Last time we heard about Thief, it wasn’t too encouraging. Phrases like “buggy mess” were more commonly heard from those who had played or watched a live preview. Apparently, though, a few months make a big difference. Various outlets were invited to come check out the game again, and word is that, indeed, polish makes all the difference in the world.

One feature IGN highlights is that not only can most of the new pieces be turned off, turning them off is actually rewarded. Fans of Thief have long competed, doing ghost and supreme ghost runs, adhering to very specific rules about how you can interact with levels. The new Thief adds in leaderboards for players to compete on – something I enjoyed immensely in Splinter Cell Blacklist – and turning off features like the much-maligned Focus mode will kick up your leaderboard scores substantially.

I think this is an excellent compromise, if done correctly. It welcomes in new fans with some gentle hand-holding, but allows advanced players who care about things like ghosting a level to flip a few switches and play the game they want to. This is a great indication that, along with the other positive previews hitting the web, Thief is on the right track again.