Splinter Cell: Blacklist – prior to this entry, I’d only played the first game in the series, on the Xbox, and I didn’t quite get it. It had some issues that made it pale in comparison to Hitman 2, one of my favourite games at the time when it came to stealth titles.
And so, because I’m not really au fait with the plot from previous games, a lot of the preamble for Blacklist doesn’t mean an awful lot to me, but for those who’ve been paying attention before now…
The events of the last game, Splinter Cell: Conviction, saw President Patricia Caldwell shutting down the corrupt Third Echelon and, putting a new CTU in its place named… wait for it… Fourth Echelon. Snappy, huh? It’s run by the best of the best and is led by you, Sam Fisher, who was in charge of the Third Echelon.
However, the problem this time round is that there’s a dozen terrorists calling themselves “The Engineers” who initiate a deadly countdown of escalating attacks on United States assets called “The Blacklist”, and it’s up to you and your team (well, mostly you) to stop it all kicking off.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist also introduces a new experience to the series: “Killing in Motion”. This allows you to mark targets individually as they get close to you, then when they come into range, press Y to ‘Execute’ and you can bump off multiple targets quickly and efficiently. This feels like a bit of a cheat, but it’s more stylish and effective than simply firing off a load of random bullets in their direction and causing rather a commotion. And if you really want to avoid this option, you can select the ‘Perfectionist’ difficulty… but I won’t be doing that. Normal is fine for me!
All that said, this new addition is a bit odd because sometimes the marker will go red (to indicate that ‘Execute’ is available), except that they’re some distance from you, whereas at other times a marker will still be white, yet they’re at a much closer distance from you.
Go to page 2 for some random observations about the game.