Splinter Cell 3D Q&A

We catch up with Fabrice Cuny to get the latest on the 3DS remake of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Splinter Cell 3DS is a reworking of 2005's fan favorite Fisher adventure, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. It is one of the highest profile launch titles for Nintendo's latest handheld, and we caught up with the game's producer, Fabrice Cuny, to get the lowdown on what you can expect.

GameSpot UK: How long has Splinter Cell 3DS been in production, and how did the project initially come about?

Fabrice Cuny: The project started back in November 2009 when I began to gather the team. Gratefully, some people who we already had working on DS projects were available, and their expertise with this type of console helped us a lot for the design and the integration of our gameplay with the touch screen. We had previously considered the various options, and we had proposed the concept of TCSC3D to our management. And in early January, we went into production without knowing what the future would be.

GSUK: Did you know all of the 3DS's technical specifications at that time?

FC: At that time, we had just a little information on the new Nintendo console, so we got in touch with Nintendo. They came from Japan with 3DS and prototype games, and after a theoretical introduction, we had a chance to play these games and try the hardware. That was such a nice surprise that we’ve decided to extend our scope and redefined our planning. With the stereoscopy in mind, design was exciting and the team came up with new prototypes very quickly.

GSUK: Can you tell us about what Splinter Cell 3DS will offer longtime fans of the series?

FC: SC3D offers a true Splinter Cell experience with all the possibilities to experiment with different ways of playing, from the classic light-and-shadow gameplay combined with the use of all the gadgets to distract or eliminate enemies silently to a more offensive gameplay using weapons Sam acquires during his missions. We also made ​​changes to enhance the experience. For example, we have a brand new mode of vision, thanks to the Fusion Goggles, but I won’t spoil it for you...and 3D texts inspired by the Conviction art style that guide the player through his journey and important narrative moments.

GSUK: Other than 3D graphics, does Splinter Cell 3DS use any of the handheld's other features, such as its cameras or gyroscope?

FC: Other than 3D graphics--available almost everywhere in our game, even in the loading screen--we wanted to use the gyroscope. We thought that the best solution for the game would be to combine it with the optic cable gameplay, and the experience is great. Being able to tilt and yaw the console in order to study the next room for possible encounters is really immersive.

Also, the 3DS kept the touch screen, which is a great addition for our Splinter Cell. We’ve designed the touch screen so the player will control everything related to the tactics and the preparation of the action. Thanks to his thumbs, the player is able to select his weaponry and gadgets. The design of the touch screen was a very interesting challenge, and I think that the team has done a great job with it. I’m convinced that this interface will make the game intuitive and easy to play.

GSUK: What unique challenges are there for developing in 3D?

FC: The challenge is to think outside of the box. Thinking 3D for art is pretty easy, but thinking 3D for gameplay is much more complex. It is all about finding the good balance between innovation and feasibility. The innovation should surprise the player and give him a deeper experience but with the ability of being able to produce the game. So we created some tools to be able to test the 3D on the PC before trying to implement it on the 3DS. This allowed us to define our 3D gameplay faster before really producing it, as the 3D wasn’t yet running on the 3DS and the pace on the PC is faster.

GSUK: Did you find it hard to make a compelling 3D experience knowing that the game still had to be good with the 3D turned off?

FC: 3D games are challenging for this reason, so we stuck to the following creative direction, which was “make the experience enhanced, whether the 3D slider is turned on or off.” Then, the core of the game is a classic Splinter Cell game, but with the 3D on, you have more depth while aiming, you have enhanced grenade aiming, you have more fun exploring the world.

GSUK: It's been suggested that the 3DS has a similar level of processing power as the Wii. Is this the case in your experience?

FC: The 3DS is powerful, and we are able to run the Unreal engine on this console, which is pretty impressive for a handheld machine, and the 3D doesn’t affect the performance (thanks to my amazing programmers). The architecture is different compared to a Wii or some other platforms that we had to work with here at Ubisoft Montreal.

GSUK: One of the apparent benefits of the DS was that it was a very easy platform to develop for, with low costs making for a wide range of innovative games and strong third-party support. How does the 3DS compare?

