Thief II: The Metal Age

aka: Dark Project II: L'Age de Métal, Dark Project II: The Metal Age, TMA, Thief 2, Thief 2: The Metal Age

Description official descriptions

Following Garrett's previous adventure, the repercussions of his actions have changed the political landscape. The Hammerite religion has crumbled and a new leader named Karras has risen up to convert many of these fanatics over to the mysterious Order of Mechanists. Meanwhile, a new Sheriff has arrived in town and has been effective at cleaning up crime - maybe too much so. This is bad news for Garrett, whose profession of master thief puts him on the wrong side of the law. As the risk increases however, so too does the amount of treasure available to a skilled thief.

Thief II: The Metal Age keeps much of the same gameplay and abilities from the original Thief: The Dark Project, but also offers a few new items for the protagonist to use. Among them are scouting orbs, which can be thrown to see around corners and flash mines. The heart of the gameplay is still stealth, made up of Garrett's ability to stay quiet, stay hidden and keep signs of trouble out of anyone's view. Garrett's main weapons are his sword, his blackjack and an assortment of arrows, each with a special power. Each level features a variety of objectives as well as several items which don't belong to the protagonist, but are nonetheless valuable and can be stolen.


  • Thief II: Эпоха металла - Russian spelling
  • 神偷2:金属时代 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

171 People (147 developers, 24 thanks) · View all



Average score: 88% (based on 46 ratings)


Average score: 4.2 out of 5 (based on 126 ratings with 9 reviews)

Great game only gets better with sequel

The Good
First was the concept, refined from the first game. A FPS, that doesn't play like a FPS. Who hasn't thought about being the world's best cat burglar or jewel thief? Here you actually get the opportunity to try it. Don't go into a room with bows blazing because you certainly won't last long. This game was a great idea from the beginning, and Looking Glass (R.I.P.) did a great job with the idea. Hide in the shadows, sneak through windows, pick pockets, eavesdrop, kidnap, backstab and any other thiefly skill are all included in ths deep game.

Second, the levels/maps were extremely large and well done. There is always more than one way to reach your level goals, and the variety of objectives ensured that none of the levels seemed repetitive. Puzzles were challenging but never impossible.

Third is the sound. This game has excellent sound and as you would expect if you were a thief, plays an integral part of the game. It is much easier to avoid people if you just stop for a second and listen. Your ears will save your life more times than naught.

Four, The story. The story to the sequel is much tighter and believable. The between mission cutscenes were excellent, even if they were just still frame art. The story kept me enthralled the entire game, and kept me interested in continuing. It is also nice to get side stories that help flesh out the main plot within the game.

Five, the weapons. The weapons are more tools than actually weapons. I must admit, my favorite are the frog-beast eggs. You have to love throwing eggs around, having them hatching into frogs that will follow your enemies around and then explode in their face.

The Bad
As to what was wrong with the game -

First and foremost, the long loading times. It takes over a minute to load the levels. Now granted the levels are huge, but I have seen similar sized levels in other games load much faster.

Second, the graphics. Though the graphics are slightly improved from the first game, there are an awful lot of instances of clipping. I can't tell you how many times I threw a guy in a closet only to have his foot or sword sticking through the door. There was even one point where a guard was stuck in the floor.

The Bottom Line
As you read above, the game is extremely "thief oriented". This is no shooter in the strict sense. You will find yourself climbing through windows, hiding in the shadows and crawling through the rafters, just to find that additional cndlestick that you can sell on hte balc market. Oh, and you get to save the world as well.

Windows · by Chris Gordy (4) · 2000

Classy and original but you can see why it didn't sell

The Good
As long as people remember Looking Glass, they will remember the Thief series. The games have become synonymous with the company. The original Thief was a breath of fresh air in what was becoming a stale genre, because the emphasis was on avoiding enemies, rather than running straight into a room full of people with a rocket launcher. Thief 2 is pretty much more of the same except slightly improved.

The atmosphere and lighting are top notch despite the fact light seems to work differently in Looking Glass games than from real life. Although the game doesn't get the chance to use it's coloured lighting effects to the full because of it's historical setting, as opposed to say System Shock 2 which looked beautiful and uses the same engine; it still looks very good even now. The use of near subliminal sound, like SS2, is another Looking Glass trait. It works perfectly and adds to the atmosphere ten-fold. The zombie missions have been pretty much removed. The level design is very good in places. The voice acting is fine and occasionally hysterical: the back-&-forth conversation between the archers on the rooftops and Karras' voice alone is enough to draw a smile - It's nice to see it taken a bit tongue-in-cheek sometimes. The cutscenes are great and drawn and animated in a terrific style. The steampunk theme is carried brilliantly. It oozes class in it's presentation. The missions are pretty varied, and nothing has changed from what made the original so good in the first place.

