10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V – review

We recall the coolest games of the 2010s, where stealth is our best friend.

About nomination

They say that the smart one will not go uphill, the smart one will go around the mountain. If so, then stealth actions are definitely not for ordinary minds: in most representatives of the genre, workarounds and tricky loopholes are not an option, but an urgent need.

Shooters, horror, and even tactics have gathered in our list of the best stealth of the decade. They are united by one thing: if you want to live to see the final credits, you have to sneak, hide and eliminate enemies stealthily. And while other projects make it possible to clumsyly rush through the levels with a bloody whirlwind, covert passage will still come easier … and more beautiful.

Tenth Place – This War of Mine (2014)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

Of course in the first place This war of mine – Tactics and survival simulator. But stealth plays far from the last role here. A group of civilians in a besieged city, which should, under the strict guidance of a player, survive to the end of the war, is not well adapted for open clashes with the military. These are not superheroes, not mercenaries, but ordinary people, not ready for the nightmare that awaits them outside the shelter. But the supplies inevitably run out, and periodically someone will have to crawl out to get hold of food and fuel.

This is where stealth comes to the rescue. It’s better to hide from the sentinels than to engage in a skirmish – her friends’s screams will surely run to the victim’s screams (in an extreme case, you can stumble somewhere, and then quickly cut the enemy out of the shadows). Where the sniper is on duty, you have to run from cover to cover while he reloads the rifle. Before popping into a locked room, it is recommended to look into the keyhole, and for picky doors, master keys are prepared. In a word, if you like quiet theft more than robbery with guns, project11 bit studios gives all the possibilities for this.

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V
Most modern representatives of stealth-action in one way or another admit that opponents can be smashed on the wall from a mini-machine gun under the hollow, if you have messed up and attracted their attention. However, in the spin-off of a mediocre RPG Of orcs and men stealth was not a means to an end, but a severe necessity: the sickly goblin Styx was dying from a pair of pokes with a toothpick. You didn’t want to, but you had to carefully study the huge arena levels, tremble with every breath of wind and pray that the enemy would die faster while Styx strangled him behind the patrol.

Styx: Master of Shadows hardcore in its own way – and at the same time non-linear: to achieve the goal is far from one way. The dense atmosphere of dark fantasy with a slight admixture of steampunk adds color: a harmful goblin that cynically coughs up enemies and pukes them into porridge so that they poison and die, against the backdrop of terrible orcs, vile people and disgusting elves, looks like a pretty good guy. Despite some secondary nature, the game Cyanide studios so successfully compiles all the ideas that you don’t think about their freshness. If only that guard had not turned off the route and passed under the necessary chandelier, ready to collapse on his head!

Eighth place – Hitman 2 (2018)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

IO Interactive – the most ingenious scammers on the planet: only they can sell the same game twice with minimal changes, forcing fans to admire the fruits of their labors. Hitman 2 it is easy to confuse with the predecessor of 2016: the same mechanics, the same breakdown into episodes, the same spacious open locations and a lot of opportunities for brilliant murders … But the sequel has become even closer to the killer’s ideal simulator, and there are no equal to it yet.

The elaboration of each level here reaches some inconceivable scale: the game can safely be given the subtitle “Million ways to eliminate the goal and go unnoticed.” And here is one of the best cooperative game modes: in Ghost Mode they offer to compete with a friend and spoil all the raspberries, distracting the opponent a moment before eliminating the target in order to remove it yourself. Unexpected and funny situations in the co-op are in bulk, and this makes Hitman 2 the coolest hired killer simulator … unlike the same ossified Assassin’s creed.

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V
After spitting on all the standards Conviction it seemed that Sam Fisher could be retired … but the next part of the classic series returned to the origins of the genre, having managed to please both the old fans and the new audience. For beginners, they stocked up a beautiful, moderately casual hub, rich opportunities for customization and spectacular action inserts. For veterans – for what they once fell in love Splinter cell: A hardcore spy action movie where a tranquilizer dart is your best friend.

