Splinter Cell Blacklist Isn’t All-Action After All, It’s All About Your Choice

Splinter Cell Blacklist Strategy Game

Worried about the direction Splinter Cell is going in with “Blacklist”? Apparently, it’s giving you a lot of choices

Look, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was perfection so don’t blame Ubisoft for being different. Even if Blacklist isn’t

I’ll say it: the Splinter Cell: Blacklist demo was pretty awesome. Yes it was action focused, but targeting multiple enemies at once and then seeing a super slick cinematic play worked, but Ubisoft insists more traditional stealth-based moments are in the game.

The studio’s producer, Ubisoft Toronto’s Andy Wilson, said choice is in Blacklist. Watching the E3 demo, there’s clearly options to stick to rooftops or charge in or avoid enemies completely aside from the moments when you have to kill enemies. The route to the objective seemed semi-linear in the sense that the objective was in a fixed position, but the road to the objective definitely isn’t.

Wilson said as much, adding the studio will show more footage of stealth gameplay as the spring 2013 launch approaches. The Mark and Execute functionality, which is literally targeting enemies and pressing a button, is probably the most effective ability when trying to stay unnoticed. In the demo, the player attracted the enemy’s attention with a dead body. You could do that to gain the attention of multiple enemies and, in Batman: Arkham City style, kill them before they realise you’re there.

The Darkness

Stealth gameplay won’t be a fraction of the whole game – there are multiple environments, in night and day. The approach in Blacklist seems to be that the Toronto isn’t confining action to the day, and stealth the night. Players can mix and match approaches, or focus entirely on one. Wilson also rebutted remarks the game is being influenced by Call of Duty, presumably regarding the Middle East aesthetic and undercover Echelon organisation Sam Fisher heads. I think that’s a pretty weak comparison; the Middle East wasn’t invented by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

It’s disappointing that studios have to show demos filled with action to gain attention, because that’s apparently what gamers want. Let me tell you, Ubisoft, that gamers I know want a Splinter Cell game where we don’t have to shoot a single enemy. If you want to be inspired, look at Hitman: Absolution. That semi-open world model would be very interesting in a Splinter Cell game.

Published: Monday, June 18th, 2012 Last Modified: June 18, 2012

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