Thievery UT pits a team of sneaky thieves against a team of tough guards in a pseudo-medieval setting. Featuring cunning stealth-based gameplay, interactive environments and unprecedented use of dynamic light in a multiplayer game.

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You move across the rooftops, spying the guards down below. Half of them are drunk, while the rest are too busy to notice you approach. The locks are easy, you barely touch them and they fall open. The jewels are inside. Getting out will be the fun part.

Posted by JoeX111 on Mar 1st, 2006

[page=The Medieval Job]
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You move across the rooftops, spying the guards down below. Half of them are drunk, while the rest are too busy to notice you approach. The locks are easy, you barely touch them and they fall open. The jewels are inside. Getting out will be the fun part.

The guards get all the heavy weapons.
The guards get all the heavy weapons.

There is something darkly alluring about living a life of crime.

Who wouldn't want a chance to break the law, outwit the system, and get away with whatever dastardly deeds their cruel hearts contain? Come on, admit it. You have those thoughts, too. If the appeal of crime wasn't so fascinating, then shows like The Sopranos wouldn't do so well.

In 1998, Looking Glass Software decided to capitalize off of this idea and create the Thief series, which first introduced the idea of stealth game play to the world, and furthermore showed that a first person shooter could be about more than just running and shooting. Players took on the role of Garrett, a master thief in an anachronistic medieval world, who spent his days robbing from the rich and giving to himself. And with nothing more than a bow, a short sword, and a blackjack, he did just that.

The whole game world was built around the premise of sneaking into a given location, robbing it blind, and getting back out again with as little commotion as possible. As a thief, you can't just charge in with guns blazing. In a fight, you could probably handle one guard, maybe two, but you simply aren't built for close combat. Instead, you must stick to the shadows, using the environment and the darkness to your advantage. Watch the guards' every move, wait for them to make a mistake or turn their back, then strike.

Not too subtle...but he sure won't wake back up.
Not too subtle...but he sure won't wake back up.

Sure, it can be maddening to repeatedly die at the hands of overwhelming forces, especially when thousands of games up until this point have led you to believe you are unbeatable. But at the same time, there is something thrilling about getting away with things here. When you finally complete a level, not only is your purse literally jammed full of money (and candle sticks, paintings, rare statues, etc.), but you get to walk out of the building, seeing every security system defeated, and half of the guards either wandering oblivious or knocked unconscious (or worse) all around the level. Anyone can blast through the demons of hell or a Nazi stronghold, but it takes some true finesse to rob 'em blind and leave them guarding an empty fortress.

Thievery: Unreal Tournament takes this same premise and applies it to multiplayer, in the same way that Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow added multiplayer to its own sneaker series. Take two teams: a group of muscle-bound guards and a team of clever thieves, throw them together in a building loaded with valuables, and watch the fireworks begin. Not only do you get the opportunity to commit crimes and escape with loads of money, but you can also load yourself down with weaponry and stalk around like the medieval equivalent of the Doom marine.

And that's it. One team guards, one team steals, and the winner is the person who can be the craftiest son of a @#$%! on the map. Think you can handle it?

[page="I only lied about being a thief."]

On patrol.
On patrol.

Though none of the content has been carried over directly from Looking Glass Software's masterpiece, the Black Cat Games team has done a great job of remaking all of the Thief weapons into the Unreal Tournament engine, while introducing some new things as well.

Much like the early, less plot-driven levels of Thief, the matches all center on a target area, usually a single building (though a few levels, like my particular favorite: "Flats", take place in and around the city, allowing you to hide on rooftops, down alleyways, and in the sewer systems). The guards start the match within the structure, while the thieves begin on the outskirts of it somewhere, giving the guards time to set up traps and ambush points.

Rather like Counter-Strike, players are given a chance to buy weapons at the beginning of the map. The different weapons and accessories compliment a different array of play styles as well. As a thief, most of your equipment comes in the form of different arrows: water arrows for removing torches, moss arrows to create soft patches to walk on, and vine arrows to create rope ladders with (among others). However, if you are in the mood for something more direct, thieves can also load up on invisibility potions, health packs, and flash bombs for use in quickly disabling the guards. Really, the arsenal of the thief should be instantly familiar to any of you who have played one of the Thief games before, while the guards are given a number of different options that not only dramatically change their play style, but also grants them some unique advantages.

A silent take-down.
A silent take-down.

