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Styx: Master of Shadows - a stealthgame actually about stealth


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Ooh, I'd seen mention of this earlier in the year, and just assumed it was an RPG prequel to Of Orcs and Men. So glad you decided to put this topic up (and subtitle it to make it clear it's an actual stealth game) - it's going straight on the To Buy list.

A proper, 3D stealth game being released in 2014! Who'd have thought it :wub:

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C'mon Gerbik, Blacklist was surprisingly excellent. So that's two stealth games in the last decade.

Haven't played it. But I have played Conviction, and that is a perfect example of what I'm trying to say in the opening post: a game being marketed as a stealth game but in reality it's more of a hybrid between different playstyles and broken up by set-pieces because the devs are afraid that the majority of the players will find nothing but stealth too boring. I'm not judging Conviction or Dishonored or any other stealth-like title released in the last decade in terms of quality or fun, I'm just saying that Styx is the only 'pure' stealth game released in over a decade. A game purely about stealth in the same way that the old school classics were, instead of the stealth being just one element of many potential playstyles or limited to specific parts of the game. No shooting, no melee*, no alternative playstyles, no set-pieces breaking up the sneaking, no linear traversal apart from the opening tutorial - just stealth, take it or leave it.

How similar is Blacklist to Conviction and how similar is it to Chaos Theory? I have been waiting for it to hit 5 Euro or so in a Steam sale before giving it a go.

*it does have melee, but the fights in Styx are just QTE bits instead of actual melee. Getting spotted and getting into fight is really a fail-state and the QTE 'battle' that ensues is a last chance attempt to get out of it. I always reloaded. For the sequel they can take this bit out as far as I'm concerned, it just leads to players whose only experience with stealth is Dishonered and Assassin's Creed complaining about the combat being crap - instead of realising that combat should be avoided at all costs.

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I've played Blacklist and it is very enjoyable, and some of its side-missions are excellent, open stealth missions. For the most part it mixes up action beats with the stealth though, and the majority of its story levels are much more directed,* encouraging bursts of stealth and violence in reasonably linear environments, rather than encouraging you to meticulously sneak your way around broad areas.

Mr. Gerbik, you should definitely play it - it's far, far better than Conviction and the pure stealth side-missions are very enjoyable, with open levels to stealth your way in and out of and some properly challenging setups. I can't compare it to Chaos Theory though, because I, er, never played it - the first Splinter Cell being so completely linear put me off the series for a good while. The fact that Blacklist seemed to sink without a trace is a real shame.

Also, Shinobido was released nine years ago, so there is actually one decent 3D 'true' stealth game that was released in the past decade, just ;)

*and really feel it, with the environments frequently limited in ways that feel completely artificial, relying on unlikely roadblocks to keep you focussed.

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I've played Blacklist and it is very enjoyable, and some of its side-missions are excellent, open stealth missions. For the most part it mixes up action beats with the stealth though, and the majority of its story levels are much more directed,* encouraging bursts of stealth and violence in reasonably linear environments, rather than encouraging you to meticulously sneak your way around broad areas.

Mr. Gerbik, you should definitely play it - it's far, far better than Conviction and the pure stealth side-missions are very enjoyable, with open levels to stealth your way in and out of and some properly challenging setups. I can't compare it to Chaos Theory though, because I, er, never played it - the first Splinter Cell being so completely linear put me off the series for a good while. The fact that Blacklist seemed to sink without a trace is a real shame.

Also, Shinobido was released nine years ago, so there is actually one decent 3D 'true' stealth game that was released in the past decade, just ;)

*and really feel it, with the environments frequently limited in ways that feel completely artificial, relying on unlikely roadblocks to keep you focussed.

Blacklist is still on my wishlist! And about Shinobido - guess who created the Shinobido thread on this forum in the first place :ph34r: Like I said, I knew I was forgetting a few titles apart from Mark of the Ninja when I said 'a decade' but the point still stands.

PS4 as well you say?

Interessant. I'll be making a purchase.

I spotted a Dutchie! I didn't know! I thought I had all the Dutch people on Rllmuk figured out. In all seriousness, I've seen loads of people complaining about the loading times and various bugs in the PS4 version. One of the great things about the PC version is that you can reload and try again almost instantly, it takes one or two seconds max. Apparently the PS4 loading times are horrendous and in a game like this that would really spoil your enjoyment - but I can't confirm those internet complaints myself.

Ground Zeroes as well, I think. Though it's not a 'full game' I guess.

Metal Gear?! I mentioned the Metal Gear games in the opening post....

And I didn't like Ground Zeroes, sorry :P

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Nice post Gerbik! Will be sure to check this out at some point.

And wiper. Mentioning Shinobido gets me all nostalgic, like :wub: that game man.

Thanks! And you really should check it out, I think you'd enjoy it since it resembles Tenchu (and therefore to a lesser degree Shinobido) in the sense that inbetween the crouching and sneaking you're also running and climbing around really fast to stay hidden.

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How similar is Blacklist to Conviction and how similar is it to Chaos Theory? I have been waiting for it to hit 5 Euro or so in a Steam sale before giving it a go.

Despite borrowing the foundations of Conviction it's actually closer to Chaos Theory in design, and to be honest I think the level design in Blacklist often offers more tactical scope than either of them. It's the only Splinter Cell that actively encourages ghosting as much as possible, for a start, as opposed to the luxury of knocking everyone out. It still has the occasional scripted story setpiece, but the actual stealth mechanics are rock solid with a plethora of ways to approach, fuck with, or entirely avoid your enemies, who are themselves quite ruthless and effective in their pursuit of you, rather than robotic patrolling spanners with goldfish memory who can't see five meters ahead of themselves.

For a stealth connoisseur such as yourself it's a must-buy to be honest, far better than all that Thi4f/Hitman: Absolution shite you've been lamenting at the very least.

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  • 1 month later...

This is now in the PS4 Black Friday deals for a tempting £14.99 (£11.99 for Plus users) which means I'm probably going to be picking it up. I know the game had a patch on Steam but did the PS4 version get any little tweaks to iron out some of the niggles people had with the controls?

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I came in to ask the same thing - tempted by this, a video review of the PC version I saw looked ace apart from the ledge grabbing which they said was well broken.

Not played it myself but I've seen a lot of folks slagging off the complainers about this saying they just didn't read the instructions properly and that it works as designed basically.

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  • 2 months later...

Yep, rock solid stealth game here with the levels seemingly designed to support different routes and approaches, unlike a certain recent addition to the Thief franchise. A couple of times I have chosen to backtrack or change levels (i.e verticality) to avoid a seemingly impossible little section (don't have many options available yet). Just realised typing that out that I probably could have used invisibility a few times. :doh: but forgot about it.

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