After Sam Fisher’s perilous adventure in Splinter Cell: Conviction, he’s back for another mission and that’s to save the United States once again from a new terrorist group called “The Engineers”. Using his experience and new gadgets in taking down enemies, he will be going through different parts of the world to track them down and stop the attacks to what they call “Blacklist”. Several years following the release of Conviction, Ubisoft’s follow up title has received a lot of changes that fans may or may not like. Will these changes appeal to the plethora of Splinter Cell fans or will it be a disappointment?
Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Another Heart Pounding Plot
In every Splinter Cell game, one of the things fans are always looking for is the plot that thickens as you play the game with conspiracy, mystery and suspense. Following the events of Splinter Cell: Conviction, a terrorist group that threats of safety of the American people have risen up and decided to attack every major city in the world to what they call “Blacklist”. After disbanding the corrupted Third Echleon, a new counter-terrorism agency has been built with Sam Fisher and Grim on it and they call it The Fourth Echleon. Joined with a new cast of characters, Sam and Grim must locate the leader of the terrorist and stop them before the Engineer’s next attack. Time is your enemy here. Will you be able to stop the “Blacklist”?
As a fan who has played almost all of the Splinter Cell games, one of the factors that draws me in every title Ubisoft releases in the series is the story. When you start the game and see the events that unfold, you are greeted with heart pounding action already. Questions will start rushing in as to who are these Engineers? Why are they attacking the United States? What are their demands? Is there a mole in the Fourth Echleon? If so, who? Luckily, they will be answered as you play through the game and let the plot unfold. Just like past Splinter Cell games, there will be an unexpected twist of events that will surprise fans and this is what everyone loves in a Tom Clancy story/game.
Being a stealth-action game is what the Splinter Cell series is known for and with Blacklist, fans will be once again pleased in how much they refined the genre to make it appealing once again to fans. In the plethora of missions that Sam Fisher will be going through, players will have to choose whether or not they want to finish the level with a stealthy non-lethal way or go crazy and just shoot down the enemy. Whichever path you choose, your performance will be evaluated based on how many enemies you take down in a non-lethal way, if you managed to evade enemies without alerting them and many more.
Just like Conviction and past Splinter Cell games, Sam Fisher will have to rely in the shadows. Those who prefer the stealth way will have an indicator to Sam’s suit that tells you if he’s hidden in the shadows or not. If the flare light on his suit lights up green, it means that he’s safe to move around the shadow quietly. Shooting down lights to make the room darker are the things you will have to do once again if you want to surprise the enemies. As always, taking them down the non-lethal way is the most challenging aspect of the series. Unlike Solid Snake’s way to non-lethally take down enemies by using a tranquilizer gun, Sam Fisher will be using a different one in this game and that’s a Stun Gun. Through the plethora of the gadgets that are new in the game, taking down enemies in every possible way you want makes sneaking up on enemies and taking them down really fun. Since the game takes place in modern day times, you’ll find the gadgets that Sam uses are fascinating. Not to mention if you are playing the game on the Xbox 360, you can use your Kinect to distract your enemies by using voice commands instead of using that Sticky Noise to get their attention.
Another feature that fans have loved in Conviction was the mark and target. Depending on how many enemies you take down non-lethally, you will have an ability to mark up to three to four targets and execute them all in a slow-motion style. When this happens, you will not need to worry about aiming or raising an alarm. This feature is not really new to the Tom Clancy games as this has been done in games like Rainbow Six, but seeing them in a Splinter Cell game makes taking down enemies fun.
In Blacklist, fans will notice that Ubisoft seems to be focusing on the game’s co-op mode. Those who love playing the game with friends or anyone online will find Blacklist entertaining. Aside from the campaign with Sam Fisher, there will be side missions that players can take aboard the Paladin, the aerial base of the Fourth Echleon. Whenever you are not doing a mission, you will find yourself in the Paladin. Those who want to take a side trip from the main campaign can go through the different side missions that can be played co-operatively. The missions vary from collecting intel, surviving waves of enemies or taking down a group of enemies. These missions can be done by yourself, or with a friend. As always, it is more fun if you have someone to play with as coordinating with one another in how to take down enemies is always appealing.
Finding the missions will not be too hard in the game. Simply approach the SMI World Map on the Paladin and you will see all sorts of missions that you can take. For every mission that is available, you will see a waypoint. Both co-op missions and solo campaign are bundled together. Simply move the cursor around and find the mission you want to do. When you decide to do a co-op mission, you will be asked whether or not you want to play it solo or with a friend. Since the missions are repeatable, the replaybility of Blacklist increases, offering gamers an unlimited hours of playthrough.Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360) Review,