Format reviewed: PS3
Other formats available: Xbox 360, PC, Wii U
The world’s favourite black stealth jumpsuit wearing, shadow-hugging hitman is back. Sam Fisher is once again up to his neck in black ops, but something has happened to his voice.
When it comes to stealth games you can’t really do better than a bit of Splinter Cell/Sam Fisher action. Over the past decade the games have become a stalwart for gamers who don’t want their action as a mass of flying bullets a la Call of Duty or Battlefield. With Splinter Cell you need to have some degree of subtlety, it’s a scalpel to CoD’s sledgehammer.
We last saw Sam Fisher three years ago in Splinter Cell: Conviction, which was a follow on from Sam’s fall from grace in Double Agent.
In many ways, in terms of the game engine, Blacklist has a lot in common with Conviction. Features such as being to tag enemies for one click kills, the way that your mission objectives are shown as text in game so that you don’t have to pause, and things like that are exactly the same. You can now tag enemies on the move though now, which can be useful and also if you have a Kinect you can use some voice controls too.
What is strange is that Sam Fisher is no longer voiced by the excellent Michael ‘Viper’ Ironside. He clearly got bored of the gig and the new guy just doesn’t feel the same. Added to this the other characters are becoming so stereotyped they are annoying.
In Blacklist Sam is the head of a new black ops unit that is based aboard some uber-plane that carries everything that a stealth unit could need. Probably along with a stealth kitchen sink too we would imagine. On board this stealth version of Air Force One is a team including Grim, Sam’s long-time companion, a computer geek who fits every possible stereotype and then a black soldier who also manages to tick every other stereotype too.
It’s these characters and the interactions between them that I found most annoying. It’s as if they got Joss Whedon to write the script with the idea of making it sound like an episode of any old teen angst drama rather than something military. It makes you just want to skip every cut scene to get them over with.
Other than this, Blacklist is your standard Splinter Cell sort of action. You go around the world taking out various targets with a selection of different tools. There is a lot more scope for personalisation in Blacklist than in previous versions though. You get money for completing missions and you can use this to buy new stuff for the plane. This then means you get better equipment for the missions.
On the whole Blacklist is a good Splinter Cell game. It’s a shame that the new characters are so annoying and that Sam’s voice has changed. Other than that, things are much the same.
Review by Tuckski