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Stealth based gameplay in a Sonic game, Could it work?


8ther
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Could stealth based gameplay ever work in a sonic game, i mean say Sega ever decides(though it will never happen) to make a Sonic game with Rouge or Espio playable, thier gameplay would use the standard get to the gold ring formula except with some changes in level design to make the stages less linear and more stealth based, little or no rings and the presence of some unkillable enemies with searchlights similar to the owl badnik from Zone 2 of Silent Forest whom if you get caught by, will be hit by an attack which will always result in a sudden death regardless of number of ring collected.

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I'd actually nominate Shadow for stealth because of his popularity and his status as a small superweapon, myself. That he's a top agent of GUN adds some more credibility to this idea, I feel. It also would help him serve as a foil of sorts to Sonic - whereas Sonic likes to leap right into the action and cause as much havoc as possible, Shadow's a more reserved type that prefers to do what needs to be done with minimal collateral damage.

Shadow's energy-based attacks make him especially useful in such situations, if SEGA explored that route: he wouldn't need to bring any weapons with him as he could simply generate them. Melee weapons, explosive weapons, projectiles, he's got it all.

Or heck, here's an idea I always liked. Since he obviously has hyper-regenerative capabilities, he could rip his quills out and possibly use them as some sort of weapon (melding them together with energy, maybe?); the quills would regrow and he'd have himself a nifty little shank. Failing that he could always default to the good ole beam sword.

I can see a Sonic stealth game working with any character besides Sonic himself. Iizuka confessed that spinoffs basically exist when they want to use the strength of the Sonic brand name, but don't think it fits the gameplay people think of when they think Sonic. It's easy to say we should make a new IP altogether if it's a different genre, but why do that when you can cash in on an established mascot? tongue.png

Edited by Ogil.exe Maurice
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You're asking us whether you can combine Sonic, a game typically associated with speed and twitch gameplay, with the stealth genre, a playstyle typically associated with patience, forethought and lots of waiting? How exactly do these two things meet without directly contradicting each other?

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As a main focus for the game, I'm not so sure. I could however, see Stealth Gameplay working out IF it's optional and a side part of the core gameplay.

 

For example on the lines of say, Star Fox 64 (don't worry I'm going somewhere with this), have a level where you're avoiding spotlights while trying to get from Point A to Point B. If you are seen, either enemies (or certain tougher ones) could start spawning, OR (and I like this idea), Point B is closed down and the player is forced down a path that leads towards Point C (which is possibly slower and less exciting/rewarding than the previous Point B sequence of the level, but not to the point of wrecking the level design completely).

 

I believe White Acropolis tried to do this, but I think it could be done SO much better (especially if the paths being open ended part is involved too and if it were in a game that was actually finished).

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Nepenthe is right. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qff0akDKMEE

 

I know this game is 2d and much slower paced, but there are elements of a platformer.

 

As for a 3d example: I know most wouldn't think of Assassins Creed as fast, but with this new parkour gameplay in place, we could have sonic (Ok shadow) destroying powerful badniks/other enemies, we see lost world may have a simple way of using strategy to defeat enemies that harkens back to sonic heroes. (2 attacks, but bounce and spindash don't count) Imagine while exploring large diverse levels with the parkour in place.

Edited by Blue Star Blur
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I LOVE stealth games. I can't tell you how much I love sneaking around and how immersive these games can be. And I would love to see Sonic take on its own style of the genre. But we're biting a lot more than we can chew with just the concept alone.

 

One thing with stealth games is that it heavily punishes you if you get caught, which is what warrants you to be stealthy in the first place. And when you do get noticed, you need an exit strategy that can get you out just as quickly as you wait for the enemies to forget about you and going back to their patrols.

 

That, and as far as combat goes, you should be able to take out enemies without alerting the other enemies in the area of your presence. it can be complex depending on what you do to add variety. Metal Gear series uses regular boxes, corners, tight spaces, areas under vehicles, lockers, and the like for hiding places and a variety of weapons for taking out enemies, such as tranquilizers for non-lethal takedowns, or regular guns for lethal takedowns in addition to melee abilities for the same effects. Level design is very important when thinking about a stealth game, to the point I'd say it's far more important than it would be if you were working on a platformer like Sonic.

