Re: stealth games.
I think it's the fundamental problem of stealth games that you are given lots of tools to help you make the missions easier, but having those tools also subverts the central gameplay mechanic, that being stealth. Despite how good of a game Hitman: Blood Money is, it had the same problem: the most fun way to play was with nothing but a fiber wire and maybe a couple utility gadgets. Absolutely no guns.
I think one way to solve it might be to have the gadgets be a counter balance to the difficulty progression, as in make the game way, way harder (more targets, time limits, secondary objectives, stage hazards, etc), so that you actually NEED to use the gadgets, and do so creatively in order to win. The downside of that approach is that it might make the game feels less like a stealth game, compromising the core fiction of the game.
Traditionally, stealth games went with the opposite approach: instead of making the levels harder, they'd give you extre challenges and limitations to make the game more fun and difficult. The thing with limitations is that, well, the whole point of them is to cut down on extra gameplay mechanics like gadgets and powerups, resulting in a more purist experience. Which also has the downside of making you feel like you're missing out on all those extra features.
TBH, I think I'd like to see a spinoff of the stealth genre where the objective is to kill literally every NPC on the map, or at least a significant portion of them. With detection resulting in either a failure condition, or extra difficulties. Having more so many more targets to take out would mean there's much more opportunities for failure, thus you'd have to use every tool at your disposal.
I thought conquering forts in FarCry games (only played 4) was actually pretty interesting if you went with the stealth approach. Even though the stealth mechanics were rudimentary, having to literally kill every single NPC inhabiting the base, and alerting even the last NPC could lead to them calling the alarm and turning the game into an FPS (a failure condition in my book, since I prefer stealth), was quite fun.
All this gameplay talk makes me wish I had an academic math education, because I have this hunch that mathematically modeling certain genres of videogames would give a lot of insight on what exactly causes those fundamental self-contradictions in their mechanics. The only genre I can deconstruct in such a way is ARPGs, RPGs, MMOs, etc., mostly because I played them so much.>>46591
I've always been confused with this meme in western movies where the moment the bell rings, all students just get the hell out, ignoring the teacher. Here, you'd get your ass whooped if you did that.