FC: The 3DS can be much more comparable to a platform between a DSi and a Wii. We are able to create games anywhere from a puzzle game to very high-end game such as Splinter Cell 3D. The tools on the 3DS were brand new, and with every development phase, we had some tools with bugs and crashes. But with version after version, Nintendo provided us a set of tools and the support to help us debug and optimize the game.

GSUK: Where to next for Sam Fisher and the Splinter Cell series?

FC: I can’t tell you anything for now, but watch your back.

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Discussion

34 comments
Kos1c
Kos1c

I got the N3DS yesterday, i picked up Rayman, and Splinter cell 3D, and i will admit the game felt really slow, it wasn't my style of game. I've played a good hour of Rayman 3D, and about 15mins of Splinter Cell. The 3D from Rayman you see right of the first level, while i barely saw anything like that from Splinter Cell. I'm thinking of returning it for something else, just a shame there isn't much out there at the moment. I've been playing Pokemon Black mostly on my new Handheld, i didn't own a DS before, well the original one but i sold it ages ago. So i gotta catch up on all the handheld RPG's, Pokemon, Dragon quest, Golden sun etc. Once they bring them out in 3D, i'll be even more happy. I'm just waiting out for Resident Evil, Mario Kart, Legend of Zelda. Things like these medicore games i'm not too bothered about.

umster
umster

i used to like playing Chaos Theory i hope it keeps the same feel, would have been nice to see a new Splinter Cell though

boctober
boctober

Sure this will be mediocre like most Nintendo games end up being. Just looked at reviews for Steel Diver and Pilot Wings Resort. Terrible! Looks like the same old stuff that Nintendo continues to put out just like they did for the DS. Until they make games worth playing for the hardcore gamers with graphics that are not choppy or fake looking, I am staying away from these new systems. 3DS is not turning out to be anything more than a DS with more features. The games will be along the same lines as the DS games and the multiplayer will be boring.

ImBananas
ImBananas

Even more, "You're comparing two fictional characters, and I don't care. But that's pretty weak man," but then you compare Snake with Master Chief, saying Master Chief is better. Ironic?

ImBananas
ImBananas

@DisturbedClown, how is an opinion wrong, genius? Snake imo is better than Sam at stealth, according to the story that's only because the metal gear canon says Snake has an IQ of 180, but the actual fact is MGS is the original stealth game, making the whole genre better, castle wolfenstein for the old DOS/whatever was the first, but was hardly good. My opinion is MGS is better, but that's not to say splinter cell is bad, splinter cell chaos theory for the DS introduced me to the genre, so splinter cell is close to me as well. For me, there's a close tie between them, it's actually possible that MGS3S' camera came from splinter cell.

DisturbedClown
DisturbedClown

@ghostomg That's your opinion, your opinion is just wrong.

ghostomg
ghostomg

@DisturbedClown sorry mate but snake from metal gear solid is the best in stealth sam fisher is fine

DisturbedClown
DisturbedClown

@ghostomg Did you really come here to insult Sam Fisher? You're comparing two fictional characters, and I don't care. But that's pretty weak man. Masterchief could beat the poop out of Snake? -Censors, because words hurt.

ghostomg
ghostomg

4get it fisher snake is the master

ghostomg
ghostomg

splinter cell huh it improved a lot but i m sad because u dnt have snake hes the pure stealth master sam fisher has technology snake has mind hes the perfect stealth master

DisturbedClown
DisturbedClown

I'm glad to see when something about Splinter Cell comes up, people always remind me of Chaos Theory. As it was, the best of the series. But of course, Ubisoft decided to throw away unique and fantastic multiplayer, because [sarcasm]you HAVE to change it every game. [end sarcasm] They really should READ what their dwindling fan base has to say, as I've read tons of reviews about every Splinter Cell game post Chaos Theory that says "Good, but not Chaos Theory." Take note, and make a better game please.

