Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The Gameplay is a blend of dialogue adventure and stealth gameplay. You start the game with one playable character, Celia, and you visit locations and are expected to scout for the possible routes on how to achieve your goal, while relying on non-lethal stealth, disguises, and dialogue to progress forward. If you are caught, it is game over, there is zero combat in this game, so you are encouraged to use your wits.
As you progress through the game you assume leadership of a team of burglars that can assist Celia on command, and provide valuable information for dialogue-based encounters.
Gameplay and visuals are pretty much flawless in my book, the performance is where the game -unfortunately- takes a hit. The graphics downgrade of the Nintendo Switch port from the Xbox and PC counterparts is understandable, and honestly not very much noticeable when you are distracted with the gorgeous art style, and the immensely fun gameplay, but it is the loading times that are unforgivably long. The game takes around two full minutes to load up the main menu, and anywhere up to 4-5 minutes to load up different chapters, and the frequency between the loading screens is unjustified, like you get a couple minutes loading screen just to load a few non-interactive story-frames, only to be followed up by another loading screen for the actual level.
This is an issue that should be -and probably will be- addressed by the developers soon, because if The Witcher 3 can run smoothly on the switch, so should any other game.
Thief of Thieves is a visual art piece, and an A-Class stealth action game, but the technical performance issues of the Nintendo Switch port unfortunately deduct points form this otherwise flawless title, i still highly encourage all readers to give Thief of Thieves a try, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this amazing experience just because of a little impatience.
I give the game a rating of 7/10 at its current state (version 1.0.0) , and would gladly bump up the score to a 9/10 once the performance issues are sorted out in a future patch.
Thief of Thieves: Season One is now available on the Nintendo eShop here
Special Thanks to Rival Games for the Review Code.