Splinter Cell: Blacklist came out last week. I've been playing it since release and we were hoping to have a review up today, but unfortunately a serious issue with multiplayer connectivity has prevented me from accessessing - and assessing - Blacklist's online features.
It's hard to tell how widespread the problem is from forum posts, but I get the impression that I'm not alone. Blacklist simply won't connect to the internet: I've installed patches, forwarded the relevant ports on my router, fiddled with firewalls and spent ages on support forums. I'm having this issue both at home and on the connection we use to test games in the office. In my case, the issue is with the Uplay version of the game - but it seems like the Steam version isn't without problems either.
Sam Fisher is equally adept at sneaking, killing, and killing-while-sneaking, as the latest in Ubisoft's long-running Splinter Cell Trailer series suggests. Sneak like a sneaky Ghost, pounce like a Panther, or kill everyone like an Assault - in Blacklist, you can mix and match these methods to your murdery heart's content. Me? I'm waiting for the Zombie/Giraffe/Avinegar DLC, to see what three playstyles they bring.
Like a morally dubious, neck-bothering Batman, Sam Fisher wants to make you think he is everywhere as part of his tireless campaign to stop ALL OF THE ATTACKS. He's in you house, he's in your office, he's in your pantries, he's in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft's upcoming sneak and snap 'em up that continues to pump out unintentionally hilarious trailers.
Upcoming stealthy action game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist has released a new video detailing its Spies vs. Mercs Classic multiplayer mode. As explained by Splinter Cell community developer Zack Cooper, the Classic mode is intended to give new players a useful introduction to multiplayer in the new game.
I'm not convinced Splinter Cell Blacklist has anything left to show us in its many trailers, but one thing's abundantly clear: Ubisoft are going to keep making them until we give in to their insane demands. (Their demands being that we 'buy Splinter Cell Blacklist', and 'please give Rayman another chance'). Their latest attempts to get us used to Sam Fisher's new, non-Ironsidian voice actor, who certainly sounds younger than his gravel-throated predecessor.
The Merc and the Spy have been bitter enemies ever since the former neglected to hold a door open for the latter sometime in the late eighteenth century. That one act of (quite unforgivable) rudeness sparked a centuries-long feud, escalating through name-calling, to pranks, and inevitably to murder. After sitting Conviction out, the pair are at it again, in Splinter Cell: Blacklist's returning Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode. IGN have a video of the celebrated mode's grand reveal, and after crawling through an air-duct with a pair of night-vision goggles on, so do we. See it in action after the break.
Splinter Cell: Conviction may have starred a more action-heavy version of Sam Fisher than was seen in his Third Echelon days, but - even with its lighter, more fluid stealth systems - Ubisoft's Jade Raymond thinks its complexity has still had an effect on the series' appeal. Speaking to Eurogamer, the Ubisoft Toronto managing director said the games' comparative difficulty has made them less popular to modern audiences.
Ubisoft's latest run-of-the-mill Splinter Cell video - in that it shows old Sam Fisher...running around a mill - flaunts the three different ways you'll be able to tackle the game's missions. As game director Patrick Redding explains in the video, you can stealthily Ghost them, un-stealthily Assault them head on, or...hang on, what exactly does the 'Panther' play-style entail? Turns out it's a more murdery version of Ghost, for when you want to hide in the shadows but kill terrorists in the process. It's the Goldilocks of play-styles, in other words.
I prefer my stealth games with a little less action and a little more sneaking, but this assassination-heavy video for Splinter Cell: Blacklist cares to disagree. The eight-minute-long trailer (courtesy of VG24/7) features ze goggles, creeping, and a lot of bad-guy removal, plus a surprise appearance by former president George Bush.
Have you always wanted to see a montage of US presidents raising their right hand? If so, that's a bit weird, but do I have a trailer for you! In this latest look at Splinter Cell: Blacklist, a round-up of US presidents recite their Inauguration oath, before Splinter Cell's own President Caldwell tasks Sam Fisher with stopping the Blacklist attacks. Tenuous connection? You bet!
