Ghost Panther Assault: Splinter Cell’s Three Playstyles

By Nathan Grayson on March 23rd, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

'why is there a console prompt in that screenshot this is the last straw RPS is dead to me

Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell, give me your answer do / I’m half crazy / For half of what you do / It shouldn’t be a stylish barrage / But I’m intrigued by your gameplay styles’ marriage / So you might look sweet / Upon the seat / Of a game machine built for games.

So basically, Blacklist’s three styles are Ghost, Panther, and Assault. Ghost should be self-explanatory, but Ubisoft’s now defining it as all forms of non-lethality – meaning that taking down everyone and everything is fine so long as no one dies in the process. Personally, I aim to approach levels like a gentle waft of wind through a worrisomely wobbly China shop – making it seem as though I was never there in spite of the heart-pounding odds stacked against me – so I hope levels/scoring systems also facilitate that. Now, though, I have my doubts. Oh well. At least a lot of the tech toys – for instance, the flying drone and knockout gas – look handy, although purists will almost certainly object.

Panther, meanwhile, is basically Ghost, except you carry a license to kill in one hand and a gore-rusted knife in the other. Thanks to mark-and-execute, it looks mesmerizingly stylish, but less like a challenge and more like a “How To Be Sam Fisher The Right Way” instructional video. Except without Michael Ironside. And then Jesus wept.

Lastly, there’s Assault. Take human shields, shoot dudes, throw away your silencer and duct-tape a megaphone onto the end of your pistol and call it a megaphone bayonet. Because Sam’s old and paradoxically wild and he doesn’t give a fuck anymore.

So there are your options. I guess they add up to form kind of a halfway point between old-school Splinter Cell and Conviction’s comparatively madcap antics? I don’t know. I’m more hopeful about this one than I was before, but honestly, that means a lot less than I’d like it to in this case. Don’t get me wrong: it looks like it’ll be a strong game. But Splinter Cell’s not just any old series, and I’m not sure how good Blacklist will be at being, well, that.

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119 Comments »

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  1. Njordsk says:

    Looks a very very little more splinter cellish than previous one, but still, why all those gadgets?!

    Seriously? HEY IM FLYING A DRONE 2 INCH ABOVE YOUR HEAD. Or doors with a cut above it so it can go though….

    I loved gadget in the first 3 one, the whistleing cam was fun.

    • Fullforce says:

      I guess the advantage here is that you don’t need to use the gadgets.

      • Geen says:

        If they want cool gadgets, they should take notes from the Metal Gear Solid series. Sound sensor that makes it so you can see sound? Yes please. Decoy soldiers to confuse the enemy? Why not. Animals you can throw to make distractions or kill people? Hell yeah! Poisoned food to knock out hungry soldiers? Sure! Freakin’ remote control tazer bot that collects items and can turn invisible? Sure. Balloons to kidnap knocked out soldiers? Yeah, sounds cool. A banana you can goddamn hold people up with? Why the hell not? Freaking human slingshot for four player shenanigans? HELL TO THE YEAH!

    • Theresa_Ball says:

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  2. Ender7 says:

    Honestly it looks like shit. I mean, the demo could not go a few minutes without ALERTING EVERYONE that he was there. Seriously, remember when you could go through a whole level without alerting everyone if you were patient, or also take someone out without alerting anybody? Hell, he was an expert, he was thrown in with nothing but his skill, his goggles, and a combat knife sometimes and that was all he needed.

    Pather is such bullshit marketing. You mean, I can hide and snipe people…JUST LIKE I COULD DO IN MOST OTHER GAME THAT EVER EXISTED??? so we are marketing abilities that are common in other games like its something new? This game is just another spit in the face to fans of splinter cell. It is obvious that the levels are designed for action as primary and stealth as a cheap tact on because there was such an outcry from fans. However, they are not showing the MANDATORY action scenes that are in the game. Remember the first demo where you get near the door and it takes away control and your character turns into rambo? Or the fact you are sneaking in, IN THE DAYTIME like an idiot? Or how about the small levels forcing you down a very linear path?

