The sneaky history of stealth games

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay/Assault on Dark Athena – 2004, 2009
As far as movie-based games go, this one is completely surprising. Based off the Riddick/Pitch Black series, you play as Vin Diesel in this FPS combat/stealth game. Essentially, you rely on your cunning to escape prison. This involves hiding, shivving and the odd firefight. Dark Athena is a planned remake, but has been in development so long that the campaign has been expanded. Don’t miss it.

Cy Girls – 2004
A generic action-stealth game starring hot chicks. No one remembers. We’re surprised someone at the GR towers did though.

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines – 2004
Your ability to go undetected is heavily influenced by your Dexterity and Stealth ratings in this Source-based RPG. Other noteworthy features: gaining experience by completing quests and not killing enemies, and you’re penalized for using your vampiric abilities in front of humans. Both features influence your gameplay decisions and increase replay value.

Spy Fiction – 2004
The second most notable thing about this game is being able to disguise yourself as any character. The first most notable thing is how forgettable the game was and the lack of impact it made.

Psychonauts – 2005
In Tim Schaefer’s critically well-received puzzle platformer, your character Raz earns different power-ups for his Psi ranking. The invisibility power-up naturally helps Raz avoid enemies.

Haunting Ground – 2005
After a car accident, Fiona wakes up in a haunted castle. In order to escape all the creepy goings-on, she’ll use the help of a white German shepherd. Oh and you need to scold the dog if it doesn’t do what you say. Stealth and dog training all in one game. This would’ve made a great DS game.

Indigo Prophecy – 2005
The predecessor to the amazing-looking Heavy Rain, IP’s a paranormal thriller enabling you to play from multiple sides of a crime. Stealth sequences include the tense opening where you play as the murderer trying to hide a dead body in a crowded diner restroom with cops nearby. Other stealth scenes include flashbacks where you and your brother sneak around a military base in search of a downed UFO. Can currently be downloaded as an Xbox original.

Shadow of the Colossus – 2005
If you haven’t played this masterpiece, then slap yourself. Of the 16 colossi you need to defeat, none are purely stealth-based. In fact, we mention SotC because you need to trick one Colossus into thinking he knows where you are. Then you run down an underground tunnel and pop up behind him. Before he knows what’s happening, you’re climbing wildly on his back.

Resident Evil 4 – 2005
Everyone remembers “holy shit” moments like the opening village battle or mine cart chase. But don’t forget the parts where you sneak around the blind clawed maniac. Or playing as the all-but-useless Ashley as she avoids suits of armor and possessed Spaniards.

Geist – 2005
Not really a stealth game per se, Geist enables you to possess objects and people in order to save the world from a demon. In order to do so, you have to scare the crap out of armed guards and animals so you can get inside their body all Ghost-like and progress through the levels. An overlooked and decent shooter.

Sniper Elite – 2005
What’s stealthier than a sniper game? Nuthin!

The Getaway: Black Monday – 2005
Keeping with Resident Evil 4’s theme of awesome action-shooter for the male protagonists and so-so stealth sequences for the secondary female characters, The Getaway sequel enables you to sneak about as a teenage girl. Very progressive.

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  • paulo-junior - January 9, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    Great list. Only it missed Shadow of Rome.
  • crazyqazqaz - February 7, 2009 4:50 p.m.

    Oh come on!! All Ghillied Up in CoD 4 was amazing! I've played that level at least 20 times!!
  • deathrebellion - February 5, 2009 10:18 p.m.

    Awesome list though U did include useless titles
  • TastyCakesMcgee - February 5, 2009 3:36 a.m.

    TF2 forever!
  • game_over - February 4, 2009 10:57 p.m.

    GoldenEye64 has co-op? Yes.
  • noobeater - February 4, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    great article....i really want to play shadow of collosus or watevere its called since i began looking at this mighty website anyway one you missed was SOCOM:us navy seals...i only played first one but get on ship...shoot out lights...silently knife people...every gun having a silencer getting intel or hostages means getting there quietly or the run/get destroyed/killed also in prison lvl u can make an diversion by setting a bomb at the wall and then running to the prison add it...i wanna be a part of it lol great article all the same most of these games=legends in their own right
  • Jbo87 - February 4, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    I really enjoyed Sniper Elite. As mentioned pulling off a brilliant shot was ultra satisfying and if you could time your shot to an artillery blast then the other enemies wouldn't hear it, hard to do but it felt like a real achievement. It also had a coop mode which worked really well. Getting both players into good positions and picking off guards at the smae time was quality. Definitely a game that could do with a sequel. Next-gen sniping, with explosive headshots would be awesome.
  • game_over - February 4, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    Goldeneye64; Has anyone else, ever, played the co-op mode that was built into the game?
  • aequitas13 - February 4, 2009 2:04 p.m.

    Going through the list again... In addition to Thief, kudos for NOLF, Riddick, SotC, RE4, Bioshock, and Commandos (should read 1998 - love for Commandos 2 or 3?)
  • Sash - February 4, 2009 1:43 p.m.

    Wow, its either very good or very sad that I have played ALL of these games o.o
  • GreyGhost - February 4, 2009 1:31 p.m.

    Good list but ... You forgot Stolen for the PS2 ... Fun game ...
  • averagejoe - February 4, 2009 3:47 a.m.

    Didn't Eternal Darkness have an invisibility spell? And I seem to remember some sneaking about in Chrono Trigger (the prison) and certainly there are stealth elements in Mirror's Edge. Heck, Mario 64 even had stealth to some degree: he could sneak up on sleeping piranha plants or turn invisible to evade enemies with the vanish cap. So..... there!
  • AMayer - February 4, 2009 3:16 a.m.

    I remember I used to play GoldenEye for so long that shotting people in the back of the noggin became second nature.
  • game-thugsta - February 4, 2009 1:34 a.m.

    Snake is and always will be the king of stealth... and in general the best video game character ever.
  • Red - February 4, 2009 1:11 a.m.

    If I had to pick two things that I absolutely hate about games, it would be mandatory stealth sections and mandatory protect the NPC missions. Games that force you to stay hidden AND keep your companions alive/hidden are the wosrt of all. There's almost nothing more irritating than being almost finished with a mission/level only to turn around and find your dumbass companion standing out in the open. MISSION FAILED.
  • cart00n - February 4, 2009 12:47 a.m.

    Not usually a big fan of "stealth games" - there are far too many other, cheaper ways to aggravate myself! However, BG&E was awesome. Assassins' Creed was a whole lot of fun, too.
  • Montag - February 4, 2009 12:39 a.m.

    No System Shock 2? Good call on Deus Ex tho..... Stealth if you like, not because you have to... nice
  • WaldoOfWhere - February 4, 2009 12:22 a.m.

    OMG What About Rainbow Six Vegas or did I miss IT.
  • AnonymouZ - February 3, 2009 11:12 p.m.

    gigglesnort* sneakily
  • rocketfuel - February 3, 2009 10:16 p.m.

    Another game I know is missing from that list is Shadow of Rome. When you took a break from chopping off limbs you'd play as octavian and sneak around hiding from Roman soldiers or killing them and stealing their outfits but otherwise great list. I'm a huge fan of bethesda and the stealth in their games.

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