I’m going to start off by saying Ubisoft has guts. They are taking the best stealth game and one of the best video game series, mixing it upside down, and spinning it around. After getting a little time with this game, I have come to the conclusion that it has changed. A lot.
The next installment in the Splinter Cell franchise is coming and hopes to carry on the success of Splinter Cell Double Agent. Being exclusive to the Xbox 360 and PC, it has allowed the developers (Ubisoft Montreal) to take this game to the next level. Experienced Splinter Cell players will be confused with all the changes. Gone are the gadgets, goggles. Gone is the light and dark stealth dynamic system. We will explain all the changes this game has gone through.
During one scene of the presentation, we saw Sam walking in a park, filled with about 30 bystanders, who are eating, talking, or just reading. There were a few guards wondering around the exits, where, ironically Sam needed to get to. In the old games, Sam would sneak in the dark and use his technology to take out the guards; however, those options aren’t viable now. Instead, he walks to a lady, sitting on a bench and typing on her -laptop. Sam grabs the laptop and starts to run. He drops it shortly after he picks it up, creating a big enough distraction for the guards to run over to the lady and disregard Sam fleeing. But, there were other options. Sam could be sitting on a bench and waiting for time to pass, standing next to civilians and pretending to participate in their conversations so as to not draw attention to himself, and then dropping a cell phone and calling it to create a diversion.
It’s clear that the AI is going to be a huge factor in this game. Their reactions to things happening, and how they see things will play a large role. The developers claim they are creating each level as a “Sandbox.” This enables players to try different things, with people always in different positions, changing how they react to things.
Like in the previous Splinter Cells, you can pull out guns when things go bad; however, Conviction introduces punch/kick combos to the series. Ubisoft is aiming for a style likened to the movie: The Bourne Identity, where players can use strikes to take out enemies up-close (with punch, grab, and block buttons). The combat seems to have slowed down, and doesn’t look as effective as the ol’ slap-in-the-back routine; however, this creates a much more realistic effect.
On the multi-player side, it seems like the single player. This mode has been changed drastically as well. Ubisoft is keeping their lips tight about this, but we are sure there will be a co-op mode included.
Actually, there’s a lot that Ubisoft isn’t talking about. They haven’t said anything about the HUD, radar, or how the stealth system will work. So, there is a lot to learn about this game, but one thing for sure is Ubisoft deserves props. There aren’t a lot of companies that would take a huge blockbuster series and absolutely change it.