    Sorry if I sound very bitter, but I am. Is it so damn hard for develepers/publishers to make a sequel classic game that does not conform to turning it into a generic action shit like every other game? Splinter cell chaos theory was the best splinter cell ever. I wish we had another true one.

    Since this is a ubisoft game, it was already on my shit list not just because of their stupid DRM, but also because of what they do with the dumbing down/consolizing/action focusing classic beloved franchsies. While hitman absolution was not terrible, it was far from great, and thief 4 looks like it will be shit when they talk about opening up to a wider audiance and “you can avoid killing anybody” bullshit. Uh, in thief YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO KILL ANYBODY! HE IS A FUCKING THIEF NOT A KILLER! grrr…I wish somebody would put a kickstarter on that was old school thief/hitman/splinter cell. Sigh.

    • Marinetastic says:

      I get the complaining about Splinter Cell, especially after what they did with Conviction and the direction Assassins Creed took, but Thief? It’s the Deus Ex team, and stupid ass boss fights aside, they did an admirable job of staying true to the original.

      • Ender7 says:

        There is no reason to kill in a game called T-H-i-E-F, it is supposed to be about stealth and not getting caught. That was the point, your not an assassin, you are NOT a killer. Those options should not be in the game at all except as a last resort and maybe have just enough to take out one or two gaurds quick enough not to warn others you are coming. You are not supposed to have the option to leave a trail of bodies behind you.

        • Finjy says:

          “You are not supposed to have the option to leave a trail of bodies behind you.”

          But in the original Thief games, you did. It wasn’t a very fun way to play the game, but aside from the hardest difficulty and occasional level parameters you’ve ALWAYS had the option of slaughtering every guard in the level. And once you figured out how to circle strafe taking rooms of guards on wasn’t really very hard at all.

          Personally, I like that system. If Thief 4 gives me anything similar (including hopefully the no-kill restriction on the hardest difficulty), and the game is built around the stealth, it will be great. Every Thief level was a mini sandbox and if they start railroading players lest they “play the wrong way” the game’s going to lose a lot of the magic its predecessors had.

          • Syra says:

            hey i played thief knocking out everyone who used the word taffer, without being caught. That’s my fave run… hell that’s leaving half the npcs in the game unconscious.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            Yeah… When I play thief, I don’t leave any NPCs awake unless the mission prevents me from doing so. If thief literally prevents me from killing guards and leaving a trail of bodies behind me if I so choose – like all the other thief games – then that is a huge blow against it and just as big a betrayal of the series as making it more actiony.

          • Kestilla says:

            The original Thief games often had no kill and even no knockout restrictions on the hardest difficulties, depending on what levels you were playing.

            I never really got into Thief 3 because the whole thing was kind of sloppily executed, the third-person camera, maddeningly obnoxious last piece of loot hunts at the high difficulties, and argh-inducing enemy AI. I know Thief 1 and 2 had rather terrible, easy to outwit AI, but 3 just had some annoying bugs. My only hope is that 4 has less of a focus on KILL KILL KILL that Dishonored did. Turning Garrett into a knifing stabby dude in Thief 3 was the antithesis of his core philosophy. Even being encouraged to kill (at least a little, because a little murder is better than a lot obviously) by some of the game’s optional victory restrictions was too much for me.

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    • PitfireX says:

      Ya know, as long as people keep paying, they’ll keep making shit games. Im starting to realize that there must be more gaming hobbyist morons out there than hardcore gaming fans….because fans keep bitching but sales keep climbing.

      • Astrosaur says:

        There will always be more consumers of any entertainment medium then there are enthusiasts.

      • Kestilla says:

        I bought Splinter Cell: Conviction with a friend at $8 during a Steam sale and don’t regret it. The coop was brilliant.