Thieves are built to stick in the shadows, launch arrows from afar, and try to knock foes out from behind without being seen by the entire opposing team. The guards, however, are designed to set up traps, take heavy amounts of damage, and try their damnedest to not end up unconscious on the floor of the very place they are protecting. To do this, they are given not only plenty of heavy weaponry, but also a decent amount of traps to lie around the level. Security masks can be set up around key locations like security cameras, which will start to scream out an alarm if they notice a thief around. In the more subtle category, you can also leave caltrops (think really really sharp spikes) on the floor or plant mines around in different locations. However, you also need to be careful not to venture into them yourself.

With equipment squared away, you begin the match in one of the dozen plus levels that come with the mod. And in all honesty, each of them is fantastic, both aesthetically and in how they play. Locations range from museums, mansions, asylums, prisons, airships, catacombs, entire city blocks and even an airship, to name but a few. Every level allows multiple paths for the thieves to gain entrance, keeping the guards constantly on their toes to monitor all of the possible avenues of escape and entry. However, none of the levels are complete pushovers for one team or the other, either. Great care has been taken to ensure that both teams have certain advantages, such as noisy surfaces in some of the more prominent areas of a level to alert the guards of movement, or sewers and air ducts winding overhead and below to allow different levels of attack for a thief.

The dynamic of team versus team in here is incredibly well done. Playing as one team, then the other, almost feels like two entirely different games. When you begin a match as the guards, your entire mindset in how to approach the level is different than when you previously played as the thief. Furthermore, you also get to use this prior knowledge of forced entry to your advantage against others who tried it before. It is sort of like playing Unreal Tournament's assault mode, only with far more options in how you can approach a level.

[page=Garrett's Twelve]

And as with all things, there are some drawbacks to Thievery: UT. Really, I only had two problems with this mod, and one of them was just a personal preference. For me, playing the guards just isn't as much fun as playing the thief. I'm sure your average FPS player will think the exact opposite, preferring to load themselves up with paralysis bolts in their crossbows and thrill at taking a sledge hammer to their immobile foes, but for me, it just isn't as exciting. There is a definite thrill to be found in catching these sneakers around you, don't get me wrong, but it isn't quite as frantically fun as it is in The Hidden: Source.

Dark---but awesome looking levels.
Dark---but awesome looking levels.

However, as I said, this could just be my frantic Thief fanboyism at work here. And even with that complaint, there is always a separate game mode you can play where all of the guards are controlled by cunning bots, letting the players all take on the role of thieves competing against one another for the prizes littered around the level.

"The winner is the person who can be the craftiest son of a @#$%! on the map."

The more painful part of recommending this mod to people, then, is the simple fact that it isn't being played nearly as much as it should be, leading to a very lacking set of servers out there. Maybe this has changed since the last time I jumped into a multiplayer match for this game (a few months back, when the latest version was released), but there just doesn't seem to be a great amount of players out there. And when you do find a match available, you better have the learning curve down enough to play with these experienced players, because they will annihilate you sometimes.

Guarding the front door.
Guarding the front door.

For those of you who want to practice your skills, instant action is also available, and the bots are actually very good, though I've never been able to get a thief bot to show up (though I suppose they could just be so good that I never found them).

Still, when you can find a match, or load up a single player game, the fun cannot be rivaled. The eerie silence of the night, the thrill of stalking up behind an unsuspecting guard, the shock of lighting a flare in the darkness and finding a trespasser inches from your face, hands resting on some sparkling valuables.....Thievery: UT creates a tense, exciting, and engaging dynamic that will hit you the moment you start playing and never lets up. It is fun, it is incredibly well made, and it is practically a brand new game for free to download. And not only does it breathe life into a sadly underappreciated series, but it is also a fantastic multiplayer experience as well.

Download this one and spend some time indulging in the dark side of human nature. Come on, you know you want to.

Post comment Comments
Gaspode Mar 3 2006, 6:40am says:

I remember downloading this mod in an earlier incarnation some time last year. The idea was really appealling as I was a fan of the Thief games.
However, I was disappointed to find that this was only available for UT and does not seem to work with the later versions of the UT games (UT2K3, UT2K4).

I did have a look at the models and meshes and I have to admit that the team had done some amazing work.

Might be worth checking out if you have the original UT. Hopefully they might port it to UT2K3/4 at some point ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
MrTambourineMan Mar 3 2006, 8:14am says:

I haven't played this mod yet, but from what I can read - I must compliment the team for doing something rather challenging and new in the mod scene, rather than making a counter-strike-clone:source! You fellas are great! Best of luck!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
JoeX111 Author
JoeX111 Mar 3 2006, 10:39am says:

Hey Gaspode,

The Black Cat Games team is currently working on a UT2004 mod called Nightblade, which is essentially an update and expansion of Thievery into a bigger game world.

Definitely worth checking out.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Gaspode Mar 3 2006, 10:42am says:

Thanks JoeX111

I'll look into that one ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
methy Mar 3 2006, 5:42pm says:

Nice feature Joe.

