The Beaten Diaries #13: Dishonored and Why Stealth is Fun for Some People (and not me)

MAY ISSUE: POST #35

So, I’m really bad at stealth. I mean really bad. First of all, it makes me paranoid, and who enjoys feeling paranoid? Well, some people, maybe, but I don’t get thrill out of it at all (I don’t even like the tension in games shows). With that being said, I have enjoyed some stealth aspects in video games. Recently, I played Beyond Good & Evil, and it became one of my favourite PS2 games. But with that being said, I think there’s a difference between stealth on the PS2 and stealth in more modern gaming. I for one think it’s more difficult nowadays, but then again, maybe I haven’t tried enough sneaky games to really have a proper opinion (so don’t trust what I say, basically).

With that being said, I was really excited to try Dishonored back at the beginning of 2017. However, I had no idea that it was technically a stealth game, and I went in weapons ablazing, and then got miraculously stuck when it came to having to sneak past some guards.

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I don’t know whether it’s because I get really nervous, or because I rush things when I’m nervous, but I was terrible at those parts of the game. I did beat the game though (I know, it’s shocking)… on high chaos that is (meaning that I shot a lot of people and kept stealth attacks to a minimum. Oops. Well, at least I got a trophy for it). Overall  I beat the game on normal difficulty, but it felt harder than normal and I didn’t even get more than 25% trophy percentage. I felt pretty ashamed.

But anyway, before I delve into the world of stealth, let’s look into the game Dishonored a little bit because it is a well-loved franchise after all, and a lot of people enjoy it and I understand why. Dishonored is a stealth (well, it’s meant to be stealth. I changed it into the least stealthiest game in the world) action-adventure video game, published by Bethesda Softworks (also known for the Fallout series, of course, among other titles) and developed by Arkane Studios.

The game throws you into the word of an assassin, who seeks revenge! Set in Dunwall, you begin as the bodyguard for the Empress, but then she gets killed and her daughter is kidnapped, so that’s not very good. Your character, Corvo, escapes just before his execution (lucky for him), and with the help of some loyalists, you become an assassin to help restore the Empress’s daughter, Emily, to the throne. It’s all very exciting, I must say. I really wonder what being an assassin must be like. I’d be too nervous to be one, to be honest. I’d constantly ask if it’s okay to assassinate people and then apologize for killing them for weeks afterward.

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So what about stealth games? And why do some people like stealth more than others? This is the question I’m raising for this post today.

I’ve been browsing some forum posts revolving around this type of question, and these are the thoughts that I’ve decided to note. Someone said that they’re a fan of stealth because it requires a lot more thought and planning, and they say it’s a lot more satisfying when you complete a mission without setting off alarms or killing anyone. But somebody has also commented, that if a game gives them guns, they’re going to use them, and they find it boring to sneak past enemies rather than straight-up shoot them. I personally side with this second comment to an extent. I definitely find it way more fun to run around and shoot everything and laugh manically, but really, should it be fun? Why is killing in games fun in the first place? Maybe it’s because doing bad things is stimulating, but of course,, in games you don’t experience the consequences like you would in real life.

So maybe that’s why stealth is fun for some people. Maybe the thrill of almost getting caught but then managing to quietly kill your enemy is way more satisfying than getting noticed and then shooting everyone around you in a frenzy. Especially since you can’t really do that sort of thing in real life. I for one actually have definitely enjoyed killing some enemies in games by sneaking around a corner and grabbing them and smashing their head against a wall and strangling them (it’s hard not to sound like a psycho, but seriously, I’m not). But playing a whole game stealth? It gets a tad boring for me. So I guess, all in all, I enjoy games that let you choose and strategise. I like having control and choosing what to do in the situation, rather than being limited to one particular tactic.

Some people really enjoy strategizing in games and spending the time to think about what they’re doing. I suppose these are also the same people who like puzzles and are very patient, perhaps, But then again, I love puzzle games and have patience but hate stealth, so I guess it just depends on the person (and how they like to kill people). But again, I hate tension a lot. So crawling around a room for a while trying not to get caught just makes me feel on edge a bit too much. But I guess playing a game stealth changes the whole experience entirely too, and it gives you more options. Some stealth games actually give you the choice not to kill anything, and I understand the satisfaction with that, especially if you finished playing a game like Killing Floor or something beforehand. It definitely makes a nice change.

The main thought I have here is about tension. I suppose stealth is seen a lot in horror games too because of this reason. Which is why I absolutely screamed my head off when my husband was playing Alien Isolation and I accidentally watched at the wrong moment and he was stealthing and something was behind him and he didn’t notice and- shudder. Stealth definitely makes horror games more intense, and I guess, more fun and scary for certain people.

Another point is that I also think that stealth can make you feel cleverer in the long run, especially if you outsmart enemies or aliens or whatever you’re up against, and your actions really do matter. So really, it’s up to you to decide what sort of gameplay you enjoy, and whether you can handle the anxiety of nearly getting caught.

Thus, even though this was a mishmash of thoughts regarding stealth, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the topic. Do you enjoy stealth games? Or do they make you too nervous like me? Let me know in the comments!

Examples of games where you can stealth-it-up include:  

♦Metal Gear Solid (another series I was absolutely terrible at, but 
I think I just need practice)
♦The Evil Within
♦Batman: Arkham Asylum
♦Splinter Cell
♦Deus Ex
♦Hitman
♦Thief

Thank you for reading and Happy Gaming!

-LDG

One thought on “The Beaten Diaries #13: Dishonored and Why Stealth is Fun for Some People (and not me)

  1. I don’t like stealth because of impatience. Waiting around for an NPC to move out of sight is boring. I also dislike getting an instant game over when I get spotted.

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