#1 Posted by Zolkowski (57 posts) -

After going back and playing Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, for what is probably the 10th time in the 8 years since it's release, it's really depressed me that this game is the prime example of what's the best out there for the genre. What's even more depressing is how this critically acclaimed game (Specifically Choas Theory) was, instead of being improved upon, changed drastically into an action-stealth adventure.

I'll admit Conviction was fun. Though you can't say that it was anything like Chaos Theory. The true stealth, the timing (Where missions could take you anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on your playstyle), and the sense of vulnerability are really missing from almost all games that have attempted stealth.

Chaos Theory wasn't perfect by any means, but the fact that it's style of stealth gameplay has not been improved upon (Or even attempted) for 8 years almost seems unforgivable at this point. It felt convincing and not nearly as super-human as most stealth games portray these days.

#2 Posted by Chuncho_Munos (45 posts) -

I whole-heartedly agree that Chaos Theory is so far the pinnacle of that specific brand of stealth, and it’s the one I come back to time and timel again. I really do wonder whether the series will die before returning to what made it great. At this point it seems like the most likely way any CT fans will get more of what they love is if some way down the line ubisoft releases the code. I have often wondered how easy it would be to port most of the geometry from the previous games unreal 2 engines into CTs modified unreal 2.5 and do a texture overhaul. That would honestly appease me for quite a while. It’s a shame really that CT seems to be such a pain to mod aswell because a large library of mods for that game would also keep my interest for a while. Of course the best thing would be if a studio actually made an oldschool SC game but I think the chances of that go down with each release. Here’s one gripe with CT, using the knife for interrogations was cool because you could execute a guy after grabbing him, in the previous two the gun to the head was cool put you could only hit a guy on the back afterwards, i would have loved a combination of these two where you can put the pistol up to the guys head and pull the trigger, that would have been the frosting on fisher’s ice cold cake.

#3 Posted by EXTomar (4722 posts) -

Maybe. I'm not inclined to ever suggest that gamers let alone the market let alone the industry must revitalize something. Games like Stealth-Action require a certain pace and design consideration which increase the cost and complexity. I'm not suggesting that it is impossible but it is more "expensive" than the FPS sequel de jure.

#4 Edited by believer258 (11897 posts) -

They may be coming back. Dishonored and Deus Ex Human Revolution both had heavy emphases on stealth, and Far Cry 3 definitely had it to some extent as well. Thief 4 is also being made. I don't know if they'll ever be back in the same vein as Chaos Theory, though.

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#5 Edited by Alexander (1721 posts) -

Chaos Theory was everything I wanted from a stealth game at the time. I would love to see a cooperative campaign in the same vein released today, I certainly don't expect that to come from Splinter Cell though, with Conviction being a large departure from the stealth mechanics and difficulty I enjoyed, and now Blacklist looking like an all-out-action game, the series has transformed.

@extomar: I think the dilution of stealth in this case is mostly down to larger budgets being spent on more accessible and profitable titles (see every Tom Clancy game) the ease of a sequel doesn't necessarily mean it's cheaper to make. Some of largest budgets in gaming development go to first person shooter sequels.

#6 Posted by EXTomar (4722 posts) -

I used "expensive" in quotes to not mean budget but the intangible stuff like system design and QA. A stealth game has more complex and intricate systems than an FPS where the testing plan for such a game is already much more time consuming and complex.

In essence, it seems like the Stealth-Action game is more risky from a producer view point because it requires specialized system design and is far less lucrative. I think it sucks that we have a market that will run to the next CoD without knowing a single detail beyond "Another CoD game" while a game like Thief 4 could be a critical success but only sell 500,000 to 1M and actually lose money if they spent too much creating it.

#7 Edited by oraknabo (1459 posts) -

I'm cautiously optimistic for Thief. I think at least one of the coming Metal Gears will probably focus heavily on stealth too.

I actually enjoyed Conviction. There were a few areas in that game that were really well designed little playgrounds that I played repeatedly to see what all the possibilities were. I hated the war flashback stuff though. I do think the series has moved too far away from its roots though and I really don't have any interest in the new one.

I don't know much about the upcoming Sly Cooper game, but that could potentially be a decent stealth game. There's also Dishonored and Human Revolution which were both not perfect games, but really good stealth experiences.

What I'd really like now is a good Tenchu game. I was exited about the release of the Wii game a few years back, but it had a lot of problems. There was a game on the PS2 called Shinobido that did just about everything I want a Tenchu game to do, but it was never released here. They had a new one of those on the Vita recently, but I heard it was pretty bad.

Stealth games are hard to make and while I would always like to have a couple of great ones around, when they were a little more popular in the last couple of generations, you just ended up with 4 or 5 really good stealth franchises and a bunch of other bad stealth games that ended up hurting the reputation of the genre. If we could just have those main franchises around without their publishers screwing them up too badly, I'd pretty happy with the amount of stealth available but if Thief ends up sucking for some terrible reason and the next Spinter cell is even more action-heavy than conviction and both Metal Gears lose the stealth I hope some other franchises start to appear to fill the void, at least from indie developers.

Maybe the next big push on Kickstarter can be stealth games.

#8 Posted by Alexander (1721 posts) -

@extomar: I agree that a stealth mechanic vs shooter mechanic may be more complex in of itself, I don't think it necessarily makes a Call of Duty less complex from a development standpoint because the focus of those titles is on other things like lavish set pieces and multiplayer components all with their own complexities. I think part of the symptom of a wider gaming audience is, as you say, the large budgets tend to go for the areas most lucrative and generally that has meant easier games. I'm not sure if the stealth audience dwindled or they were just superseded by the wider audience, or both.

#9 Posted by Winternet (8018 posts) -

Wasn't that what Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja did last year? New styles of the stealth genre?

#10 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4798 posts) -

Wasn't that what Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja did last year? New styles of the stealth genre?

Dishonoured barely functioned as a proper stealth game and Mark of the Ninja is a piece of flash animated crap.

#11 Posted by MarkM (295 posts) -

I agree, there should be a new Tenchu game.

#12 Posted by Jams (2960 posts) -

@winternet said:

Wasn't that what Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja did last year? New styles of the stealth genre?

Dishonoured barely functioned as a proper stealth game and Mark of the Ninja is a piece of flash animated crap.

Thank's for your invaluable input. I'm so glad you could enlighten us as to why those two games are not good stealth games. They should build a statue in your name. Everyone needs to know how your "intelligence" and "wisdom" surpasses any normal man.

#13 Posted by Yummylee (21615 posts) -

@winternet said:

Wasn't that what Dishonored and Mark of the Ninja did last year? New styles of the stealth genre?

Dishonoured barely functioned as a proper stealth game and Mark of the Ninja is a piece of flash animated crap.

Ouch.