I’ve mentioned before that I hadn’t anticipated the sheer number of things that can be simulated, from fishing to gas station management, so when Thief Simulator 2 crossed my path, I was excited to see something a little more action-packed join my stable of simulators. Thief Simulator 2 offers an interesting balance between the planning and resource management playstyle of a traditional simulator and a stealth-based strategy game. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re interested in either of those genres.
Thief Simulator 2 doesn’t offer an incredibly deep story, but the story is key to the game. You play a thief in Thief Simulator 2 that apparently stole somewhere around half a million dollars from the Lombardi criminal organization. You attempted to evade their vengeance, but they found you. In order to avoid acquiring a set of cement shoes, you send in a friend who negotiates a reprieve. You have to steal enough to pay off your debt, and that’s the set up for your burgeoning criminal career.
As I mentioned above, Thief Simulator 2 blends a resource simulator with a stealth action game, so you’ll see aspects of both. As you plan heists based on instructions from the Lombardi boss, you’ll need to track down tips, learn schedules, improve your skills, and acquire better equipment. By equipment, I mean lockpicks, clearly. Then, when it comes to executing the heist, you have to moderate your noise levels, remain aware of where the home occupants are located, and be careful not to take items you can’t carry easily. To facilitate the heist portion, the game actually shows you the outlines of the home occupants and highlights the items you can take, which makes things so much easier to do.
Thief Simulator 2 takes the noise mechanic quite seriously. You can inadvertently alert the home’s occupants to your presence, prompting them to call the police. The police will arrive, and they will pursue you, sometimes with fatal effectiveness. It’s therefore best to channel your inner Thomas Crown as you purloin coffee makers, headphones, and cash. The other issue of which you’ll need to be aware is that the police will put up wanted posters with you on them, and you’ll need to remove those in order to maintain the cover of anonymity that allows you to perform your reconnaissance.
You’ll also need to perform your heists in certain timeframes that fit within your marks’ schedules. That creates enough of a crunch to get your adrenaline flowing. You won’t just be burgling, either. Some of your contracts will be to perform functions ranging from smashing plates to planting evidence, which makes for a nice variety in the tasks you do. The title offers you pretty granular control over what you do as well as how and when you do it because Thief Simulator 2 embraces the open sandbox concept. This is both good if you have the time to set up your heists but a bit of a drawback if you’re gaming in a limited timeframe. Thief Simulator 2 really is a game you want to block time off to play.
Visually, Thief Simulator 2’s graphics are well-realized, and it runs smoothly. The voice-acting leans into the stereotypical mob-boss sound pretty hard, but it doesn’t detract from the fun.
The lockpicking and safecracking puzzles are entertaining to do and provide a more than adequate amount of intellectual stimulation. Your hideout and car are well appointed and easy to navigate. Thief Simulator 2 oddly doesn’t open with a tutorial, rather opting to throw you in the middle of things. However, for each skill, which includes drone flying, by the way, the title will provide more than enough training on how to use it. The dichotomy there is a bit odd, but it does seem to work.
Thief Simulator 2 manages to straddle the line between a true simulator with a stealth action title, offering not only enough planning and management to sate the most ardent simulator fan but also provides a time-sensitive, high-tension sneak element. If you’ve got the time to play, Thief Simulator 2 is immensely rewarding, but don’t expect to just jump in and accomplish a lot in a short period of time. Thief Simulator 2 wants you to savor the experience and savor it you will.
Thief Simulator 2 retails for $19.99 on Steam.
- No one ever checks under the bed. Ever.
- Dogs can be distracted with treats in Thief Simulator 2, and it also lets you pet the cat!
- If you get arrested in Thief Simulator 2, you will have to break yourself out of jail.
- No, really, there is a mission to smash plates. Yes, it seems weird.
- The ATM hacking mechanic is neat.