The lights are out all around. You can hear terrorists talking to each other about how long they have been here. You nod your head quickly to activate your sonar goggles seeing exactly where they are standing, and you mark them. Staying in the shadows moving silently. The moment they separate. You move, grabbing the first terrorist and take him out. He falls silently to the floor, and you draw your gun and execute the other terrorist with a clean head-shot. No sound. No fuss.
When Splinter Cell Blacklist is like this, it’s amazing. Hiding in the shadows, taking out the terrorists with precision and not a sound. The problem is that these moments are separated by outside daylight missions, car headlights that can’t be shot, and the odd first person mode, and then to top it off, randomly placed heavy armour targets and guys carrying shields, meaning that the “Mark and Execute” won’t work.
The Story for Blacklist is believable and it works, but because of the advent of the Strategic Mission Interface (SMI) and some niggles, the missions often come across as disjointed and sometimes hard to follow. For example: There is the option after you have watched a mission briefing to put the mission “On Hold”, but when you come back and start the mission the briefing starts all over again exactly the same as the last time. Either they think the player has a short memory or the game characters do.
I like the new voice actor for Sam Fisher (Eric Johnson), he’s a good actor and I can see the need for them to “freshen” up the series a little, but I don’t feel the pain and suffering in this voice that Sam Fisher has experienced. He doesn’t have the same gravitas as Michael Ironside. It also sounds odd when he starts talking to his Daughter and they both sound around the same age.
As with Conviction, this is where the game really shines. The CO-OP is amazing, the missions are varied (but not enough of them) and fun to play. You don’t feel forced as much to a particular section in a particular way. The CO-OP is accessed from the Paladin’s SMI, which makes it easy to get to the missions and then swap back to your Single Player story.
BUT a few words of warning, if you leave your single player game in the middle of a mission (wearing all your stealth gear) and then proceed to play CO-OP and you change your outfit (to armoured gear), when you reload your single play story, you will be unable to go back to your original (stealth) loadout for the rest of the mission. So make sure you change your loadout before you go back to your Single Player story.
Be wary if you play a mix between single player and CO-OP and you are over half way through the story, as there will be a lot of disk swapping as the CO-OP only seems to be accessed from Disk 1.
Since I don’t want to give any spoilers away for this, I won’t go into any details, but the end fight scenes are possibly the worst I have played through in a long time. They make very little sense and the timing behind the last button press sequence is crazy.
Spies vs Mercs
At the time of this review, I haven’t had that much time to really get into this game mode. I will be doing a separate review for this part of the game when I have more time.
Anna Grímsdóttir (Grim). Why is she wearing a short skirt and heals on a metal Airplane floor. It makes no sense to me at all that she would wear that sort of clothes on board a “top secret plane”. WE KNOW SHE IS A WOMAN, you don’t have to “prove it” by making her wear inappropriate (for the situation) clothing.
This game was supplied for review by Ubisoft.
If you are interested in buying this title, buying using these links will help support Mini Game Reviews.