The head of Ubisoft Toronto, Jade Raymond, recently spoke with Eurogamer about the complexities of planning the Splinter Cell franchise. These complexities are detailed by Raymond as she elaborates on how the team has managed to appeal to hardcore fans of the series while attempting to draw in modern gamers for the upcoming Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
There’s no denying that Sam Fisher’s missions across the globe have continually proven that Splinter Cell isn’t a game for running and gunning. Splinter Cell: Conviction brought gamers significantly more action but it still possessed similar traits to every game that came before it. Raymond calls this “the first phase.”
Take it as the moment you enter a level and cautiously plan how your approach. Will you shoot out the light? Will you distract a guard? These decisions are what give the game its complexity.
“Splinter Cell still really is a thinking game. It’s really about being intelligent and taking that time in the first phase to plan out how you’re going to do things, and understanding the elements, and even planning your gadgets and your load-out and being smart about it. That’s where you get the thrill, but it’s a different way of playing than most games on the market these days.”
It’s true. The thrill of stepping into the role of Sam Fisher comes from the ability to observe, plan, and execute. With the now increased desire for over-the-top set pieces and exploitative use of loud noises, it would seem that the Fisher may finally be running out of missions. Now, if only a stealth game could truly appeal to fans of both intelligent stealth mechanics and run-n-gun antics. This is exactly what Ubisoft aims to do by offering a “broader range of play” in Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
“We brought back the purest hardcore version, which is, you want to ghost through the level and get through it without killing a single person. Every single thing you want to do you can do in a non-lethal way. That requires the most planning and being the most strategic…The Killing in Motion, being able to Mark and Execute while moving through the map, makes it much more accessible to more of an action gamer.”
It’s clear that Ubisoft is hoping to fuse the ideals of modern gamers with the heartfelt devotion of fans of classic stealth gameplay.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be arriving in North America August 20th and in Europe on August 22nd. What do you think about the approach of including a broader range of play? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out the full interview for info on how the team determined exactly what the fans wanted.