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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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    A petition to save the Silent Hills game has been formed by fans in the hopes Konami will change its mind and bring the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro back from the dead. Konami confirmed on Monday the Silent Hill remake from film director Del Toro and Metal Gear’s Hideo Kojima had been cancelled, but […]

  • Attack on Titan has a US release date, title changed in EU over copyright claim

    Attack on Titan: Humanity in Chains will be released under a different title in Europe, according to the publisher, and while a release date has been set for North America, the same cannot be said for fans across the pond. According to Atlus, a copyright claim in Europe has forced the company to publish the […]

  • Yooka-Laylee meets final Kickstarter Stretch Goal in less than 24 hours

    The Kickstarter for Playtonic’s Yooka-Laylee sailed beyond its final £1 million ($1.5 million) Stretch Goal overnight, which will allow for a simultaneous release on all announced platforms. Once funded, Yooka-Laylee was slated for release on Linux, Mac, PC, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One; however, a simultaneous release on all platforms wasn’t guaranteed unless […]

  • Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, but not by much

    Not a Hero will miss its May 7 release date, according to an announcement from Roll7. Not to worry though, it’s only by a week. According to the developer, the delay is due to “having undergone super-secret upgrades to crank shit up to 60fps.” The extra week will provide the additional time needed for tweaking […]

  • Assassin’s Creed, The Crew, Far Cry 4, other Ubisoft titles on sale through the Humble Store

    Ubisoft has put a number of its games on sale through the Humble Store. Franchises Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry are on discount as are single release titles. The list of games on sale are below. For pricing in your region, head over to the Humble Store. Anno 2070 Complete Edition Assassin’s Creed 3 Assassin’s […]

  • Payday 2: Repeater rifle, Peacemaker pistol introduced with The Butcher’s Western Pack

    Overkill Software released the 21st DLC pack for Payday 2 yesterday, titled The Butcher’s Western Pack. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and other digital distribution channels. “For our 21st DLC we go back in time to visit the Wild West and the arsenal it was known for,” said the developers. “With it we’re introducing […]

  • The Yooka-Laylee Kickstarter just launched and has already met its funding goal

    Playtonic Games launched the Kickstarter campaign for Yooka-Laylee at 5pm UK, and in just over 30 minutes it already hit its $270,000 funding goal. You can watch the funding counter continue to roll over through the link. Yooka-Laylee is a 3D platformer where the characters use special moves such as Yooka’s tongue grapple and Laylee’s […]

  • Batch of hi-res Persona 5 screenshots released by PlayStation Japan

    A set of screenshots have been released for Persona 5, and while you’ve seen these before in magazines and on the official website, these are high-res versions. Some will even look familiar to those who watched the first gameplay trailer back in February. The shots were posted over on the PlayStation Japan Persona 5 game […]

  • Is Alien: Isolation getting HTC Vive support?

    Placeholder images for SteamVR icons have been found and it looks like there may be support for Alien: Isolation, so if you enjoy soiling yourself, get psyched! NeoGAF members found a thread on Reddit, where a little rooting around in a Steam directory unearthed the images. The list includes both games and apps, and as […]

  • Xbox Live multiplayer is free this weekend on Xbox 360

    Xbox 360 players in all Xbox Live regions can play multiplayer online for free this weekend. If you are a Silver member, this means you are Golden from May 1-3 and can play multiple games online with your buddies. All you have to do is log-in to Xbox Live.

  • Assassin’s Creed actor Michael Fassbender confirms film production starts September

    The Assassin’s Creed movie will start production this fall, actor Michael Fassbender (Prometheus, 300, X-Men:First Class) as confirmed. Speaking with ComingSoon.net, Fassbender said filming will start in September, which is inline with Ubisoft’s announcement in February. The actor will star in the film alongside Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard, both reuniting with their MacBeth director Justin […]

  • Eve Online boss states VR won’t be as big as we think next year

    I don’t think I’m the only one who wants VR to hurry up and manifest into a Sword Art Online-esque reality. Unfortunately, the chief executive officer at the studio behind Eve Online doesn’t think that will be happening any time soon. Talking to Venture Beat, Hilmar Veigar Pétursson touched on his excitement at the prospects […]

  • The Last of Us: Left Behind goes standalone in May on PS3, PS4

    Naughty Dog has announced that The Last of US DLC Left Behind will be released as a standalone experience next month. It can be purchased for both PlayStation 3 and PS4 through the PS Store and a two-hour demo of the Factions multiplayer will also be made available. “The Left Behind standalone game will have […]