        I like hardcore games as much as the next person, but I’m not going to cry because they got rid of the original Splinter Cell’s ‘three alarms and you’re out, Fisher!’ nonsense. I want an authentic Ghost Recon game instead of the derivative crap we keep getting, but I still enjoy Splinter Cell.

        So enthuse away.

        • zenjestre says:

          i found conviction to be the best of the splinter cells, because for the first time i had the option of gunning people down and going rogue on it. that option being there, i never did, and i felt all the better for it.

          i don’t sympathize with those of you who cry bunkum about the nerfed stealth of the newer titles. the stealth is still there, you just don’t get punished as hard by the game for not following it. got spotted? restart the level if its that big a deal for you.

          more variety is never a bad thing.

      • Skofnung says:

        Playing games is so casual. I just like to go online and complain so everyone can know how cynical and 3LiTe I am.

    • rb2610 says:

      Thing is, while a lot of people seem to love the idea of doing ghost runs of games, the only reason they are possible in older games that such players seem to get so nostalgic about is that the AI is so primitive and predictable.

      Traditional stealth gameplay seems to hinge almost entirely on the fact that NPCs are scripted to follow particular paths which usually repeat infinitely so the player can just wait until they figure out a predetermined path before making their move.

      As AI improves, this traditional stealth gameplay so many seem to long for should fade into obscurity as it’s completely arbitrary. The amount of times you can progress in a stealth game simply because you know AI can’t see you at certain distances, light levels etc. or that you know that the AI will or won’t respond in a certain predictable manner is just silly.

      Once game AI becomes really good, ghost runs of games will be virtually impossible (without an obscene amount of saving/loading) simply because they rely on primitive AI.

      • Chris D says:

        I don’t think it’s a case of AI needing to become better. Everything you describe should be pretty easy to achieve with current levels of technology. Set patrol patterns, light levels and limited sight ranges are actually part of the design.

        Basically you need a certain level of predictability because otherwise you’d get caught ought by a guard randomly changing direction pretty much all the time and that would get massively frustrating really quickly.

        I’m not an expert at how you’d go about this in real life but I imagine you’d likely be looking at surveillance for hours or days before going in, if it all. That’s not the kind of thing that really translates to good gameplay. Which is why we have the set routines, so surveillance can be done in minutes rather than hours.

        Stealth games need a certain level of gaminess to be fun. For these kinds of games “poor AI” isn’t a bug, it’s a feature.

  3. Mr Rud says:

    The thing that put a bitter smile on my face was how much “aggressive” the “Ghost” playthrough was: I mean they basically expect you to neutralize 1 enemy at the time, something I exected for the Panther style.

    I mean, when did stealth games become “take down one emeny at a time” games ? It’s sad that designers today can’t envision a game in which a stealth variant means “no contact with the enemy”

    • zenjestre says:

      within a minute he had a used a remote control toy helicopter, which i cannot suspect is quiet enough to have gone unnoticed during its journey, to stun the ‘tech baddie’ right in front of the other baddie, and before that could get sorted out he was slapping a third baddie’s face into the ground.

      he was still calling it the ‘ghost’ playthrough so i stopped watching. i didn’t make it to panther, which sounded more accurate in its titling.

      • MarkB says:

        Yeah I was willing to over look nobody noticing the very obvious helicopter thing flying a foot above them, but not noticing a comrade collapsing right in front of you is a bit much. Also the “mark and execute” thing shown in panther is flat out silly, knowing you can kill everyone that easily really hurts the tension inherent in stealth playthroughs.

      • Kestilla says:

        Okay but in classic Splinter Cell how did no one hear Sam launch a sticky camera against the wall hard enough for it to adhere?

        And no one heard the aerofoil rounds whisking through the air, fired by his rifle’s parabolic grenade launcher.

        Suspension of disbelief. Also rose-tinted glasses.

