It’s no secret that we’ve always loved the Splinter Cell series. From its roots on the original Xbox back in 2002, Sam Fisher has always held a special place in our hearts. Now, while he isn’t voiced by the iconic Michael Ironside in the latest entry in the series, Blacklist, the game is still looking better and better than ever.
We first spotted the game at E3 2012 where we were yet again blown away by a Splinter Cell title. We got a relatively long preview at Microsoft’s Press Conference courtesy of Maxime Beland, who also happens to be the video’s narrator this time around. He is Creative Director at Ubisoft Toronto, after all.
The video starts out in the same way, albeit with some slight differences, as the E3 demo from a couple months back. However, you will quickly see the brutality and no-nonsense interrogation style of Sam Fisher as he jabs a knife into a terrorist’s shoulder and twists until he gets the information he wants. This is one of the first moments in any game that has actually made us wince and shudder as if watching this moment happen in a live-action movie, and it speaks to the kind of environment the team at Ubisoft is creating.
With Ironside off of Sam’s voice detail, we have to assume that this is to open up the world in a James Bond-like fashion, where Sam Fisher isn’t actually a single character with one timeline. He is actually an idea, a code name perhaps, that could be anyone. Of course, it also simplifies storytelling. In Conviction, Sam was getting older, and now, he’s a young rock-climber, jumping up rock faces faster than Ezio in Assassin’s Creed. And we’re totally okay with it.
There’s an awesome load of tech in this game if you look for it. The sticky shocker that Sam fires from his gun doesn’t come from a gun at all, but rather a mini-crossbow. And he uses a small device to do a retina scan on one of his enemies that claims to be MI6 near the end of the video. Of course, UAVs aren’t anything new, especially in these types of video games, but Sam does get to control one from his OPSAT (we’re still calling it that because it’s awesome), even if it is a little cliche to have a UAV at your command whenever you need it.
An interesting tidbit about these videos: in the US version, the controls that pop-up on screen are blurred out for some reason (presumably because they will change, though we’re not sure why they’d need to be blurred out just for that), but in the UK version of the video that we’ve posted, you’ll see that they’re clearly visible. It’ll be interesting to see why that’s the case, or if there was really no reason to do that at all.
Splinter Cell Blacklist launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC in March of 2013, and while the game actually looks like it is quite far along, we wouldn’t be surprised if it gets pushed to Holiday 2013. And like always, we’d be okay with that if it means delivering a fully polished game. No word on multiplayer at this time, but we’re sure that Ubisoft Toronto has something incredible up its sleeve for us as Splinter Cell multiplayer has never let us down before.
And of course, watch the trailer below!