Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Sam Fisher is back, and this time he’s up against a terrorist group calling themselves “The Engineers” who, having grown tired of America’s policing of the world have come up with a Blacklist – a list of American interests that they will destroy, one a week, until America brings all her troops home.

Sam is leading a small team called Third Echelon who are based out of a C-147B aircraft code-named Paladin. Paladin is pretty much a flying Op Center and is the central hub for the game. It, like Sam’s equipment, is upgradable as your progress.

Blacklist comes with a variety of options, the first of which most of us will face is which of the four difficulty levels we will play on, with the unforgiving Perfectionist level being best avoided unless you are a diehard fan with many, many hours clocked in previous Splinter Cell games.

Each mission you play is different, and the main missions that drive the storyline will see you in various locals around the world, including, The Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The cut scenes and voice work is great, giving you reason to want to sit through then and follow the story.

Depending on your style of play, you will amass points that will turn into cash at the end of each mission, giving you the funds to upgrade your character. Gameplay is split into three different disciplines, Ghost s stick the the shadows, remaining un-noticed and sparring the life of anyone who gets in his way. The Panther is similarily quiet, but has no problems with killing everything in sight. He just does it quietly. And then there is The Assaulter. He’s the kind of guy that once he’s been spotted, all hell breaks loose and a noisy fire fight ensues. 

Being that Splinter Cell’s heritage is that of a stealth game, I always start each levels with the best intention of being a Ghost, but quickly realise that I have too much blood lust in me to leave everyone alive, and sooner or later I either run out of ammo and have to pick up a noisy gun or find myself in a firefight. The end result is the same. I kill everything that moves.

This approach made me focus on upgrading my combat suit for maximum amour.

Of course, not all levels allow you to go in hot, and this is where your stealth skills – along with exploration skills – will be tested. There are several missions that have a compulsory stealth component, like the aforementioned Guantanamo Bay where aren’t allowed to kill any of the American soldiers patrolling the place, for obvious reasons.

The gameplay mechanics work well, with the third person cover and hide system working very well. The nice thing about Blacklist however was the various routes you could take to traverse the missions. My favourite was looking for aircon ducts that I could crawl through to avoid sentries, or hide from the annoying heavy armoured guys.

Graphically the game is as good as you’d expect from the Tom Clancy brand making the game a visual treat.

With multiple styles of play and often various routes your your objective. Splinter Cell Blacklist is probably the best game in the series, and helps cement Ubisoft as one of the leading players in third-person tactical shooters and we prepare to enter a new generation of gaming consoles.

Rating: R16 Contains violence and offensive language.



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