The death of stealth games

Stealth, thievery and assassination have been a fantastical plot element in the all types of entertainment, fiction or nonfiction.

Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – A stealth game no more (picture by: Fin Jupp)

It was only a matter of time before games tried to encapsulate this feeling some of the best movies could only give you a sliver of.

And yet, stealth games have never broken any records, never seen the type of mainstream success than their counterparts in other entertainment mediums have seen.

I talked to Matthew Francis, an independent developer in Brighton. He said: “I’ve never even thought about making a stealth game,” going on to say, “It would be too much work for a small team of developers to handle.”

Interview with Matthew Francis

On the production side, they’re difficult to make. The simple fact that they require more manpower means that fewer games of the genre are going to be made, meaning less choice and less exposure for the genre.

From the players perspective, the most fun and rewarding stealth games challenge you. If it’s too easy the game becomes boring, just sliding past enemies with no consequences is not exciting in the slightest unless you’ve spent a reasonable amount of time failing or planning.

This difficulty scares people off, as there’s obviously no way to purchase skill with real money. No loot boxes are going to make you better at route planning or memorising guard walk-paths.

Song: Neighbourhood Vandal – Shikutomoto
Video: Fin Jupp

We’ve seen the stealth reach a nadir this year, with no notable stealth focused titles being released. Many, including me, are hoping this will change soon.

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