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  (review further down the page)

London, UK – August 23, 2013Today, Ubisoft® announced that Tom Clancy’s™ Splinter Cell® Blacklist™, the latest entry in the iconic Tom Clancy franchise, is now available for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii U™ from Nintendo and PC.  As lethal operative Sam Fisher, players are given a new mandate to hunt down the masterminds behind the Blacklist, a series of escalating terrorist attacks on U.S interests.  Developed by Ubisoft Toronto, with support from Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Shanghai.

“As one of Ubisoft's most revered franchises, Splinter Cell Blacklist continues the tradition of taking the series to greater heights by delivering rich new content, an immersive storyline, and the return of celebrated multiplayer mode, Spies vs. Mercs,” said Geoffroy Sardin, Chief Marketing & Sales Officerat Ubisoft. “As the most ambitious game in the series, the amount of effort and talent put behind the project shines through to offer one of the last great experiences of this current console generation.”

Delivering a gripping modern-day storyline, Splinter Cell Blacklist brings back core elements of the franchise and incorporates a new level of technical innovation and design to create the biggest Splinter Cell to date. The game features an immersive single player campaign, distinct co-op missions and the return of critically-acclaimed Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode.  Not only does the popular adversarial mode mark its triumphant return with the classic 2 vs. 2 action, but also introduces the new Spies vs. Mercs Blacklist version which supports up to 8 players in 4 vs. 4 competition.  All gameplay modes will be supported by a universal economy and customization system that allows players to completely customize their experience.

Throughout the game, players will also have the freedom to choose the best way to face any challenge by tapping into Sam’s arsenal of lethal skills and training. Gamers can own the darkness as a Ghost. Perfect the predatory skills of a Panther, or accept the consequences of detection in Assault mode.

Regardless of how takedowns are played out, Sam is always fully-equipped with almost limitless resources and front-line technology, including the Strategic Mission Interface that allows players to keep tabs on terrorist attacks in real time. The game also includes an array of new gadgets and classic weaponry, while the “Killing in Motion” fighting style lets players strike with surgical precision by marking and executing multiple enemies in a single fluid motion.

For more information on Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist, please visit:

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist. Pegi: 18  MA Restricted 15+. UbiSoft - Use of Kinect Sensor possible but not necessary

Splinter Cell Blacklist comes with 2 DVD discs. The first disc installs the game and is required in the console for playing. The second disc installs the high definition texture pack (for the best possible visual experience) if you request it, and also includes the selection of play difficulty - I found out that although the game says the mode I am playing is easy as far as I am concerned the game tells porky-pies). After the second disc has done its job the first disc has to be re-inserted. This game utilises the famous and excellent UNREAL engine which allows for smooth animation and superb strategic play.

You and your partner (you have no control over your partner's actions) are sent on your first mission supposedly unarmed - though a knife finds its way into your possession - after terrorists who intel tells you have killed American soldiers and are on their way to the USA. The action begins at Anderson Airforce Bay where your helicopter has just taken off when the terrorists attack by blowing up several buildings in the airports perimeter. Your chopper is brought down and you head back into the airport to do your duty. Killing a couple of bad guys in hand to head combat you quickly gain access to weapons. Your partner sends you off to get to the games first major waypoint and then you are on your own against several well armed and intelligent adversaries. Stealth is your only advantage. Killing one enemy and dragging him into the shadows is possible if your timing is good but a second or two off time and you are seen and surrounded (and killed) very quickly - the AI is high and the game is challenging.

To aid you ingame (and only for you) your suit has a small spot that glows green when you are submerged in the shadows; this is great as so many games when your guy is in the dark areas you cannot see them. This illumination doesn't help you see in the dark so it is not an unfair advantage but it is a good aid. There is a game mechanic that could be considered as an advantage and that is when you make a noise that alerts the enemy your position (ie your body) is outlined in white and it is to this position the enemy will converge - though not necessarily all from the same direction. This gives you the opportunity to swiftly move away and hide in different shadows until the enemy decide it was just a rat or something (unless of course you have fired your gun or killed someone and dropped a body where it can be found - as I say, the AI is high, the enemy aren't stupid cannon fodder, not even in easy mode.

The action is intense and I found time had passed really quickly as I continued on my way, dodging and stealthily killing and hiding in the darkness of night and the shadows of the abandoned vehicles. One thing I find a bit frustrating is that I can jump over certain hurdles and obstacles yet I cannot climb or clamber over these abandoned vehicles even though they are stationary. The odd thing is that even though the game suggests a reasonable freedom of movement I felt like I was being led.

With action possibilities like zip-lines this is all the fun of the fair that has the seriousness of a Robert Redford film and also the action of a Stallone movie. Thoroughly enjoyable, challenging and edge-of-seat intensity; in all a really good game.

There are also UPLAY actions available to you for online play which are challenges that let you earn in-game $dollars, obtained by completing certain achievements.


© Chris Baylis 2011-2015