Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Being my first foray into any Splinter Cell game, this is the first time I was introduced to the series protagonist Sam Fisher. I'm glad that story wise, it was pretty accommodating to not make me feel like I required previous knowledge about anything. Plot wise it's pretty simple: a terrorist group is threatening to do bad stuff and it's up to you (and your team) to stop it. After the tutorial mission you get access to your mobile base (the Paladin) and can then get the money you make on missions based on your performance to upgrade it and expand your customizable arsenal. Whoever is paying you also rewards you for the strangest things. Killed three enemies with a grenade? That was cool! Here's $30k! Shot some one with a non-silenced pistol while using some poor sap as a human shield? Have $10k!

I'm being sneaky!

Gameplay wise you can try be Rambo (kill everything loudly) or Solid Snake (sneak past everything, or kill them quietly), with most missions leaning in favour to the latter (some even as mandatory) as Sam's impressive agility is counteracted by his highly fatal allergy to bullets especially on perfectionist mode. He could probably take more hits if I geared him up in combat gear instead of stealth gear though - but that's how I like to play. A few, side mini-games also break up the tedium of sneaking now and then throughout the solo campaign which I feel was a good inclusion. There are also side missions, most playable as two person coop, and the usual FPS team PvP. Mostly, against AI anyway, it is a lesson in displacement and flanking.

Graphics wise it is very good, way better than Sniper Elite V2 for example - but the control scheme is almost identical to that game, complete with cover mechanics etc. I didn't have a problem with it but I thought I'd mention it here since a few readers posted their dislike of it. It also still crashed out about 10 times during my play through which is irritating, has subtitles that are slightly off from the actual voice acting (I always turn subtitles on) and occasionally has small logic flaws in the missions. Due to the stealth imposed nature it also feels more like a puzzle game than a shooter in some sections which might put people off. Still, if you don't mind all of those then you are in for a good time. I give it 4 bullets out of 5.

Update: Just played the cooperative mode and though there are only four missions it was very enjoyable. So much so that I am upping my rating to 4.5 bullets out of 5!Your mileage may vary though if you team up with a random who doesn't use voice chat.

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