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The History of the Stealth Game (ePub)

From Metal Gear to Splinter Cell and Everything in Between

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Gaming

By Kirk McKeand
Imprint: White Owl
File Size: 17.1 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781399096928
Published: 31st October 2022

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For many, video games are like magic. They hide in the dark and then appear from nowhere, fully formed. Based on over a dozen firsthand interviews that cover genre-defining games and the titles that inspired them — Metal Gear Solid, Thief, Deus Ex, Dishonored, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman, Splinter Cell, Prey, The Last of Us Part II, and more — this book shines a flashlight into the shadowy corners of game development history, uncovering the untold stories behind these formative titles.

These insider interviews cover development struggles, internal conflicts, changes in direction, and insight into the reasoning and challenges behind specific mechanics and development decisions.

There’s the story of how Thief was developed, in part, by an indie band. It covers Metal Gear Solid’s localisation issues and the Americanisation of Hideo Kojima’s seminal stealth series, along with a page from the original Metal Gear Solid design document. Elsewhere, one of IO Interactive’s founders explains why Hitman’s Agent 47 is inspired by Coca-Cola, the creator of Assassin’s Creed tells us his vision for the future of the series, and there are plenty of surprises besides. Rather than looking back at the genre as a whole, it traces a line through and connects the dots via personal stories and anecdotes from the people who were there.

Foreword written by Arkane’s Harvey Smith.

As featured in History Hit.

Click here to read the article!

History Hit

As featured in

The Daily Star, 27th October 2022

As featured on The Evening Arcade. Listen to the podcast here!

The Evening Arcade

Subtitled From Metal Gear To Splinter Cell And Everything In Between, Kirk McKeand’s lively book is no dry history lesson. Instead, it flits between covering the genre’s progression with industry input (MGS4 producer Ryan Payton confesses a preference for Tenchu; Dishonored’s Harvery Smith waxes lyrical about Thief) to insightful accounts from the making of influential sneak-‘em-ups such as Hitman: Codename 47 and the original Assassin’s Creed, with musings about the state of modern stealth and how the genre’s future might look. It’s sharp, funny and peppered with surprising anecdotes (you’ll never look at Mike Bithell the same way again).

Edge Magazine

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

McKeand's History of the Stealth Game has an great enthusiasm for the material on every page; I especially enjoyed the Deus Ex chapter. This is excellent stuff for students of the genre.

NetGalley, J. S.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book really takes us in a very special journey into some video game gems, I already knew Metal gear series and I did enjoy Tenchu for ps1, and I was also introduced to some games that now I want to find and try them out.

If you want to travel through story and get to know better what was intended of this game genre, what was made, when, for what reason, what worked, what didn’t! Well this book is also for you, believe me, you’ll like it like I did!

I really had fun reading this book, and I think the language that the author used made it more friendlike, it was like having a chat with a friend about a common interest, also did enjoy when the author gave some personal details like his boys only playing one kind of games, and so on. I highly recommend this book to all fans of video games, and believe me, even if you don’t specially care only for stealth games, it will make your day.

NetGalley, Marta Ribeiro

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book is really well-researched and a great read for someone who enjoys videogames! McKeand did the art of gaming a great service through his in-depth research and humor.

NetGalley, Matthew Lawrence

About Kirk McKeand

Kirk McKeand is an award-winning game journalist from Lincoln, UK, where he lives with his partner and two sons. He has written for a variety of mainstream and specialist outlets, and you can find him today as Managing Editor for GLHF, a gaming content agency serving media partners around the globe.

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