There was a time in which the name in the stealth game genre was Hideo Kojima’s epic series Metal Gear Solid. Solid Snake and his entourage of strange characters and towering mechs saw occasional competitors in games like Tenchu and Thief but it wasn’t until Ubisoft threw their hat in the ring with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell in 2002 in which the gigantic Japanese franchise would really have a challenger to the throne. Over the years the Splinter Cell series has grown in ways both exciting and unexpected, with 2007’s Double Agent marking the end of the traditional formula and 2010’s Conviction ushering in a more action-oriented one.
Conviction however became the most polarizing title of the series and though its more personal story approach was appreciated, many lamented the kill-everyone-and-move-on gameplay that permeated most of the experience. Ubisoft seems to have taken this fan feedback to heart and this year has brought us Blacklist, a seemingly more balanced “greatest hits” take on the variety of gameplay formulas across the 11 years of this series’ existence.
Are these changes enough to save Splinter Cell from a spiraling downfall and becoming the next Resident Evil?