Strutting into an enemy encampment carrying a dead-body decoy, a baklava covering his face and full Arabic garb his body, it’s clear that Sam Fisher hasn’t regressed to cutting corners. That said, the 11 minutes of Splinter Cell: Blacklist gameplay footage released today by Ubisoft clearly trumps its seven-minute counterpart from E3 2012 by giving its level another run-through.
Coinciding with Ubisoft’s Gamescom press conference today, the video, released through IGN, walks us through the same capture mission in a small village on the Iran/Iraq border. Sam – commanding the newly-minted spy agency Fourth Echelon – is set out to obtain/interrogate a terrorist leader who’s orchestrating the next attack on the United States as part of a widespread ultimatum: the “Blacklist”.
Initially, fans for more out details out of the still-somewhat-secretive title might not be placated by the concept of a higher definition re-run. The extra handful of runtime, however, is the product of an extended cut: a UAV mini-sequence and frantic extraction towards the end; Sam infiltrating Jadid’s compound via rappelling rope, marking enemies with X-ray vision; and an encounter with an attack dog that probably just landed the game on PETA’s blacklist.
That Ubisoft wanted to mix in a few new tactical elements for the trailer isn’t surprising; the Blacklist developers have previously discussed combat as subjective to player choice. On one hand, Sam’s black kevlar suit and a host of new gadgets are repopulating the game world to restore Sam’s stealthy, pre-Conviction edge. At the same time, the refined Mark and Execute system, an Assassin’s Creed III-esque motion killing mechanic, and the ability to call in support (airstrikes, UAV’s, etc.) from Fourth Echelon look to make our ageless-wonder superspy more potent in full-on combat than ever before.
Ranters, do you expect to approach missions in Blacklist, such as the one above, with stealth, or are Sam’s deadly open combat abilities primed to ramp up the intensity?
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is slated for a Spring 2013 release on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, with a possible Wii U edition in development. A rogue Amazon UK listing last month denoted a Blacklist release date of March 29.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.