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As I was playing in the Summit Forest level (which has a 'Hitman' kind of vibe to it), trying to take down enemies as stealthily as possible, this got me thinking: How do the stealth elements of the game work and how does the enemy AI detect the player?

Specifically, I would like to know:

  • Do the sounds you make matter? (from gunfire, walking on different types of floor, or through water, knocking over objects or bumping wind chimes)
    • Will walking instead of running lessen sound and likelihood of detection?
    • Are some guns or weapons 'quieter' than others? Does the bow and arrow, and a silenced pistol have the same or different noise levels?
  • Does sight or light levels matter? Will having a lit torch make you easier to detect? Can I lurk in the shadows? Sneak behind people? Hide behind objects? Being on a different level (a floor up or down)?
  • Once you're spotted, is hiding effective, or will the enemies instantly and constantly know where you're hiding?
    • Do enemies alert each other when of them has spotted you?
    • Will enemies be alerted when they come across a body you killed? How does this change their behavior and their likelihood of detecting you?
  • Any enemies with unique behavior when it comes to player detection?
  • Does difficulty matter?
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To the downvoter(s): Could you please comment on why you downvoted this question? This is so I (and others) would know what was wrong with it, and so I could address that concern or edit the question to improve it. When downvotes are left without comments and the reasons for doing so are unclear, you'll often see users (like myself) wanting to know the reason why. –  galacticninja Mar 12 '13 at 3:59

2 Answers 2

I'll try to answer your questions based on my experience with the game.

  • Walking/running and different types of floor don't matter. Not sure about water though, but I don't think it would matter. Changing arrow from normal to flaming also doesn't matter (not sure about if they can see, but a guard didn't hear it yesterday when I accidentally switched arrows behind his back). I also managed to knock some objects quit near enemies and they didn't notice. However, gunfire matters, they will hear you and immediately know where you are. Also, hanging salvage boxes that you can ignite draw attention when they drop on the ground (this happened to me yesterday).
  • As for lightning and sneaking, the game seems to be pretty forgiving about those. As long as you don't run directly in front of enemies, they don't appear to notice you. Stay in cover if they walk your way. Sneaking on people is easy for as long as they look different direction (it's even possible partially from the side, although that's risky), but the sound of your movement doesn't attract attention.
  • if you are revealed, I didn't find a way how to get back into stealth mode. They are pretty much after you and won't stop until they see your corpse.
  • enemies alert each other when they spot you or when you injure them; they start yelling for help. One of the game tips says that you can see in survival instincts view which enemy will get help (should be marked red), but I never saw it working.
  • if enemies find a body, they will move in to investigate and then stay alert and search the immediate area, but they will remain oblivious to you. No idea what happens then sorry, maybe they'll go about their business shortly (can anyone confirm that?).
  • I believe there are areas where it is not possible to sneak around, they will detect you as soon as you enter which triggers gunfight. You will know it because enemies will shout "That's her, kill her!" In other areas you can sneak in, eavesdrop on conversations and try to remove the opposition silently.
  • I only played on Normal difficulty so far, cannot say if difficulty changes something

Additional tips:

  • Bow is silent, I use this for stealth kills. One headshot kills most enemies (you get a diamond-shaped headshot-crosshair), but there are enemies with armour that cannot be one-head-shot or at least I couldn't do it (even with fully charged headshot). They can probably be killed with melee sneak attack, I didn't try it yet.
  • Silenced weapons are also quiet enough for when the guards are not too close to your position
  • You must one-shot the enemies silently otherwise they start yelling for help. If you can sneak behind an enemy, use melee attack to kill them silently.

As for the Summit Forest, you can kill all guards silently there, just make sure to wait until the initial conversation ends. After a few first guards are taken care of, you can assume position in the trees, observe their patrol paths and kill them from up there. Good hunting.

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Also (from a tip on the loading screen) when looking at enemies with survival instincts on a red glow means that killing that enemy will alert another enemy –  Steven Cunningham Mar 11 '13 at 16:05
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Worth noting, you'll only get the headshot reticule if you put a point into the Bow Expert skill. –  Fluttershy Mar 11 '13 at 17:39
    
I've opened a locker (the mash-X loot kind), and they could hear that. A mook came strolling up to where the locker was. –  Twon-ha Mar 12 '13 at 14:40
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The tip referred to by Martin and Steven Cunningham is: If you look at an enemy in Survival Insticnt mode, they will glow yellow or red. If they are yellow, you can kill them silently (such as with the bow) and other enemies won't be alerted. If they are red, killing them will alert other enemies (usually because they are close to your victim or looking at your victim). If you wait long enough, the enemy might wander off and both will turn yellow. –  Colmarr Mar 13 '13 at 2:22
    
@Twon-ha What area did that happen in? –  galacticninja Mar 30 '13 at 3:01

In addition to the first answer:

  • In certain parts of the game lighting your torch with alert the enemies. e.g. at:

... the Chasm Stronghold level, when there are dozens of enemies around and you have to remain undetected. Lighting your torch is a sure way to get killed. screenshot

  • Comments in the first answer mention that using your 'Survival Instinct' (Q by the default in the PC) will highlight enemies in yellow or red, where yellow won't alert anyone else when that enemy is killed while red will alert other nearby enemies. In my experience, this isn't true in all cases. I have successfully killed enemies highlighted in red in Survival Instinct mode without alerting anyone. Just be sure to check if the enemy you want to kill has no one facing him.

  • In the Summit Forest, I have missed an enemy with my pistol with silencer attached and hit a nearby surface instead, but no one was alerted. It seems that even the projectile effects themselves are silenced if you have the silencer attached.

  • Also, in the Summit Forest: enemies will utter something like "in the water!", if they hear you splashing around in the water, but I haven't noticed any behavior changes. They weren't alerted and I wasn't spotted.

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