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Splinter Cell’s complexity is holding back its popularity, says Raymond

Tuesday, 23 April 2013 12:15 GMT By Dave Cook

Splinter Cell’s complexity is stopping it from becoming as popular as Far Cry or Assassin’s Creed, Ubisoft Toronto head Jade Raymond has suggested. The team is currently working towards the release of Splinter Cell Blacklist, an entry that seems to go back to the complex stealth mechanics the series is known for.

Speaking with Eurogamer, Raymond offered her own theory on why Splinter Cell hasn’t hit the same heights as its stablemates, “One of the things that held it back is despite all of the changes that have happened over the years, it’s still one of the more complex and difficult games to play.

“Even though we do have core fans who are like, ‘Oh, I want to have more of this experience,’ when you play any other game that has stealth elements, they’re all a lot more forgiving than Splinter Cell. I guess Splinter Cell stayed with the most pure approach to that stealth experience.”

Raymond acknowledged that previous entry Splinter Cell Conviction took a more action-heavy approach, but stressed that Blacklist is a return to form, and the stealth ideals that founded the franchise.

“Splinter Cell still really is a thinking game,” she added. “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.”

Based on footage we’ve seen of the game running so far, do you think that Blacklist really is going back to the series’ roots? Let us know what you think below.

Splinter Cell Blacklist drops across North America on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 from August 20, and across Europe from August 23.

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25 Comments

  1. monkeygourmet

    No shit…

    Perhaps if it was turned into a Facebook farming sim, it would be even more popular?! O__o

    #1 2 years ago
  2. monkeygourmet

    At this rate, EVERY fucking game will merge into Uncharted…

    Linear corridors, great graphics and basic climbing gameplay…

    This is my prediction for next gen.

    Every game will be Uncharted…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. HOBO

    I would punch her in the face if she was a dude

    #3 2 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    @3

    You could have a sex change, then punch her?

    It’s a lot of work to go too, but if your passionate about something! ;)

    #4 2 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    Is that a bad thing, is it really?

    Allow me to make a case in point:

    Deus Ex revelled in shenanigans and idealistic symbolism before Mass Effect was but a twinkle in the eye of BioWare. The difference was that Deus Ex was less accessible, it was crazy-hard at times, and it actually took skill. It took a hell of a lot of skill if you went for a non-lethal playthrough (which is my favourite kind).

    Mass Effect 3′s gameplay, by comparison, is essentially popcorn entertainment. So when BioWare decided to do something arty with it, something involving symbolism and ideologies, the fanbase went batshit. This is because the average Mass Effect fan just isn’t that bright. They’re expecting Space Invaders. You know, you have the enemy, you kill the enemy, a celebration is thrown, and so on. Popcorn entertainment. Brainless stuff. That’s exactly what Mass Effect 1/2 were.

    So they got to the end of Mass Effect 3 and the reaction was, essentially, “The hell is this shit?!?!” since it didn’t revolve around the usual Space Invaders plot.

    So why was that the case, versus Deus Ex?

    I think it’s because Deus Ex didn’t let the mainstream in so much. Even Human Revolution, as accessible as that was compared to other Deus Ex offerings, was still a bit oldschool. The complexity works like magic in helping people to understand that such-and-such a game isn’t popcorn entertainment. Deus Ex was many things, but never popcorn entertainment.

    By dumbing down games, all you’re doing is creating popcorn entertainment and inviting a very low brow audience in. I guess it makes more money, but at the same time it also devalues the IP. Why? They have to make the plot dumb as well in order to make it accessible, which makes it less desirable to anyone who wants more from gaming.

    There’s enough popcorn entertainment out there already. Let Splinter Cell be Splinter Cell. This is the wrong move, UbiSoft. The worst possible one you could make.

    —Edit—

    If anything, UbiSoft should make it MORE complex. Take pages from the books of Deus Ex and Alpha Protocol. That would be a game I’d want to play!

    #5 2 years ago
  6. The_Red

    What else is new? Last time I checked, Bayformer movies and Kardashians were “popular” so, yeah. If you want “popularity” you need to leave you brain at the door. That’s why everything is a “cinematic” played-by-itself clone of COD or Uncharted. Heck, even BioShock I was a bit COD-fied.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. DrDamn

    So anyone actually read the article – or the linked article – and not just the headline?

