by Heinreich T. Sioson
No, this has nothing to do with Parappa the Rapper other than my play on the quote by Chop Chop Master Onion.it has to do with stealth games and my love for them!
My first foray into the stealth/action genre came with a game you’ll all know - Metal Gear Solid for the original PS1. As an exclusively action gamer at the time, it took me some time to get used to the fact that running-and-gunning alone wasn’t enough to keep me alive. I had to be clever, creative, and cunning to survive and I fell in love with the game, the franchise, and the concept as a whole. Of all the MGS games, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was my favorite of the bunch due to the fact that I had to make use of the environment to hide using a multitude of camouflage suits.
Since then, I have made it my mission to play as many in that genre as possible. As much as I enjoyed MGS4, I didn’t find the stealth aspect once touted as the cornerstone of the series to be all that compelling. It took a number of years before I could find something as equally gratifying as MGS3; and when I did, it came as a flood.
First was Deus Ex Human: Human Revolution. While gameplay is not exclusive to stealthily moving around, it was an option and the open environment allowed several clever, sneaky approaches. My favorite moment was hiding in a vent above a room for a highly placed politico so that I can subdue him and steal information. The cover system allowed for some cool traversal of the environment in 3rd/1st-person.
Next came the critically-acclaimed Dishonored. This game, more so than the latter, proved stealth can make its home in a larger open-world environment. I loved the moments where I would look around and think, “Maybe I can approach my target from that rooftop.” That “maybe” turned into a reality more often than not as I teleported to it and made my way through the city. Being able to take over a person or animal’s mind allowed for even more creative ways to get where I needed to go. There were so many avenues to approach a mission that it was mind-boggling.
But Dishonored would be trumped in the stealth department by the PC/XBLA game, Mark of the Ninja (sorry PS3 fans! This breaks my heart to say since I’m mostly a PS3 gamer). This is by far my favorite stealth action game of this generation. If you’re a fan of the genre and ninjas, I can think of no other game that makes you feel more like a badass ninja than this. Every single aspect of sneaking and skulking around in silence, as well as assassinating like a ninja, is serviced so well that you will find every reason to play Mark of the Ninja. Even now as I write this, I’m thinking about speed-running the entire game; the FIRST TIME I’ve ever considered such an idea.
Are you big stealth/action gamer like I am? Let me know!
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