 

And while you should still be able to kill enemies, those enemies will use swarm or flanking tactics to overpower or flush you out of places should you trigger an alert.

 

In Sonic's case for Rouge and Espio, you'll either be making them much weaker glass cannons or gamebreakers that don't even need to worry about stealth. And this is very complicated to think of for a platformer where enemies should take 1 or 2 hits at most no matter where you hit them, because there's hardly any point to be sneaky around a mook that takes few hits while all you need is a single ring to keep yourself alive. Now you could solve this by having enemies instakill you, but then you need to have the level design acommodate defense so that the character can avoid getting instakill. You could also solve this by doing away with instakill and giving enemies health, but then you run into yet another problem that we've already had with enemies in Heroes, ShTH, and Unleashed's nighttime stages. In either case, you're probably going to have to rework a lot of things, and this runs a massive risk of being a genre roulette that can be completely different from the main style.

 

So you can see the number of roadblocks we have so far.

 

But wait, there's another block - given how this series is about high mobility, that's an even tougher puzzle to arrange to blend a stealth game in: move too fast, and there's no point in being sneaky when you can blur your way through, move too slow and it doesn't feel like it belongs in a Sonic game. And that's especially saying that most games out there are of the patient "waiting stealth" variety, and that runs counter to this series when some want to go fast. The guys behind Metal Gear tried to make a concept for high speed "hunting stealth" where your going after the enemies instead of hiding from them when they first began Metal Gear Rising, but they encountered some problems and eventually went a different take with it when they brought Platinum Games onboard. They kept the stealth, but the stealth was secondary in the new Rising game that was made.

 

You can say all you want about other games blending other styles, and that blending stealth into this series is possible. I happen to agree and support the idea of high speed stealth in a Sonic game. But many of you don't seem to realize just how freaking complicated stealth games can be, that is if we're talking a 3D Sonic game. A 2D stealth game can benefit with much simpler mechanics if Mark of the Ninja is any indicator, and if you go that route, then it shouldn't be too hard. But adding stealth in a 3D Sonic game, and making it as immersive, is pretty close to figuring out rocket science due to a lot of what makes this stuff click since a lot of these mechanics run counter between these two genres; it may very well be possible, but you will be taking on an EXTRODINARY challenge trying not only to figure these things out, but to also balance it and make it immersive without being too complicated for a Sonic game.

 

Sly Cooper is an example of a 3D stealth game that isn't as complex as Metal Gear is, and it gets bonus points for being cartoony to boot like Sonic. But Sly Cooper is still much more complex in its mechanics than Sonic is, with it's use of the environments, and addition tools that allow Sly to sneak and stay sneaky, and while it's much faster than Metal Gear, Sly Cooper is far slower even compared to the 2D Genesis titles, or not including those, it's obviously far slower than that of the Adventures or even Heroes. It's faster than Sonic 06, but who really wants a Sonic game that slow?

 

So yeah, stealth based mechanics in a Sonic game can give you quite a headache. I believe it is possible, but it's like climbing Mt. Everest to make it work, as a major mishap could ruin it.

You're asking us whether you can combine Sonic, a game typically associated with speed and twitch gameplay, with the stealth genre, a playstyle typically associated with patience, forethought and lots of waiting? How exactly do these two things meet without directly contradicting each other?

Metal Gear Rising Revengence as an example, my friend. Blends hack'n'slash Ninja Gaiden combat while miraculously keeping hold of some of the stealth the Metal Gear series is known for...although it still has it's flaws. It should be noted that the stealth parts are few inbetween the hack'n'slash that dominates its gameplay, so it's not the best example to use other than to show it's possible to get some success from it by blending genres.

 

As for Sonic, well we just have to find a different path. But as I've noted, this path is not easy.

 

I'd actually nominate Shadow for stealth because of his popularity and his status as a small superweapon, myself. That he's a top agent of GUN adds some more credibility to this idea, I feel. It also would help him serve as a foil of sorts to Sonic - whereas Sonic likes to leap right into the action and cause as much havoc as possible, Shadow's a more reserved type that prefers to do what needs to be done with minimal collateral damage.

