I get off track in my posts a lot too, and end up saying what I 'm thinking rather than responding to the post accurately...I'm cool with it
I get what you are saying about stealth being central to the character, along with Sam not wanting to die. But, I disagree, again. I always felt that completing the mission Sam was assigned was central to the character, stealth was Lambert and 3E's way of completing a specific type of missions..necessity. Sam himself has a history of violent stealth as a SEAL.
For me, the most central part of his character is that he CONSTANTLY chooses to accept missions where his life is at risk. He CONSTANTLY chooses to go into scenarios where his death is a hair's breadth away from him. Sneaking around was necessary for his espionage missions, but spies have been taking a back seat the later half of this decade, in favor of improving political relationships with foreign nations. The kind of people spying for the US now are nationals of the Country being spied ON usually, and people with a lot of knowledge about WHAT it is they are spying on.
Sam does damage better than anything, he was the number one choice to get sent on those missions in the early days because he was good at pacification as well as going unnoticed. Things invariably DO go sideways a lot of the time, and 3E needed a guy that could handle that kind of a deal.
So Sam for me has always been an uber killing machine at heart, hence the NEED for 3E to let him know if the 5th Freedom was a go or not. He needed to be REMINDED about it a good bit
I'm glad we agree about simulators, and while that description may not be truly accurate about the early games, it is what the feel like to me, more so nowadays than ever. I also felt there was a lack of responsiveness, and not any fault of the Developers, merely the tech and then with DA, I feel it was just needing to try and stick to a similar formula. I felt it was getting stale.
High octane action may not be realistic enough, but for me it is very compelling and more engaging than stealthing around full time and soaking in the atmosphere. I CAN and DO enjoy that for a bit, and get plenty good at it (good enough to consider myself hardcore) but I find more challenge and a feeling of 'deftness' when I am moving and controlling Sam stealthily AND quickly, and getting to overcome the obstacles by being faster and better.
Movies like Equilibrium come to mind. Not realistic, but one dude trashing a group of guys because he is better is a kind of fantasy immersion that isn't available anywhere else except for Creed maybe, in a somewhat realish feeling way.
It may not BE realistic but they make it look and feel like it could be, and that is the important part for me.
I think SC needs this envelope of freedom of play to continue it's success. It needs to get away from stagnating and becoming stale with only one angle of attack. It shouldn't lose it's deeper core game play features to achieve that of course, but I think we know that there were valid reasons for that in SCC.
That's a good K/D by the way but I can't stand COD's MP. It's too frenetic for me. Might seem odd coming from someone who likes fast game play but the camera work and sparse mechanics of COD just don't do a thing for me. GRFS MP however is eating up the hours, I'm really enjoying it. And I am hearing more people talk about how they didn't like it at the start but are realizing what a brilliant MP it is. My K/D is an honest .92. I only play with Randoms, I think we all know an established team boosts everyone's stats (not cheat boosting, just a good team elevates everyone's performance. I've had fun playing that way in the past but after a while it's either Clan matches for a decent but somewhat regurgative type of challenge or you just steam roll the opponent, and that's no fun at all. I had one like that last night, I barely even saw an enemy they were getting dusted in their spawn so fast...horrible. So I jumped ship at the end and went looking for those matches with randoms where the teams are more evenly matched, and MY personal efforts can really be the difference between winning and losing....we lost a lot
I got tired of shooters, Rainbow was great for years, then Gears, but both of them have declined in interest so I am happy for GRFS being able to reignite that insatiable MP desire for me again.
Well I disagree with you here a bit too. playing a variety of ways doesn't mean someone explores the specific features any less than someone who plays JUST those features. What I am saying is, though I don't play deep stealth style for the majority of my time, it doesn't mean I haven't explored it thoroughly, or as much as someone who only plays that way. There IS a finite limit to what can be done in a game, so once you have done it all, I don't think you have to continue to do it only that way to get the hardcore achievement. honestly, I think hard core is related more to how MUCH someone plays a game, how long it occupies their attention span and how much they devote themselves to it. Styles of play really have nothing to do with hard core at all. Players play things differently, regardless of how one demographic or another thinks things should be played.
I have EVERY Achievement there is to get in SCC, I have set a really decent speed run time, I've played the co-op campaign so many times the maps are starting to feel empty before I've killed any one. But I don't play SP campaign that much because it doesn't thrill me as much, I feel like there is less freedom somehow. I don't think that makes me casual. I think it makes me hard core because I know where the sweet honey is and I go straight to it.