If spies and mercs could just sit down together over a pizza and a few beers I’m sure they could work out their differences. Yet, Ubisoft, being the blood sport-loving developer that they are, have kept them separate and their blood up just so the two archetypes can fight it out in Splinter Cell’s Spies vs Merc multiplayer mode.
Those cruel bastards.
Watch the two go at it in the below trailer.
Too few developers go in for asymmetric multiplayer modes. They’re difficult things to balance, and when you start throwing thousands of players into a game they’ll seek out any imbalances like the bloodhounds they are. It’s just easier for a dev to stick people into a symmetrical and kit the two teams out in different drapery. For continuing to include the odd-sided Spies vs Mercs mode Ubisoft get an appreciative nod from me.
It’s a great idea for a multiplayer mode, too. On the one side you have the spies: light on their feet, kitted to the nines with high-techery, and with skullduggery on the brain, the spies mission is to infiltrate the enemy base and hack into their computer systems. Darkness is their friend and, by working as a pair, the spy duo must cover each others backs. The Mercenaries are a different breed of contractor: heavyset, tooled up, and ruthless, players in the mercs’ boots aim to take the spies head on, forcing them into the light and then cutting them to shribbons with their machine guns.
It’s a game of opposites and it’s all the more rewarding for it.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due out 22 August.