Shadow's energy-based attacks make him especially useful in such situations, if SEGA explored that route: he wouldn't need to bring any weapons with him as he could simply generate them. Melee weapons, explosive weapons, projectiles, he's got it all.

You're basically turning a nuke into a ninja...not impossible as far as a game goes, but exactly the best way to go about it specifically for Shadow. Plus it'll be too jarring to have a character who's as similar as Sonic play THAT differently; I know we harp on about different playstyles on the same control scheme, but Shadow's equally as destructive, if not more so with his Chaos powers, as Sonic despite his more reserved personality. It'd be better to use him as a high speed semi-beat'em up style of play than a stealth one.

 

In addition to that, his energy attacks can run the potential of devaluing any stealth: why sneak around things when you can blow them up the quick and easy way? You could solve that by having certain enemies be more powerful and capable of taking more hits, but then you run into a problem in balancing the health of the enemies: anymore than 3 hits at MAX on the strongest mook, and you have another Heroes, ShTH, or Unleashed on your hands as far as health bars go.

Edited by CreepySpiritSonic
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Not just Espio but all the Chaotix would fit the bill here. Vector is a bruiser generally but he can still sneak I guess. Land, sea, and air levels maybe, with the three of them? But these are games with Sonic characters, not Sonic games.

Edited by American Psycho
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Stealth-themed gameplay, maybe - for example, a level with all of the trappings of a stealth-based level, but just the trappings, and it doesn't actually matter much.  Instead of being slow and cautious, emphasise careful application of speed and timing.  Running to dodge spotlights and the gaze of glowy-eyed badniks seems to me to work just fine with Sonic, but only if the penalty for failure is incredibly light (i.e., sirens, enemies spawn, then stuff goes back to normal).  Would be a good way of telling the story without actually having to use cutscenes or dialogue - just make the level look right for a "sneaking into Eggman's (or whoever's) base" sequence.

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You're asking us whether you can combine Sonic, a game typically associated with speed and twitch gameplay, with the stealth genre, a playstyle typically associated with patience, forethought and lots of waiting? How exactly do these two things meet without directly contradicting each other?

Ever heard of Proletarian Ninja X?

Actually, instead of just posting that, I'm going to do a little thought experiment, in stealth gameplay, your objective is to reach a place without being seen, but by going faster, any of the sweeping or patrolling that the defense does is that much less effective. If you're moving fast enough, they might as well be standing still.

It would be kinda funny also if the game encouraged the player to place onus of stealth on themselves to mess with someone. Maybe you sneak up on Robotnik and stick something goofy on him and if you manage to get back to where he expects you to be coming from he doesn't notice and it stays there the whole fight.

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This requires Sonic Team to deal with very different level design. I assume the easiest way would be to make the regular levels adaptable to stealth. However, this adds on a whole load of challenges, as stealth gameplay is intrinsically WAY more complex than Sonic Level design has ever been.

EDIT:

Plus, a lot of games have been bringing stealth elements into gameplay recently and have not been doing it well. I really doubt Sonic Team would be able to execute high quality stealth gameplay, if they can't even manage some form of actual excellence with Sonic's regular gameplay....

Edited by Scar
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I think I would like a metal gear rising take on it, make the stealth optional for the most part along with just a couple of required stealth sections down the line. What I mean is that you can either choose to just go through the level as normal or go stealth when you want too, there would be advantages to using both and in speed running there would be a lot of strategy in which you decide to do say for example, on one path you can either stealth past enemies to get to a faster route that shaves off at least 30 seconds of your time and  gets you a bonus reward or just run by the enemies and take a slower path but this path has more rings for you.

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I don't think stealth and Sonic are a good mix. An occasional light-stealth gimmick level, like Silent Forest 2, might be alright, but the general focus on waiting and watching for an opening clashes pretty badly with the series' quick and bold style. Doubly so if it's a game built with classic mechanics, as repeated stopping and starting is even more of a pain. It's something you'd need to do a lot of work to account for, and I expect you'd end up with something that doesn't even much resemble a Sonic game anymore.

