Earlier this week, Just Push Start was lucky enough to be invited to the Splinter Cell Blacklist multiplayer event by Ubisoft. Here’s a quick hands on from the event covering both the four player and two player game modes.
The main event hinged around the 4v4 Spies vs. Mercs gamemode which is most likely going to be the bigger of the two modes. The basic concept for this mode is two rounds of equal lengths where the Spies team attempt to hack data terminals whilst Mercs attempt to stop them. The four slower, less agile, better armoured Mercs pack more of a punch in terms of weapons but it is the harder to master Spies with cloaks and radar that can scale the maps that have the great ability to silently takedown their enemies.
Coming from one member of the winning team, the aptly named Team 1, Blacklist is a game that requires teamwork. It is just about possible to hack terminals singlehandedly but it will be extremely tricky. Communication and teamwork are a must to be successful for the majority of the time. The main reason for this is that once a player has hacked a terminal that player must stay alive and within a set range of the terminal. Hiding is by far the best thing to do for the hacker which is where the rest of the team covering the hacker and distracting the oncoming Mercs is helpful.
With 8 players on the various maps you don’t need to travel too far before encountering an enemy. Players have enough time once spawned to decide where to go and set off before coming across someone but on the other hand you won’t be wandering around levels for minutes seemingly alone. This means the game feels a quicker pace as you are almost instantly back into the action without being spawn trapped.
The 2 vs. 2 mode is much more atmospheric as well as being a more tense affair. This tension is in the 8 man games but when there are only two of you on a team each death seems to be more impactful and meaningful on the overall result of the game. A simple death can result in the hacker being left alone to fend for themselves something you really want to avoid or at the other end of the scale a death could mean the enemy team’s hacker is unchallenged for a period of time.
It is in this smaller team face-off that the games lighting really comes to the front of the gameplay; with shadows dominating the maps. The 2 vs. 2 mode has ‘classic’ settings with Spies not having cloaks or radars and Mercs being able to toggle their flashlights. This mixes up the game more than it sounds. After playing the 4 vs. 4 mode players must adapt their play style for 2 vs. 2 or victory will be hard to come by.
Splinter Cell Blacklist’s multiplayer element feels far from something simply strapped on the side for more sales. With subtle differences from 2 vs. 2 and 4 vs. 4 gamemodes gamers will easily sink many hours into the game even after the singleplayer storyline is complete. Having a group of friends would be great for this game, the communication and teamwork would come naturally. However it would be possible to play with random people online but potentially be prepared for some to attempt to do their own thing and lose you the game. All in all play as a team and you will do well and have a great multiplayer experience.