Next-Gen ‘Splinter Cell’ Game Could Be Very Different

Published 9 months ago by , Updated January 15th, 2014 at 6:33 am,

Splinter Cell Blacklist Co-op Trailer

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has proven itself to be tone of the most polished and exciting stealth franchises of the 21st century, but even the most hardcore Splinter Cell fans would probably agree that there’s always room for improvement. This is especially true now that a new console generation is upon us and the next Splinter Cell game is at the very beginning of its development cycle.

The most recent entry in the series, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, introduced a greater amount of variety to the approaches that players could take to each mission. Stealth purists could remain unseen and unheard with ‘Ghost;’ players who prefer to strike from the shadows could play as a ‘Panther;’ meanwhile, players who don’t want to waste time with sneaking and scurrying could hit their enemies right in the face with the ‘Assault’ approach.

Although Splinter Cell: Blacklist was generally well-received by critics, some fans have voiced their concern that the direction the series was taking would lead it down the path to becoming another Call of Duty clone, in which stealth was left behind in favor of more action-oriented gameplay. In an interview with OXM, animation director Kristjan Zadziuk insists that change and evolution or essential in helping Splinter Cell to find its own feet, but that doesn’t mean trying to imitate other games.

“We haven’t got the luxury of Assassin’s Creed where we know our formula; we’re still evolving… If you look at them, there’s no two Splinter Cells that are the same. They’ve all evolved and adapted. That, to me, is what makes it really exciting. We’re getting closer to what that game is, and maybe it isn’t necessarily about Splinter Cell being a 15-16 million Call of Duty-type best-seller. Maybe it’s just about it being the best Splinter Cell that it can be.”

Splinter Cell original game

The question of whether or not Ubisoft games will begin to borrow ideas and gameplay elements from elsewhere has come up before, specifically with regards to open-world vigilante game Watch Dogs. Creative director Jonathan Morin said that he felt it was important to avoid copying ideas and gameplay elements from other games, such as Grand Theft Auto V, and Zadziuk echoes the sentiment.

“It’s not like we sit around and go ‘I’m having that’; it’s what works for each game. Far Cry 3 is such an expansive game, so they’re trying to find you an organic way of giving you a map. That wouldn’t work for Splinter Cell – there’d be no point in Sam climbing to the top of a tower and pressing a button. But then again, we have our version of active sprint. It’s not a way of copying Assassin’s Creed, it’s our way of making Sam more fluid.”

One of the worst things that a franchise can do is fall into the trap of making the same game over and over again, so it’s refreshing to hear Zadziuk say that Ubisoft Toronto intends to keep evolving Splinter Cell with falling into the other trap of playing the imitation game. Let’s just hope that the series never evolves completely out of its stealth origins.

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Source: OXM

TAGS: PC, PS4, Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Ubisoft, Xbox One

20 Comments

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  1. Loved the gameplay of Blacklist- they really nailed it, even if there were slight gripes with story/losing Ironside lol. But the level design was freakin amazing, and SvM is a brilliantly rewarding multiplayer- where you have to actively work together with complete strangers, or you WILL lose. So yeah, I hope it doesn’t evolve too far! :)

  2. I may be biased here, as a fan of the original games, but what made the originals (1-CT) so amazing was the sense of dread. You dreaded going into a firefight because all you had was a couple clips of ammunition and your stealth, and if you set off an alarm you were going to die. I literally used to hate the sound of the alarms in Chaos Theory. Nowadays, you set off an alarm and you just treat it as, oh, another firefight.

    I feel like the more Splinter Cell has tried to become a regular shooter, the more it has floundered. I think the series could benefit if it took away the explosions, took away the assault rifles, took away a chunk of the daytime missions and focused again on the night. I’d play levels like the Presidential Palace and Oil Rig and Hokkaido a hundred times over before I’d play another Conviction or Blacklist.

  3. Yep the first three splintercels were the hardest n the best.

  4. I’m not as extreme as Bergey in my view, but I agree that focusing more on Ghost AND Panther, and less on Assault should really be the next step.

    Improvement of existing systems, re-integration of old elements, of course alongside adding new elements to the series.

