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Ubisoft: Complexity Holding Back Splinter Cell

Eurogamer has comments on Splinter Cell: Blacklist from Ubisoft Toronto's Jade Raymond, who discusses how the series has "stayed with the most pure approach to that stealth experience" over the years. Though she doesn't come out and say the game is being simplified for its upcoming installment, she does comment that there is a feeling among the executives at Ubisoft (surely hardcore gamers) that the Splinter Cell video games could be more popular but for their complexity: "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," she tells them. "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." She goes on to talk of a "broader" experience which can allow for more of an action/game experience:

"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.

"That's for those who want to plan it out and feel really smart, and, 'I'm going to use the Sticky Cam with the Sleeping Gas and them I'm going to whistle and the guy's going to come,' and do the full set-up."

By default, though, Splinter Cell: Blacklist offers a more "fluid, modern play-style", Raymond explained, which helps Fisher navigate the 3D environments without the need for as much interaction on the part of the player.

"You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons," Raymond said.

"Sam does it automatically. The Killing in Motion, being able to Mark and Execute while moving through the map, makes it much more accessible to more of an action gamer."

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37. Re: Ubisoft: Complexity Holding Back Splinter Cell Apr 25, 2013, 00:11 Jerykk
 
As I mentioned before, combat was a viable option in the previous Hitman and Splinter Cell games. If you got into trouble, you'd just pull out your gun and kill people. The combat AI is pretty terrible in every stealth game and it's a simple matter to draw them into chokepoints and mow them down one by one. The combat AI in Conviction and Absolution is actually an improvement over the previous games. It's just the addition of crap like Mark & Execute (completely optional) that makes combat easier.

As for Dishonored, I avoided all combat and found the stealth gameplay very compelling. I primarily used Blink and avoided Possession and Bend Time due to their overpowered nature, but there were occasions where the only way to achieve my personal goals was to use them. The level design didn't change regardless of what powers you used, so I'm not sure why you think the game became more linear when all the levels were inherently open-ended.

If you think sneaking around and avoiding combat is boring, I'm not sure why you're complaining about the increased viability of combat in modern stealth games.

Once again, if you find a certain mechanic or gameplay style enjoyable, then go for it. Don't concern yourself with what ending you'll get or other arbitrary nonsense. Do what you enjoy. I enjoy ghosting so that's what I do. If I think a weapon or ability is overpowered enough to ruin the game, I just don't use it. Simple stuff, really.
 
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