First Splinter Cell Remake Details Shared
"We know how high the expectations of the fans are for us to modernize the brand while making absolutely sure we don't lose any of its essence," Ubisoft Toronto's Istvan Tanja said.
After nearly a decade of some pretty intense covert tactical espionage, followed by an extended hiatus, Sam Fisher is back, toting with him what's sure to be an arsenal of new weapons and perhaps just as many questions. Luckily for us, following the announcement that a remake of 2002's iconic stealth-shooter game Splinter Cell is currently in the works over at Ubisoft, Ubisoft Toronto's managing director Istvan Tajna has taken to the studio's official blog to clear a few of them up, as well as shed greater light on the upcoming project.
According to Tanja, the team at Ubisoft Toronto will be helming the project, a task which the Watch Dogs: Legion and Far Cry 6 developers undertake with "pride." It also serves as a bit of a full-circle moment for many of the staff, Tanja said, as they were initially recruited solely to work on 2013's Splinter Cell Blacklist.
"Splinter Cell is fully part of the studio's DNA, and the studio’s roots," Tanja said. "We know how high the expectations of the fans are for us to modernize the brand while making absolutely sure we don't lose any of its essence; we want to make sure that Splinter Cell fans really love it."
Considering Ubisoft Toronto arguably did a pretty good job of that back with Splinter Cell Blacklist--a title GameSpot praised for its "great high-stakes atmosphere " and "excellent competitive play" in our review--the studio seems a natural fit for the upcoming reboot. Furthermore, since 2013 Tanja said they have learned "what it takes to ship games of this scope at a high level quality" as well as how "incredibly challenging" it is to "produce two games, two AAA games of that scope, almost at the same time." Tanja said these lessons, along with the importance of "collaboration, resilience, and trust," are ones he is taking with him as he begins work on the Splinter Cell remake.
As for what we know about the game itself, Ubisoft has confirmed the remake will be built from the ground up using the studio's Snowdrop engine, which was previously used on The Division 2 and is the same one currently being used for its upcoming Star Wars and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora games. Ubisoft has also confirmed the title will feature dynamic lighting and shadows that will be incorporated into the game's level design, as well as a linear narrative that might just subvert expectations fans had for another open-world sandbox-style game from the company.
However, the studio also said there will be some changes made to the game, particularly in terms of how protagonist Sam Fisher moves. Technical producer Peter Handrinos said that exploration and innovation will be key pillars of the Splinter Cell remake, while producer Matt West added that this is all a part of the company's plan to redefine stealth-action games and straddle "the line between the spirit of the old, and the comfort of the new."
Ultimately, Tanja is optimistic about the project, stating he sees "a bright future for the Splinter Cell" that will "satisfy its core audience."
"I want the studio to revive the Splinter Cell brand," Tanja said. "To really satisfy its core audience that is very hungry for a new Splinter Cell and also broaden the horizon of the series to new players. I see a bright future for the Splinter Cell."
As of right now, there is no slated release date for the Splinter Cell remake--though considering the studio is still filling out the team, we can safely assume it won't be appearing anytime soon. Until then, fans with VR hardware can look forward to an Oculus-exclusive Splinter Cell game that's currently in development from Red Storm Entertainment.
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