Recommendations for a tactical shooter game that focuses primarily on special operations and stealth in general?

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MaLeK97

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I've been playing through the old COD: Modern Warfare games again after a long time, and I got reminded of how much I love the stealth missions in those games, and not just in them, but stealth in video games in general.

Briefings on the mission, planning your route and RoE, sneaking around, cooperating with your teammates (or soloing) to complete the mission you're assigned to do, equipping your character(s) with appropriate equipment for the mission you were to undertake, (e.g. silencers, night goggles, for stealth ops), etc. I love those things, and would honestly like to find a game that focuses primarily on these tactical operations.

When Metal Gear Solid TPP came out, I played it for hundreds of hours. I feel it managed to capture the tactical espionage and stealth aspect PERFECTLY! There were plenty of ways you could go and do your mission or free-roam to take over an outpost/base, whether stealthily or guns blazing. But, the emphasis on stealth and tactical gameplay is where I believe the game shined the most for me, and I a game like this would be really great to play.

What I'm mostly interested in is the gameplay with the features I mentioned before (the more, the merrier). Story and writing can be ignored, open-world is not a necessity, as long as the game offers multiple paths towards completing your mission, something like in the Splinter Cell, or Hitman games (games which I've also played through, and loved). I've also played through the Rainbow Six (original trilogy) games, so those can be ignored as well.

This may be obvious, but I'm looking for single-player games, not co-op or multiplayer games like Rainbow Six: Siege, Escape from Tarkov, etc. The age of the game is irrelevant, it can be modern, released recently (~2 years), or classical (pre-2000's), it doesn't matter, as long as it's good.

I primarily play on PC, but I'm willing to buy a copy and play through an emulator if games like this exist on other platforms.

Any suggestions for games like this?

The only game that comes to my mind right now is Ghost Recon Wildlands, but I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about the game, many say it feels more like GTA instead of something along the lines of The Phantom Pain, plus the questionable gameplay mechanics like microtransactions, skill set/equipment grinding kinda put me off.

Thanks in forward, and apologies for the long post!

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Nodima

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I mean, if age truly isn't an issue, this is what the Rainbow Six franchise was originally entirely about, while the SOCOM franchise was a little more scripted but with voice commands through the headset which was cool.

To be honest I only ever played the first Rainbow Six - on the Nintendo 64 - so I have no idea how this series evolved and when it became a bit more action oriented - my guess would be Las Vegas? - but that original game still stands out in my memory because you started every mission with an overlay of the strike you were about to operate where you could choose loadouts, set waypoints you wanted your team to progress through, have a support team that you completely design their progression structure prior to launch, and so on. It's so clearly exactly what you're looking for.

But it's also from 1998, so it's probably ugly as sin and controls a bit weird.

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MaLeK97

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@nodima said:

I mean, if age truly isn't an issue, this is what the Rainbow Six franchise was originally entirely about, while the SOCOM franchise was a little more scripted but with voice commands through the headset which was cool.

To be honest I only ever played the first Rainbow Six - on the Nintendo 64 - so I have no idea how this series evolved and when it became a bit more action oriented - my guess would be Las Vegas? - but that original game still stands out in my memory because you started every mission with an overlay of the strike you were about to operate where you could choose loadouts, set waypoints you wanted your team to progress through, have a support team that you completely design their progression structure prior to launch, and so on. It's so clearly exactly what you're looking for.

But it's also from 1998, so it's probably ugly as sin and controls a bit weird.

Thanks for the suggestions about SOCOM games @nodima, I never knew they existed before, and from what I've seen they look very interesting.

As for Rainbow Six, I played it a lot a couple of years back, with Rogue Spear being my favorite, and it's the main reason why I like to see these sorts of concepts in video games. Graphics and age don't change my opinion of the game, because what matters to me is the gameplay it provides.

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chaser324

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#4  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

SWAT 4 may be worth giving a look as it seems to hit a lot of your criteria. It's currently available on GOG.

There is also a new game, Ready or Not, that is trying to be a spiritual successor to SWAT. I've heard good things about it, and it seems to be very popular on Steam.

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ghost_cat

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There is a multiplayer tactical shooter that has been making a lot of buzz lately called Ready or Not. Seems pretty cool and very close to old SWAT and R6 games.

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ghost_cat

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There is also new game, Ready or Not, that is trying to be a spiritual successor to SWAT. I've heard good things about it, and it seems to be very popular on Steam.

I was going to suggest Ready or Not as well. Haven't played it myself, but watched a few play-throughs with other streamers, and it seems like it might be just what you're looking for.

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Rich666

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Loved Rainbow Six : Rogue Spear. Before R6 Vegas where the game turned into an arcadey mess. From the planning phase to the realistic action phase, Rogue Spear was truly the pinnacle of the tactical shooter. The situations were realistic, the shooting was great and the moment to moment action was amazing. Unfortunately it's not available anywhere. Rainbow Six 3 is available on Steam and is also very similar. But to me Rogue Spear was the height of the Rainbow Six series that they never achieved again.