Each level can be passed by smashing everything into chips or quietly running past enemies like a true pacifist. It is interesting to play both this and that: fans of open battles will have a hard time when the enemy’s fighters will be clad in thick armor, while the second will have to proudly and calmly dive into the dark nooks and crannies. The levels, albeit linear, are spacious and rich in secret paths and workarounds. If you miss the classic hide-and-shoot, Blacklist for you – old-school hide and seek skill here is still in honor.

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V
The best part about Mankind Divided is the same game as Human revolution (it would seem, one of the ideals of the genre), only better. For lovers of stealth – especially because here the mechanics have been brought to mind, and it works like a clock. HR didn’t always allow the game to go through bloodlessly: sometimes it was impossible to cut down enemies from the shelter normally, and there weren’t too many really useful implants for secretive games without killing. But in MD, a reinforced stun gun helps a lot not to get involved in open fights against the crowd.

In addition, Mankind Divided gives the player motivation to pass the game without spilling blood. The conflict between people with mechanical augmentations and mere mortals is a topic that is so relevant in our time that events in the game can not be taken abstractly. You easily associate the hero with yourself, take every moral choice close to your heart, you understand that killing will put a heavy burden on your soul and will affect you later – not on the final statistics, but on the overall impression of the game. Stealth passing becomes not a feature, not a competition, but a conscious decision.

Fifth Place – Prey (2017)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

That with stealth employees Arkane studios know how to work, we were convinced in Dishonored. Over shooter Prey they tried no less. From the banal tie about the aliens who staged a bloody ball at the space station, it was easy to make a secondary horror; but Morgan Yu’s adventures are more like the intense science fiction of those times when space seemed like something romantic and alluring, albeit dangerous.

It is quite possible to run through the gilded halls of Talos I station, shooting facial expressions from a shotgun, but there are still more non-lethal weapons and abilities for secret passage. A significant part of the game the hero will be deprived of powerful guns, so that can not do without stealth. Hospitable ventilation will almost always offer workarounds; having borrowed from the aliens the ability to turn into inanimate objects, it is easy to hide from the enemy, pretending to be a chair or a mug. Having buried in the locked door, next you will surely find another way to the goal – and not one. And any facial expression is better to shoot from behind, hiding behind the nearest corner: if you acquire the necessary skill, the damage of an attack from an ambush will come out several times more than in a head-on collision.

Fourth a place – Mark of the Ninja (2012)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V
If you can imagine the perfect stealth platformer, it will be Mark of the ninja. Creators of the dilogy Shank managed to convey the feelings of the hard work of the ninja, albeit a little romanticizing the shadow warriors. The variety of techniques and possibilities opens up incredible scope for action. You can methodically cough everyone and everything. You can climb the ceiling in the style of Spider-Man, avoiding opponents. You can arrange a ballet with enemies, pitting them together and provoking to shoot at each other, then to cynically deal with the last survivor.

The most interesting thing that ultimately you have to use all available opportunities. The game is incredibly balanced in terms of passing dynamics: it’s worth getting used to the fact that enemies can be easily cut with a dagger or sneaking in from above, as they begin to wear shields and illuminate the space around them with flashlights. We have to adapt – and each battle as a result is not similar to the previous one, and the comic style makes the game into a bright and memorable cartoon.

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

How do games usually work? You choose a couple of your favorite guns and gadgets – and go through the whole game with them, without changing the arsenal to the very end.

How does MGS V work? Turns every mission into a Hollywood production, forcing to solve even the most trivial tasks with unobvious – and sometimes devilishly inventive methods.

Of course, you can make everyone the old fashioned tranquilizer darts here. But this will work the first couple of times until the enemies begin to put on helmets with body armor. Then you have to dodge: open new developments on the base, learn other tactics, deal with technology, actively use the Fulton system … But what about tying a ram to the ball and sending it into the air to eliminate the guards at the base of the bullet in the back of the head while they are distracted by a beast soaring in the sky? And such moments in a great creation Hideo Kojima – in bulk. Not a single stealth action has ever looked and looks so spectacular!

