Thief Optional Godmode Wallhack
The Eidos Montreal community blog posted two interviews with game director Nic Cantin recently. The first one explicitly addresses the 'Focus' system that is new to the franchise.
Though it feels like the same answer keeps getting repeated for every question in the interview, the bottom line is that while this new system that sounds an awful lot like similar systems in many other modern games - such as Tomb Raider, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Dishonored and the Assassin's Creed franchise - Cantin repeatedly stresses the point of how the system is "only optional". You don't have to use it if you don't want to.
"Garrett's Focus ability is there to empower the player when they need it, to give Garrett an edge over those surrounding him."
It seems a bit silly to stress how this is a player choice. If a game is challenging, so challenging that players unable to think outside the box feel like they're getting stuck, a one-button "godmode wallhack" is then no longer a choice. Now you might say that surely, the developer won't make the game so hard that a player is forced to use the Focus ability, but if the game is easy enough without the ability... then why bother having it at all?
All in all, this sort of skepticism isn't something that should be used to judge the game too harsh. The game has barely been shown off, and is still far from being complete. This system does sound like it could be a lot of fun if it is done right, especially since the developer promises it's more than just a black and white filter highlighting where to go. In fact, Cantin makes it clear that the game will never outright tell you where to go when you hit the Focus button.
"We don't want to kill that exploration by giving the player too much information or too many hints. It [Focus] is a tool that can help the player, but it's certainly not something that will hold your hand or guide you through the world."
If you crave more info on the upcoming Thief reboot, check out this shorter interview with Nic Cantin, posted one day after the first one. The interview doesn't give much to go on yet, but has some interesting details on the third person elements and the "action moves".
Until more information surfaces, here's hoping they don't screw this reboot up. Man, I hope they don't screw it up...