    Stuff like …

    “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.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. FeaturePreacher

    I don’t think the problem is the complexity, I think the problem is the inability to have NPCs behave the way the player predicts. This is why stealth games should have a rewind mechanic. I’m going to buy this game regardless.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Ristas

    For fuck’s sake guys, read the goddamnit article before you start posting hateful comments…jesus christ…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    Yeah, if you read past the headline she makes a lot of sense.

    BUT. This is my main issue with the current industry. You take some niche game and try to make it work for as many people as possible. If people continue to do that, we’re going to basically play the same game.

    And that’s ubisoft biggest problem right now. They keep taking features from their other games and put them into games like Splinter Cell.

    Do I really want Sam to use drones? Isn’t it enough that Ghost Recon has them already? Do I need Mark & Execute in all Tom Clancy games? Do I need some half-assed hunting mechanic in AC3 or FC3? Ubisofts games are losing their originality.

    In case of SCC however, I think their approach worked. For far too long stealth games have been all about sitting in the dark, mark a target, watch it’s walking behavior. Strike from the dark, get seen, try again/get shot, reload the savegame.

    But in SCC, I see the target, I take it out I hide the body, I get seen, I jump to cover, I disappear, I take the target out. It works much better.

    The gameplay isn’t my biggest problem with SC right now. Story and characters are. Why make Sam younger? Why get rid of his iconic voice and replace it with a 30-something guy? Because of motion-capture? Don’t give me that bullshit

    Why even have Sam still operate? How about you introduce us to new characters? It worked for the SCC coop. Great characters. Great chemistry.

    Then you wouldn’t have to use him for motion capture and we might have a fresh start for the franchise. SCC took Sams story as far as it could go.

    This game takes a huge step back. It isn’t personal anymore nor interesting.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. monkeygourmet

    @7,9

    Have you guys watched all the gameplay? They’ve already had to tone the torture scenes down, lets face it… All the reboots are getting diluted to have mass market appeal.

    Hitman, Thief, Splinter Cell, Dead Space, REsident Evil…

    They are all merging into one/two genres…

    In the future (next gen), most games will either be Skyrim or Uncharted the way things are headed…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Stardog

    It just looks b-rate. The graphics don’t even look good for current gen.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. YoungZer0

    @11: They probably tone down the torture scenes because torture isn’t cool anymore. 24 is gone and so is any reason to put it into their game. We probably wouldn’t have a Watch_Dogs game without Person of Interest.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. monkeygourmet

    @13

    lol :)

    #14 2 years ago
  15. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    Let’s make it a balloon you hit with a stick. Maybe then, when apes get it, it’ll sell more.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. polygem

    @2: exactly my thoughts. i am actually thinking about going handheld only. The 3ds/ds gems, the vita, psone, psp games are where it´s at for me for quite a while now. even replaying some old games is more fun to me than playing many newer ones. homeconsole gaming bores the shit out of me atm. it´s sad really.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Moonwalker1982

    So in other words Ubi….

    After Splinter Cell…Rainbow Six will be destroyed next?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. ojinnvoltz

    @8

    A rewind mechanic in stealth games? Buddy, it’s called a quicksave. Oh that’s right, this gen has been all console and checkpoint affairs.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. SLARTIBAF1

    The main problem with current and next gen games is the shitload of money developers need, to create state of the art graphics. So in order to get the most cash out of their franchises, they just HAVE to dumb them down, so anyone can play and buy them. Face it, there aren’t enough of us gaming geeks, to keep this industry alive. The better the graphics get, the less niche-products we get.
    The only hope for hardcore-niche-gaming are the crowdfunding platforms, where the fans help the developers create the game they really want to create.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. YoungZer0

    @18: Yep. Checkpoints are true enemy of any stealth game. It literally ruined Hitman Absolution for me.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DrDamn

    @20
    I’d say quicksaves are much more of an enemy. A well done checkpoint system should encourage good game design. Quicksave is a work around. It skirts the issue, it doesn’t address it.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. xino

    splinter cell sucks!
    Conviction was better, they should just make the damn game more like Conviction.
    Because it was still a stealth game, yet very OPTIONAL to use action!

    #22 2 years ago
  23. SLARTIBAF1

    @22
    To me it felt optional to play it stealthy. Oh they saw me? Ah fuck it, i’m goin rogue.
    I loved the first one, were action wasn’t an option and you couldn’t blind all of your enemies, just to stay ‘stealth’.

