Thief: Deadly Shadows [Beta – Xbox / PC]

As we can read in Wikipedia, Thief: Deadly Shadows is a stealth game developed by Ion Storm and published by Eidos Interactive in 2004 for Xbox and PC. After Looking Glass Studios, the developer of the original two titles, went out of business in 2000, many former employees moved to Ion Storm Austin. Here they began developing the long-anticipated third part of the series, Deadly Shadows. It is the last game produced by Ion Storm before its demise in February 2005.

The idea originally was that Thief: Deadly Shadows would let you customise difficulty similarly to in System Shock, with you able to tweak how smart the AI was, what your objectives were and so on. It’s a feature which survived until the last betas, but was suddenly cut out of the final game due to the extra work it created for testers. Instead, Thief: Deadly Shadows only has the usual Easy/Normal/Expert skill settings from the older Thief games.

You can get more detail on the cut, as well as RPS co-founder and comics writer Kieron Gillen’s take on the game, in the Unlimited Hyperbole Podcast. If you have more info, screens or videos with beta differences for Thief 3, please let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to Joe Martin for the contribution! 

Picassio [Cancelled – PS2, GameCube, Dreamcast]


Picassio was a stealth / thief game that was in development at Promethean Designs, in which the player would have had to steal artworks  to “win” a bet with another thief. The project had a long development cycle: it started as a Dreamcast game, then it was postponed and passed through PS2 and GameCube. In all that time the only playable build that was made was a very basic one, and is the one  that you can see in the video below: basically the character creeping about and some very basic AI. Most of the gameplay ideas did not get implemented at all. It seems that they started the game with a man protagonist in mind, but in later screens we can see a woman as the main character, so it could have been changed to appeal more to the young public.

The project got radically changed halfway through development when the company boss saw the then newly released Shenmue and basically decided to copy it. Picassio then turned into a half adventure, half stealth type game but didn’t get any further than some character/level designs before getting canned. The company fell into severe financial difficulty and employees weren’t being paid for months. Subsequently they all left to work elsewhere and Promethean Designs went bust.



Picassio Beta Trailer