Best Stealth Game Ever. 20th Anniversary.

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Cloud_Man

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#1 Cloud_Man
Member since 2020 • 74 Posts

It started as an RPG set in Dark Camelot surrounding King Arther. Several mechanics were there to facilitate different play styles. However, the ones about thieving seemed more interesting than the rest. The team decided to focus exclusively on those elements. Many features were cut down because of deadlines, like inventory management. Some decisions were made deliberately, others happened by accident. But almost everything took the project in the right direction. This led to the creation of something that can only happen once or twice in a life time. You can't create something like that again even if you tried. Looking Glass Studios finally released Thief: The Dark Project in 1998.

The studio was not done with it yet. It took feedback and improved almost everything in the sequel, Thief 2: The Metal Age. A swan song of Looking Glass Studios came out in 2000, the last game the legendary PC developers were able to push out before going bankrupt due to several bad decisions made previously. Thief 2 is still considered as definitive stealth game which literally changed my life. It changed how I approach my own work and how I judge other entertainment pieces. It was creation of multi talented studio where same person could do voice acting, level design, writing etc while other studios needed several more people to handle same tasks.

It was a game that not only gave you great storyline through cutscenes but also made you experience twists and turns in real time during gameplay as you felt what the protagonist was going through at given time. The same reaction from both the main character and the player created a strong bond between the two which took the immersion to the next level. It was a game that launched the career of people like Ramin Djawadi who now composes for Hollywood, but back then worked as an assistant to Eric Brosius, lead sound designer for the game who was more interested in creating immersive ambient sounds to immerse the players than having rock n roll soundtracks in the background.

Today every game inspired by Thief and Looking Glass Studio contains 0451 as password to open doors in early moments. This was a password to enter Looking Glass Studio's building. Everyone pays tribute to this great studio that revolutionized the industry with its titles such as Ultima Underworld, System Shock, Thief among others. The last one proved to be most financially successful and its second entry proved to be their swan song. The studio is no more, but we will never forget these great people and the series' amazing protagonist Garrett voiced by extremely talented real man, Steven Russell.

Happy 20th birthday you Taffer!

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uninspiredcup

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#2  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 38481 Posts

If you like Thief i'd recommend Unknightly, it's low budget as ****, and hasn't really got the variety or charm, but it's basically a Thief inspired VR game.

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Pedro

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#3 Pedro
Member since 2002 • 37874 Posts

Nah!

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#4  Edited By DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 41130 Posts

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

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madrocketeer

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#5 madrocketeer
Member since 2005 • 7115 Posts

Man, the first two Thief games were great. System Shock 2 remains one of my favourite games ever. Looking Glass Studios never got the success they deserved.

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R4gn4r0k

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#6 R4gn4r0k
Member since 2004 • 33053 Posts

Shame this legendary studio is no longer around.

I'm a bigger fan of stealth/action.

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#7 Vaeh
Member since 2016 • 797 Posts

@Pedro said:

Nah!

This and Dishonored are the best things happened to stealth genre in 2012.

@uninspiredcup said:

If you like Thief i'd recommend Unknightly, it's low budget as ****, and hasn't really got the variety or charm, but it's basically a Thief inspired VR game.

I'm intrigued, nice find!

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Macutchi

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#8 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 7093 Posts

@davillain- said:

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

agree with dav. thief 2 is undeniably a classic and helped blaze a trail for the genre but chaos theory and dishonored 1 and 2 are overall better all round stealth games

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SolidGame_basic

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#9 SolidGame_basic  Online
Member since 2003 • 25347 Posts

Sorry, but MGS came out 22 years ago.

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#10 Vaeh
Member since 2016 • 797 Posts

@SolidGame_basic said:

Sorry, but MGS came out 22 years ago.

Castle Wolfenstein came out 39 years ago. Thief: The Dark Project says hi!

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Planeforger

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#11 Planeforger
Member since 2004 • 18243 Posts

Sure. Thief 2 is a masterpiece. It easily sits within my top 10 games of all time.

