THEY SNUCK THEIR WAY ONTO OUR CONSOLES

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October 20, 2012 by misterblank22

Most heroes in video games are flashy and upfront in their approach. You know their names before you even know why you should. Master Chief didn’t politely knock on any of our doors in 2001 he violently kicked it down. Lara Croft took to sex appeal to get trapped into our heads and cement her name in video game history. But some of our greatest heroes are passive, they take to the shadows or use their convenient invisibility cloak. These heroes are just as important as the green armored alien killer but they do not get as much attention as he does, maybe they just don’t care to reveal themselves to every eye in the public, remember all of them have made a career out of hiding.

GARRETT-THIEF

In some small circles Garrett is a legendary name. To some of us he is the king of stealth and always will be, I am in this small circle that hold Garrett up so high, to me he is the best video game character I have ever controlled.

The Thief games place you on the cramped and narrow streets of The City. It’s a place filled with lies, cults, pagan gods and tons and tons of loot. The City is not a place to get lost in. Garrett has to contend with the Hammerites fighting the Pagans and their Trickster god and the Keepers.

“Propaganda is written by the Victor. History is written by the Observer.” – The Keepers

Thief is a game built within the shadows where it likes to stay. It blew the world away with its new style of gameplay. The stealth genre was still being born with only a handful of games in its arsenal. Thief destroyed what was already done with its dark style. The Thief games are all first person which had never been done in stealth at that point and they deal with hiding in the darkness. Garrett is not strong by any means. Hiding is what keeps the man alive whether or not living is the best thing for him. Garrett deals in the seedy side of The City which is a place most of us would turn and run from on first glance. He deals with ghosts, demons, ancient artifacts, monsters, zombies and too many other strange things. Let’s just say he has a tendency to make bad choices when offered a good amount of loot. He gets his eye snatched out by the Trickster god in the first game due to greed.

Fate can save us sometimes and it saved Garrett. The Metal Age comes with Thief Two. Machines are made resulting in Garrett gaining a mechanical eye to replace the one he had plucked out by the Trickster God. With what he learned in the first game Garrett should have changed up his life style a bit, but he didn’t. By Thief Deadly Shadows he has found himself hunted by the Keepers for the murder of Keeper Caduca, which he did not do. But like most figures of authority they blame the outsider even if there is no evidence to support their claims. Garrett was the outsider and was also written about in their prophecies and labeled “bad”.

                           Keeper Orland gives Garrett a talking to.

Garrett snuck onto our XBOX’s in 2004 and has never left mine. I have beaten it on every difficulty resulting in it giving me no challenge anymore; I still play it just as much as I ever did though. (I own two copies actually). Luckily Thief 4 is slated for our next XBOX system which is reportedly not too far away.

AGENT 47-HITMAN

Where do I begin with 47, the bald clone with that bar code on the back of his head? Stealth games have never been the same after his fist appearance is a good start. The mission objectives are always simple, kill your target and get away, doing it is where the fun comes. You can go about your killing in hundreds of different ways from simply cutting their throat to blowing up their grill as they cook turning them into a scorched version of their previous self, the choice is yours depending on your sadistic level.

Agent 47 is never limited. The player can go about their murderous ways in any way they desire. If you want to blend in you can change your clothes. If you want to throw a corpse over a balcony into a pool at a birthday party go right ahead. The Hitman games bring creativity to the player, it even gives them the option to have a heart and go easy on their victims or save a prostitute from enslavement. With each new installment the stealth is augmented giving 47 endless options. Hitman shattered the possibilities of stealth by making each mission able to be completed differently than the last completion.

Each time I meet Agent 47 he has found himself embroiled in an even crazier situation. In Silent Assassin he is living a simple life in a catholic church with a priest. In Contracts he is wounded and having flashbacks as he is dying. In Blood Money he is being hunted by an opposing assassin agency. November brings us a whole new Hitman called Absolution with a very strange element.

RAIDEN-METAL GEAR SOLID

Raiden defines the phrase “to stealth onto a console” since he surprised every Metal Gear fan into a coma. Solid Snake, the original games hero, was replaced by a young inexperienced blonde named Jack. He wines; he’s sad and lets his heart guide his way. He’s in love which does to him like it does to so many others, it makes them weak. Plus his girlfriend, Rose, has to codec him all of the time to ask him if he remembers what “special” thing happened that day. Poor Jack is on a dangerous military mission with the world at stake he doesn’t have time to play her games. Through it all Raiden or Jack is my favorite Metal Gear character even though I am the only one who feels this way.

Raiden made his first appearance in Metal Gear Solid 2 Sons of Liberty after you have played as Solid Snake for thirty minutes. It comes as a bit of a shock to switch from a rugged bearded man to a fragile blonde on his first mission but it serves the story well, even if you are left with your eyes open, brain fried and drooling in confusion. You also learn why he is so fragile as the story progresses and it is due to his military childhood going under the name Jack the Ripper. Solid Snake fans were not void of him through the game though; he comes back in the form of a supposed terrorist codenamed Pliskin bringing with him that tough exterior he is known for, emotion has no place on the battlefield but cigarettes do.

Raiden took the stealth gameplay in a new direction implementing the sword along with ninja moves. His character really is not realized until Metal Gear Solid 4 where he comes back in an almost unrecognizable form. He’s still carrying the weight of his childhood on his shoulders but he does not fear death this time around, if anything he welcomes it.

Raiden took Metal Gear in a far different direction with his character and stealth gameplay which I feel is a good thing. The first Metal Gear Solid pushed the genre further then Sons of Liberty did but SOL is no doubt a large stepping stone to where stealth games are today.

CONCLUSION

After these three stealth heroes busted onto the gaming scene it is almost mandatory for a game to have a stealth element buried within it. The player can now find a quiet way to get through a mission instead of just running through shooting their gun at anything that moves.

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