    Focus on the Stealth playstyles, both pure (Ghost) and aggressive (Panther) Stealth, imrpove existing systems, re-add D-Ops (in addition to 4E missions).

    Also, make the maps more open and sandboxy. Real open maps should be possible with next gen, and it would be a step into more freedom for the player without increasing action.

    Let the player choose his entrance, path, and his approach.

    Add secondary objectives to give us more to do.

    Add a Legacy SvM mode alongside the Blacklist Mode.(and no, Classic is not a Legacy Mode).

    Blacklist is a GOOD foundation (at least in terms of sp/coop) for what could become (with next gens help and the feedback of the fans) one of the best SC games made (SC7).

  5. I’m also a big fan of the old school splinter cell games. Honestly, what made the series for me was the PT and CT multiplayers. Every game after that managed to ruin the multiplayer in one way or another.

    The things that made those first two multiplayer experiences so great were those heart pounding moments where you were hiding just feet away from a mercenary that is looking for you, but doesn’t know where you are. Those moments of satisfaction when they pass you by, missing illuminating your body with their torch light by inches, leaving them vulnerable to attack and giving you access to the objective. Those moments of satisfaction when you know that you tactically outsmarted the other player using some sort of misdirection, trickery, or predetermined strategy based off of your experience and practice. The strategy element involved in the “story” multiplayer mode in those games, for me, made them much more replayable than unlockables or experience systems like call of duty and the newer releases use. While these elements of the game are what really made it an enjoyable, replayable experience for me, they are also the things that got numbed or even removed in the newer games in order to appeal to the masses.

    In the latest release they attempted to bring back “classic mode.” It took me about two minutes of watching a youtube clip of one of the games to immediately recognize that this was not even close to the classic splinter cell multiplayer that I loved. Those great elements from the true classic multiplayers seemed to be replaced by a more straight forward ‘throw a grenade at them and shoot on sight’ approach. The only thing ‘classic’ about it was that it was 2v2 and there were objectives that could be hacked.

    Well, there’s my rant… I can say that I probably won’t buy another splinter cell game until they are able to provide that classic tactical and stealth based excitement again. If I want to get the excitement that a run and gun style of gameplay like call of duty offers, I’ll play call of duty.

    • YES YES YES.
      Dan, talk about hitting the nail on the head.
      I can say that Splinter Cell Chaos Theory was the absolute best multiplayer game I have played to date. Sitting in the lobby waiting to start a game on Warehouse or Deftech Below, when suddenly you would see a gamertag pop up with a mic attached was one heck of a feeling. Never have I played a game that takes as much precision and teamwork to win. Both the spy and mercenary side provided excitment in various ways. As a spy dropping off a railing directly behind a merc and grabbing his back while using your mic to whisper comments in his ear right before you snap his neck was chilling. Then on the other side, shooting a flare right next to a spy and watching him squirm into cover only to plop a grenand directly next to him was nothing less than extordinary.

      The Splinter Cell franchise lost it’s spy vs merc footing after Chaos Theory, and although Blacklist was a step back in the right direction, it didn’t quite leave the same impression as Chaos Theory did.

  6. I hated the Blacklist’s multiplayer! It got to a point where spies weren’t even hacking terminals. Instead they were hunting mercs. The jumping down ontop of mercs move was such a huge cheat. As a merc, you couldn’t go anywhere without somebody jumping on top of you. And dont get me started on the front melee for spies. Oh and lets not forget the spies with guns. Nothing like being ambushed by a team of spies with guns and being killed by them. Blacklist didnt sell as well as they predicted, lets hope that they will somewhat go back to the originals. But i doubt it.

  7. I agree with all of the gameplay stuff said, that things should get harder and more reliant on stealth. But the thing that concerns me the most was the lack of storyline in blacklist. Yeah you had your basic mission of saving the world, but there was nothing personally invested for Sam Fisher. I liked it in double agent where they had the whole back plot with his daughter’s death. What truly makes a good single player game is a good storyline, and that cannot happen without character development. This is true not only for video games, but movies and tv shows also. Give something to Sam Fisher that makes it seem more personal. That he has more than his life to lose. I would go as far to say that a new trilogy should be created. One that develops a story, and makes Sam feel like a real character with something to lose.

