12-25-2007, 01:10 AM
First Strike Tester
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Bergen, Norway
Current Game: First Strike
Have played Art of Theft
extensively now, and really love and recommend it. The idea of a stealth-based platform game is great and well-implemented, and lots of fun. The feeling you get from sneaking around without getting is caught is great, and finding new ways to foil traps while testing out the new abilities you achieve is wonderful. However, it's one of those 'wonderful game with lots of things that tick me off' titles, like Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
was. List of grievances:
- While this is just a platform game and thus isn't required to make sense, I'd prefer it if the AI had some sort of... AI. You know, reacting to things around it, especially alarms going off. If the rest of the guards actually changed their behaviour when alarms went off or when, for example, someone noticed an unlocked door or a missing painting, it'd be far better in my eyes. Alarms, as said, should be especially deadly to you as they'd greatly up the alert status of guards and perhaps add a timer to police arrival or something. Implementing this through difficulty settings would probably be the best way to handle it.
- Some key setups and combos are simply weird. In the heat of action, it's all too easy for me to fail to remember that in order to drop down to a lower level rather than up to a higher one, you have to hit Down+Space, not Space+Down. Hitting these two keys in the wrong order means you're going up, often right into the face of a camera, laser, or guard.
- Except for the cases with the lasers, there's no real penalty for not succeeding at a puzzle. Safes can still be opened after you've foiled an attempt, and you can't foil an attempt at lock-picking at all.
- The 'cut a wire' puzzle ticks me off as it's often seemingly just a matter of guesswork and trial and error more than an actual puzzle.
- The various levels of the little mini-games (the safe-cracking, lock-picking, and alarm-foiling) should be a bit more varied, with new levels adding new little challenges. There's untapped potential here.
- The way some of the missions are made is just strange, and annoying. For example, in one mission you're confronted with three notes with random numbers, and are then told to add them together for a three-digit code. This means that every time you re-do the mission, you have to add together three numbers, and these are sometimes not easily done without writing them down or using a calculator, making the process pretty tedious. Having the numbers be non-random and not telling the player he needed to add them together. Would make for a better puzzle, and a lot less tedious repetition at every mission do-over.
It's still a great game that I play every day, though.