Tag Archives: Espionage

And now for a slight change of tone…

When it comes to gameplay styles anyone who knows me will tell you I’ll take the stealth option (if necromancer isn’t available, obviously). Actually, anyone who really knows me will tell you that given the chance I’ll dismantle the game mechanics and play a naked 92 year-old unarmoured woman wielding game-breakingly powerful magic. While we’re on the subject of Elder Scrolls games, I got Skyrim yesterday, but since it won’t get through the tutorial without crashing I’m having to make do with other, less broken games until one of two things happens:

  1. Bethesda release a patch
  2. Diablo 3 comes out and all other games are rendered irrelevant

In the meantime I present Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole, a retro-style 2D stealth game that proves once and for all that stealthy doesn’t have to mean slow. In fact, given the seamless integration of online leaderboards driving even casual players to shave milliseconds off their level times, Stealth Bastard proves that stealth games can be downright fast.

Most levels will begin with you cautiously edging around figuring the route, discovering traps, learning the rhythms of robots (with lasers), turrets (with lasers), cameras (with lasers) and lasers (with, oh…). Once you’ve finished the level though, once you’ve seen the path, the level really begins. What started as hesitant, uncertain movement becomes a rapid dance of running, jumping and crawling through the shadows. Even the early levels lead to intense bursts of satisfaction as you watch your little pixellated infiltrator pull off a slick sequence of actions, making it look effortless. The first time you manage to catch that moving platform on the first pass rather than having to hang from a ledge, watching the timer tick by, waiting for the platform to come round again… no, stealth doesn’t have to be slow.

You’ll be zapped, lasered, chunked and squelched, dying over and over and over, but you’re thrown back in so quickly, resuming at intelligently-spaced checkpoints so death is rarely frustrating. That Stealth Bastard manages to remain a stealth game at all – this being a genre where players are willing to sit in the shadows for minutes on end, watching and waiting, choosing their moment – is an amazing feat.

Stealth Bastard is fun, charming, and free. Play it.