The thrill of the chase gives one of the greatest adrenaline rushes you can experience in video games. Whether you are the predator or the prey, closing in on your target or avoiding capture or death by the skin of your teeth, the second by second anticipation cannot be overstated. Following a recent playthrough of Dishonored 2, reflecting in particular on the Royal Conservatory mission where your chosen protagonist is facing enemies who are also capable of using Void powers, making you both the hunter and the hunted, I’ve been thinking about other games that could implement a formula such as this.
The first clear game which already exists is Alien Isolation, one of the most atmospheric and terrifying experiences on PlayStation 4 which, surprising nobody who knows me, I barely lasted an hour in before switching off and never going back. Similarly to titles like Evolve and Dead By Daylight, gameplay could consist of teams or 1V1 matches where one player has to track down and kill the other(s). This week I want to look at five characters from existing games who would be the most fun in a hide and seek scenario.
You can use any character from the Dishonored franchise gifted with the Outsiders Mark here, but for the sake of the analogy I’m going to use Daud. Picture the setting: You are placed in an arena with no weapons and only the Blink ability (short distance teleportation to those unfamiliar), with your sole objective being to survive. The setting could be anything, from the Nostromo to a dilapidated shopping centre, with Daud skulking around hunting you.
In ten minutes time, or upon reaching a distant point without being killed, you win the round. However, in the meantime you must deal with an enemy capable of rapid firing crossbow bolts from a great distance, teleporting anywhere he has line of sight as well as the ability to pull objects and people towards him with his mind. Combine all those with the fact Daud is, to put it mildly, fucking terrifying and you have one of the tensest possible game experiences which I would definitely play the Hell out of despite my cowardice!
Arkane Studios, if you’re reading this, I love you and will happily be a free of charge ideas bucket for you if you put them in the next Dishonored game.. (DM’s are open @MaliceVER)
Now for a slightly more light-hearted entry, Spider-Man or any character who can cling to walls and ceilings would be a tense but fun opponent to try to avoid. You wouldn’t know until the last moment if he was suddenly above you, ready to web you up and ruin your day. Some of my favourite moments in Marvel’s Spider-Man on PS4 were spent infiltrating enemy bases and stealthily taking guards down one by one, right up until I was spotted and all Hell broke loose in a clusterfuck of web grenades and armed goons being rapidly pulled up into the air and smacked down hard into the ground again. That was my solution for everything in that game.
Vader is such a clear choice for a stealthy hide and seek game. Powerful? Check. Scary? Check. Good at hide and seek? To be decided..
What Vader lacks in movement speed he more than makes up for in presence. The power to grab targets with the Force and choke them to death means he’s one indisputably of the worst characters to find yourself stuck with in a tight enclosed environment. Just the increase in volume of his breathing as he drew closer to you would scare some players to death, and if you thought you were moving in a direction away from him only for the volume to increase then that just might finish the rest of us off!
Maybe just try and stay out of sight above him at all times and you should be golden!
Honestly I was so proud of myself for thinking of this one. Greninja is the best Pokemon acrobat there is, and to top it off can fire shurikens made of water across a considerable distance. The best sort of environment to try to escape from Greninja would be a large open forest area, with the objective being solely to survive for a period of time. The live action Pokemon movie proves this, and no I didn’t just rip the entire idea off after watching it recently, and you can’t prove I did.
If you’ve never watched Attack on Titan, watch Attack on Titan. The basic premise to those who haven’t seen it yet is this: The last remnants of humanity live in high walled cities after being overrun a hundred years ago by gigantic humanoid titans whose sole motivation is to eat them. Humanity’s only response is human soldiers equipped with waist mounted grappling hooks, gas propellers and big swords who can sever Titan limbs to slow them down and kill them by slicing the nape of the neck. Think every nightmare where you’ve been chased by something bigger than you which wants to eat you and throw a big extra dollop of dread on top of it to get the result the Attack on Titan anime conveys so well.
There are already Attack on Titan games where you play as the heroes of the story and battle against the Titans, but I’d like to see a game where you are just a random civvie on the street having to run and hide for your life from a hungry Titan. This could combine the idea with its current games so if a civilian is caught by a Titan there is a time window for a soldier on ODM gear to swoop in and rescue them.
Thanks for reading about characters I’d want to have to hide from in a future game. Let me know your picks for who you want to avoid in the comments, but if it’s your spouse then I’m afraid I can’t help you. I’ll be back to sneak up on you next week with another article and so I will catch you then!