Tom Clancy is back in the forefront of Ubisoft’s video game franchise plans, and in a big way. Ghost Recon: Future Soldier and Ghost Recon Online ushered in the return of the near-future elite warriors, Rainbow 6 Patriots is in development for a release later next year, and before that, we welcome back Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell Blacklist.

The Third Echelon black ops task force didn’t endure the happiest of endings after Splinter Cell: Conviction, so say hello to its replacement (and cleanup crew): Fourth Echelon. Led by Splinter Cell protagonist Sam Fisher, the Fourth Echelon was instated by the President as new elite forces team comprised of the best agents from different agencies. And they have the license to kill.

The latest Splinter Cell Blacklist gameplay trailer (above) highlights the campaign story of the Splinter Cell: Conviction followup where Fisher is back in charge – recruited personally by the President – to protect the nation at all costs. The Third Echelon and now, the Fourth, are given the go-ahead to operate under the Fifth Freedom where there are essentially no rules. The Fifth Freedom is the simple concept built on President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s four freedoms:

  • Freedom of speech and expression
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom from want
  • Freedom from fear

The Fifth of course, it to protect the first four by any means necessary. In Splinter Cell Blacklist, that means Fisher and his team can kill, torture, and even investigate and conduct special ops missions on U.S. soil against their own government if that’s what is required to end the Third Echelon and stop the new terrorist group attacking the U.S..

The video also offers a brief look at Splinter Cell Blacklist’s new killing in motion combat system (think Wanted) taken from gameplay shown to us at E3. That very same gameplay earned the game a pair of nominations for best in show and best action game from Game Rant and you can see it right here. Don’t fret if the sunny outdoor environment doesn’t feel like classic Splinter Cell.  Watch the Blacklist stealth gameplay video for more.

Of special note is that the opening scene with Fisher captured features British actor Carlo Rota as the man Fisher is going to kill. The actors and animations are of particular interest to Ubisoft Toronto who is developing Splinter Cell Blacklist. They unveiled earlier this month a new and massive motion capture studio where they demonstrated their latest technology live with actors enacting a scene from Blacklist. It is for physically demanding performance capture, that Eric Johnson takes over the role (voice and acting) of Sam Fisher from franchise veteran Michael Ironside.

Excited for Sam Fisher’s return?

Splinter Cell: Blacklist releases Spring 2013 release for the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 with a possible Wii U edition in development. A rogue Amazon UK listing last month hinted a date of March 29.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: Ubisoft