With the next installment in the iconic Tom Clancy Splinter Cell franchise releasing in a few short weeks, Ubisoft is opening the floodgates on detailing and teasing the game’s story and gameplay features. For fans of the series, there has been some disappointment over the marketing emphasis on all-out gunfights as opposed to the stealth action gameplay the series is known for. In the newly released trailer for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, players get another brief glimpse of more stealth-related activity, punctuated by 24-style countdown effects.
In the “Threat” trailer for Splinter Cell: Blacklist above, a mysterious terrorist organization known as “The Engineers” – the antagonistic organization that forces Fisher into command of the newly formed Fourth Echelon secret ops team – make their threat to the United States of America, vowing its destruction. Inter-spliced with the trailer’s interrogation montage are clips of this The Engineers’ brutality.
The trailer also bombards viewers with the question, “what is the blacklist,” and it’s likely that several plot points from the previous game will continue in order for this question to be answered fully. Stealth elements of the game are briefly shown in cutscene form, with Fisher back in the darkness where he’s used to being, albeit somewhat more violently than we have seen him before. Given the personal subject matter of previous games in the series, it’s possible that Sam’s daughter could play a role in the events of the story.
For fans still questioning the balance of stealth versus action, from our hands-on sessions with the game, players can choose to play non-lethally or lethally and the game rewards each playstyle accordingly. Ghost is for the true stealth players who are never discovered and never kill, where Panther is for the quick and silent lethal type who take action but do so also without being seen. Assault is for the run-and-gunners, so every player can be there own Sam Fisher.
No gameplay footage is shown in the Threat trailer, nor is any mention given to the game’s multiplayer and co-op features. Fortunately, Splinter Cell Community Developer Zack Cooper narrated a few videos detailing the “Spies vs. Mercs” multiplayer gameplay in Blacklist, and how it has evolved from previous iterations.
Classic Spies vs. Mercs (2 vs. 2 with predefined, limited loadouts on darker maps) returns with New Spies vs. Mercs (up to 4 vs. 4 with different classes and customizable loadouts on lighter maps). These videos help give players an understanding of how tactical stealth elements work together in a multiplayer setting, specifically using gadgets to your advantage, and outwitting other players in combat scenarios. While this and other multiplayer gameplay will be readily available on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows platforms, the Wii U version will be somewhat lacking in order to make same August 20th release date.
While online multiplayer gameplay will remain the same for the latest Nintendo console, a feature missing from the final game will be offline co-operative multiplayer. Producer Liu Jun of Ubisoft Shanghai confirmed this recently, citing this pressure to release the game on time as the key factor in this decision.
“In order to ship at the same time as the other consoles, we unfortunately weren’t able to delve into this feature. But we think Nintendo gamers will be really excited to get the game at the same time as other consoles.”
The Wii U version of Blacklist does come with unique features that take advantage of its touch-enabled GamePad technology, but if future triple-A releases continue to have difficulty releasing on time, and now, with less features, this is yet another issue in 3rd party support for Nintendo’s latest console.
Splinter Cell Blacklist will be available on PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PS3 from August 20, 2013.
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