Stealth has hardly become a forgotten shade in the gaming spectrum, but it's hard to think of many new games that are dedicated to it. Instead of being the leading light, as it was at the heights of the Thief and Metal Gear series, today stealth is more frequently just an element – from a choice in Deus Ex: Human Revolution to a pastime in Skyrim.
But what is stealth good for? Sneaky Bastards, a new blog dedicated to the form, lists why dedicated stealth games are great, from the way they encourage you to explore their environments to the way they get you to play with and understand their AI.
"Sometimes 'intelligence' seems like the wrong word to describe the cognitive faculties of guards in stealth games. Hey, what's that over there? Hmm, must've been a skunk. Walking on its hind legs. Wearing night vision goggles. But this artificial stupidity is nonetheless part of a coherent system of perception and response that pits the player against the capabilities of his enemies in a way that is becoming ever rarer. The fact that we notice it at all is an indication of its importance."
But while stealth is undeniably fun, is the choice that modern games give you to break out the hardware when you want to ultimately more rewarding?
Relatedly, here's Hideo Kojima's design document for Metal Gear Solid 2.
"Instead of proceeding on to MGS2, as one might expect, we are making MGS3. The question in peoples' minds, 'Why is it 3 and not 2?' will have a big impact."
Also, the three IIIs would symbolise Manhattan's tallest skyscrapers, fitting for the game's setting, if not, apparently, Konami's marketing department.
Not pictured in this collaboration between war photographer John Cantlie and Bohemia Interactive to recreate the former's images in ARMA2: the bit when one of the soldiers ended up half stuck inside a nearby tank and then dragged off down the road while barking, "ENEMY! MAN! 200 METERS! TO THE NORTH!"
What do various game makers use to work? A lot of Apple products, apparently. Includes Gabe Newell, Capybara Games' Kris Piotrowski, Thatgamecompany's Robin Hunicke and many more. They use the everyday apps we do! But, presumably, better.
Designer at London-based game studio Hide & Seek Tom Armitage ruminates on the nature of dying in videogames, from Steel Battalion's perma-death to Lose/Lose's real-life penalties (by deleting random files from your computer), plus the ignoble end of Leon Kennedy in his playthrough of Resident Evil 2.
We named SpaceChem our indie game of 2011, and you ought to play it, or at least understand it. Part of that process is grasping how fearsomely deep it is, and what better way than with a presentation of the winners of a competition held by its developer, Zachtronics Industries, to create "the most awesome sandbox pipeline imaginable"?
We have a recreation of tic-tac-toe (below), an implementation of a cellular automaton using a molecular ring and the Brainfuck Interpreter. No, we have no idea how they work.
Crowd-sourcing canonical errors in Mass Effect Deception, the latest novelisation of BioWare's sci-fi RPG.