WeView: Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Over the past year, both of the major stealth game franchises saw fit to change their lead voice actors, with Keifer Sutherland lending his voice to Big Boss in MGS V and the less distinctive voice of Eric Johnson taking over for Sam Fisher from Michael Ironside. OK, so they might not have got Jack, but they did get Chloe’s husband for the main villain of the game.

Acting talent aside, how was the game itself?

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With Blacklist, Ubisoft saw fit to bring Sam back into the fold, after pitting him against the organisation that he had retired from in Conviction. This time out, the newly founded Fourth Echelon, with Sam as spymaster, was up against The Engineers, a terrorist threat that threatened to force American troops from their military bases all around the world.

It wasn’t the most original plot, and neither was the gameplay, which took the core mixture from Conviction and refined it even further, while trying to cater a little better to those fans of the stealthier originals.

In summary, Peter wrote:

It might not have the most imaginative of plots and the delivery of that narrative is just okay but it’s not supposed to be anything too deep – it’s a summer blockbuster. In those terms, Splinter Cell: Blacklist succeeds at every turn thanks to Ubisoft Toronto’s impressive balancing of stealth and action that is, as yet, unmatched in this genre.

Elsewhere, there was an overhaul of the Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer, pitting a team of nimble Sam Fisher-esque spies against lumbering, heavily armoured and heavily armed mercenaries. It did make concessions to more modern multiplayer games, with customisable loadouts and more players on each team, but still tried to be faithful to the original mismatched formula.

But for me, my time with the game has come in the last few weeks and focussed on the co-operative gameplay. There’s just nothing quite like standing at the foot of a building and laughing your head off as a friend throws unconscious guards out of a window.

But what did you think of the title? Was the change in voice actor enough to put you off, or did it not matter to you one bit as you played another enjoyable entry in the series? Did you give the competitive multiplayer more than a cursory glance, or was it all about the core single player story for you?

Let us know in the comments section below, by writing a short review of the title. Don’t drag on too long, and keep it short but sweet (or sour, if you feel so inclined). Remember to leave a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating on the end, and get your words in before Sunday afternoon to be included in next week’s Verdict round-up.

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10 Comments

  1. I played this right after playing Hitman Absolution. Both good games but I found Hitman more fun. This takes itself too seriously at times and I did’t like the way it tried to fit your play style into one of three boxes. There’s a really annoying QTE at the end as well. A ‘Bargain Bit It’ from me.

  2. I hadn’t played a Splinter Cell game before but I definitely will after playing Blacklist. It was a very enjoyable game, good characters and the plot was decent. It reminded me of what I want from a stealth game and why I didn’t really enjoy MGS4. Having not played a Splinter Cell game before didn’t seem impact me at all.

    I don’t think there is anyone area where it really stands out but there isn’t really one that lets it down which gives you a game that is better than the sum of it’s parts. I’d love a vita version or spin off.

    I didn’t give the multi-player a go but I rarely do anyway.

    Buy it.

    • Agreed, fella. It doesn’t propose to revolutionise the genre but it does everything pretty damned well and creates an entertaining package, if utterly forgettable afterwards. :-)

  3. I’m that friend. I’m that friend!!! *jumps up and down* Get in!

    In all seriousness, Tef and I have laughed ourselves silly with the co-op sections. Stealthily sliding along an exterior wall, only to have your co-op buddy mash some bad-guy body up against the inside glass as he attempts to deliver said cadaver to the outside world like a midget veterinarian working from the inside out, is often hilarious. We’ve done most things possible. Thrown them off cliffs. Hurled them into sofas in lewd positions with their fellow (knocked-out) brethren. Hell, at one point I was trying to throw the unconscious guard dog onto the piano stool. It really has been an absolute laugh-riot and has taken us hours to finish a mission – which typically takes ten to fifteen minutes.

    If you have a co-op friend, Bargain Bin It.

    I can’t comment on the single player stuff as I bought it to bugger about in co-op mode with Tef. Saying that, once the partnered tomfoolery is over, I must give the single player campaign a bit of my time.

    Just as a mention, graphics are competent, crisp and look lovely but we’re both titting around on the PCs so resolution and decent anti-aliasing is in abundance.

  4. Great reboot of an already great series. Yes, the originals are still highly regarded, particularly Pandora Tomorrow, however what they did with the reboot was simply bring the gameplay, back story and game style bang up to date. The new Fisher is cooler, more action based as oppose to the older, grumpier battle hardened Fisher.

    Set pieces are great and the Mass Effect style deck is brilliant. I hope they keep running with the reboot as it’s started of brilliantly!

    Great game! Hurry up and buy!

    • It wasnt a reboot, just changed voice actors, it followed on from the last.

      I loved the game in fact ground zeroes (im a fucking huge mgs fan) has left a bitter taste in my mouth, through its flaws (which i hope are fixed in full game), which made me go out snd rebuy this for stealth fun.

      It seemed abit weird that ad i rebuy it the weview comes on.

      Go and buy it, its a fun accessible stealth game

      • I would argue that it was a reboot. Younger more modern Sam. Older daughter and completely different set up. No lambert etc.

      • Did you play the last couple? His daughters been older for abit, so cant be a younger sam. It directly follows the plot of the last one, the guy you capture is the main villain from the last game and references it many times. Lamberts gone because hes dead, he died in double agent, i finished the main story abit ago but i remember that also being mentioned. It refreshes the series bringing sam into a new unit instead of the lone wolf he made himself, but it cant be a reboot as its still in the same continuity as the old ones.

  5. Definitely interested to see how this pans out… I got given a copy with my new GPU for my PC but I’ve not yet tried it, and TBH would probably rather play it on my PS3 so I’m kinda hoping it’ll be coming to PS+ some time this year.

  6. not as fun to play as conviction.
    as Jimster said it takes itself a bit too seriously.
    The stealthy bits are frustrating to say the least.
    still worthy of a play thru if you are into the series.
    the online modes are as fresh today as they were 10 years ago.
    spies vs mercs awesome if you can get a game.
    i picked up the ultimatum box set (yes the one with the cheesy watch)for £17.99.
    bargain bin it..

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