Stealth games: they don't make 'em like they used to. That's a trend developer Antonio Freyre hopes to buck with the newly-announced Undetected (opens in new tab), a sneaky throwback inspired by seminal 1998 sneak-'em-up Metal Gear Solid.
Labelled a "stealth action revival", Undetected isn't shy about its influences. Revolutionary agent Tenoch Kaan is tasked with infiltrating a series of top-down installations, with plenty of flourishes cribbed from Hideo Kojima's stealth classic—dropping to a lower angle for peeking corners, and entering first person when aiming your gun.
A Thief-style light system lets you lurk in the shadows by tracking how illuminated you are, while footsteps and sounds play a key role in avoiding detection. A hodgepodge of retro influences has Freyre describing the game as a "boomer sneaker" in the way throwback shooters have colloquially become boomer shooters, but Undetected has a few of its own tricks—including a "non-lethal-only" approach to combat and a narrative described as a "bicultural, inclusive story of unity" drawing on the developer's distinctly Mexican heritage.
A less deadly playstyle doesn't mean Undetected won't have its own fair share of characterful boss fights, however. And Freyre notes you'll have plenty of gadgets, including various bullet types and explosives to knock down (if not entirely knock out) your foes. But without the ability to go in guns blazing, you'll need to be careful how and when you use these tools.
Freyre isn't a stranger to stealth throwbacks, previously releasing bizarre HauntedPS1 lurker The Chameleon (opens in new tab). Speaking to NME (opens in new tab), Freyre said that the reception to the Hawaiian shirt horror game gave him the confidence to push bigger with his next project.
"Now that I feel confident with game development, I have decided to make this game I’ve been dreaming of for a long time: a stealth game with a Mexican protagonist, taking everything I’ve noticed could be improved in my favourite games and trying my best to make it even better," said Freyre.
Undetected currently has no release date, but you can wishlist it on Steam (opens in new tab) right now. It also features writing and voiceover from Xalavier Nelson Jr who, full disclosure, used to write for PC Gamer and once worked with me on a short game about dying robots.