Pools of light and the shadows they create are Sam Fisher's constant companions in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and developer Ubisoft aims to lavish as much attention to their behavior it has with the rest of the stealth series. A new developer diary video showcases how the camera shares the same physical space with Sam and reacts to atmospheric effects such as rain and the harsh glare of flashlights and flares. Art Director Scott Lee also pays respect to the franchise's legacy of well-crafted lighting. Let's hope he won't get too upset when we plug a silenced bullet into many a lightbulb to keep things in the dark. Splinter Cell: Blacklist should be releasing sometime in the spring.
The actor who played Bane in this year's Dark Knight Rises will become terrorism's reckoning in the upcoming Splinter Cell movie, Variety report. Tom Hardy will play gruff, stubbly neck-snapper Sam Fisher, immediately hiking the special agent's menace potential to a place somewhere between Blue Velvet Dennis Hopper and Sexy Beast Ben Kingsley. Neither of those characters are as good at Fisher at putting heads through toilet bowls, though.
Dark Side of Gaming's weekly roundup of works-in-progress by CryEngine 3 modders shone a harshly bright pool of light upon Abduction, an indie first-person stealther by Dark12345 which harnesses CryEngine 3 to show us what a renovated Thief or Splinter Cell might look like. Now that's a worthwhile justification to peek warily over that shadowy cardboard box you're hiding behind. Yes, we see you.
Splinter Cell sneakster Sam Fisher regularly sticks to shadows like a cyborg ghost, but his obtrusively unstealthy antics during the E3 reveal of Splinter Cell: Blacklist divided fans over its depicted departure from the franchise's covert roots. Speaking to Eurogamer, Blacklist director David Footman believed "knee-jerk" and "uninformed" reactions piled too much focus upon the debut's "pow!" factor.
Sam Fisher is a new man, with a new voice actor, a new set of goggles, a new skintight stealth suit, a new plane, and a new remit to prevent international terror crime by doing international freedom crime all over the world.
The latest trailer for Splinter Cell: Blacklist shows off a bit of traditional snake-camera-through-a-door action and a spot of improbable Sam Fisher action gymnastics, mixed in with a helping of the now series-staple torture sequence. Remember: those million-dollar goggles aren't just for looking through! They're also for headbutting.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist game director, Patrick Redding, has had an interesting chat with Sneaky Bastards about the challenges of realising believable stealth systems in a game that sets out to be as much about action as staying hidden. Redding has gone back to early Splinter Cells to learn a few key lessons.
"The super fragile, brittle, insta-fail model where one tiny degree off and you’ve got to go back to the checkpoint – that’s punishing, that’s abusive, it’s not an accessible mode of stealth. Even for the people that love stealth games," he says.
The answer, according to the Blacklist team, is an analogue AI system capable of expressing more complex reactions than the once-typical binary AI states of "I'm bored" and "kill Fisher!"
Things have changed for Sam Fisher since 2010's Splinter Cell Conviction. No longer on the run - or at least, not in quite the same way - the E3 reveal trailer for Splinter Cell Blacklist shows him in charge of Third... er, Fourth Echelon, along with a cast of returning characters. Not returning, however, is Michael Ironside, the voice actor who has played Sam since the first game in the series.
Ubisoft have put out a video introducing new actor Eric Johnson and explaining the reasoning behind the change. It's worth a watch, if only to see what it looks like when Michael Ironside's voice comes out of an actual human being. Check it out below.
Thief: Deadly Shadows, Splinter Cell, Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver sneak onto GoG
Retro game download service GoG.com have seemingly reached into our brains and pulled out some of our finest gaming memories with this week's new additions.
Thief: Deadly Shadows may have reduced the level sizes of its predecessors, but it more than makes up for it with its cold, perpetually haunted atmosphere and that level. You know the one I mean. We hope the Thief 4 team at Square Enix are furiously taking notes while they poo their pants.