Or heck, here's an idea I always liked. Since he obviously has hyper-regenerative capabilities, he could rip his quills out and possibly use them as some sort of weapon (melding them together with energy, maybe?); the quills would regrow and he'd have himself a nifty little shank.

what
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In addition to that, his energy attacks can run the potential of devaluing any stealth: why sneak around things when you can blow them up the quick and easy way? You could solve that by having certain enemies be more powerful and capable of taking more hits, but then you run into a problem in balancing the health of the enemies: anymore than 3 hits at MAX on the strongest mook, and you have another Heroes, ShTH, or Unleashed on your hands as far as health bars go.

My solution: give him the nerf he desperately needs. He's resistant to disease, aging, and presumably injury (barring falling to his death, but gameplay/story segregation's in play there), while also capable of lifting objects much, much heavier than himself, having incredible speed, a fairly good intellect, and on top of that, can also summon a whole slew of energy attacks at will. While Iizuka Word of God'd that he needs a Chaos Emerald to use Chaos Control (as memory serves), I don't really trust much of what he says unless it's written down in a game somewhere, given that Sonic Team has demonstrated practically zero capability to write a coherent canon and I'm convinced (no disrespect to Iizuka, Hoshina, et al.) that they just make things up as they go.

But I digress. The point is that Shadow has all these amazing abilities, and while it makes for good ego material (after all, who wouldn't want to create a perfect being?) it'd be rather boring from a story and gameplay perspective. I would suggest taking the bulk of his power away from him somehow; that way, he can't really use any of those nifty powers of his except in specific circumstances. A common plot that has been used across continuities has been Sonic's speed being removed, often forcing his headstrong nature to be reined in in favor of looking before he leaps. Theoretically the same could be done with Shadow; take away the bulk of his superhuman capabilities and he'll need to be careful rather than simply charging in like a one-man army.

I suggest a character besides Sonic simply because we have to get away from the speed-focused mentality. While SEGA could probably just make a new IP, why do that? A new IP needs a lot of time and money to build its rep, whereas slapping "Sonic" or something similar is an instant sale. Those outside the business community view spinoffs as cash ins... and that's exactly what they are. tongue.png

Edited by Ogil.exe Maurice
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My solution: give him the nerf he desperately needs. He's resistant to disease, aging, and presumably injury (barring falling to his death, but gameplay/story segregation's in play there), while also capable of lifting objects much, much heavier than himself, having incredible speed, a fairly good intellect, and on top of that, can also summon a whole slew of energy attacks at will. While Iizuka Word of God'd that he needs a Chaos Emerald to use Chaos Control (as memory serves), I don't really trust much of what he says unless it's written down in a game somewhere, given that Sonic Team has demonstrated practically zero capability to write a coherent canon and I'm convinced (no disrespect to Iizuka, Hoshina, et al.) that they just make things up as they go.

That either doesn't solve the problem implementing him for stealth, and still has the other problems I laid out. I mean, you could just rebalance all his abilities, keep his energy attacks, disregard his immortality in gameplay, lower his strength to that of Sonic's, give him less endurance, give him some greater wisdom and intellect of the past and the ARK (because outside of that he shouldn't be any smarter than Rouge on the world around him) and such.

 

Or you could have enemies counter his abilities instead of taking them away. Mainly his energy attacks by having them absorb or redirect them elsewhere. Still, Shadow isn't exactly best suited for stealth gameplay than he is a more powerful and harder Sonic.

Edited by CreepySpiritSonic
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As long as you don't use Sonic too much with it, and more likely focus a bit more on other characters that would be more suited for the type of gameplay being used. Stealth can work, but with how mean the critics and naysayers are with the Sonic series, they can't even experiment that often anymore. The reviewers and such that show off their games have such massive bias' against the series, that doing anything different results in immediate lower scores and bashing. That's why I don't even care what the reviewers and such say, but the company likely does, since it is publicity and those guys have the power to say you suck and many people blindly follow this.

 

While, I see it working in the right circumstances, such as examples people already gave of sneaking into bases, or taking out enemies in sneaky fashions like that, I doubt they would try it. The reviewers would likely eat them alive just because it isn't like the genesis games or isn't all exactly the same gameplay and super short like Colors. As much as I would love seeing this, I would say that would be one of the main reasons it couldn't, since it isn't like a mirror image of other games in their series, they get bashed on like crazy with bias.

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