  • EA’s annual E3 press conference takes place on June 15

    Electronic Arts has announced its annual E3 2015 press conference will take place the day before the show kicks off on June 15. EA, Microsoft, Sony and Ubisoft always hold press events the day before E3 officially starts, so this isn’t any surprise, really. The presser, dubbed “Live to Play”, will last one hour and […]

  • Steam exchange rate mix-up closes down community market

    The Steam community market was buggered up big time today after a mix-up with currency conversion had items selling from practically nothing, to millions of dollars. PC Gamer picked up on the news after a thread on Reddit appeared with screenshots depicting just how silly things were getting over there. The currency exchange rate data […]

  • Britney Spears signs five-year deal with Glu for new mobile game

    Pop star Britney Spears has signed a five-year deal with Glu mobile for a new, untitled game. The mobile game will feature her “voice, likeness, and creative influence,” and is due for release sometime next year. Glu also signed a deal with Katy Perry in February, so expect a game revolving around her to hit […]

  • Large Activision publisher sale on Steam discounts Call of Duty, Prototype, more

    Activision has put the majority of its library on sale through Steam this weekend, and if other titles weren’t included, it could be referred to as a Call of Duty sale. Below are a few standouts. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Gold Edition 25% off Call of Duty: Ghosts 67% off Call of Duty: […]

  • The Dota 2 International Compendium is out, second Stretch Goal almost complete

    The International Compendium has been released for Dota 2 with the prize pool sitting at a lovely $1,917,155 as of press time. Valve said over the weekend to expect the International Compendium to drop sometime this week. As with previous years, those who purchase the Compendium can earn rewards by completing challenges, making predictions and by […]

  • If permadeath RTS games are up your alley, check out indie project XO

    The Square Enix Collective showcases projects for a limited time to help drum up community support and potential backers, and RTS title XO from Jumpdrive Studios is worth taking a look at. The teaser trailer is fairly brief, but if you visit the page for XO over at the Square Enix Collective, it’s understandable – […]

  • GTA 5 PC patch disables mods. Here’s how to get them working again

    A new patch for the PC version of GTA 5 was released yesterday and, as it turns out, has wiped the ability to use mods with the game. The wasn’t great news for some players, but YouTuber taltigolt has already figured out how to play the PC version with mods after installing the patch. Matt […]

  • Xbox One ad stealth launches a mysterious Halo 5 competition

    A new Xbox One advert released today isn’t as straightforward as it appears. The trailer has a couple of pretty conspicuous ‘glitches’ throughout, and members of NeoGAF wasted no time in breaking it down. The first item of interest is the screen from the hunt the signal site, which displays an error message when accessed […]

  • Battlefield 4 Jungle map improved with latest update

    DICE LA has updated the Battlefield 4 Jungle map, adding more foliage and a new route. As demonstrated by Westie in the video above, the map now has the kind of foliage you’d expect in the jungle, helping to conceal infantry players. The update also tweaks positions of objective points and has added a concealed […]

  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate free DLC pack for May includes Metroid and Mega Man armour

    The May DLC pack for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate boasts some big ticket items, including Metroid, Street Fighter, and Mega Man gear. This big fat chunk of free DLC, detailed on the capcom unity blog, includes Hunter equipment: Metroid’s Varia Suit Metroid’s Zero Suit Metroid’s Arm Cannon Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn USJ’s Star Rook […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for May 1, 2 – Hard Light edition

    Here he comes with his weird face, dealing goods and gear for Guardians. It’s Friday. Xur: Agent of the Nine is back in the Tower. Of Course he is. Got your Strange Coins? Here’s what’s in his bag this week: Ruin Wings [Exotic Titan gauntlets] – 13SC Don’t Touch Me [Exotic Hunter gauntlets] – 13SC […]

  • Dragon Age: Inquisition Jaws of Hakkon DLC drops for PS4 on May 26

    Dragon Age: Inquisition DLC has now been announced for May 26 for PS3, PS4 and Xbox 360. The announcement was made on Twitter via the official Dragon Age account. Mark your calendars! #DAIJawsOfHakkon pic.twitter.com/mU1WfkSrQV — Dragon Age (@dragonage) May 1, 2015 The DLC was released for PC and Xbox One back in March thanks to […]