@davillain-: Honestly, I never really enjoyed Dishonored.

You could tell that it was trying really, really hard to be Thief 2...but it just felt like you were playing Thief on tiny levels with cheat codes on.

@SolidGame_basic: Thief 1 also came out 22 years ago, and was a significantly more advanced stealth game than MGS. Thief 2 was better than both of them.

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#12 the_master_race  Online
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@davillain- said:

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

Dishonored & MGS , nope you want a real challenge , you play thief or Splintercell, because those two are the only games that teach you how to hide in the shadows and be a ghost

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AcidTango

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#13 AcidTango
Member since 2013 • 1824 Posts

It's still sad that Looking Glass Studios went out of business. They made really awesome games.

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mrbojangles25

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#14 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 46039 Posts

Yeah, Thief 2 is as close to a perfect game, for me at least, as a game can get.

**** it, I've got about 15 hours until Alyx releases (hopefully 8 of that will be sleep), I'm going to play Thief 2 the rest of the time.

Happy birthday, Thief 2.

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#15  Edited By xantufrog  Moderator
Member since 2013 • 12379 Posts

Almost done replaying this now, actually.

I have to say, Thief 1 has always been my favorite - the ambiance and progression is super unique (so is Thief 2 in spades, just less than 1 IMO). But I love them both. I almost never replay games... These I come back to time and time again

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#16 Grey_Eyed_Elf
Member since 2011 • 6940 Posts
@mrbojangles25 said:

Yeah, Thief 2 is as close to a perfect game, for me at least, as a game can get.

**** it, I've got about 15 hours until Alyx releases (hopefully 8 of that will be sleep), I'm going to play Thief 2 the rest of the time.

Happy birthday, Thief 2.

I'm going to pass the time by arguing here on the forums with people... I'll start here I guess.

I think Tenchu Stealth Assassins is a better game and Splinter Cell was a better stealth game.

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mrbojangles25

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#17 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 46039 Posts

@xantufrog said:

Almost done replaying this now, actually.

I have to say, Thief 1 has always been my favorite - the ambiance and progression is super unique (so is Thief 2 in spades, just less than 1 IMO). But I love them both. I almost never replay games... These I come back to time and time again

Same. And it's always stealth that I come back for.

Older Splinter Cell games, Thief 1 and 2, Deus Ex (which can, and should imo, be played stealthily).

@Grey_Eyed_Elf said:
@mrbojangles25 said:

Yeah, Thief 2 is as close to a perfect game, for me at least, as a game can get.

**** it, I've got about 15 hours until Alyx releases (hopefully 8 of that will be sleep), I'm going to play Thief 2 the rest of the time.

Happy birthday, Thief 2.

I'm going to pass the time by arguing here on the forums with people... I'll start here I guess.

I think Tenchu Stealth Assassins is a better game and Splinter Cell was a better stealth game.

I was thinking of doing the same but you can only kill so much time here haha.

Also you're wrong but, that's just, like, your opinion man.

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the_master_race

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#18 the_master_race  Online
Member since 2015 • 4908 Posts

I forgot to mention Agent 47 and Bruce Wayne ..

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#19 bussinrounds
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@xantufrog said:

Almost done replaying this now, actually.

I have to say, Thief 1 has always been my favorite - the ambiance and progression is super unique (so is Thief 2 in spades, just less than 1 IMO). But I love them both. I almost never replay games... These I come back to time and time again

Agree with this. Both are great and the pinnacle of stealth gaming, but I'll give the slight edge to 1, due to the levels having more of a distinct feel from one to the next, where they do tend to blend into each other more so in 2.

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#20  Edited By Ghosts4ever  Online
Member since 2015 • 12603 Posts

@SolidGame_basic said:

Sorry, but MGS came out 22 years ago.

Its an action game.

beside i consider Splinter cell Chaos theory as pinnacle of stealth games. its pure stealth simulator.

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#21 freedomfreak
Member since 2004 • 51604 Posts

Only ever played Deadly Shadows. I'm more of splinter cell/mgs guy anyway.

