This is a highly atmospheric mission that mixes things up quite a bit. You have a city, an opera house, warehouses and a mages' guild. The first thing that's really striking with that one is the shadows, which look very sharp and dark, unlike anything else you've seen so far in Thief, I think. This makes it so that the very dark shadows and dramatic lighting give this mission a highly oppressive atmosphere that is reminiscent of Sperry's Shadow of Doubt, especially Walking the Edge. Overall, every area in this mission is well designed as far as visuals and sound go. The opera house is obviously modeled after Song of the Caverns and the warehouses are very much similar to Shipping and Receiving, but they all fit somehow. I also quite like the huge cranes near the warehouses.
The main problem with this mission is visible very quickly: there's way, way too many AIs walking around. Looking for gaps in patrols takes a lot of time and hiding bodies correctly can be a challenge considering the guards can be very uppity. There are also a few un-blackjackable AIs wandering the streets. The warehouse is the only area that mostly doesn't suffer from this. Not only this, but the mages' guild with the detection mechanic can become incredibly frustrating too. Some of the puzzles are also a bit obtuse so you're encouraged to look around everywhere before you tackle them.
Story-wise, this is nothing really special. It does the job quite well. Just a "simple" heist that turns out harder that expected. I will say that I dig the way the guild is hidden. All in all, this is a good mission that does have quite a few issues.
(this review was originally written for the TDP 20th Anniversary Contest voting form on TTLG)
star 7 / 10