Early on in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, there’s a flashback you have to play through where Drake and his partner must sneak through an art museum undetected. Uncharted games are like summer action movies that mirror Indiana Jones. Here the action comes to a grinding halt, and the game forces the player to carefully hide behind walls so you can choke out security guards. Suddenly, I don’t feel much like an action hero anymore. Where was Drake when I had to watch Night at the Museum? It would’ve been a lot better if the film ended with Ben Stiller’s character getting choked out.
Grand Theft Auto V
Grand Theft Auto is not about being subtle. I have a rocket launcher most of the time I’m playing the open-world game, and the other 50 percent of the time, I’m skydiving out of crashing planes. Why in the world would I care at all about being quiet? I can literally kill all of the enemies I’m supposed to be avoiding without even thinking about it.
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2
Konami’s Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 has more problems going for it than just its stealth segments, but whoever decided that Dracula should spend his time early on in the game sneaking around as a rat, possessing enemies and distracting dudes with bats, should be fired. Under no circumstances should any Castlevania title ever include stealth segments.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Wait a second, this is a stealth game. OK, just hear me out on this one: boat stealth. Yes, that’s right, this is an actual mechanic in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. You must tail other ships without them seeing you in your massive pirate ship. Sometimes you’re even close to shore where they have watchtowers. Are the men in those towers blind? Did the men on the ship you’re tailing suddenly lose their ability to reason? And let’s not even talk about the infuriatingly awful follow missions you have to complete on foot.
The Legend of Zelda
OK, The Legend of Zelda is a repeat offender here. The three titles in Nintendo’s action-adventure series that instantly jump out to me are Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, and most recently A Link Between Worlds. Who was in charge of putting these awful segments into one of the most beloved franchises of all time? Zelda is about solving puzzles and exploration, not creeping by pig soldiers and avoiding searchlights. In Ocarina of Time, the parts where you have to sneak past soldiers to break into Hyrule Castle are the worst parts of that game.
Even to this day, Nintendo is still putting stealth segments in Zelda. A Link Between Worlds, the remake of A Link to the Past, features a dungeon that players have to sneak into. If they get caught by the sentries, they’re forced to start all over from a prison cell.