Well, we all knew that the latest Splinter Cell game was not a stealth game. The E3 demo proved what most of us feared. Ubisoft attempted to streamline the experience and introduce a lot of action sequences in order to attract more gamers to it. Naturally, the French company tried to convince everyone that this was still the Splinter Cell game they knew and fell in love with. However, the company revealed at the Eurogamer Expo event that the franchise is no longer centered around its stealth roots.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Splinter Cell Blacklist director David Footman said that the game is now focused on three elements – stealth, action and adventure:
“[Previous Splinter Cell title] Conviction was a pretty big change for the brand, to stealth-action. [And] in terms of ensemble cast and everything else about our story, we’re stealth-action-adventure now.
We’ve gone from being a big game to a monster game. If you want to come out with a big Hollywood movie in the summer time, if you’re not a big blockbuster – you’re not going to get seen. It’s very competitive now, it takes out the whole middle ground. You really need to know what space you’re competing in. It’s deep and it’s broad.”
What really shocked us though was Footman’s later claim. Footman stated that although Ubisoft knows its roots, they went ahead and evolved this franchise into something more than that.
“We definitely know our roots, being stealth, realism, having Sam Fisher at the core of it. But like every branded franchise, it is evolving.”
And that’s the biggest issue of Splinter Cell: Blacklist in our opinion. You see Footman, Splinter Cell would not be as recognized as it is today, if it was – back in the days – another generic third-person game with some stealth elements thrown in it. Splinter Cell was made a successful franchise because it focused on specific things. It was a game for a niche market, believe it or not. It became a monster game thanks to its stealth elements and not because of its action sequences. It’s like saying that Thief 4 should be more action packed because most gamers these days want to buy the next COD title. No, that’s just wrong.
What’s even funnier here is that Ubisoft had stated – a couple of months ago – that Blacklist was going back to its roots. However, that’s not the case and you better realize it Splinter Cell fans. When the game’s director tells you that the game is evolving, you know that it won’t resemble its previous parts. Yes, a stealth pathway will be present but the game won’t be built around this crucial element.
It’s sad, because Ubisoft has a chance to redeem itself for Conviction. And instead of going back to the franchise’s roots, they’re trying to appease to as many gamers as possible. And that will be the downfall of Splinter Cell, as the same thing happened to the Ghost Recon series. And even though Splinter Cell: Blacklist won’t be the Splinter Cell game we’ve always dreamed of, at least we can appreciate Footman being honest with us. Truth hurts, no doubt about that. However, we’d take it over the usual PR crap we’ve been hearing lately any time. So kudos to Footman for spilling the beans.