The Art of Thief
it’s a steal Master thief and stealth progenitor Garrett returns in Square Enix’s reboot of the popular video game franchise
The first Thief game, released in 1998, revolutionised first-person gaming by introducing Garrett. The character was more adept at sneaking in the shadows and knocking people out than blowing them away with a stupidly large rocket launcher. Some 16 years later it’s been rebooted, and even if the new version misses the point there’s still a lot of great artwork around it.
As the book points out, the most important element in the Thief universe is the design of Garrett’s hands, which occupy the majority of the screen, switching between lock picking and nabbing goods. They receive an entire four-page spread in the book, discussing how they’re designed to look impeccably neat, and almost like a pianist’s delicate digits.
Of course, the scope of the book goes far beyond Garrett’s dextrous fingers. It’s explained that the character himself went through a number of redesigns to make him less scary, and it highlights enemy and location design. A couple of mission breakdowns is a nice touch and they explain how different actions result in altered consequences.
Thief’s triumphantly dark and brutal aesthetic shines through the whole tome, and it’s a must-have if you’re a fan of Garrett’s adventures.
The book reveals, among other things, how much work went into making Garrett less frightening.