Splinter Cell: Blacklist - Introducing the New and Improved Sam Fisher

E3 2012: Sam Fisher shows off some skills both familiar and new in the Microsoft press conference demo for Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

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Sam Fisher is back, though he's not quite the same Sam Fisher you remember. For one, he's no longer voiced by actor Michael Ironside. Perhaps more importantly, he appears to have become a significantly more agile and speedy killing machine than he's ever been before.

During today's Microsoft press conference at E3 2012, Ubisoft revealed Splinter Cell: Blacklist. The demonstrated level took place on the Iran-Iraq border and found Fisher hunting for a terrorist leader. It started out quietly, with a disguised Sam carrying a body into a medical tent. As the men in the tent looked over the body, Sam took the opportunity to mark two of the three men for execution, which was designated by a chevron above them, as in Splinter Cell: Conviction. When the third man approached Sam, he grabbed him and quickly dispatched the two marked men. His attempts to interrogate the remaining man about his target's whereabouts didn't yield results, and a sickening crunch of bones being broken was heard as the Ubisoft logo was displayed.

The next few minutes showcased a number of gameplay features. Sam still has visual abilities; at one point, he scanned his surroundings briefly, seeing through tents and revealing enemy positions. His ability to stealthily dispose of enemies appears more brutal than ever; a disturbing and believable spray of blood marked the interior of a tent as he withdrew his blade from a victim's neck. He still has handy gadgets, as demonstrated by his use of a snake cam at one point to see under a door into the next room.

Sam is now the head of the Fourth Echelon (not the Third Echelon of earlier Splinter Cell games), and via a Kinect-powered voice command, the player harnessed the Echelon's power to call in a strike on an enemy position. The Kinect was also used during a stealth kill; while hanging from a ledge, the player called out, "Hey, you!" getting the enemy's attention and then yanking him to his death. This functionality could provide plenty of comic relief opportunities, if it allows you to shout whatever words or make whatever noises you want to in order to lure enemies to you.

But easily the most impressive part of the demo came when Fisher marked three enemies from behind cover, then charged out and shot them all in a fluid motion, strangled another enemy, slid across the roof of a vehicle and eliminated a few more enemies. It was a virtuoso display of speedy, efficient killing that was most impressive for the way in which it all flowed together. Following this sequence, Sam continued to demonstrate new talents, scrambling up a rock wall as if he had just stepped out of an Assassin's Creed game.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is slated for release in the spring of 2013. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage of the game from E3 2012.

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Discussion

46 comments
nate3031
nate3031

WHAT?! No Michael Ironside? He's the one who practically made Sam who he is! I'm sure theres a perfectly good validated reason for this change, but nonetheless very disappointing as a long term fan for the Splinter Cell series. Thanks Ubi...

Gear_9
Gear_9

I love the spy vs mercs gameplay aspect. It's such a nice change from standard deathmatch.

jorgeabk
jorgeabk

IT'S A MUST BUY !!!!! GRAPHICS ARE AMAZING !!!! CAN'T WAIT !!!!!

 

TheCyberKnight
TheCyberKnight

So badly want; even though the stealthy part has become lessened considerably throughout the series.

ps2fatboy
ps2fatboy

this series just keeps getting better and better :) will miss michael ironside voiceover work though :(

Carlito2222
Carlito2222

Conviction was one of my most favorite games ever. There was a good balance between stealth and cool action. And the multiplayer I played over and over again. The next one is a must buy for me. 

Patrick77079
Patrick77079

Well I cant wait for this game. I liked conviction because of the stealth is one reason. The second reason is because although you run in and kill. I like the way you can kill the enemy so efficiently taking out two enemies at once. The game's graphics look great and I kinda like the idea that you can interact with some of the NPC's personally.

lord75
lord75

i liked Conviction but it wasnt better than Chaos Theory...i love that so much that i got a HD collection of the first three games...

 

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Im a big fan of the SC series, with my favourites being the original Splinter Cell, Chaos Theory, and yes... Conviction.  Although people seem to complain about the lack of 'Stealth' in the last outing, Ubisoft simply evolved the gameplay to enable you to change your play style on the fly, giving you the flexability to change from 'run-n-gun' to Stealth and visa-versa on the fly, this then opens up more available options to complete the challenges ahead.  My only critisism of Conviction is the inability to move and hide bodies, other than that i think its a great game that should be played on the hardest difficulty to get the best out of it.

 

Personally i cant wait for Blacklist, and am very happy Ubisoft have brought back the Mercs vs Spy mode.

 

 

 

 

 

cephas90
cephas90

Yay Michael Ironside!  What's that?  Wait, who's this guy?  That's not Sam Fisher.  Where's the stealth?  What the heck?  What is this crap?  Ohhh, Ubisoft, now I get it.  Last good game was AC:2, now they just piggyback big franchise names in order to sell garbage.  Another dev I'm no longer supporting.

jeneriodan
jeneriodan

Is it just me or does the new Splinter Cell look exactly like a combination of MGS 4 and AC

binyv
binyv

this is what happen when the west try to make MGS.......... a huge confusion between stealth and the blood splat,,,

circus2050
circus2050

Conviction sucked ass and it seems that this one will also. Ubi change the name of the game so ppl who liked the series up until Chaos Theory and possibly Double Agent wont have to check it anymore. Thx 4 sticking with the lame ass aimboot.

holtrocks
holtrocks

Looks cool but i miss the old Splinter Cell's when did this series become about the action rather than the stealth and planing your every step?

