Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Game Title: Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Publisher: Ubisoft

Reviewed On: Playstation 3

Available on: Wii U,Xbox 360,Playstation 3,PC

Fri, Aug 30, 2013, 00:00

   

There is the temptation for established franchises to take the foot off the pedal a little, particularly when they find a formula that works. Change for change’s sake risks enraging loyal fans, or potentially harming the series. Splinter Cell: Blacklist manages to bring in some new elements without destroying the series for die-hard fans.

The plot is run of the mill: yet another terrorist threat to the United States. But the attacks are escalating, and as the countdown continues, the tension ramps up. It’s up to the agents of the Fourth Echelon to stop the attacks before they reach critical point. It sets the scene for an enjoyable Splinter Cell episode that has more in common with its heritage than its immediate predecessor, Conviction.

There’s a welcome return to the previous emphasis on stealth to get the job done. There’s no need to bring every opponent to a grisly end; you can silently knock them out and slip past undetected if you want to keep Fisher’s hands relatively clean.

But you can opt for the messy path, if you wish, with Blacklist presenting players with a multitude of choices to carry out their mission. There’s new gameplay mechanic to play with, killing in motion, which allows players to take out targets in quick succession. And when you are finished missions, you are scored according to your strategic choices .

One thing that may not sit well with Fisher fans is the replacement of previous actor Michael Ironside with Eric Johnson as the voice of Sam Fisher. While the change isn’t as dramatic as it could have been, it means that Fisher has lost some of his gravelly toned edge.

Multiplayer, as always, shines. A lengthy co-operative campaign, a new spies versus mercenaries mode … there’s a lot to get to grips with.

Overall, it’s a Splinter Cell to be celebrated.