It’s time to settle the rumor that has been attached to Splinter Cell Blacklist since a product page on Best Buy apparently outed the fact that the game would be released on the Nintendo Wii U, along with the previously announced PC, PS3 and Xbox 360. The information was further solidified when one of the game’s level designers included Splinter Cell Blacklist on their resume as a title that was coming to Nintendo’s latest home console.
Ubisoft has now settled the speculation by confirming that Splinter Cell Blacklist will be released on Nintendo’s Wii U, while also providing gamers with a glimpse of how the GamePad’s second screen will be integrated into the final product.
The new screenshots show that the Wii U GamePad screen can be used to control Sam Fisher’s snake camera, whilst at the same time keeping an eye on the Sam Fisher to make sure no one’s sneaking up behind him, as well as for basic weapons management.
Of course, these only show two different ways in which the console’s unique features will be used in Splinter Cell Blacklist, but they seem to match up with what we’ve seen in other Wii U shooters – using the GamePad for inventory/alternative camera perspective. It’s likely that we’ll also see a “split-screen” system similar to the one that was implemented in Call of Duty: Blacks Ops II for co-op play.
Though the series is famed for its stealth mechanics, Splinter Cell Blacklist has also shuffled over to make room for players who prefer an all-guns-blazing cowboy approach, as is evidenced by the new “Killing in Motion” combat system and the availability of chest-high walls (pictured above) to allow for cover-based shooting battles. The action-heavy emphasis in the demo shown at E3 last year was the cause of a notable amount of fan outcry against the idea of Splinter Cell becoming another Call of Duty-style action shooter, but gameplay videos and single-player campaign previews have since showcased classic stealth-focused gameplay.
There are still a variety of game mechanics available, depending on your preferred approach to levels. Specifically, the game boasts a system of different play styles, supported by a universal economy system that ties together single-player, co-op and multiplayer:
- “Ghost” – For players who prefer to remain completely undetected, analyzing their environments to find the best path to take without being seen.
- “Panther” – For players who like to take out as many people as possible, but do so using stealth: stalking their enemies before making the perfect pounce.
- “Assault” – For players who like open-fire gameplay and want to rely upon their instincts.
At this point it’s unclear whether the different approaches will be aided by an RPG-style tiered system of upgrades, or whether players will be able to mix and match with equal effectiveness. Personally, I feel like picking the “Assault” style defeats the purpose of playing a Splinter Cell game, but you can’t blame Ubisoft for wanting to expand their audience.
Splinter Cell Blacklist is out on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U from August 20, 2013.