Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - TECH - Mike Wil­cox Email mike@ hy­per­ac­tiveg­ames. com

RRP: $ 89 ( Re­viewed on PlaySta­tion 3)

FOL­LOW­ING on from his ac­tion ori­en­tated out­ing in Splin­ter Cell’s 2010 in­stal­ment, Con­vic­tion, covert ops vet­eran Sam Fisher in his trade­mark night vi­sion gog­gles, re­turn to do what he does best, lurk­ing around in the shad­ows.

This long- run­ning fran­chise is renowned for its stealth game­play, and from the out­set it’s clear that covert game­play was top of mind dur­ing the de­vel­op­ment of Black­list.

Even so, there are mul­ti­ple ways of com­plet­ing each sec­tion of the game.

And while sneak­ing around lev­els with­out so much as fi ring a sin­gle weapon was my pre­ferred tac­tic, I could see nu­mer­ous other ways of achiev­ing the same re­sult, with or with­out us­ing force.

The game’s equip­ment sys­tem un­der­pins this. Each of the sto­ry­driven mis­sions has a set of ob­jec­tives and op­tional goals to achieve, each yield­ing points. Th­ese are con­verted into cur­rency to pur­chase new gear and up­grades.

There is a catch how­ever. With th­ese pur­chases, you choose to spe­cialise in ei­ther up­graded dam­age and health, aimed at as­sault style play, or like me, you can choose equip­ment to help you move un­de­tected as quickly and qui­etly as pos­si­ble.

The choices, and the per­ma­nence of the de­ci­sions made about equip­ment, pro­vide a sense of own­er­ship and con­trol in Black­list I’ve not ex­pe­ri­enced in ear­lier Splin­ter Cell games.

Splin­ter Cell al­ready plays like noth­ing else out there and when joined by a friend on­line, it of­fers a truly unique co- op­er­a­tive mode as you work to­gether to com­plete ded­i­cated co- op mis­sions.

Splin­ter Cell’s fan favourite mode, Spies verses Mercs, re­turns of­fer­ing up to four- a- side multi- player skir­mishes.

Be­neath its pol­ished fi nish, Black­list her­alds a wel­comed re­turn for Splin­ter Cell vet­er­ans.

While it stops short of rein­vent­ing the se­ries, it refi nes the game­play into a co­he­sive an­thol­ogy of Splin­ter Cells best fea­tures.

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