Splinter Cell Blacklist – PS3
Platform: PlayStation 3
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
August 20, 2013
Nerd Rating: 9 out 10
Reviewed by Shadow Links
Fifth Freedom has been given. The Freedom to do whatever it takes to protect the US.
Ahhh Sam is back in action in his 6th game, yet again. You know, Sam was pretty old in the first game he appeared in, when he came out of retirement. 47 to be exact. And for the first 3 games this was a running joke considering his age compared to his team as well as his knowledge of technology. So at the ripe age of what I estimate of 58, Sam grabs a new voice actor and hits the field. A rather young voice to go with his young yet experienced appearance. Perhaps insignificant, but it bothered me to a degree.
So as a direct sequel that takes place roughly 3 years after the events of Conviction. Sam appears to be still working along with Victor, his old friend from Conviction, as they begin to leave an Air Force base with Charlie, one of Victors young tech specialists. On their way out
the base gets attacked
and equipped with nothing, you begin the road to relearning stealth. As this is going on, the events that become the basis of the game occurs. A mysterious world wide group called the “Engineers” take responsibility for the attack and use it to speak to the world. They demand that the US remove all troops from all other countries and go home. Of course no one can take this seriously until they threaten with 7 coded targets they will attack in succession if demands are not met. The targets are called American Power, American Fuel, American Consumption, American Freedom, American Blood, and American Dust which leave plenty of speculating and uproar of the media and public. The president created a secret taskforce called 4th Echelon, which Sam leads, to prevent the attacks.
As Tom Clancy material always is, this is a high stakes and very realistic situation that just creates the perfect platform for a stealth action game to occur.
The gameplay is a nice hybrid of Chaos Theory and Conviction. The classic stealth situations of Chaos theory, combined with the Mark and Execute ability of Conviction with a smooth flow that is new to the series makes for an amazing experience. Before each mission you can explore your base which is a modified cargo plane called the Paladin and talk to other characters. Most of the main characters will have unique conversations after each mission as well as side missions which unlock some gadgets or upgrade the plan for more help on the ground. All the upgrades depend on a money system which spawns from how well you completed each mission.
You may have heard a little about how there are 3 styles of gameplay in each mission. Ultimately they matter little except in money rewards at the end, but you are never restricted to a style. Ghost style is non-lethal takedowns and entirely avoiding enemies and as such is difficult to perfect a level in this style, but is the most rewarding in terms of points. Panther is a little more fun and is silent lethal kills and avoiding guards after arousing suspicion. Combat style is loud kills and thats about it.
Before each mission you can suit up and select gadgets and weapons you think are appropriate for the level and style you want to try. Combat items are most any unsilenced weapon and loud devices like mines and explosive grenades. Panther weapons are silenced and tend to be getaway items like smoke grenades and tear gas. Ghost items have the largest gadget variety like nonlethal mines, sticky camera, and sleeping gas. Your goggles can be upgraded from basic night vision with a sonar variation which can still be improved. Last but not least is your sneaking suit. There are multiple levels of each garment for either a silent gadget filled suit, or a ammo packed armored suit which of course match the 3 styles.
The main missions are always action packed and you never know what will happen next with a high variation of situations. I cant say anything bad about them. The side missions given by the characters are specialized situations, Grim always gives sneaking, do-not-be-detected-or-else missions, which Charlie has wave based missions, another character gives Co-op only missions and the other is clearing areas of all enemies. Most any mission can be completed Co-op as a nice perk.
You will spend a small amount of time roaming the Paladin which does a nice job of showing off visuals as well as having a practical use. The command center has screens which show completion rates and objectives if you happen to notice them. You may not since you will always be looking at the SMI which is the hub for all the missions.
Nerd Rating 9/10
There’s not much in this game you can complain about. The characters already have a history and are well done despite the out of place youthfulness of Sam. The missions are exciting and the side missions offer alternate types of objectives. The graphics weren’t the greatest an left a little more to be desired. A bit too dark and blurry at times which was hindered by the glare of the lights that are meant to tell you that you’re hidden. Although it left the realism that you cant always have your goggles on.
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