Paintballman97
Paintballman97

I wish they would remake it for the PS3. Chaos Theory was my favorite Splinter Cell and the multiplayer was awesome. It took me a little while but I got 100% stealth on all missions. No, wait, scratch that. I just want a Splinter Cell game on the PS3 period! And I don't mean double agent.

awssk8er716
awssk8er716

Ubisoft. Focus on quality. Not quantity. This doesn't look bad... but there are 8+ launch titles for the 3DS from them, and they are all garbage. I have to admit that I got Rayman only because I never played the original. If it's a bad port... I'm never buying anything associated with Ubisoft again.

naf456
naf456

And NO. i do NOT agree with Game studios these days- Video Game design should be about implementing your imagination- your dream- your universe- and sharing it with the world through Interactive Art. not just about the naughts on the pay Cheques!

naf456
naf456

i agree with REVOLUTIONfreak. the 3DS has two 266MHZ (if speculation is correct) meaning that it's ALMOST twice as fast as the PSP(clearly not the quad NGP though :C). this should be plenty for 3D games. Nintendo has ALWAYS under powered there devices, thus consequently Lost developers anticipation.

Rahnyc4
Rahnyc4

its from ubisoft.. on a handheld.. no one see this as a bad port job? or atleast a quick cash in from them...

RaIn285
RaIn285

Chaos theory imo the best SC game.

gudni
gudni

Most of the launch titles on the 3DS that i have seen that seem like cheap cash ins are from Ubisoft. I would have liked 1-2 high quality games and not 7-8 rush jobs. Lets hope that there is at least on diamond in there. My main hope is that they are putting most of their time and effort into the 3DS Assassins Creed game.

mumui10
mumui10

what i dont like about the the ubisoft, activition, ea, they make game in ds like they just make it for the title not for the gameplay experience. they under estimate the the nintendo. its not about the graphics.like sony they just only rely on graphics without it they cannot make good games.just look on nintendo company until now they can still make good games like pokemon white and black version.for me the company who can truly understand the power of nintendo is KONAMI and CAPCOM.

dillonpeterliam
dillonpeterliam

It wont be long before we start seeing some really interesting games, im wishing for the below - GTA 3DS Pokemon (with the new 3DS hardware this is one to be excited for) Mass Effect (Staff from Bioware said they would be interested in a 3DS version) This list could go on and on . . . . What kind of games are you looking for?

REVOLUTIONfreak
REVOLUTIONfreak

I wish developers would stop half-assing their games graphically. The 3DS is capable of much more than many of the first batch of games are producing.

thetravman
thetravman

My expectations are low for this as these are the same guys that created the DS version.

shakensparco
shakensparco

I hope this is better than the last DS Splinter Cell. Man, that game is awful! But I'll think about it. I have a soft spot in my heart for Splinter Cell.

cayne_phoenix
cayne_phoenix

hold on a sec! 3/25 is the release??? really?! this is my 2nd game i'll get after SSF43D...

Loshead
Loshead

@giantptipz I used to love splinter cells multiplayer, with Pandora tomorrow. It was awesome then they changed it with chaos theory and it hasn't been the same since.

giantqtipz
giantqtipz

i remember buying this game on the pc back in 05 i think. the multiplayer was so damn addicting.

Hyawatta
Hyawatta

Unreal Engine on Nintendo 3DS "Fabrice Cuny: “The 3DS is powerful, and we are able to run the Unreal engine on this console, which is pretty impressive for a handheld machine, and the 3D doesn’t affect the performance (thanks to my amazing programmers).” Mark Rein: "If we felt it could run [Unreal Engine] and deliver the kind of experience people license our technology to build, we'd be on [the 3DS]." "The second Nintendo releases a piece of hardware that can run our engine well, we'll be on it like water on fish.” WTF?

makenshi1
makenshi1

didnt mark rein say unreal engine wouldn't work on 3ds?

Hawkstar59
Hawkstar59

lol i just saw a flaw ( if i'm not mistaken) in this vid. if u noticed when it shows the nightvision it zooms into the top light of the nightvision goggles and shows an eye hows that possible u only have 2 eyes and one isn't in the middle of ur forehead??? (unless of course, ur Tien from dragonball xD )

Vinth
Vinth

Hmm, i might get this. I bought the version for the DS when it came out, and it sucked ass. Both graphicaly and controll wise, i didn't mind the graphics at the time though, but it was so unplayable, i just sold it on ebay. I hope the Joypad and some new changes to the game will give me a second chance to enjoy this game in it's portable version.