I'v always been a fan of Thief (acutally, just everything Looking Glass ever did does it for me), and I was always sorry that Thief III was such a commercial flop. Anyway, it looks like this and Nightblade will keep the flame alive. Suits me just fine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
dishwasherlove Mar 3 2006, 6:47pm says:

This game is excellent fun over LAN with its very low min-sys requirements.

I can't WAIT for Nightblade :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
JoeX111 Author
JoeX111 Mar 4 2006, 4:01am says:

Don't forget The Dark Mod, too!

+1 vote   reply to comment
methy Mar 4 2006, 4:41am says:

Yeah. that's what I was thinking about when I posted. Thief was really an excellent series.

+1 vote     reply to comment
BrokenArts Mar 4 2006, 11:06am says:

Hi guys, just a little hello from one of the moderators over at Black Cat games. I just wanted to say it's cool that Thievery was chosen mod of the month. After all this time. Yes, it is an older mod, but, something about this mod is still appealing to people. It is unlike any mod out there still. Hide in the shadows as a thief, or have a guard toss a flare at you, give a blackjack to the back of the head to knockout a guard. Use your vast arsenal, supplies to do your job, to escape or be killed. Find the spots to hide in, as a guard runs by, or tag a thief with fire arrow. Trying to hide from a real guard, that KNOWS the spots sometimes verses playing in the regular thief game, is a challenge, I still get an adrenaline rush after a game sometimes. Love it. My hands shake like crazy. No other mod does that for me. :)

It's got quite the learning curve, if any of you want to try and learn it, the players would love to help you. Just give us a holler. The people too, are what have made this game great too. Black Cat games produces some awesome mods, we are all waiting for NB. Can't wait! Thank you again. Hope to see you guys sometime.

+1 vote     reply to comment
scratch Mar 8 2006, 6:37pm says:

Hey cmon, level 3 of Thief III was really awesome. That ghost house! But you're right, i've missed the immersion provided by Thief: The Dark Project.. it isn't there in the third part, sadly. And the end was ridiculous. *sigh

So i'm really curious about what Thief would be in multiplayer, haven't played Thievery.

/me gets on his magic cap and sneaks over to Black Cat.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Dragonlord Mar 10 2006, 9:23am says:

the idea of the game has been nice but it simply has been too laggy. even on a good pc at key points framerate dropped so significatly that stealthing and pulling off risky ( but worthy moves ) had been nearly impossible with that shuttering movement. less laggy ( and less buggy, crashed a lot ) and it's worth another try.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sky-f!wa- Mar 11 2006, 11:47pm says:

I'm a player for Thievery for over 2 years. Cmon and join the servers! There still active fore 7 years of thievery!

+1 vote     reply to comment
M@ty Mar 12 2006, 9:46am says:

Grand Pianos didn't exist back then...

+1 vote     reply to comment
BrokenArts Mar 12 2006, 4:26pm says:

Neither did whistlers, but, is that stopping anyone? ;) I hate to mix reality with Fantasy. :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
FuryThoR Mar 15 2006, 7:50am says:

Yeah well, Thief series were always my favorite since it needed to think howto get in without being noticed by guards and howto start to tackle down on crucial poinst patrolling guards :D

Deadly shadows was good too, but I have to think again to get UT2K4 just to play this :D

Anyway legacy of LGS lives strong and it will be interesting to see what things are to come...

+1 vote     reply to comment
jakes-b Mar 16 2006, 5:43pm says:

boze pravde ti sto spase ...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Avego Mar 17 2006, 2:48pm says:

I am a great fan of the Thief series and to finally see the brilliance that practically invented stealth games come to multiplayer at last....

Black Cat has an excellent job at recreating the feel and tension of Thief to a relatively small group of fans and a picky bunch of online gamers!

Safe to say, I loved it, I hope Nightblade is as good, and I am defintey keeping an eye on this group of devout talented people from now, Good luck guys!

+1 vote     reply to comment
IrenicApollyon Apr 2 2006, 10:59am says:

Alright! This mod is pretty sweet single-player, but I tried it on my LAN and it's a blast. The fact that it's on UT means it runs on my medium-end comps with a decent framerate. download this now.

+1 vote     reply to comment
PsychoLord13 May 7 2006, 2:29pm says:

uhhhhhh, It's May. Maybe we can expect a new MOTM before Christmas?

+1 vote     reply to comment
stuboy May 3 2006, 8:46pm says:

Bet it doesn't have a multiplayer Shalebridge Cradle >)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Bjorneo May 5 2006, 6:21pm says:

this modm is turning into a mod of the season.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Jul 2003
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