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I have been playing a computer game called “Hitman: Contracts”. I’m not very far into it yet.

In this game you, a hitman, get chucked into an environment and are given various tasks like “Kill Count Vladmir Wossname.” and “Also kill his son, Norbert.” and “Prevent Person X from obtaining photographs of person Y with person Z” and suchlike. And the less stealthy you are, the less rewards you get. It’s very geared towards sneakin’ about and being stealthy. Although the game is very open-ended about how you do these things, and the level designers have deliberately left in multiple ways to do it, the game rates your performance from “Silent Assassin” downwards. depending on your sneaky stealthyness.

I am not stealthy. My rating is currently “Mass Murderer”.

It strikes me, however, that this hankering for stealth is is purely subjective. Who decided that stealth was always good? Although I can see a market for Ghost-Who-Walks, Shadowy Stealthy Sudden-Death-From-The-Darkness hitmen, I can ALSO see a market for my kind of hitman, the hitman who ALWAYS picks the biggest, most violent weapon available, and who’s pissed off that while the game has a button for “Crouch/Move Stealthily”, it DOESN’T have a button for “..And Set Fire To The Place On The Way Out.”

Sure, sometimes you might want your enemies to just die, and no-one knows why they died or what caused it, as this will encourage an environment of fear. But I am 100% sure that there are also times that you want EVERYONE to know that they died, they died messily and noisily, and that this was cause because someone who knew them was very very irked. And this will ALSO cause an environment of fear.

And that’s when they’ll call me.

1 Comment

  1. I’ve been playing Tenchu, Wrath of Heaven on the PS2 – similar sort of deal, except no guns. Lots of stealth stuff. Very cool animations when you get a stealth kill on someone.

    I keep stuffing up on the stealth end of things, and getting really low ratings. Too impatient…