Speaking to Eurogamer, Ubisoft’s Jade Raymond explained why she thinks Splinter Cell’s not risen to the popularity of their other franchises, such as Assassin’s Creed: “despite all of the changes that have happened over the years, it's still one of the more complex and difficult games to play".
With that in mind, Raymond goes on to explain how the developer hopes to broaden its appeal.
Explaining her point about the series' complexity, she said "The first thing you have to do when you start in a map, even in Conviction, which did go quite a bit more action-oriented than the past, is the planning phase.” She compares this other games where “you can walk in and you start shooting right away, or you just walk in and you improvise as you go along.
"But Splinter Cell still really is a thinking game. It's really about being intelligent and taking that time in the first phase to plan out how you're going to do things, and understanding the elements, and even planning your gadgets and your load-out and being smart about it. That's where you get the thrill, but it's a different way of playing than most games on the market these days."
She isn’t saying Splinter Cell is broken or too difficult but that the style of play only caters to a niche audience. To open the game up to more players, Raymond and Ubisoft Toronto are designing a game that offers a "broader range of play".
You’d be forgiven for immediately panicking that Splinter Cell: Blacklist is going to be a linear third-person shooter, though, honestly, you’d only be forgiven by the sort of people who deem panic as an acceptable response to finding out a game is going to be made exactly how you want it to be. Happily, Raymond tries to assuage these fears, saying “We brought back the purest hardcore version, which is, you want to ghost through the level and get through it without killing a single person. Every single thing you want to do you can do in a non-lethal way. That requires the most planning and being the most strategic.
"You can even play that in Perfectionist Mode, which means if you want you don't have any of the added things, such as Mark and Execute, that make it easier.”
Or you can take a more liberal approach:
So, are your fear’s comfortably assuaged? If not, direct your email to [email protected]
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is aiming to release this August.