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Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Game Cover

What is Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist?

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist is the latest action-adventure stealth videogame in the franchise produced by Ubisoft. Their studios in Toronto developed the game and the sixth installment in the series continues the story of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction. Released worldwide in 2013, it can be played on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and PCs. Sam Fisher returns to the spotlight, as he tries to foil the plans of a terrorist cell, while saving the US once again.

Key facts about Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist has a multiple-choice gameplay based on stealth mechanics.
  • The single player campaign is long and replayable, so players will spend a lot of time online.
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist has a competitive Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer.
  • The cooperative modes and many more hours of gameplay after the single player is done.
  • Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist was criticized for its dated graphics and less than stellar sound effects.

Gameplay of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist gameplay doesn’t stray too far from what the prequels got us used to. Once again, it uses the third person perspective and stealth mechanics to complete missions and deal with enemies. The gameplay was improved by the addition of new features and players can choose between different approaches to solve any possible. Artificial intelligence was also improved and now both companions and enemies react much better.

The importance of stealth mechanics couldn’t be overstated, since most missions require patience, rather than courage. Players can create the strategic advantage by lurking in the shadows and attacking unsuspecting enemies. Most levels can be completed without even drawing the attention of enemies. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist enables players to take the hands-on approach and use brute force. The downside is that such a tactic will cause them to be noticed by foes and firefights are ensued.

Fisher’s equipment hasn’t changed too much, with just a couple of perks being added to an already powerful gear. The sonar goggles and the customizable night-vision are the most important ones. They allow the protagonist to distinguish between opponents and obstacles, in total darkness. Players can also see through walls and use highly advanced surveillance equipment to detect enemies.

Those who prefer an aggressive strategy, have other weapons and gadgets to choose from. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist brings back some of the game mechanics of its predecessor. It is possible to annihilate several opponents instantly after previously targeting them. There is always the option of killing an opponent, incapacitate or immobilize him. A less aggressive stance has the advantage of generating more points, which can be used to purchase better equipment.

Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist London
Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist London

Decision-making and multiplayer

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist empowers players to choose different paths during the single player. They have the option of killing enemies after interrogating them, or leave them unscratched. Experience is gained differently depending on difficulty as well as the style of playing. The game has its own hub which goes by the name of Paladin, where players learn more about their objectives. This interface is also the gateway to multiplayer modes and additional missions.

The interrogation sequences are less bloody than in its previous answer, but players are still given a lot of freedom. The decisions made will influence the relationship between team members and the protagonist. Some of the most challenging missions are the ones played in multiplayer and the game has several modes. The "Spies vs. Mercs" competitive mode is by far the most popular and it will pit to teams against each other. The Spies play in third person perspective, while the mercenaries in first person.

The cooperative multiplayer in Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist allows players to replay every mission. By interacting with the crew based on the Paladin, they choose the next quest and try to complete it with a friend. One player will assume the role of Fisher, while the other will play as his colleague called Briggs. There are a total of 14 scenarios and the two characters have the same abilities, with the game also supporting split screen

Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Melee Combat
Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Melee Combat

Plot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist plot has Sam Fisher as the central character. The former member of the Third Echelon Splinter Cell, he moved up the ladder and is now a commander. Anna Grímsdóttir returns as one of his former allies and new characters are added. Isaac Briggs, Charlie, Victor Coste, Patricia Caldwell and Andriy Kobin are the ones that will help him down the road.

Fisher leaves moments after the terrorist organization attacks the Andersen Air Force Base. When the Engineers claim responsibility for the attack, he is assigned by the president to stop them in their tracks. With the assistance of Charlie Cole, Isaac Briggs and Anna Grímsdóttir they board the cargo plane Paladin and start fighting back. They need to secure a CIA hostage called Andriy Kobin supposed to be held prisoner in Benghazi.

The mission is a success, but the team finds out that a former MI6 agent called Majid Sadiq is behind the plot. The Engineers plan on releasing a toxin into the water supply at Navy Pier, with mercenary Reza Nouri as the artisan of the attack. His mission is further complicated when Fisher is captured after being exposed to nerve gas. Luckily for him, Briggs saves him and the two of them are back on the chase.

With the U.S. Congress convinced that Iran is behind this plot, the two nations are about to go to war. As Fisher continues to investigate the matters, he realizes the fact that the engineers are behind this story. They are planting evidence, to convince the Americans that their arch enemies are plotting against them. Even though conflict is finally averted, an international incident is ensued when Fisher needs to use a Predator Drone to escape Tehran.

Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Rocket Facility
Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Rocket Facility

A Plot Twist on American soil

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist story continues back in the US, where Fisher and Briggs are deployed. They try and succeed at stopping terrorists from bonding trains in Philadelphia. However, they fail at capturing an Engineer leader and Fisher needs to go to Guantánamo Bay, to continue the investigations. He finds out that Sadiq is head of the Engineers and he plans an attack on a large US gas reserved. Despite his best efforts, Sam fails at stopping him and the criminal succeeds.

A breakthrough is made when he captures a senior Engineer who told him about the organization’s plans. They intend to disclose sensitive US military secrets and try to do so by capturing the secretary of defense. Briggs has no choice but to kill the secretary, to prevent him from spilling the secrets. As they tried to flee, they are intercepted by Fisher and Delta force marksmen. Sam decides not to kill him, but instead take him into custody for interrogations.

Development of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist development started in the second half of 2012, after Ubisoft Toronto made the announcement. The videogame already had plenty of fans who were counting on a new expansion in the celebrated franchise. It was supposed to run on Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U consoles. Some of the features that came under criticism in the prequel were removed or changed to meet the higher expectations.

The emphasis was on creating a stronger narrative and more convincing characters. In addition to Fisher who was expected to return as the protagonist, many of the characters are brand-new. At the same time, developers try to make sure the series doesn’t get too complicated. Modern gamers are less likely to spend a lot of time trying to master a videogame with a steep learning curve. Open-ended levels were much appreciated and they trying to improve gameplay fluidity.

Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Wall Climbing
Screenshot of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist Wall Climbing

Where can I download Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist?

Ubisoft has produced a couple of popular games over the last couple of years. The Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell was the first in the series and can still be downloaded from their website. This is where Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist players are also supposed to go to acquire the new game. Watch Dogs, Assassins Creed Unity and Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege are all worthy alternatives.

What are others saying about Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist?

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist reviews were mostly positive, with an average score of 85 out of 100. Those who wrote the articles praised the developers for the game design and intensity. They acknowledged the fact that the team faced a lot of challenges and that’s why they initial deadline was missed. They tried to improve artificial intelligence and make it easier to interact with NPCs.

When the games hit the stores, it was welcomed with almost as much enthusiasm as the original Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. The sound effects were equally good and amazing voice acting gave the game more depth. Developers also had to remove a game demo scene, which was criticized as being violent. Players were also very happy with the multiplayer features and the cooperative mode.

My rating of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist helped me remember why I was so enthusiastic about a new release in the franchise. It failed to generate the same thrills I felt when I play the original, but it was as close as a new game could get. The nice plot, convincing characters and great sound effects make every hour spent playing worth the time and effort. I completely agree with fellow reviewers who rated the game 8.5 out of 10, as if fully deserves this score.

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