Wednesday, October 24, 2012

This is for... McSleuthburger!

    What is it about stealth that's so exciting to me?  This is what I'm gonna talk about and explore via blogging about it.   At this point I can't say for sure why and hopefully we'll find out this way!

    So stealth... let's see... there's always the tension involved?  When you are sneaking about and following someone there's that feeling of nervous excitement.  In addition to them having no idea you aren't there, you never know exactly what people are going to do.  In video games enemies generally patrol along pretty specific routes if at all.  It's interesting and makes for good gameplay because actual sneaking is incredibly difficult.  I do quite enjoy stealth and I tend to be fairly good at it.

    Hmm... Let's look at it on a game by game basis and avoid real life stealth for now.  Let's look at thief first as I've played that pretty recently.  Thief has one of the more robust stealth systems and for good reason.  Unlike many games you are somewhat weak; you are able to knock people out and kill them should you desire but if you get into a fight, chances are high you may not make it.  So in that game you have to worry about the sound of your footsteps which is based on speed of movement and floor surface.  Then there is the darkness of the area you're in and of course, where the guard (or whoever you're avoiding notice of).  Combining these you come up with a game system that makes you play more intelligently.  Maybe that's what I enjoy about it?  I like the way you have to watch and plan what you do, you don't run straight in and kill everything.

Thief has one of the more tactical stealth engines.

    On the other hand, I've been playing Bioshock pretty recently as well.  In that I decided to take a lot of plasmids (upgrades) in the direction of stealth, speed and melee.  With my character this way i run around fast (though magically silent) and hit things with a wrench.  It's pretty fun and there are some stealth aspects involved.  In this case however, it is completely different style of stealth since the people are much less observant, it moves very quickly, and isn't all that risky; I can take on a group of opponents without much worry.

This guy won't know what hit him...
It'll be a wrench, by the way.

    I have one more game I want to look at though this obviously isn't covering everything about stealth nor the attraction in crime games/shows.  In any case, the last game for this log which is taking me way too long to write is Sly Cooper.  In this game, maybe because I've played them all a couple times, I can combine the feeling of speed and agility with intelligent style of stealth.  In the Sly Cooper games you make incredible heists of skill and daring.  I'm stoked to play the new game.  There isn't much tension in these even when I wasn't as... practiced.

Sly leaves a signature behind during his heists;
it's one of my favorite things about him.

    However, you can't really combine all of these aspects. Maybe that's part of it.  Even when you know what you're doing and you're still just sneaking around or behind enemies it's always new and exciting.  There's something they all have in common though: fooling your opponent.  When you can sneak through a level and steal a priceless treasure leaving no witnesses or disturbances other than the one missing piece you feel so awesome.  When you dispatch your foe without them knowing you were there despite his paranoia and attentiveness you feel like a bad ass.  When you pull the wool over someone's eyes and they never say it coming it's such an exhilarating ride.  Also, going along with stealth is often roguish charm and the appeal of a fast, smooth talking charmer should never be overlooked.  Now, I'm going to go keep watching my crime show, Leverage, and wish I had the money to get Dishonored.  At least I have Assassin's Creed 3 pre-ordered! This time next week I'll be playing that and you can bet that for the most part, I'll play stealthily.

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