Splinter Cell: Blacklist is being dumbed down

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The last Splinter Cell game, Conviction, already moved away from the pure stealth focus of the series, turning protagonist Sam Fisher in to your standard action hero. Apparently that wasn’t enough, and the series is set for even more simplification –  because stealth, says Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond, is hard. In fact, the challenge of sneaking is what’s holding the series back.

“One of the things that held [Splinter Cell] back is despite all of the changes that have happened over the years, it’s still one of the more complex and difficult games to play,” Raymond told Eurogamer. “Even though we do have core fans who are like, ‘Oh, I want to have more of this experience,’ when you play any other game that has stealth elements, they’re all a lot more forgiving than Splinter Cell. I guess Splinter Cell stayed with the most pure approach to that stealth experience.”

So how do they fix that problem? by dumbing it down, of course! Splinter Cell: Blacklist will offer more options  to those more action-minded gamers; though they’re trying to keep the balance in tact, allowing stealth players to move about like a ghost. It’ll be a tricky balance to maintain. The default mode though, will be less demanding, offering gamers a more “fluid, modern play-style.”

“You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons,” Raymond said. “Sam does it automatically. 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.”

I enjoyed Conviction, but it wasn’t nearly as good a “Splinter Cell” game as the last real one, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – and I’m of the opinion that gamers have more than enough action games to choose from, so a move back towards the more classic, stealthy style would be rewarded.

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What about you? Would you prefer if Splinter Cell went back to its roots, or do you like this new action focus? Personally, I love how rewarding stealthy gameplay is (even though I’m rubbish at it), but if the option to go in guns-blazing is there, I’m probably going to take it – and in a game like splinter Cell, I’d rather not have that choice.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is out for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC in August.

[Thanks to Daniel Keevy for the tip]

Last Updated: April 24, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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