Gloomwood Early Access on PC / Steam – The DVDfever Review – Thief II-style sneak-em-up!

Gloomwood Gloomwood is a game I had been waiting just over two years to play after seeing the demo pop up during E3 2020 and absolutely loving it.

Okay, this is an Early Access version, and doesn’t contain everything that will be in the finished game, but even still, I also love it!

There you go, that’s the review, you can all go about your business… just kidding.

What is this game? It’s like a modern take on the classic Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age, the latter of which I was in awe of immensely, and still am to this day. The third game felt a bit too different, and for No.4 (just called “Thief“, confusingly), the actor playing Garrett was changed, and the atmosphere was completely thrown out the stained glass window.

The second game built brilliant on the first one’s strong foundations, and I had many occasions where I’d play it until 4am, with the headphones on loud. A combination of tiredness, and late-night delirium setting in meant that as the baddies* chased after me, shouting, “TAFF-ERRRRR!!!!”, I nearly shat myself.

(*Okay, technically, they were just guards and it was ME who was the baddie, since I’m breaking in to steal stuff, but anyway…)

Some random thoughts from this fantastic game:

  • Like Thief II, early on, there was an area full of water where I could hide dead bodies out of sight, but since in this Early Access release there’s no guards walking around those areas, so they wouldn’t stumble across any of their colleague’s corpses anyway. I still hid them, though. Old habits die hard 😀

  • Near the start, you ‘ll find a map which is meant to help you get around your initial surroundings, but because it doesn’t tell me “You are here”, it wasn’t really a lot of use. Hopefully they can fix this for the full game.

  • In my gameplay, I spotted a game-breaking bug, but you can watch the video to find out how I resolved that. That said, I had to then go into the console to restore all my items to my suitcase – or as many as I could remember – since I’d had them taken away from me.

  • I recommend frequent saving of your progress any time you see a phonograph, or just as you’re about to embark on a long journey away from one, since you don’t want to have to retrace your footsteps big-time.

  • Even after I thought I’d killed all the baddies, I still sneaked around, but when I realised I was not alone and they chased after me, I felt the same sense of shock and fear I did when I used to play Thief II! HELP!!!!

  • Later on in the game, it is annoying that I was attacked by dogs and have to walk so far from my save point to get back to try and kill them again. In fact, they only need to swipe at me once or twice to bump me off, yet it takes FIVE swipes of my sword to kill them! Not fair… like life, I guess.

  • Additionally, once when I was trying to sneak around the dogs in the Caves area, and I’d killed all six that had escaped from their kennels, there was still one around! I thought I’d given him the slip, but NO! As I came round a large rock from the way where I thought I’d be safe, he was right there waiting for me! AAAAARRGGGHHHHH!!!!

  • Some guards are harder to get past than others, but it will take a few attempts to learn their patterns. That said, the rabid dogs in the caves more than made up for this!

  • Essentially, whenever you bump off a guard, ALWAYS CHECK if they have a key! So often, I would hide their bodies at the bottom of the sea, and then have to go in after them, because I spotted a key a moment too late!

Overall, Gloomwood is absolutely brilliant fun, and I can’t wait for the full version!

Gloomwood is out now on PC/Steam.

Gloomwood – Gameplay Walkthrough – PC (4K UHD 60fps) – DVDfeverGames

Gloomwood – E3 2020 Playable Demo – Let’s Play & First Impressions – PC (1080p 60fps) – DVDfeverGames

Important info:

  • Developer: Dillon Rogers, David Szymanski
  • Publisher: New Blood Interactive
  • Players: single-player