PS3 Previews: Splinter Cell: Blacklist Preview

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Splinter Cell: Blacklist Preview

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Scheduled release date:

August 20, 2013

Publisher:

Ubisoft

Developer:

Ubisoft Toronto

Number Of Players:

1-4

Genre:

Action

Release Date:

August 20, 2013

Two things before I start: 1. I'm a huge Splinter Cell fan; the first three were fantastic and I liked Double Agent just fine. 2. I loathed Conviction. I was heartbroken to see that Splinter Cell had become a shadow of its former greatness. It eliminated much of the stealth-related depth and replaced that tactful, patience-oriented goodness with mediocre third-person action. And at first, I thought they were going to continue that unfortunate, dumbed-down direction with the new entry, Splinter Cell: Blacklist. But based on my research thus far, it appears I'm wrong in that assumption.

The new game will actually boast elements from multiple genres, and that includes adventure, stealth, and even strategy and role-playing. Sure, the resilient and highly capable Sam Fisher can kill with the best of them, but that will hardly be the focal point of the game (despite what you may have seen at last year's E3). Sam has become the leader of Fourth Echelon and he's in charge of his own crack intelligence team, which isn't based in Langley, Virginia (CIA HQ), but within a flying spy plane. Yes, you read that correctly. It's called the Paladin and it's basically your mission hub, where you can check out intel and launch new operations.

You can interact with your crew while in between missions and that will open up the game even more. This is because each team member might recommend a side mission that you can accept at any time. Furthermore, some teammates are needed to enhance and upgrade via any earned cash. The spy plane itself can be bolstered as well; the tech whiz Grim can add radar technology that will add more info to your HUD, for example. That's all mostly cosmetic, though; the heart and soul of this series has always been the gameplay. In this case, the game will tailor itself to your play style, as you will be classified as either a Ghost, Panther, or Assault soldier.

As you might've already guessed, Ghost is the silent, nonlethal tactic that involves rendering opponents unconscious rather than outright killing them. The Panther approach is also quiet but highly deadly and of course, Assault means you run into most situations guns a-blazin'. So yes, you have the option whereas in the older titles, you really had to be stealthy or the game was basically over. Still, the good news is as follows: Blacklist is clearly encouraging you to play stealthily as the cash and rewards will be better for those who embrace the Ghost or Panther styles. That's great, because it means this entry stays true to the franchise's stealth roots.

So the stealth aficionados should be satisfied, as there will be plenty of opportunity to make your way silently through most any any given mission. There will also be a variety of nonlethal tools at your disposal, such as an awesome silent crossbow armed with diverse bolts, sleeping gas grenades, and of course, the good ol' tranquilizer. Other tools are designed for diversion, which can lure enemies away or towards you, depending on how you wish to handle things. All in all, I'm happy with that I'm seeing and hearing, so Splinter Cell: Blacklist could indeed be a glorious return to form. If not...well, there's always Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes on the horizon.

1/31/2013 Ben Dutka

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Comments (5 posts)

xenris
Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 2:36:53 PM
Reply

I agree with you, Conviction was definitely a weak entry in my opinion. I felt like Chaos theory is the strongest in the franchise and hopefully they bring back elements of that into the game.

So far it looks like they are doing that, I am really excited to try perfectionist difficulty. That might scratch the stealth game ich that I have had for so long :)

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wizzardofozzy
Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 6:28:31 PM

I wasn't sure what the perfectionist difficulty was all about but after looking it up I'm pretty excited about it too.

The only two things that I wasn't sure about was the seeing through walls and the tagging of enemies.I really don't want or need either of them.

It seems like they know how to appease the hardcore SC fans.

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Cueil
Sunday, February 03, 2013 @ 2:57:18 PM

How about this... don't like those features? DON'T USE THEM! Jesus H Christ... people act like Conviction doesn't give you the option of playing like you use to.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, January 31, 2013 @ 8:28:11 PM
Reply

As the late Freddy Prinze used to say....

...."LOOOOOOKIN' GOOD"!!!! *

(* a famous 1970's quote to all you young'uns, LOL)
And a cookie to the 1st to name that show......

BTW, you owe me a bag of cookies if you cheat by Googling, YouTubing, Wiki'ing, or any other interweb'zing it.
(FYI, I'll take my bag full all in super-sized big-chunk White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, please).

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___________
Friday, February 01, 2013 @ 4:41:55 AM
Reply

awwwww im SO chopping at the bits for this!
you can have your crappy GTAV, just give me this!
so disappointed it got delayed, god dam it ubisoft what am i suppose to do till august!?

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