Cataclysmm
Cataclysmm

i loved this game back in the day,i hope they do a great job on this new one.

Baraq
Baraq

I hope they bring back the old spy vs merc style and not the crappy double agent one. 

ioannisdenton
ioannisdenton

Looked great to me.Combine this with a good story (not some cliched :terrorrists were not bad all the time and actually beeing helped by us gov) and you will get a win!

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

Looks quite disappointing. These middle eastern war environments have been done to death and doesn't work particularly well for a stealth style game. And those arcade style pop ups look quite tacky.

RedPhoenix381
RedPhoenix381

Screw Stealth, Sam Fisher is a complete bad-ass!! If you want stealth go play a side mission. I'm tired of taking it slow, its time to let loose and kick some ass. 

Starshine_M2A2
Starshine_M2A2

'new and improved'? Good, makes a change from Double Agent's 'old and broken' sam fisher.

VexxRed
VexxRed

Where the hell is the stealth at? Sam is a guy of patience, planing AND SHADOWS!!! Not a mad man that goes in guns blazing like some sort of western movie. i really hope that they added some of the old aspects of the 1st 3 games. If not, its conviction all over again with some new metal gear solid gadgets. Eh... true fans of the franchise will be disappointed. I REALLY hope i'm wrong. 

metalliod
metalliod

So in the last game Sam was getting older and tired of all this agent stuff and now he returns back to Middleeast for some black ops mission or this is one of his previous missions that they are putting light to.Seriously i like the old Splinter Cell gameplay where you have to be stealthy assassin type ninja.Conviction was no better for me.

tevic
tevic

Typical black-and-white "Tom Clancy" story. I really don't like that. I hope you're note murdering middle-east "terrorists" during the whole game.

 

Otherwise gameplay looks good.

timmy0001
timmy0001

I do have to say, without Michael Ironside, without Lambert, and without stealth, this really does not seem like a Splinter Cell game. They should have just created a new franchise, focusing on a new character, if they didn't want to keep any of the original elements.

timmy0001
timmy0001

So is this kind of like Bond, where even though the timeline continues on, the age of the character does not change drastically? I don't mind that so much, it will keep the series young and agile. But I am EXTREMELY disappointed that Ironside did not return to voice Sam, and also that the stealth mechanics of the early games still appear to be missing. But not much has been shown yet. That could be an early level where the point is less about being stealthy and more about getting through quickly. We very well could still see some levels that require alternate approaches, focusing more on the stealth aspects. I have to say I'm glad to see a more global focus to the story line.

Twilighten
Twilighten

Not interested anymore. Splinter Cell just isn't the same! There's no Michael Ironside and the game is too fast paced and more action orientated than its predecessors

trollkind
trollkind

This whole mark and exdecute stuff feels way too "press A to win" like, especially since it seemed to reload on just one melee kill, which coincidentally is just one button press after getting near you victim, being seen or not, too. Where's the game?

Divedude
Divedude

well I guess Splenter cell is not about stealth any more its going to be Gears of war without all the armor.  Sad Day.  I want my stealth back.

Albaficas
Albaficas

this "new sam" try to much to be solid snake 

and there is ONLY one solid snake

12inchnails
12inchnails

and what the hell happened to his voice?!

12inchnails
12inchnails

Doesn't look like a prequel to me, 4th Echelon ?

kingdakka
kingdakka

wow Sam looks like he's a 20 year old......

Carlito2222
Carlito2222

 @binyv Do you mean that the splinter cell series were made in the east before?

Frosty3223
Frosty3223

 @Baraq They just said that merc vs spy IS definatly returning. Watch E3

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

 @RedPhoenix381 But stealth is what Splinter Cell games have always been about and is what fans expect. If they didn't want to make a stealth game, they shouldn't have used the Splinter Cell name.

Ryozo
Ryozo

 @VexxRed I understand that mechanics from the older games will be making a return (as will the asymmetrical Spies vs. Mercs adversarial mode); the problem is that this demo reel is focused on the 'actiony' mechanics.  Ubisoft would be wise, I think, to release a retake of this same segment where the player opts for a sneakier approach.

 

Also, this game doesn't _need_ Kinect if all they're using it for is voice commands - as both HAWX titles, EndWar, and Binary Domain point out, a normal headset will suffice nicely, thank you very much (and these are far more common than Kinects).

timmy0001
timmy0001

If you guys haven't read the Twitter feed, I'd highly recommend it. They have almost completely restored my confidence. Apparently the demo for the reveal was heavy on action to have more of an effect on the audience, but there will be many more stealth elements to the game than in Conviction. There will also be dragging/hiding of bodies, rewards for completing levels without detection and performing other feats (like in Conviction but this time with money??) that will allow you to buy/upgrade equipment, it will also be the "largest Splinter Cell" title to date (which is good because Conviction was frickin short).

 

Now the only thing I'm really upset about is that Michael Ironside is not reprising his role as the voice of Sam Fisher. I think Ubi is making an unfortunate mistake there and I hope they decide to get him into the studio to get his voice added in; that would really give fans something to cheer about. There is no better voice for Sam Fisher than Ironside in my opinion.

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

 @trollkind Couldn't have said it better myself. A lot of games are doing this now and it really feels like they're being dumbed down to the point where we're not even playing any more.

Albaficas
Albaficas

and he looks younger

is this a prequel or something ?

cephas90
cephas90

 @Foppe What with them crapping on the series forever, what can you expect.