    I guess I’ll wait for Blacklists reviews to emerge, before i’ll buy it, so i don’t make the same mistake of buying it, i did with Conviction.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. theevilaires

    @3 put your hands on Jade ever and I’ll beat the shit out of you.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Mjorh

    Adverfuckintisment 4 gainin the trust of fans ! gotta admit it sounds promising but definitely it ain’t what they say it is

    #25 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]

  • Toejam and Earl are back with a new Kickstarter

    The early 90′s are alive and well in a new bid to bring back Toejam and Earl. Toejam and Earl released for Mega Drive (Genesis, Americans) in 1991, and the eponymous characters went on to count among Sega’s best-known characters. They appeared in a platformer, a light gun shooter and finally a 2002 Xbox game […]

  • New Wander trailer shows off Azertash form

    Wander is a collaborative, non-combat MMO in which you can take on a number of unique forms. Wander players begin as an ambulant tree called an Oren and can progress through several different bodies as they explore the environment, learning its secrets. One of these, which we’d not seen before this trailer, is the amphibious […]

  • SOMA approaching beta phase on PC and PS4

    SOMA, the new horror game from the Amnesia: The Dark Descent crew, is getting close to playable. Frictional Games has apologised for its recent silence over the project, but said it’s focused on reaching beta. Sorry all for the silence! We're closing in on Beta and everyone's working hard to get there. Once that's done, […]

  • Square Enix does not condone Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest HD Remaster

    Square Enix has said it’s not involved with a fan remake of Final Fantasy spin-off Mystic Quest. 1992 SNES game Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest is being remade by Dark Design as Mystic Quest HD Remaster. The developer is even taking pre-orders for the project. Unfortunately, it looks like it is in no position to be […]

  • New Hunger teaser released by LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers

    LittleBigPlanet Vita co-developers Tarsier Studios have released a teaser trailer for Hunger, which was announced in May 2014 at the Nordic Game Conference. The game has been rumored to be the firm’s unannounced Sony project since 2010. Platforms are still to be announced, but the studio became a first-party SCE developer a few years back, […]

  • Here’s two Mario Party 10 overview videos, one featuring amiibo

    Overview videos for Mario Party 10 and the amiibo which work with the title have been released by Nintendo Japan. Obviously each one is in Japanese, but you get the gist all the same. Mario Party 10 releases on Wii U March 20 in North America and Europe. Thanks, AGB.

  • Clan Raids announced for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App

    Activision has announced a new Clan Raids mode will be made available through the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Companion App. According to the CoD community blog, raids are time-based challenges where success earns you a spot on the Clan Raids leaderboards and new Clan Raid-exclusive in-game gear like the Equilibrium set. Clan members will […]

  • Play Battlefield Hardline starting March 12 through EA Access

    Xbox One users with an EA Access subscription will be able to play 10 hours worth of Battlefield Hardline starting March 12. EA Access members will are being granted access to the game five days before the street date, with full multiplayer and all saves transferring over into the main game. It was announced yesterday […]

  • This video summarizes the contents of Destiny patch 1.1.1

    With Destiny patch 1.1.1 now available, here’s a video summary of what to expect. In the video above, Arekkz Gaming gives you a rundown of the important bits in the update. Subscribe to Arekkz Gaming for more Destiny tips and trick through the link.

  • Destiny 1.1.1 patch notes out, update is live

    Destiny’s 1.1.1 patch arrives today, so if you have been kicked from activities, it means you will need to download the patch now that it’s live. We will be pushing the 1.1.1 patch for Destiny shortly. Players will be kicked from activities and required to download the patch. — Bungie Help (@BungieHelp) February 25, 2015 […]

  • Payday 2 packs based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number coming

    Starbreeze has announced another collaboration with Dennaton Games which will see masks based on Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number appear in Payday 2. The collaboration consists of two free updates when you acquire Hotline Miami 2 or its deluxe version on Steam from February 25. The two updates, called Hotline Miami Mask Pack and Jacket […]

  • Velocity 2X making its way onto Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One

    Velocity 2X will be released on Linux, Mac, PC and Xbox One Futurlab has announced. The developer is in charge of the port, which will be published by Sierra. According to Futurlab, the deal with Sierra came about when self-publishing proved to be difficult due to spending “more time doing PR and marketing on Velocity […]

  • Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number finally has a release date

    A release date for Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number has been announced, finally. The game will arrive on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4 and Vita March 10. It is now available for pre-order on GOG, Humble and Steam for 10% off for $13.49/£10.99. There’s also a Digital Special Edition available which includes tracks from […]