8 Of The Best Stealth Games
Proving that avoiding conflict can be just as fun as engaging in it, we pick out the best of the stealth genre.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Flying the flag for the Splinter Cell series is its best entry, Chaos Theory. You’ve got to pay attention to both light and sound in this game – ideally taking out lights to obscure enemies’ view, while also remaining as quite as possible (unless you want to whisper to foes lure them into a trap, you evil git). You can also run up walls in tight corridors and suspend yourself high up while enemies pass below and that’s pretty cool.
The Last of Us
Okay, so The Last of Us does have combat in it, but stealth is still a key component. The game can be incredibly intense when you’re sneaking around trying to remain hidden, particularly if you play on harder difficulties that take away the ‘listen’ mechanic. The way that the game can flow in and out of combat and stealth is cool too, the game flaring up into exhilarating skirmishes before you skulk into cover to evade the remaining enemies hunting you down to pick them off one by one.
While you can play it more aggressively, Dishonored is at its best when played as a stealth game. The Blink ability, which allows you to teleport swiftly around the game’s environments gives stealth in Dishonored a unique feel – it means you can quickly zip to the floor to check the layout of the level before retreating back to the rooftops to consider your plan of attack. In true stealth style, it’s possible to complete Dishonored’s missions without killing anyone – you can both sneak your way past guards and find an alternative fate for your assassination targets.
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Just because you can play Human Revolution stealthily, doesn’t mean you can’t still do badass stuff –like, for example, punching through a wall and taking an enemy out who is on the other side, before they know what’s what. Or, using your cloak augmentation to sneak into a security room, hack a computer and turn the enemies security systems on themselves. Of course, if you don’t want to be an invisible agent of death, you can ghost your way past foes – this is Deus Ex, so the choice is always yours.
Metal Gear Solid
The Metal Gear Solid series is arguably //the// great stealth series. We could have put any and all of the MGS games in this list, but we’ve plumped for the one that started it all off on the original PlayStation. One of the many things that made the game stand out at the time was it’s AI. The fact that they would actively hunt you down once you’d been spotted, to the point that they would even follow your footprints when they spotted them in the snow, was mind-blowing at the time.
Mark of the Ninja
It’s a travesty that this game never made it to PlayStation, because it’s bloody brilliant. It’s a 2D stealth game that controls wonderfully, allowing you to move effortlessly about the environment and execute your plan of attack swiftly and mercilessly. It’s a masterpiece in design when it comes to player feedback, making it clear when you’re exposed by bright lights and giving you a clear indication of how the sound you’re making will impact on enemies, visualized as it is in pulsing concentric rings. When it comes to stealth games released in the last few years, it’s unquestionably one of the best.
Hitman: Blood Money
As any bona fide Hitman fan will tell you (unless they’re a wrongen) Blood Money is the greatest of the Hitman games. One of the things that we’ve always thought was cool about the series is that its stealth isn’t simply about hiding behind cover (though that is a part of it), but is often about hiding in plain sight. In certain areas, you’re free to move around freely, blending in amongst the crowds while you scope out possible entry points. You’ve also got the potential to don a disguise in an attempt to dupe enemy guards into thinking you’re allowed to roam into restricted areas.
Is not one of the appealing things about stealth games that, in contrast to so many other genres, you //actually// feel vulnerable? Sure, you’re usually powerful in your own way, but you can’t take enemies on head-to-head and have to use your smarts to deal with that fact. Alien Isolation takes that principle to its limit and uses it to create a terrifying and intense experience. In this game, the Alien is the one with all the power and you best not try to take it on, head-to-head or otherwise. You //can// take out humans, but gunshots are just going to attract that xenomorph that you are doing your best to stay away from. No, you’re best off remembering – as with all these games – that stealth is your friend.