The sixth installment of Sam Fisher’s adventures is the most comprehensive and diverse in terms of modes and side objectives. However, it lost the realism and sense of flowing narrative that the Splinter Cell series was known for along the road.
Six months after the tragic events of Splinter Cell: Conviction, the world is introduced to the Engineers, a terrorist group. The title “blacklist” refers to a series of planned assaults on the United States. Their objective is to force the government to remove all US soldiers from overseas battlefields. Only Sam Fisher has the ability to halt the terrorists. A government counter-organization named Fourth Echelon is formed for this reason. Paladin, a high-class transport plane that serves as our base and place of preparation before the mission, serves as the headquarters of this exclusive and covert group. The flying command center incorporates the complete main menu. We may pick between main missions, side missions, and multiplayer mode on the map. We may also pay a visit to Fourth Echelon’s new and familiar faces. From the aircraft, Anna “Grim” Grimsdottir provides assistance. Charlie Cole, a youthful and rather unrefined character, deals with electronics and breaching computer security, and we get help in the field from former CIA operative Isaac Briggs. The absence of Michael Ironside, who voiced Sam in all five Splinter Cell films, is the first thing we notice. Eric Johnson, who takes his position, no longer has his distinctive and raspy voice. As a result, Sam sounds considerably younger than he should, making the character difficult to comprehend for the majority of the game – especially given he is significantly younger.
Real-time narration connected to menus adds realism and provides you more flexibility of action in side missions and multiplayer. However, freedom lowers the pace we’ve seen in prior portions. To feel threatened by the Engineers, the player would just need to finish the primary tasks in order. This might result in the deletion of crucial story components, such as calling Sam’s daughter or speaking with the crew on the aircraft. The game can take up to 20 hours to complete, making it the longest in Splinter Cell history. The dramatic pursuit of the “blacklist” makers contains various twists and exciting objectives in creatively designed levels, but the finish is lackluster and leaves you disappointed. Fourth Echelon is regulated by new regulations that immediately convert into mission freedom. We are monetarily compensated for using one of three techniques: Ghost, Panther, or Stormtrooper. The most satisfying aspect is sneaking stealthily behind your opponents’ backs. Panther style compensates for being unnoticed and slaying guards who are unaware of our presence. There is a last approach for fans of high-profile actions that enables you to utilize grenades and guns without silencers. Everyone will develop their own style, and we will earn an additional cash incentive at the conclusion of the assignment for sticking to only one approach. It is beneficial to gather cash. There is something you can spend it on. This time, we may totally customize not only weapons and devices, but even individual pieces of clothes. All of this allows you to tailor Fisher to your preferred mission approach. We may also improve the plane, which provides practical benefits such as greater field assistance and an increase in the money multiplier during jobs. All multiplayer game modes contribute to the overall cash pool. Some of the side objectives can be completed by two people, while others will be disabled if we play alone. The user interface has been somewhat modified. Lights on Sam’s outfit replace the stealth control. When we are completely dark, the LEDs glow really brilliantly.
The gaming mechanics expand on Conviction’s solutions. We mark and remove up to three opponents by hitting a single button. Among the new technologies is a remote-controlled flying contraption that not only serves as a scout but also distracts or stuns guards with an electrically charged bullet. A fair amount of technical detail is visible. Fisher’s body assumes an odd posture regardless of how he dies. We can be bitten by guard dogs, have a grenade explode next to us, or have a guard discharge his whole AK-47 magazine on us and still fall on our backs, arms extended to the sides. Another noteworthy flaw is the absence of strong sound effects in cutscenes. Consider a setting in which we do not hear a sniper shot, a tire getting shot, or a car collapsing against a concrete wall. Surprising, given that the remainder of the game’s noises are of high quality, and we can even hear dogs scouring the neighborhood with a nice home theater.
Long delays before the loading screen highlight the background music, which is no longer as clear and polished as it was in prior portions. The tune loops swiftly and might get monotonous after a time. The most distinctive and addicting aspect of the multiplayer is back: Spies vs. Mercs. There is a traditional mode in which we can’t even change the equipment, an expanded version of this model, numerous permutations increasing the number of players, and even a team battle mode in which spies and mercenaries can be included. Spies versus Mercs is such an extensive and sophisticated version of the game that I don’t think I need to persuade anybody – if they’ve had the chance to play this mode once, they’ll surely want to check out the new version.
Apart from the narrative, what I appreciate about Splinter Cell: Blacklist is the abundance and variety of extra activities, yet it is difficult to ignore the game’s lack of polish. It’s still an exciting, action-packed story about spies and terrorists, but for the first time in the series’ history, I had the uneasy impression that I was playing something comparable to Splinter Cell rather than a terrific sequel.