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Jag85

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#22 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14187 Posts

The GOAT stealth game MGS2 came out 19 years ago.

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#23  Edited By PinkRibbonScars
Member since 2019 • 576 Posts

I've really tried to get into the Thief series but it's aged like milk. It looks and plays like ass. And that reboot *shudders*. No idea how anyone could think it's better than the original Metal Gear Solid, yet alone Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3

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#24 the_master_race  Online
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@Jag85 said:

The GOAT stealth game MGS2 came out 19 years ago.

and what did it bring to the table ?

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#25 robert_sparkes
Member since 2018 • 3905 Posts

I'd still say MGS 1 for me it changed the way I'd usually play a video game. Just hard going back with those graphics.

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#26  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 38481 Posts

@Macutchi said:
@davillain- said:

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

agree with dav. thief 2 is undeniably a classic and helped blaze a trail for the genre but chaos theory and dishonored 1 and 2 are overall better all round stealth games

Not sure agree with Dishonored, always found it not much of a challenge, especially when you abuse the powers.

Splinter Cell? Yea, love the incremental synergy of light/sound far more so than Thief, likewise with the many gadgets get to play around with.

Ruined it in the end by basically entirely removing the light/sound system to on/off because Ubisoft are... well, pricks who'll happily bastardize any IP. But those early games hit the sweet spot.

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#27 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 7093 Posts

@uninspiredcup said:
@Macutchi said:
@davillain- said:

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

agree with dav. thief 2 is undeniably a classic and helped blaze a trail for the genre but chaos theory and dishonored 1 and 2 are overall better all round stealth games

Not sure agree with Dishonored, always found it not much of a challenge, especially when you abuse the powers.

try cranking the difficulty up?

enemies become much smarter and challenging without any unnatural intuition or super powers. it's difficulty scaling done right. works well in tandem with new game+ mode as the additional powers you have access to combine nicely to give you new tactical avenues and combos of powers to explore to deal with the smarter ai. tons of replayability, particularly with the two characters in d2.

plus d2 let's you fully customise every aspect of the difficulty and you can always choose to play without the mark of the outsider if you're a stealth purist

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#28  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 38481 Posts

@Macutchi said:
@uninspiredcup said:
@Macutchi said:
@davillain- said:

Of course its Thief! You always praise Thief as the ultimate Stealth game of all times. Yes, I know Thief is all about stealth. It's pretty much the best stealth made. I came very late to the series but I grew up with MGS & Splinter Cell who I prefer shoot-to-kill in a sense. Dishonored, now that's a game I prefer a much better stealth approach. But nevertheless, Thief is good, but Dishonored is a better game, in my opinion.

Happy 20th Anniversary Thief 2!

agree with dav. thief 2 is undeniably a classic and helped blaze a trail for the genre but chaos theory and dishonored 1 and 2 are overall better all round stealth games

Not sure agree with Dishonored, always found it not much of a challenge, especially when you abuse the powers.

try cranking the difficulty up?

enemies become much smarter and challenging without any unnatural intuition or super powers. it's difficulty scaling done right. works well in tandem with new game+ mode as the additional powers you have access to combine nicely to give you new tactical avenues and combos of powers to explore to deal with the smarter ai. tons of replayability, particularly with the two characters in d2.

plus d2 let's you fully customise every aspect of the difficulty and you can always choose to play without the mark of the outsider if you're a stealth purist

Only played the first one, but I def found it easy playing it on the hardest difficulty. Don't think you should really need to purposefully force yourself to be gimped in order to get a challenge, gimp the tools themselves.

Splinter Cell your gadgets are generally limited to 2-3 uses with limited load out capacity, with the player in tight levels with minimal maneuverability. Sure, you can technically still cheese in it some respects, but nowhere as readily as Dishonored.

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#29 Litchie
Member since 2003 • 25483 Posts

Dishonored is a stealth game for babies. Being seriously OP isn't fun.

If a new Thief was announced (a real one, not like that 2014 PoS) I'd go apeshit. Very few things would get me more excited.

