E3: Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC) Preview
Sam Fisher and the Splinter Cell franchise made a return to E3 this year with the latest for the franchise in Blacklist. It looks like Fisher is back on the job as part of a new counter-terrorist group known as Fourth Echelon. Ubisoft displayed a special behind closed doors preview of the game at the convention. The story of the new game is set about six months after Conviction, but the game overall seems to have a lot of polish and looks like a new era of sorts for Sam Fisher and the franchise. Fisher looks somehow rejuvenated and more determined than ever. Sam Fisher is now in charge of the new Fourth Echelon group and he’s getting to the bottom of rogue nations and terrorists involved in The Blacklist. These countries basically want the US military out of their business and if not, terrorist attacks will be unleashed at home and Fisher is trying to prevent it. Fans should know that Michael Ironside will no longer be voicing Sam Fisher in this game and there is a new voice actor and motion capture actor for Fisher whose voice I couldn’t place all. All Ubisoft would confirm is that Fisher is played and voiced by a new actor.
The demo presentation featured Fisher sneaking in disguise into a terrorist camp hauling the body of another terrorist. When the insurgents in the camp start turning their attention to Fisher, we get a look at one of the game’s new mechanics called “Killing in Motion.” This allows you to call out and kill your enemies in slow motion while you are moving and it’s a cool leaking feature. And so Fisher reveals himself dressed in armor that seems to resemble Solid Snake a little more than the typical Sam Fisher garb. Fisher advances through the camp and takes out more enemies. The demo showed that Fisher can once again use his knife even to cut through the cloth of tents. One especially fun kill is where Fisher took down an enemy on the lookout from the roof of a building. When his friends come to investigate, Fisher takes them out by launching a taser into the puddle they are standing over, electrocuting the bad guys. Fisher than proceeds into the hideout to interrogate a terrorist asset with vital intel on the Blacklist. When things turn south and Fisher is surrounded, the game showed off a mechanic new to the Splinter Cell franchise.
From there the demo showed how you can take control of a Fourth Echelon drone and take out the enemies advancing on Fisher. This is something Call of Duty: Modern Warfare fans will be familiar with and it works in a similar fashion when you take control of an aircraft or drone type vehicle to take out the enemy combatants surrounding your assets. Graphics and look of the game look extremely well done.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due out for a Spring 2013 release. It will be released on PS3, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.