TOM CLANCY’S SPLINTER CELL: BLACKLIST
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.