The fact that gamers are still talking about this year’s E3 means developers have done something right. Ubisoft certainly turned heads with its preview of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, which was among the more notable demonstrations at the event. In a move that seemed to defy the very premise of the series itself, Ubisoft launched Sam Fisher into the spotlight at E3 by making him much more visible and having him behave more like a soldier — traits that were only briefly touched on in Splinter Cell: Conviction.

Blacklist picks up a few months after the previous game, and plans to explore the option to play as stealthily or as destructively as the player wants. While this was a key point in Conviction, this new entry into the series kicks it into high gear.

In a recent interview with VG 24/7, game director Patrick Redding explained the decision to show more explosive, action-based gameplay at E3.

“I think the important thing to remember about E3 is you’re always out to make a splash, to make your mark, to make sure everybody sees you in the backdrop of the other games which are out there. So we kind of needed to go with something that was a little bit different and explosive, and maybe even a little controversial in terms of the franchise.”

Ubisoft understandably wants to walk the line between stealth and action combat, but players were definitely thrown a curve ball with the Blacklist demonstration (though we enjoyed our preview of the game). According to Redding, fans of the previous Splinter Cell games should rest easy, rather than cast the Conviction follow-up aside as yet another Hollywood-influenced action title.

“We know that we’re going to have to have the conversation with more established fans and fans who stealth play, and we definitely have a lot to talk about with them on that exact subject and we’ll be doing just that in the coming months.”

It was certainly a bold move to show a more rough-and-tumble side of Sam Fisher right out of the gate, but as he has left Third Echelon behind since his previous missions, it may just be exactly what he needs in this new chapter of his life. It is a big risk to shift Fisher’s character from one specific kind of bad-ass to another — one that Ubisoft seems confident will pay off.

Ranters, are you content with knowing Ubisoft has no plan to leave older Splinter Cell fans behind, or are you on board with a more straight-forward, action-oriented Sam Fisher?

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is tentatively set to release in the first quarter of 2013 for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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Source: VG 24/7