Game Diary - May 21, 2008

Since the last entry, I...

*Played more of "Secret Agent Clank," of course.

Now that the demo's out, I think it's okay to point out one of the game's most interesting features: it gives positive rewards for individual stealth actions. That may not seem like a big achievement, but it makes "SAC" a significantly different stealth game from any "Splinter Cell" or "Metal Gear" that I've ever played.

In gaming's famous stealth series, the main consequence of sneaking past an enemy is a lack of failure. If you sneak past everyone in a "Metal Gear" game, maybe you'll unlock a special set of camouflage. But from moment-to-moment, all you get is the relief of not triggering an alarm. In "Clank," you get a score multiplier for each guard you sneak past or sucker punch into oblivion. You get positive reinforcement for a lack of direct conflict.

As a gamer, I'm so used to getting points or power-ups for having defeated enemies and getting nothing for walking past them. Who knew there was another way? The makers of "Secret Agent Clank" did.

Next: I will do surgery via the Wii. I hope.