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sleepnsurf

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#30 sleepnsurf
Member since 2009 • 3385 Posts

And it is not even particularly close.

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#31 Jag85
Member since 2005 • 14187 Posts
@the_master_race said:
@Jag85 said:

The GOAT stealth game MGS2 came out 19 years ago.

and what did it bring to the table ?

A sandbox-like game design with considerable flexibility in how to play through the game. The most advanced enemy AI and physics engine up until then. A cover system and laser sight mechanic before they became a thing in TPS games. And of course one of the craziest batshit insane stories of all time. Overall, MGS2 is still the most fun and entertaining stealth game I've ever played.

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#32 DocSanchez
Member since 2013 • 5412 Posts

Sod best stealth game, there are only a handful it could be and it's subjective. I'm more interested in a discussion on worst stealth games. I think it would definitely be a normal game where they crowbar in an unwanted stealth section that flat out doesn't work. There's been a few. Thoughts?

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#33 the_master_race  Online
Member since 2015 • 4908 Posts

@Jag85 said:
@the_master_race said:
@Jag85 said:

The GOAT stealth game MGS2 came out 19 years ago.

and what did it bring to the table ?

A sandbox-like game design with considerable flexibility in how to play through the game. The most advanced enemy AI and physics engine up until then. A cover system and laser sight mechanic before they became a thing in TPS games. And of course one of the craziest batshit insane stories of all time. Overall, MGS2 is still the most fun and entertaining stealth game I've ever played.

I'll give you that MGS is one of pioneers along with Theif but Splinter-cell took the whole thing to another level , instead of focusing on story , they made the stealth mechanics more hardcore , a more responsive AI that can easily detect you , better ways to manipulate light and shadows ,they even made lock-picking and hacking more immersive , what I'm trying to say is that a good stealth game is a game that force you to use your wits instead of relying on tools and powers or good buddies like D-Dog ...

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Macutchi

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#34 Macutchi
Member since 2007 • 7093 Posts

@Litchie said:

Dishonored is a stealth game for babies.

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#35 PC_Rocks
Member since 2018 • 3230 Posts

For sure it's the SGOAT! All the people who are jealously bringing MGS, Kojima will have to spend 20 more years to even comprehend Thief let lone create a game like that.

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#36 jg4xchamp
Member since 2006 • 62393 Posts

@the_master_race said:

I'll give you that MGS is one of pioneers along with Theif but Splinter-cell took the whole thing to another level , instead of focusing on story , they made the stealth mechanics more hardcore , a more responsive AI that can easily detect you , better ways to manipulate light and shadows ,they even made lock-picking and hacking more immersive , what I'm trying to say is that a good stealth game is a game that force you to use your wits instead of relying on tools and powers or good buddies like D-Dog ...

Completely different games and not always the case. Hitman isn't exclusively about ghosting, and unlike say Thief n Splinter Cell, games like HItman and Metal Gear and Mark of the Ninja don't become straight shit when there is an alert phase. In contrast they still stay engaging, making the act of getting back into calm state fun.

MGS's sandbox is no short of virtues, it's plenty ghostable, especially 3 (the best Metal Gear game) and 5. Unlike most stealth games MGS's AI is better suited for actually doing searches around the area to figure you out, since the compact levels allows for the designers to make more if then choices for the AI, unlike the other games MGS has more manipulation of the AI (which is the actual fun of a stealth game).

Good level design, good enemy spotting AI, good investigation AI, good distraction mechanics, good chasing AI, good movement mechanics.

Are what make for a great stealth, and MGS has never actually been a slouch in those areas. In contrast Chaos Theory is legendary, but the rest of the Splinter Cell franchise has some holes in their lineup. Thief 2 tho is every bit deserving of its legendary status in the genre, ditto The Dark Project, not so much the other 2. Ghosting while satisfying, is not the the end all be all to the stealth genre.

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#37 locopatho  Online
Member since 2003 • 23762 Posts

Hitman is my favourite stealth series. I much more enjoy "social stealth" like disguises, walking calmly through tense checkpoints, chatting up people, only holding innocent looking weapons/gear (like, a chef can have a knife), etc compared to hiding in light and darkness, which can be fun but feels kinda goofy to me.

