The big and sprawling Painter’s Wife is truly diamond in a rough. It is classic city sandbox with all the nooks and crannies to explore. There is not one plot, but many – which often are interconnected in unpredictable ways and making the full impression of living district. There is a lot of variety of its locations – from big manors to small compartments, from galleries to thieves’ den or church, buried under the streets – with numerous ways to some of them, which is another good feature of such type of game. There are some creative touches here and there: the main quest (with numerous ways of dealing with the bad guy and his mercenary), the variety of secrets (some of which are very creative mini-quests on their own - like dealing with mysterious stone), or even pocket dimension (which itself resembles Void from Dishonored and Lost City from Thief 1). Numerous (optional) side-quests which sometimes require to find very well hidden locations. This mission provides hours of exploring. It is truly labor of love.
TPW albeit is not flawless and – for me – its flaws are the consequences of its grandiose scope (it is one of biggest TDM missions, if not the biggest) and collective work of over 20 teammates. For my like, it is a bit unfocused and even too sprawling – which sometimes is at odds with the narrative (the urgency of saving certain person vs big city sections – and our destination in the beginning is on the opposite side of the giant map). Some lags and freezes, which are tolerable, but annoying. There are plenty of small bugs here and there – from candlesticks, falling through the table (and our thief falling through the floor in one place) to non-working traps or elevator. The automap (!) sometimes is hardly readable. I think it would and should be updated and patched in future. Still, it doesn’t contain game-breaking issues and is playable now. The good stuff here vastly outweights the bad stuff.
I have just finished going through both of Skacky's lets-play vids and fixed, corrected and added to this mission based on his observations, bugs reports and annoyances. Should be a much better all round experience for new players. There is still a few more things to fix and once those are done and myself and dragofer have done a quick fly through version 1.1 will get released.