Over the weekend, I was bored and decided to go back into my backlog to finish a game, and the one I choose was Dante’s Inferno for the PS3. Dante’s Inferno was poorly rated for a number of reasons, but there is one major point that I want to talk about, as it made a classic mistake of not balancing game design with player choice.
Stealth can be one of the more polarizing elements in game design. Similar to health, there are several variations of what is considered “stealth.” But where the challenge of defining health was that health as a concept was not realistic. Stealth design’s issue is that it is all over the place.
When we talk about choices in video games, for the longest time we referred to them as strategic or tactical options. The only games that gave players more personal choices were RPGs, but even then your actual input in the game was limited. But in 2000, we saw the release of Deus Ex and one of the few games to really give the player freedom in choice.