Matthew Sawrey

a portfolio of videogame writings

Deconstructing Stealth: Mark of the Ninja


I’d make a terribly clumsy Ninja. There’s rarely a day that goes by in which I don’t awkwardly clip the shoulder of someone passing me on the street, or dribble a drink into my lap having inexplicably missed my mouth. God knows what would happen if I attempted to silently dangle from a lamp post in the dark and slip someone’s keys from their pocket unnoticed.

It’s because of this personal clumsiness that I’ve always had a love of videogame stealth – the fulfilment of an unrealised power fantasy. I love meticulously planning sneaky attacks and executing with silent perfection, or slipping by unnoticed in the shadows. But there’s always been one thing I’ve struggled with in stealth games – they all seem to be clumsy affairs in themselves.

Take Metal Gear Solid 3 for instance. On a recent playthrough of the glorious PS3 HD re-make, I was in the swamps of Tselinoyarsk, prone in some conveniently Snake-width grass, carefully memorising the patrol path of a guard as he walked in circles outside the bombed-out red brick building that housed my evacuation target. As he passed me for a third time I rose from prone to crouched and gently stalked his path, moving ever so slightly faster than my prey. At a hair’s breadth away I R2’d a blade from Snake’s invisible backpack and slowly, silently proceeded to remove him. Flawless.

Read on over at Thunderboltgames.

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This entry was posted on September 26, 2012 by in Articles and tagged , , , , , , .
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