You May Have Noticed I'm Not Used To Being Quiet

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 9.648% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Usually, I go in guns blazing.  That’s because I don’t have the time to be stealthy.
“Stealthy” in videogames means “you creep everywhere at half-pace, waiting for guards to walk by, hoping their broken goddamned AI doesn’t spot you out of the corner of one visual cone and call every guard in the world in upon you.” Plus, I have a goldfish’s sense of direction, so no matter how many maps you throw at me, I get lost.  So what inevitably happens is that I wind up getting lost, then trying to find my way back in slow-motion, hoping no guards see me or the trail of bodies I’ve left behind.
Or I could just kill the guards, then kill any other guards who come at me, and never have to worry about them again.  This seems like a better option.  Break out the bullets.
(Plus, for some reason, designers have decided that “crouch” means “stealth.”  I’ve seen sneaky people.  They walk a lot whenever possible, and usually the guy hunch-lumping his way along the sidewalk draws more attention.  Plus, I keep getting cramps in my thighs imagining crouch-walking for, like, an entire day, as videogame characters seem to do.)
Except for Deus Ex, I started stealthy and have stayed stealthy, and for no apparent reason am very much enjoying it this time.  I don’t know why.  I’ve learned that there are a lot more ways that “stealth” can go wrong, because one impatient move sets off the whole damn alarm system.  You have to check every corner, monitor every footstep, hack every terminal.  Which means a lot more reloads, because I walked across a hallway and OH FUCK HE NOTICED, HERE’S SEVEN GUARDS, MISE WELL RELOAD.
I am like five levels in on Deus Ex, and with a straight-up shooty approach I’m pretty sure I’d be halfway to winning the game.  Instead, I’m repeatedly trying to get the near-perfect level.
Still, I think I am at least getting the thrill of the stealth player, which is that I am a different kind of God.  With the guns-out method, I am the Avatar of Arnie – they turn into blood fountains the moment I lay my eyes upon them.  But there is no fear; hell, there’s no time for fear.  In fact, they all charge at me, so confident that they can destroy me, that their brains are rapidly-expanding chunks of desegregated neurons before the Is this really a wise idea? thought begins to trickle through their neural networks.
With the stealth, it’s a trick; they never know I’m here, but their world is falling apart around them.  The only time they see me is when they stumble across a body, or notice that the turrets are now working for me – and then there’s that delightful moment of them going, “Hey!  What’s happening?” and I feast on their panic before hello, boys, did you miss me?  I’m the early-Rambo mode, the man who hides in bizarre places and drops down, the Batman.
Of course, I’m still notably terrible at stealth because I treat the guards like Pokemon.  I’m supposed to avoid the ones who aren’t bothering me, but I hunt every one down and knock them out.  I can’t leave if there’s a man standing; they all have to be heaped in the corner, made senseless puppets.  In this sense, I become John Wayne Cleaver’s wet dream.
Still, it’s fascinating.  And has the benefit of making the videogame take a lot longer to finish. So I may have to try this approach again in the future.

1 Comment

  1. JerryKnowsCode
    Sep 1, 2011

    Your experience with Deux Ex mirrors mine 100%. I’ve gotten the Smooth Operator and Ghost bonuses on every area and I haven’t left a single guard conscious. I’ve never reloaded a game from the last save as many times as I have with this game. It’s a freaking obsession. I absolutely CANNOT be seen or I reload.
    Best g-damn game in years.

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