PC Games that employ stealth are hard to find. Games that do it well are even more obscure, as fans of this genre will attest. When it is done right however, a good stealth game is cause for much rejoicing (immediately followed by hours of intense gameplay). The following five titles have found a way to use stealth successfully, and they are a true joy to play through. If you are a fan of this genre and you don’t have these, you need to find a copy as soon as possible. While some of these titles are a bit older, they are noteworthy for providing stealthy gaming, and they’re worth hunting down to add to your gaming library.
Thief: Deadly Shadows
One of the oldest - and possibly most successful - stealth games comes from the Thief series. Deadly Shadows is a defining title for the stealth genre because it involves stealth in a medieval setting. This game uses the darkness and a stealthy thief/assassin as its main character. It doesn’t stop there however. Since most of the light sources are torches, you are provided with special water arrows to put them out. Moss arrows become available to cover the ground so that you can avoid being heard by the guards. Guards aren’t the only ones who pay attention, so throughout the entire game, you have the opportunity to use stealth to achieve more ambitious ends than just staying out of sight. Despite the age of this game, the mechanics behind stealth in this game are very effective, and you’ll find yourself enjoying the title from beginning to end.
Chronicles of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay
No list of stealth games would be complete without mentioning The Chronicles Of Riddick: Escape From Butcher Bay. This game is the beginning of a story told not only in two games but also three great movies. There is a second game by the name of Assault On Dark Athena that follows this one. So why is the first game mentioned instead of the second? Unfortunately, Assault on Dark Athena suffers from serious bugs, crashes, and a true lack of playability that the publisher has yet to rectify.
Buture Bay, however, runs just fine and allows you to utilize stealth in a truly ruthless manner. Riddick is a hardcore criminal, and he reminds his enemies why they should be afraid of the dark. Silence is golden in this game, and after a while, Riddick obtains enhancements to his eyes that let him see very well in complete darkness. It really doesn’t get much better.
Hitman: Blood Money
Imagine you’re an assassin, and you’re so good that nobody (alive) has ever seen your face. This is the premise behind the Hitman series of games. The entire series uses stealth very effectively, but the most recent title has a few nice features that mark it as an improvement on predecessors. The idea here is that you are an elite assassin that fulfills the contracts without anyone knowing you were ever there.
You are even able to unlock bonus weapons if you finish a mission with the Silent Assassin rating. In order to accomplish this, you need to make it through with no alerts, no dead bodies found, and killing nobody else except for the target. You also have to usually do it using the equivalent of piano wire, which means these are up-close-and-personal assassinations. The Blood Money version takes this a step further, allowing you to cause “accidents” to happen so that the deaths look “normal”.
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
The Splinter Cell series of games also features a great deal of stealthy gameplay. You are a covert operative who goes in to do the work nobody else can. While every one of the games in this series deserves mention, Pandora Tomorrow is the culmination of all the developer has learned about the use of stealth in a game. You get high tech gadgets, a silenced pistol, the ability to shoot out or shut off lights, and a visual system that is unparalleled. Instead of just the usual nightvision goggles employed elsewhere, you get to switch between heat vision, night vision, and even a view that shows where the electricity is flowing. There are all sorts of tactics you can employ in this game to lure your enemies into the dark before silently putting them down. There is also sometimes the necessity to NOT kill everyone, which is a nice twist that makes things interesting (if sometimes downright difficult).
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
Being a vampire, you can understand why you would want to be stealthy. Bloodlines gives you stealth gaming with a vampiric twist. The entire game is fairly dark (since you’re allergic to sunlight), but being silent and deadly in this game is really fun. There is also the problem with feeding on humans in public, another reason to stay hidden. The game also gives you bonus points for getting around enemies without killing everyone in a rabid bloodlust. While the weapons in the game are fairly average, the opportunities for sneaking around are everywhere. You can even try different vampire clans to see how much better or worse they are at being stealthy. Nosferatu for example, is extremely challenging since they scare off everyone on sight. This particular title is ideal for fans of the stealth genre, both for its uniqueness and its replayability.