Fodders Favourite: Stealth Game


Ah, good old stealth ’em ups. Having never played one before (at the time), I remember the concept sounded rather strange at first, but then I played a demo that changed everything (more on that later)!

There could only ever be one winner here. My brain did toy with the idea of Deus Ex: Human revolution. However, it being a game where stealth is optional, as opposed to the entire premise, it felt like it wasn’t the best fit. Splinter Cell is obviously an excellent stealth game, but in my opinion lacks character. Mark of the ninja is also worth a mention, as not only is it the only 2D stealth game I think I’ve ever played, but it’s also amazing in its execution.

As I say though, this was only ever really a one horse race, thanks in part to the fore mentioned demo. It was for Metal Gear Solid and probably still stands as my most played freebie, ever to grace the front of a gaming magazine. If the purpose of a demo is to whet your appetite for the full product, than this one honed mine to the point where it could cut diamond. I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted a game more and needless to say, I picked it up at launch without ever looking back.

I still have the demo disc as well

I still have the demo disc as well

Metal gear solid is a ridiculous game. Ridiculously well thought out, with a ridiculous attention to detail. Ridiculously good fun to play, when you’re not busy watching the ridiculously long cut scenes, featuring the games ridiculous characters or listening to a ridiculous codec conversation. Ridiculously ridiculous. I consider myself a fan of the series and when it comes to the story, I’d still be hard pushed to explain to you what the fuck is really going on. It may actually be the only game I’ve played, where I enjoy a story that I don’t even understand. That in itself is quite a ridiculous achievement.

Metal Gear Solid defied gamer logic. Where guards were usually objects to be dispatched via the medium of bullets to the face, feathering with arrows or jumps to the head, Metal Gear flipped the switch, making them the hunter and you the prey. Brains needed to replace brawn, as you crept around the levels, avoiding detection at all cost.

Slower paced action, but just as intense

Slower paced action, but just as intense

It wasn’t simply that Metal Gear used stealth as a mechanic, it was the flawless way it implemented it and the numerous little details that came together to create such a clever experience. Your primary concern was staying out of sight, but that wasn’t all you needed to worry about. Guards could be alerted to your presence by any noise you made, or even the footprints you left behind. This made the guards seem much more intelligent, much more life-like, to the point you could even use it to your advantage, using sound to lure them in one direction, as you snuck past in another.

Getting through the levels undetected was such a rewarding process. You’d need to watch the guards, learn their patrol patterns and find weaknesses. You needed to scan the environment, looking out for search lights and security cameras. You could also use the environment to your advantage, climbing under trucks and other obstacles to stay out of sight. This is also the game that turned hiding in a cardboard box and comically creeping around, into an iconic act.

Become a master of disguise

Become a master of disguise (Ok…a dude in a box) 

Should you be seen, your best choice was to run away and hide whilst the guards searched for you. It may seem ludicrous that, after a given amount of time, the guards simply gave the all clear and returned to their patrols, but it added a real sense of tension as you hid in the shadows, hoping they wouldn’t come your way, waiting for the timer to count down.

When it comes to the series as a whole, it could be said that Metal Gear Solid 3 is the cream of the crop. However, upon playing Metal Gear Solid 4 – with it’s flashback to Metal Gear Solids intro level – it confirmed to me that the original game is still my firm favourite.

Maturely immature and seriously stupid, Metal Gear Solid is a ridiculous master piece that everyone should play.

Leave a comment


  1. MGS was definitely something special although I bet it is painful to play today. My pick for top stealth game would be Mark of the Ninja so I am glad that got a mention.

  1. Fodders Favourites | Fodders Gaming Blog

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