The long running Tom Clancy based stealth action game “Splinter Cell” returns with “Blacklist,” and after the sour taste left by “Conviction” and “Double Agent,” the series returns to the shadows where Splinter Cell truly shines.
Review Score: 4.5/ 5
“Splinter Cell Blacklist” story plays out more as an ensemble piece, focusing on series’ Sam Fisher and his team of operatives as they take down a terrorist organization known as the Engineers.
While the story can be played straight through with the main missions, the supporting members all have individual missions that can be played to further expand the story and gain new upgrades.
Gameplay for “Splinter Cell Blacklist” gives less emphasis on action and balances that with stealth action.
The game takes cues from its 2005 counterpart “Chaos Theory” as being silent and sneaking around is the main focus. The beauty of Blacklist’s gameplay is that the player is not forced to play in a stealthy manner as the game awards points for performance in three categories.
Points and experience points are awarded in categories of Ghost, Panther and Assault. Ghost means that players go through the levels undetected without killing, while Panther is more predatory, hiding in the shadows and assassinating enemies. Lastly, Assault is an all-out no stealth gun-and-run style for heavy action fans.
Multiplayer is king once again with “Splinter Cell Blacklist” with the return of the classic Spies vs. Mercs mode.
The classic 2v2 mode returns as well with different variations including 1 vs. all.
Spies are tasked with hacking terminals and remaining as hidden as possible, while opposing players are given the role of Mercenaries. Mercenaries play entirely different as the game switches from a third-person perspective to first-person and players are given a new set of toys to play with to lure out spies and stop the hacking.
All in all, “Splinter Cell Blacklist” brings back everything great about the franchise, with the exception of the original voice actor for Sam Fisher, Michael Ironside was replaced by Eric Johnson. Stealth action fans, and even regular shooter fans should play this game as this is definitely a must play game for 2013.