The Bad
This was Looking Glass' swansong and, despite the quality of this game and the obvious talent that was in the company, it's easy to see why they were forced to close. I love many games that don't sell and I like many games away from the mainstream, but this game actually started to get to me after a while. It's so uncommercial it's not true. The problem lies in the fact that EVERY level is spent sneaking around, usually at night. The lack of variety in the locations, (some credit must go to LG for trying though, it's just that so much wood, stone walls and flaming torches can drive a person nuts) can really mess with your head after a while. If I see another guard with a sword I'm going to hurt someone. The urge and the need to see some daylight and have maybe one level a little bit brighter and happier and open will start to grate. It's damn frustrating completing a level that involved 2 hours of sneaky tension, usually involving you sitting in one place for 20 minutes to see if a guard is going to move or not, only to start another and not have that tension released.

Other than that, the animation is still a little rubbish. The level design, while good in places, is sometimes impossible to navigate if all you've got to find your way around are metal gates and stone walls. The game does stretch the limits of it's technological era too: cameras and robots? You sense that LG wanted to make a game set in the present day/beyond but just didn't have the technology/time.

The Bottom Line
A mixed package. Great at what it does despite being slightly ropey in some areas, but then what it does can drive you insane if you don't have a long break. Worth buying but don't expect something to rival System Shock.

Windows · by Shazbut (163) · 2002

How did Looking Glass go out of business with games like this?

The Good
It's more of the original Thief, with some improvements.

This game presents the best atmosphere of any game. Shivers will go up and down your spine as you hear the approaching steps of a guard.

The story line is present, and while not over-powering, does add to the game.

Graphically superior to the original, and right up there with the best of any genre.

Everything you need to is in the game. The sound is unprecedented.

The Bad
On slower PCs, load times take some time. Throw this on a gigahertz-plus machine, and you'll wonder what load times people are talking about.

Sometimes fighting more undead gets old.

Some people may find controls to be a little difficult. It takes some time, but when you combine mouse and keyboard, you have unprecedented control.

The Bottom Line
The game is a FPS with no shooting (unless you count bow and arrow). The idea is to sneak around. You need to pay attention to everything from people far off who could see you, to lights and shadows, to the noises of someone walking down the hall.

Don't like that shadow being cast by that torch? Douse it with a water arrow. Want to distract that guard for a minute? Let loose a noise-maker arrow.

Just try it.

Windows · by Cyric (50) · 2001

[ View all 9 player reviews ]


Subject By Date
Shadows of the Metal Age St. Martyne (3644) Jul 4th, 2008


1001 Video Games

Thief II: The Metal Age appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Covermount release

Computer Gaming World shipped the complete game on their January 2004 DVD.


Thief II was developed with an enhanced version of the Dark Engine.


On many of the menus used in Thief II, you can see moving gears and machinery through the glass which may look familiar. In fact the menus are identical to those of the original Thief: The Dark Project, only a faceplate ("fancy covering") has been added over the graphics of the machinery. As a result the sound of the machinery is also muted.


In May 2005, five years after the original release, fans of the game presented their unofficial expansion: T2X: Shadows of the Metal Age, with 13 new levels, 10 new weapons, new characters and over 3.000 spoken lines. You play as a female thief, Zaya. The expansion can be downloaded here.


Thief II had unused and underdeveloped code for a multiplayer mode. Fans have restored the mode with some additional coding and released a multiplayer beta patch.


Brahm Gervaisius' ill-fated librarian in missions 13 & 14 is named Giles. It's probably not a coincidence that in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy's watcher Giles was the school librarian.

Thief II: Gold

Thief II was to have a Gold edition with additional missions like Thief Gold, but the closure of Looking Glass Studios halted all development on the project.


  • GameSpy
    • 2011 – #23 Top PC Game of the 2000s

Information also contributed by Sciere, Scott Monster and WildKard

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Will D.

Additional contributors: Terok Nor, ClydeFrog, Sciere, Dae, Havoc Crow (formerly JudgeDeadd), Klaster_1, CaesarZX, St. Martyne, Patrick Bregger, Plok, FatherJack.

Game added April 2nd, 2000. Last modified September 6th, 2023.