  8. Splinter cell gets better with every game i love the series can,t wait for next gsme

  9. I’m sorry but I must disagree with some statements from above. “some fans have voiced their concern that the direction the series was taking would lead it down the path to becoming another Call of Duty clone”
    Another CoD clone… If any game is becoming more and more like CoD its the new Assassins Creed games, literally take a look at the game ideas and feature that AC have that are almost identical to CoD… AC creed are moving way to quickly time line wise, & there online games have killstreaks, something the CoD franchise focus on. The AC game to be released will be Assassins Creed Modern Warfare. Never compare Splinter Cell to CoD. Fools…

  10. I agree with the majority of the comments. Being a long-time Splinter Cell Fan, I grew up with all the games, and was super excited for Conviction when it was announced. After I played Conviction, I was like “Meh, its okay”. Then Blacklist came out. They did bring back climbing on pipes and hiding in vents and stuff, but it just did not feel like Splinter Cell. The core Stealth Game play isn’t there. You have a arsenal of weapons you can use to simply kill the baddies if you want, no need to actually sneak past them. The whole point of Splinter Cell was that you are invisible, you used shadows to you’re advantage. You had a limited amount of health and ammo, you could not just go in and shoot up the place, and walk out with a trophies. In Blacklist, there is no punishment for not Stealthy sneaking past something, you just get a guy alerted to you, nothing afterward or anything. I think Ubisoft needs to return to their roots with Chaos Theory, and implement that in to what they are working on next. That way it feels like like a AC knockoff, and more like the Great, one and only Splinter Cell it used to be.

  11. I think ubisoft should continue in the direction they’re going and just work on story elements, i liked being rewarded for being able to kill everyone and bot being seen, the other games penalized you for killing baddies, and it just didn’t make any sense to me that you were this big time highly skilled operative and you went into a mission with like 30 bullets … In conviction and blacklist the stories definitely needed work but i felt like a complete bad ass and thats how playing as sam fisher should feel

  12. @Matt Batista, um dude, did you not read your own sentence, “Sam fisher is a highly skilled operative” the point is you shouldn’t need more than 30 rounds, and if you went with Redding’s recommendation you had 60 rounds anyway….

  13. Ubisoft needs to bring back the OCP to Splinter Cell, and the ability to holster your pistol/weapons.

  14. I believe that Blacklist was in fact a great game… However it wasn’t without it’s bugs and flaws. There are a few things in my opinion, they could’ve changed/added. I don’t particularly care that Ironside wasn’t involved, but the story tbh could’ve used more depth and purpose at times. Co-op was probably the highlight of SCBL for me… whenever I got the chance to enjoy a level with another competant cooperative player. Achieving gold panther mastery on Charlie’s wave based levels and completing all 20 waves in co-op play was quite satisfiying indeed. I agree with D500 on that the combat really shouldn’t have been a main play style in the game, as it removed a huge chunk of that urgency to survive you felt in PT and CT. I’m not saying take away combat entirely in the next game, just make it more deadly should you engage mutiple hostiles. besides what smart agent or soldier takes on multiple armed Voron spec ops troops head on? not Sam. Sweet game Blacklist was, but it could’ve used a few more patches. hope the next one uses the same melee style (Pencak Silat I think) with new animations being quicker and more fluid based on directionals held. same with movement hopefuly a faster run, a prone stance, and a better way to switch gadgets other than a radial wheel…

  15. Love splinter cell hopefully a 3rd one

  16. Longer story mode thou

  17. And u should be able to screw a silencer on

  18. It’s simple. The SP campaign is moving the right way. The SvM is moving the wrong. SvM is all about TRUE stealth action multiplayer, and Ubi repeatedly moves it towards some CoD clone. Spies with lethal weapons? Who in their right mind even hinted that they wanted that? Return SvM to how it was in Chaos Theory, and do what you want with SP; Blacklist SP was not that bad. Co-Op? That’s another can of worms.

  19. please dont stop making splintercell games or i will send sam !! LOL

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