Eidos Montreal’s Thief reboot has been met with a lot of fervor from fans eager to see the return of Garrett, who makes most thieves in other games look like pansies in comparison. The game is set to launch on 25 February 2014 in North America, with Australia and Europe seeing the game launch on the 27th and 28th respectively. Its the first Thief game in ten years and aims to attract a brand new generation of gamers looking for their action stealth fix. The game also launches on multiple platforms for the first time, as opposed to Dark Shadows (2004) which was developed exclusively for Windows systems and Microsoft’s Xbox console. On launch, players will be able to take control of Garrett on PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One systems.
The multi-platform nature of the game also dictates that the kinds of systems it can run on can scale down to very affordable hardware. Because the PS3 and Xbox 360 are using almost decade-old hardware, this means, in a roundabout way, that the same hardware you were using in 2007 should be good enough to run the game at minimum settings. Below follows the minimum requirements for running Thief with the lowest settings required for acceptable visuals and gameplay.
OS: Windows Vista with SP1 platform update
CPU: High-performance dual core CPU or quad core CPU
RAM: 4 GB
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon 4800 series / Nvidia GTS 250
DirectX: DirectX 10
HDD/SSD: 20 GB
With Thief, it’s clear that anyone using Windows XP is out of luck on this one (as well as a good deal of other games that appeared towards the end of 2013). The game requires Windows Vista with SP1 at the least and also requires 4GB of system memory – implying, but not directly recommending, a 64-bit install. If you own a gaming computer today, there’s no reason to not use a 64-bit install, even if you have only 2GB of RAM.
Graphics-wise the game aims to be very lenient, only requiring a mid-range GPU from the Radeon HD4800 or Geforce GTS200 era. The modern equivalents of these cards are the Radeon HD6570 and the Geforce GT630, both of which can be found for under R800. Accessibility is a key component of Eidos’ reboot, as they want as many people to jump on what could become a multi-part stealth series designed to compete with Hitman.
It is interesting that Eidos recommends using a quad-core as a minimum processor requirement alongside a high-performance dual-core. This probably means that the game is well-threaded and anyone using a hyper-threaded dual-core or a proper quad should be much better off in terms of performance. This also means that anyone who’s running a AMD Trinity, Richland or Kaveri quad-core APU should be set for the game as well.
OS: Windows 7 or 8
CPU: AMD FX 8000 series or better / Intel i7 Quad Core CPU
RAM: 4+ GB
Graphics Card: AMD Radeon R9 series or better / Nvidia GTX 660 series or better
DirectX: DirectX 11
HDD/SSD: 20 GB
For the high-end, a 64-bit install appears to be recommended as the memory requirement is 4GB or more system RAM. The possibility that this game is well-threaded seems to have more weight because Eidos recommends using a AMD FX-8000 series octo-core, while they also recommend a Core i7 hyper-threaded quad-core in the same line. This game may be one of the few to join Crysis 3 in bridging the gap between Intel and AMD’s high-end processors.
The graphics requirements are a little unclear and for those of you still wondering, the Radeon R9 270X is equivalent to a Radeon HD7870 GHz Edition. In reality, though, I think anything from a Radeon HD7790 2GB or a Geforce GTX650 Ti Boost should be able to run the game at max settings with few framerate dips below 30fps. A DirectX 11-compatible GPU is recommended, so there’s a lot of pretty effects that can be enabled if you’re using one.
Eidos noted on their blog that Thief uses a raft of AMD-only technologies, including day-one support for Eyefinity configurations, TrueAudio and Mantle, a new API from AMD that aims to make game development on the PC platform easier and bring a performance boost to AMD Radeon HD7000 and newer cards based on the Graphics Core next (GCN) architecture. With Battlefield 4 still struggling to sort out its issues, Thief may be the first game that ships with a working implementation of Mantle before E3 2014.
Square Enix is also partnering up with AMD to include Thief into the Never Settle bundle and will ship Thief with any graphics card that qualifies with the Radeon Silver and Gold rewards. AMD has not yet detailed how they’re going to rework their Never Settle bundle for 2014, but it will be bringing the same value that Radeon owners have come to expect.