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monkeyking1969

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Another vote for SOCOM US NAVY SEALs 1 & 2 - but just the first two

DO NOT PLAY:

  • SOCOM 3 U.S. Navy SEALs (PS2)
  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault (PS2)
  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation (PS3)
  • SOCOM 4 U.S. Navy SEALs (PS3)

This is not a case of find the lastest in the series to see if you like it. Only teh first two games play correctly and are well blanced in single player. And, just a warning, some people will say you can play SOCOM 3 - they are bad people.

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csl316

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Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. Those two games were all about tactical squad stuff.

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MaLeK97

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SWAT 4 is may be worth giving a look as it seems to hit a lot of your criteria. It's currently available on GOG.

There is also new game, Ready or Not, that is trying to be a spiritual successor to SWAT. I've heard good things about it, and it seems to be very popular on Steam.

SWAT games look very interesting. I've been looking at a couple of gameplay videos and this seems to hit the stop just right for what I'm looking for. Thank you for the suggestion!

Ready or Not looks good too, but the game is an Early Access game which I dislike paying for. I think I'll wait until the game fully releases and then see how much it compares to the old SWAT games before deciding whether or not to buy it.

Another vote for SOCOM US NAVY SEALs 1 & 2 - but just the first two

DO NOT PLAY:

  • SOCOM 3 U.S. Navy SEALs (PS2)
  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault (PS2)
  • SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Confrontation (PS3)
  • SOCOM 4 U.S. Navy SEALs (PS3)

This is not a case of find the lastest in the series to see if you like it. Only teh first two games play correctly and are well blanced in single player. And, just a warning, some people will say you can play SOCOM 3 - they are bad people.

Thanks for the warning, I'll start with first and second games in the series then, but what exactly is wrong with the rest of the games that I shouldn't play them?

@csl316 said:

Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter. Those two games were all about tactical squad stuff.

Already played it and the previous games in the series alongside the original Rainbow Six games, and I loved them :D

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Nodima

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I won't tag you in case I'm wrong, but as a huge, huge, huge fan of the first two SOCOM games, I can make a wager.

(Please note that I might have only ever played the first level of both SOCOM I and II, and may have never tried that hard to be good at them. The multiplayer, after all, was right there.)

SOCOM in its original incarnation was all about the PS2 headset. Hell, it came packaged with one. Yes, that meant it had fully functional push-to-talk voice chat over multiplayer matches and all of that was very good, but at its core it was also designed to be a single player experiencing touting all the ways speaking to artificial intelligence would change how we interact with games forever. Spoiler: it didn't. But SOCOM's campaign is very much intended to be the highlight. The network adapter was advertised as a mere console add-on not unlike the N64's expansion pack or rumble pak and forgiving some very dubious exceptions no other game had P2P competitive play before that game.

SOCOM II, while doubling down on the online side to an admirable and explicit degree, arguably did the same for its campaigns: while, again, I definitely never did any of this, SOCOM II not only improved the voice functionality (which we should probably accept is irrelevant to you in 2021?) but expanded the campaign to be a fully over arching experience. Not only did you schedule and plot your missions, but depending on what you accomplished during one mission a following mission might be more or less complicated. One example I remember a friend pointing out is that you could discover a map in an early level that would allow you to see and plot more of a following level before you played it, whereas if you missed the map you might actually have to just go in blind and order your squad completely on the fly.

SOCOM III, which I have absolutely no memory of its campaign features, was so focused on multiplayer that it even fucked the multiplayer up, turning an incredibly focused/narrow shooter into something that felt a pressure to match Halo's vehicle aspect in the wake of the 360's perpetually growing dominance in college dorms. I'd imagine that misguided widening of scope spread into the campaign - or distracted from it - in a way that made the campaign really suck in a way the multiplayer only pretended to (but that mediocrity was still a real shocker).

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kcin

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You might be interested in this game, Thunder Tier One:

https://store.steampowered.com/app/377300/Thunder_Tier_One/

It's like an overhead Rainbow Six/Ghost Recon game. Looks awesome.

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#13  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Most of the obvious candidates have been mentioned already, so let me add some WWII in the mix by mentioning the Brothers in Arms games and the (very old) Hidden & Dangerous games.

The Brothers in Arms franchise still holds up pretty well (although there are some annoying invisible walls and magical pixels blocking your shot at times).

But if you're truly willing to go old-school, Hidden & Dangerous is out there. Those games were extremely difficult back in the day.

Also i never played them before, but i think Operation Flashpoint is also tough as nails and quite tactical?

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MerxWorx01

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@malek97: I know that you mentioned Escape from Tarkov already but I wanted to mention that there is a way to play it single player. It's a modified version of the game but it manages to simulate practically every aspect of the game. Once you have Tarkov installed and SPT-Aki (the singeplayer server/launcher) you will be able to play the game with no Internet connection against convincing AI that simulate the EFT experience. Of course you will still need to buy a copy of the game and follow the very simple instructions of installing it.

EFT is very much a game that is all about slow movements, being quiet and unseen until you are ready to engage. Both the vanilla EFT and singeplayer can be very punishing but also very rewarding for players who are trying to accomplish set missions and base their finely tuned load outs for every excursion. It's a game where persistent systems provide continuous progress whilst the transitory mantra of the game (and some of the community) is that you must be ready to lose everything. Every encounter is a tense maneuvering of who gets to walk away with all their stolen gear and valuables, assuming the survivor doesn't also fall prey to another opportunistic killer.