I have often lamented the rise of "twitch gaming;" i.e., much lower attention spans and the general prevalence of shooters have hindered other genres and the creation of different gameplay mechanics.
However, while it's probably true that the days of pure stealth adventures are gone – in lieu of the freedom found in games like Dishonored , where one has a choice – it seems gamers everywhere still appreciate the stealthy style. Of course, this is all assuming the sales of Bethesda's latest product match the overwhelming critical acclaim…and I think they will. Certainly not Call of Duty numbers, but even so, I predict a definite hit.
Thing is, while one does have a choice in Dishonored , the game sort of encourages the more patient, strategic approach. This is because the more you kill and the more chaos you cause, the darker and more depressing the city gets (more rats, more Weepers, etc.) Furthermore, the setup is very much designed to encourage sneak attacks as well; it's not like there are a bunch of enemies running at you the instant you step foot on the street. But if you really think about it, this isn't the only example of stealth's seemingly entrenched popularity.
Look at Assassin's Creed , arguably the second-biggest name in video games today. Again, you certainly have the option of drawing your sword on just about any enemy that stands in your way, but none of the games are set up to encourage that sort of approach. Just the opposite, in fact. Everything, from the way the enemies are positioned to the very controls, mechanics, and skills, points towards a stealthy format. I'm not sure if that will shift a little in ACIII – it might – but for at least four titles, AC has really focused heavily on stealth. And most people play it that way, too.
Granted, we're talking about games for the hardcore, here. But doesn't it sort of give you a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling to know there are still a lot of those core gamers out there who crave these sort of experiences?
Related Game(s): Dishonored