One of the things I've learned over the years is that the tone of a review can be very important. Since I'm going to spend considerable time in this review listing things that were annoying or flawed about the latest version of the Thief franchise, I thought it was important to establish something up front: Thief: Deadly Shadows is a terrific game. All of the stealth gameplay, intricate level design, Byzantine story branches, and delightfully larcenous action makes a welcome return in this edition. The godfather of stealth-action games is back. Unfortunately, while Thief: Deadly Shadows stands as an equal to any of the previous games in the series, it doesn't exceed them -- nor does it move the franchise forward as much as it was obviously designed to do.