  • New Witcher 3 screenshots highlight Geralt’s questionable fashion choices

    Even though The Witcher 3 release date is drawing closer, it still feels like a million year away. So here are some more screenshots to tide you over until then. We got to look at in-game shots yesterday, but these new screens show Geralt riding through some gorgeously vibrant mountains, in the midst of combat […]

  • Sims Gurus patch out pregnant men

    Say goodbye to The Sims 4 unique take on fatherhood, as The Sims Gurus confirm that male pregnancies are no more. The Sims 4 players have been reporting high numbers of alien abductions, leaving their male characters with sore bottoms and a bellyful of alien baby. Kotaku reports that not everyone was getting their knickers […]

  • Black Mesa countdown probably points to Half-life remake release date

    Half-life remake Black Mesa may have a release date at last. Black Mesa is a Source Engine remake of the original Half-life, which like everything related to Half-life feels like it’s taking forever to come out. The first part launched in September 2012, and it looks like we might have a release date for the […]

  • Spector puts down rumours of troubled Epic Mickey development

    Epic Mickey seemed like a surprising follow-up project from the man who made Deus Ex, but Warren Spector has put down rumours of a difficult relationship with Disney. Epic Mickey displays several qualities found in Spector’s other games and which he has always espoused in interviews – heck, this is the man whose dream it […]

  • Ubisoft makes good on Child of Light promise with free eBook

    Child of Light fans can check out a gorgeous new illustrated book set in the world of Lumeria. Earlier this month, creator Patrick Plourde confirmed that there were more Child of Light projects on the way. As we expected from the cagey wording, at least the first of these projects isn’t a game: it’s an […]

  • Half-life episode from Junction Point would have featured a magnet gun

    Half-life seems to be on near permanent hold, but at least we can glean some insight into what might once have been. Junction Point’s cancelled Half-life game came up in Warren Spector’s Reddit AMA overnight. Commenting that he isn’t sure whether he’ll get into legal trouble for discussing the project, Spector gave a few comments […]

  • Destiny: exclusive shader, emblem on offer with Nepal benefit shirt

    Destiny developer Bungie has asked Guardians to offer their aid, and they’ve already responded in troves. A new Destiny shirt added to the Bungie Store is the object of a fundraising drive to provide aid in Nepal following a devastating earthquake this week. Bungie popped the pretty stylish shirt on sale earlier today, offering an […]

  • What does the creator of Deus Ex think of Human Revolution and Mankind Divided?

    Deus Ex creator Warren Spector seems pretty positive about the direction the sci-fi series has followed under Square Enix’s hand. Deus Ex was created by Spector and his team at Ion Storm, and remained with Eidos after the developer shuttered. When Square Enix purchased the British publisher, it put new studio Eidos Montreal to work […]

  • Protest Goat secures future for Elite Dangerous destruction derbies

    One of the stranger and more beautiful stories to manifest in the gaming world this week, I think. Elite: Dangerous has given birth to an unintended, emergent style of gameplay; a destruction derby like affair where players gather in no combat areas to both race and gleefully smash into each other until a victor limps […]

  • Destiny’s stunning landscapes captured in panoramas

    Destiny has some beautiful environments, which screenshots don’t necessarily do justice to. Walking around Destiny exclaiming over the lighting effects and the tiny animated details is the best way to experience Bungie’s tremendous achievements, but these panorama images stitched together from in-game screenshots are a good second. Click to see them fullsize. Redditor CenturyEagle made […]

  • Star Wars Disney Infinity re-release on the cards – rumour

    Star Wars is a no-brainer for Disney Infinity, and at long last it looks like it’s happening. A Star Wars re-release called Disney Infinity 3.0 has reportedly leaked from German retailers. We have to lable this one a rumour as we haven’t seen the original source, but the story was originally reported by DisKingdom, which […]

  • Award-winning mobile indie Monument Valley out now on Windows Phone

    Windows Phone’s game selection can be a bit restrictive, but has expanded delightfully today: Monument Valley is now available. Monument Valley is one of those gorgeous, mind-bending puzzlers the indie scene produces on the regular, winning awards and consuming everyone’s lives for weeks on end. Developed by Ustwo Games, with beautiful, understated art from Ken […]

  • Old-school EverQuest servers safe from legal troubles thanks to Daybreak agreement

    EverQuest rights holder Daybreak Game Company given its blessing to the wonderful Project 1999. EverQuest: Project 1999 is one of those lovely ideas that it are all too often crushed by the realities of the games industry. An entirely fan-managed affair, it provides an emulated version of the classic EverQuest experience, which is no longer […]