I also love Metal Gear Solid big time but I always felt it's tagline "Tactical Espionage Action" was more fitting a descriptor than stealth.

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#38  Edited By uninspiredcup
Member since 2013 • 38481 Posts

@locopatho said:

Hitman is my favourite stealth series. I much more enjoy "social stealth" like disguises, walking calmly through tense checkpoints, chatting up people, only holding innocent looking weapons/gear (like, a chef can have a knife), etc compared to hiding in light and darkness, which can be fun but feels kinda goofy to me.

Always thought of Hitman as a "thriller", which isn't a genre, but it's more about going at far into the beasts bellies and possible and seeing what bullshitty you can get away with the tools provided.

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#39 SecretPolice  Online
Member since 2007 • 35533 Posts

Correction...it's only the 15th anniversary of, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. :P

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#40  Edited By GoldenElementXL
Member since 2016 • 4046 Posts

Stealth games are the worst

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#41 locopatho  Online
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@uninspiredcup said:
@locopatho said:

Hitman is my favourite stealth series. I much more enjoy "social stealth" like disguises, walking calmly through tense checkpoints, chatting up people, only holding innocent looking weapons/gear (like, a chef can have a knife), etc compared to hiding in light and darkness, which can be fun but feels kinda goofy to me.

Always thought of Hitman as a "thriller", which isn't a genre, but it's more about going at far into the beasts bellies and possible and seeing what bullshitty you can get away with the tools provided.

Yeah I get you, that's a good term for it too. Like, you aren't remaining hidden as such, but you are trying to blag your way into complex situations and see how you can improvise. Multiple ways to succeed, no "one true path".

Hell, it SHOULD be a genre, right? :P

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#42 jg4xchamp
Member since 2006 • 62393 Posts

@locopatho said:
@uninspiredcup said:

Always thought of Hitman as a "thriller", which isn't a genre, but it's more about going at far into the beasts bellies and possible and seeing what bullshitty you can get away with the tools provided.

Yeah I get you, that's a good term for it too. Like, you aren't remaining hidden as such, but you are trying to blag your way into complex situations and see how you can improvise. Multiple ways to succeed, no "one true path".

Hell, it SHOULD be a genre, right? :P

Yall being a bit too pure with the genre, plenty of other genres play with other elements. Ideally the genre is about staying hidden and working around the obstacles presented, usually manipulating them as well. Hitman n Metal Gear have a huge advantage over the other stealth games in that their alert phases are actually still a lot of fun.

As much as I love me some Chaos Theory, in alert states that game is kind of a drag, and really just a "alright go ahead, shoot me so i can just restart this" phase. Ghosting is a perfect run, its the mastery, which all these games have, even Metal Gear (the later ones even want you to beat the bosses without killing them), but the moment to moment play is in the same wheel house.

Plus sadly a lot of modern action/adventure titles of today are technically stealth games as well or have a big stealth component in their gameplay, it's just shallow n rubbish.

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locopatho

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#43 locopatho  Online
Member since 2003 • 23762 Posts

@jg4xchamp said:

Yall being a bit too pure with the genre, plenty of other genres play with other elements

I mostly just mean I want more games similar to Hitman :P The kind of toybox, freeform, poking around and seeing what works, kinda thing. Wouldn't necessarily have to be stealthy.

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#44 jg4xchamp
Member since 2006 • 62393 Posts
@locopatho said:
@jg4xchamp said:

Yall being a bit too pure with the genre, plenty of other genres play with other elements

I mostly just mean I want more games similar to Hitman :P The kind of toybox, freeform, poking around and seeing what works, kinda thing. Wouldn't necessarily have to be stealthy.

To a lesser extent I'd say The Phantom Pain and Arcane's games fit the bill. Phantom Pain has more needless filler, and Arcane's games have dull as **** AI. Breath of the Wild is the type of shenanigans, just with like 5 total enemies.