Where are Agent 47, Sam Fisher and Co. headed? - column

Where are Agent 47, Sam Fisher and Co. headed? - column

Where are Agent 47

Once upon a time, there was a genre called stealth adventure. People all over the world knew and liked this type of entertainment. Let's travel back in time, to the mid-2000s. Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater appears on the market at the end of 2004 and is celebrated by gamers and testers - the adventure from Kojima Productions even received nominations for Game of the Year. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is also in the starting blocks. The direct successor to the already successful Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow takes the franchise of the developer Ubisoft Montréal to a completely different level.

Table of contents

1 The last of their kind 2 Bigger, further, faster , better 3 overpopulation Last but not least we have the hotly awaited hitman: Blood Money: The release date of the fourth part about the bald hit man Agent 47 is set for May 2006. A quick look into the crystal ball shows that with Blood Money IO Interactive brings one of the best games of the time to the PC.

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The last of their kind

The first two parts of the Metal Gear series already received dream ratings. The success story continued in the third main game with Snake Eater. Source: Konami Unfortunately, let's come back to the present. But why, unfortunately? It's simple: we have now reached the year 2021 and stealth games are very much threatened with extinction. The last Splinter Cell was released with Blacklist 2013. Since then, fans have been waiting in vain for the announcement of a sequel or a remake / remaster. With the fifth main game called The Phantom Pain, the last Metal Gear Solid came on the market in 2015 that bears the signature of Hideo Kojima. Konami and the creator of the series then went their separate ways and Metal Gear Survive, released in 2018, could not live up to the expectations of fans by far.

B It has been over seven years since the last part of the Splinter- Cell series passed. Source: Ubisoft is all about the Hitman series, which started a reboot five years ago and brought the "World of Assassination" trilogy to a grandiose conclusion with Hitman 3 last January. "It's not that wild after all," some will say now. However, interest in these stealth titles has rapidly declined and only hardcore fans of the genre are eagerly awaiting new information and games. If so, then nowadays only the indie section serves the genre besides Hitman, and not in excess. But what could be the reason?

Bigger, farther, faster, better

Hitman 3 (buy now) actually caught a perfect time to launch: the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X / S only launched in November last year, but both struggle with a lack of triple A titles. The real figurehead during this period, Cyberpunk 2077, turned out to be as unfinished, at least on consoles, as BER Airport has over the past ten years. And we were even able to count new indie games on one or two hands in January. Nevertheless, there was no hype surrounding Agent 47. Only after consistently strong test results did Hitman 3 get a touch more attention, also on social media platforms such as YouTube or Twitch. Although it is the most successful Hitman game to date, according to the latest information regarding sales figures, it is still far from open-world or action-adventure blockbuster colleagues.

The game industry has changed faster and faster in recent years. It is not uncommon for games to become almost cinematic masterpieces.

For many to this day the best hitman of the series: Blood Money turned Agent 47 into an icon of the games industry. Source: IO Interactive productions are more complex and expensive than ever. The effort expended is increasing every year and many titles would like to be everything and have everything to offer: A story gem in a huge open world with blockbuster graphics, an innovative multiplayer and best of all, a battle royale mode as a cherry on the cake. Incidentally, that could be a reason why many games are currently coming onto the market in a very immature manner. But that's another topic for another day.

As the games get bigger and bigger, so do the expectations of the players. For example, a shooter can no longer just be a shooter, it must also have a good story. Even Doom wants to tell a (comparatively) profound story with Doom Eternal!

Even sports games are not protected from these changes: suddenly titles like FIFA or the official Formula 1 game from Codemasters are given stories. In only a few cases, these plans are actually implemented well, in most games, as well as the last two mentioned, the project completely flopped. This shift across the industry is hitting the stealth genre hardest. Because it just became superfluous in the past few years.

Like Chaos Theory, Splinter Cell: Double Agent also let us cope with some missions in a relaxed couch-co-op mode with a friend. Source: Ubisoft More and more triple A titles rely on optional stealth mechanics and refined them with each new game. Regardless of whether it is multiplatformers like Assassin's Creed and Tomb Raider or exclusive games like Uncharted and The Last of Us, each of these blockbusters can be mastered almost completely in stealth mode. Even first-person shooters like Call of Duty are given a number of missions that reward silent action. In return, however, stealth games remained stealth games. Even in the great Hitman 3, we found fault with the spongy controls in our test as soon as Agent 47 gets into shootouts or fistfights. Actually, that's not entirely fair, as the franchise wants to stay true to its principles. Nevertheless, the question arises for many: Why play a pure stealth adventure when we can get a package of several gameplay mechanics for a similar price?


is camouflage the alpha and omega of our heroes. Agent 47 manages this with the help of disguises, Sam Fisher in the dark and Solid Snake melts into the environment. Source: Ubisoft Perhaps there are other reasons why the interest in stealth adventures kept falling and falling. Because - as already described at the beginning of the text - sneaking was damn cool and extremely popular. In addition to the Hitmans and Splinter Cells of this world, there used to be a number of games that put silent action in the foreground. But we know from everyday life: Even the most beautiful things in life wear out at some point. This phenomenon may have harmed the stealth genre as well. But at this point there is also another chance for games of this kind to come back into the limelight. Battle royale and open world madness will possibly overtake the same fate in the foreseeable future. Game worlds are already shrinking in titles such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla compared to their predecessors and development studios are deliberately not relying on the "Battle Royale" card, as is the case with 343 Industries in the shooter Halo Infinite, which will be released later this year. The climax has long been reached and the current top dogs are clearing the way for either new, unused or returning genres.

Why exactly stealth games have lost so enormously in popularity cannot be determined by one determining factor. It's a mix of all of the above. One can only hope that the genre will hold out and not completely disappear from the scene. In order not to end this text with a pessimistic "and if you haven't died, it won't be long", maybe a little appeal to all gamers: Don't let this brilliant genre die out and enjoy the video games again, which in between Take little pace out of the already hectic life!

Do you still feel like pure stealth gameplay or do you prefer the complete package, where you have your own choice of game style? Let us know in the comments.

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