Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the latest in the long line of games from Ubisoft’s stealth-based action adventure game, Splinter Cell. This time, Splinter Cell protagonist Sam Fisher will be in charge of the Fourth Echelon, the new anti-terror organization to replace the Third Echelon, and he and his team, though most of the time he must also get on alone, have to shut down the remnants of the Third Echelon and prevent a new threat from spreading terror and chaos.
Old characters from previous games such as Fisher, President Patricia Caldwell, and ally Anna Grimsdottir will be making their return, and new characters such as Charlie Cole and Isaac Briggs will also be making their debut within the title. Developer news have stated that the competitive mode that was present in previous games in the series will also exist within this title, making Splinter Cell: Blacklist accessible for both single player and multiplayer modes.
Several changes have been made within the title, with mixed reactions from fans of the franchise. For one, Michael Ironside, who voiced Sam Fisher in the first six games, will not be voicing the character this time around. In his stead, Eric Johnson will be voicing Fisher, and he would also be performing motion capture, which fans would notice has been vastly improved as compared to previous games. Though this provides a richer experience for players visually, fans of previous titles have criticized Ubisoft for not being able to maintain Sam Fisher’s original voice character.
Another thing that was added within the game is Kinect integration, specifically with regards to its voice functionality. Using the mike, the player can speak in order to distract enemies, something that adds a whole new layer of depth into the stealth action.
And speaking of stealth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist does not lack in missions that require stealth missions where their lives literally depend on how efficient they are in not being seen. To this effect, the player’s ability to interact and blend with his surrounding has been enhanced, taking advantage of the enhanced game engine to facilitate a smoother and more natural looking range of motion. With this, players can play as one of three defined styles – ghost, panther, and assault.
Ghosts remain in the background and can blend in the scenery even in broad daylight. The different between this and panther is that ghosts don’t kill, while panthers eliminate enemies in a variety of ways such as breaking their necks or slitting their throats. Assault, on the other hand, is pretty straight forward, as this requires players to simply push forward with guns blazing, although this approach takes a lot out of the enjoyment within the game as it was specifically designed with stealth kills in mind.
However, players will not be able to play with a single style all throughout as players will be forced to utilize one strategy or another in latter stages. Still, this adds variety into the title which requires players to think and strategize before making a single move. Also, players would also have to think of each area as a puzzle, as all items within the environment, whether it be walls, ledges, or even rudimentary obstacles or objects, may be used to your advantage if utilized properly.
Another main change within the title is on how the Main Menu is presented. Rather than having buttons to click on, players will be introduced to something reminiscent of a HQ or a Command Room, with television screens displaying stats and updates about your progress, as well as that of your friends. Simply put, it’s quite a unique and refreshing take on the screen where you’ll just usually see the typical New Game or Load Game options.
For many years, the Splinter Cell series of games have continuously raised the bar, and they have certainly raised the benchmark when it comes to stealth based action games. Good visuals, amazing storytelling, and a wide array of gadgets and weapons that provide a great number of ways to eliminate opponents and complete missions. Add to this the elaborate and even real life influenced plots and scenarios entwined within the various missions in the game and you’ve got a real enjoyable game that players really expect nothing less from.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist will certainly have a lot of ground to cover for it to be able to deserve its spot as the latest addition to the hugely popular action series. Despite complaints about the voice acting, it cannot be denied that, based on the trailers alone, players will be enjoy a great enhancement in both visuals and sound effects. Fluidity and the ability to kill, or not kill, have been greatly enhanced in order to provide players with a unique and truly authentic atmosphere as they embark on missions and wear the classic suit and goggles one more.
Whether you make your kills or would rather slip quietly by, whether you like your kills silent yet lethal, or would like them loud and proud, you can do all that and more with Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Help Sam Fisher save the country, and the world, once again in this exciting and adrenaline soaked stealth and action adventure game.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist is being published and developed by Ubisoft and Ubisoft Toronto, respectively. It will be made available for Microsoft Windows, Playstation 3, and the Xbox 360. The game is scheduled for an August 20, 2013 release.