Second a place – Alien: Isolation (2014)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

What to do when the enemy cannot be killed? That’s right – to run away … or hide.

Remembering the origins of the history of xenomorph, the studio Creative assembly decided that the shooters about the creation of Hans Giger and Ridley Scott have already done enough. So stealth in Alien: Isolation – not just a way of passing, but a lifestyle. For the time being, the heroine, in principle, has no weapons to confront the Alien: it remains to rely only on shelters and distracting maneuvers. When it appears, instead of dashing shooting monsters from a plasma rifle, they give you a flamethrower and homemade bombs that briefly scare away the enemy. There’s nothing to think about rushing to the finals, clearing the way with shotgun charges: in addition to the xenomorph and terrified people, the space station is full of androids, and for the time being, getting into an open confrontation with them is more expensive. I ran, loudly stomping on the echoing floor, or fired – attracted the attention of the one who constantly crawls after him, dropping acid saliva. Caught a monster – instant death. Cats and mouse, raised to the absolute.

Even in safe areas where the Alien doesn’t have access, simply mowing enemies right and left will not work: there is not much ammunition, especially at high difficulties. So, long live hide and seek on the lockers, crawling through the ventilation and a hectic search for bedside tables where you can dive to avoid meeting with looters or annoying robots. Fortunately, game designers have tried, and there are a lot of workarounds. And in other locations there is an opportunity to set Alien on disturbing people: the xenomorph should also be useful!

First Place – Dishonored (2012)

10 best stealth of the decade. From Mark of the Ninja to Metal Gear Solid V

The misconduct of the dishonored Corvo Attano, who was unjustly convicted of the murder of his beloved empress, is a story of revenge. All that is required of the hero is to consistently eliminate the vile traitors of the crown in order to find the kidnapped princess and help her ascend to the throne. It would seem that the plot perfectly justifies the protagonist if he decides to arrange a perky massacre … and Dishonored indeed, you can walk without hiding, pouring blood into the streets and having sincere pleasure from it. The benefit of weapons and spectacular kill animations are many.

Another thing is that Dishonored reveals its true potential only when the player chooses the path of stealth. You can go through the same mission ten times – and not exhaust all the ways to quietly get to the goal. To climb over the heads of enemies along the beam, very conveniently suspended in one corridor, or jump over the chandeliers in another; move into a rat and whisk into the desired room through the ventilation; stop time or move consciousness into a servant in order to calmly pass the guard; to break into security devices so that they incinerate the security itself – far from a complete list of options. In addition, to kill enemies quietly, turning the corpses right away with disappearing ashes, which is much more fun than an artless bloody bath.

At the same time, Dishonored is pushing with all his might to pass it not only in a gentlemanly style, but also bloodless. Skipping past guards is often faster than cutting everyone out. The gloomy steampunk world is sensitive and encourages those who choose not to get their hands dirty: a good ending, a good NPC attitude, the absence of unnecessary difficulties and hordes of plague rats on the streets. Let the game have enough funds for the lethal elimination of scoundrels, but non-lethal ones are the most elegant, sophisticated … and much more cruel. A quick death is mercy compared to decaying in the mines for many years or slowly withering away from the plague in the outskirts of an empire that it once ruled. At the end of the cunning multi-port, sending the next bastard to eternal exile, you feel satisfaction far deeper than from artless killing.

Dishonored gives you every opportunity to feel like the greatest killer – but there is a special charm in that to be known the greatest killer, without actually killing anyone. For a wealth of choice, ingenuity, an elaborate setting and fine storyline DLC project, Arcane deserves not only the highest ratings, but also the title of the best stealth of the decade. They didn’t do anything cooler in the genre after him – and they are unlikely to do anything in the foreseeable future.