Why Are There So Few Stealth Games These Days?

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Of the many different play styles, genres, and sub-genres that have emerged in gaming over the many years, lots of them have either morphed into something else or gone away entirely. Turn-based RPGs have largely turned towards being more real-time action RPGs, the point-and-click adventures of the days of Myst and Riven have largely become more interactive first-person adventures like Gone Home.

Horror games became horror/action, then became horror again. Obviously, there will always be niche’ indy games that are exceptions but I’m referring to the mainstream here. Likewise, the stealth genre, which used to see new iterations roughly every 5 seconds, seems to have almost totally vanished in recent years.

It wasn’t too long ago when every studio wanted to get in on the idea of sneaking around enemies in games and accomplishing objectives without being spotted. Spy thrillers, espionage, and free-form open-ended sandboxes that put the responsibility of getting from point A to B undetected squarely on your shoulders were a huge deal. Yet now, you’d be hard-pressed to find more than a small handful of games totally dedicated to this idea in the way that they were just one console generation ago. But why is this? What the hell happened to stealth games?

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💬 Comments
Author

I love stealth games, I get greater satisfaction getting through an area not killing anyone and unseen than I do running around like Rambo!

Author — Super Steve

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Have you noticed the general population has grow increasingly dumb? We want boom boom shiny games not thinly think games.

Author — Rebels r We

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Man I just wanna see chaos theory remastered

Author — THEULTIMATEGAMER

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I hope Ghost Of Tsushima could be a great stealth game. The game seems to have a samurai or ninja choice.v

Author — Emrys

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I started seeing a decline in stealth games around the time gaming online was becoming a thing.

Author — Spartan Heart

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Am i the only person that when sneaking around in a game my heart rate goes up

Author — Neooo

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The cardboard box that you have is ideal for fooling your enemies. It’s a very important tool for infiltration missions. I can’t begin to count the number of agents whose lives were saved by a cardboard box. Look I’m not exaggerating when I say the success of your mission hinges on how you use that cardboard box. But in the end, a cardboard box is only made of paper. Handle it with care or it won’t be of much use to you. Don’t think of it as just another box. Treat it with love... Don’t be rough. Okay?

Author — Raiden

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Because Ubisoft won’t get off their asses & make a next gen Splinter Cell

Author — joseph lemons

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The MGS box is still a more effective stealth item than an invisibility cloak.

Author — Just Some Guy without a Mustache

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The real reason is because everyone has ADHD, and don't want to admit it. So now we're in an age where people happily fork over money for a skin in an repetitive online game.

Author — Root00

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Several reasons why. Stealth games were always a niche genre, just like horror games. Stealth games requires patience and thinking skills from the player to be enjoyable, therefore they are either too demanding and/or time-consuming for a lot of gamers (especially in modern times). They just never sold as well as action/adventure games.
The gaming industry has changed drastically, to the point that publishers and/or developers don't want to risk making games from a genre that is certain to make less profit. That's why developers choose to add stealth elements into a modern action/adventure game instead of making a pure stealth game. This has further damaged the reputation of the stealth genre imo as the stealth experience feels tacked-on and watered down in most games that have stealth elements. Open-world game design and stealth, for instance, just don't mix well.

Author — Christopher Boye

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I actually dig the way stealth is being integrated into a lot of AAA titles. I'm still all about a nice slow burn like Splintercell or Thief though

Author — M Giebus

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I love stealth. Slowly sneaking, strategy, and tactics.

Author — roachxyz

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The Evil Within & The Last of Us have options for you to stealth & even in times where it's required mostly.

Author — Doran Mitchell

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Metal gear solid was such an amazing game and it was definitely my first stealth game but when splinter cell came out that’s when stealth really felt good I think the splinter cell games did stealth the best even though mgs is a better franchise with better story and characters when it came to stealth splinter cell did it perfect for me especially with the awesome light and shadow mix. The only other stealth games I loved was thief but they were more mediocre

Author — Gray Matter94

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I was literally just looking for a stealth game the other day and ended up asking myself this.

Author — Goofiest Goober

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Maan Chaos Theory was on a level all it's own. Blows my mind how good it still looks as well. Me n my brother played CT into oblivion. Best in the series by far.

Author — BAN1SH3DB3AST

Author

We NEED a new Tenchu game. Every time I remember it nostalgia hits like a truck.


Ps: The video should have mentioned The last of Us, while not an stealth game per se, its stealth it's very well done, immersive and functional.

Author — Nahuel zagfor

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Assassins Creed was a game like that but they mess it up with this dumb rpg mess

Author — Dark Death47xxx

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it’s mainly because no one had the Patients or skill to actually do it

Author — Darklillth