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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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34. Re: Ubisoft: Complexity Holding Back Splinter Cell Apr 24, 2013, 04:54 Jerykk
Wait, you complain that blink makes the game too easy but then say that it's the only thing that makes the game interesting..? You can't have it both ways. Blink is a teleportation ability. Teleportation, by it's very nature, isn't fair and gives you a pretty distinct advantage. In Dishonored, it lets you move about environments very quickly and reach areas that NPCs cannot. This is satisfying but obviously unfair to the NPCs. I'm not sure how you would resolve this because the ability's most appealing benefits are also the most unbalanced. If you want a challenge, don't abuse unbalanced mechanics. And please stop with the nonsense about the most interesting abilities only being combat-centric. That's bullshit. Blink, Bend Time and Possession are the most interesting abilities in the game and they are all very useful for stealthy players. And if you want a "visceral" experience, why are you trying to be stealthy? Stealth is slow and methodical. It's the exact opposite of visceral.

As I said before, stealth has always been a matter of self-restraint. In every Splinter Cell, shooting everyone has always been a viable approach if your aim is good enough. In every Hitman, shooting everyone has always been a viable approach because the combat AI has always been terrible. Newer games make combat even easier, yes, but it doesn't change the fact that combat was perfectly viable in the previous games too.

If you want to play stealthy, play stealthy. If you don't, don't. If you want to play stealthy but the game forces you into combat (like in Conviction or DX:HR), then you have valid grounds for complaint. Otherwise, you're just being silly.

For what it's worth, I ghosted my way through Absolution on the highest difficulty and I only had to wear a disguise in two missions. Trust me when I say that wearing disguises makes the game significantly easier, even if they are severely nerfed compared to the previous games.

This comment was edited on Apr 24, 2013, 05:00.
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