        • SuperNashwanPower says:

          AHA that would be the power of highly engineered visco-elastic adhesives and fluid mechanical devices designed by the boffins at Third Echelon

    • Syra says:

      It’s kind of like – not ghost but with invisible ghostly toy helicopter, efficient stealth, what’s the point of this mediocre shooter?

    • Kynrael says:

      Mark of the Ninja

    • KenTWOu says:

      “no contact with the enemy”

      I get it, you want to see absolutely boring video walkthrough. I don’t want that. I want to see new features, AI routines, gadgets, KO animations, etc. Also it’s absolutely obvious that you can ghost through this area with zero contact.

      • Ender7 says:

        “I get it, you want to see absolutely boring video walkthrough. I don’t want that. I want to see new features, AI routines, gadgets, KO animations, etc. Also it’s absolutely obvious that you can ghost through this area with zero contact.”

        Obvious? then lets see them show it. Oh, it takes so much precious time to waste ONE video showing them going through a level old school splinter cell non interaction/stealth? please. Watch the old videos of chaos theory trailer, they pulled it off fine showing stealth action. Stop defending this generic action shooter wannabe shit.

        • KenTWOu says:

          Obvious?

          It’s absolutely obvious, cause they show you the whole area three times, you can clearly see that there are enough routes to ignore all enemies completely, and there is no need to knock out so-called tech guy, he just jams your goggles, that’s it. And the game counts every enemy you leave behind ala Mark of the Ninja. They just don’t show this.

          then lets see them show it.

          Again, that’s absolutely boring (as video not as playstyle, don’t get me wrong) and can’t guarantee that you can ghost the whole game anyway.

          • zenjestre says:

            i mostly agree with you, however i’d like to point out that at least i, and probably a few others as well, actually would enjoy seeing a completely ghosted walkthrough, that being how i like to play.

          • KenTWOu says:

            @zenjestre
            Actually, I love two stealth playstyles. The first one – KO everybody non-lethally without alerts, the second one – ghost through the whole game using as little gadgets as possible.

      • iucounu says:

        When the previews for Shitman: Crapsolution came out, I was one of the guys in the comments here saying “Oh, it’s just looking like that because it’s a marketing trailer, I’m sure you’ll be able to play it like a real Hitman game’.

        • QualityJeverage says:

          I don’t even particularly disagree with you, but being that guy who twists a title around to be insulting is like shooting your credibility in the face. You never want to associate yourself with the “Gaylo” people.

          • iucounu says:

            You know, normally I wouldn’t (it smacks of the whole ‘Bliar’ or ‘Micro$oft’ lameness) but I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed in a game.

        • KenTWOu says:

          @iucounu
          So what? Do you want to see full ghost walkthrough of the whole game in one video before release? Where you can see all mandatory action scenes? Do you understand this is not possible? Do you understand that we will know about these issues only after the first reviews? And Hitman Absolution while wasn’t absolutely the same as Hitman Blood Money, you can walkthough it without killing anyone except your targets even on Purist difficulty. So it was very good stealth game without mandatory action scenes.

        • zenjestre says:

          i am currently loving the hell out of absolution, it’s a really fun game, it can absolutely be played like a hitman game with, admittedly, a bit more linearity than we’re used to (which i haven’t entirely decided as being a good or a bad thing yet.)

          more to the point though, mad props on the laughing magician reference.

    • Tomac says:

      Not sure what you’re talking about. I’ve always played stealth games by slowly eliminating enemies 1 by 1. Thief, MGS, Deus Ex, Dishonored.etc.

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      lurkalisk says:

      It seems “Ghost” should have been something actually stealthy, “Panther” should have been what Ghost is, and “Assault” should have been called “that’s not how you play the game”. I guess if you’re going to design a AAA mega-title, the bottom line is always somehow dictated by the dumb, easily distracted 16 year old guy, no matter how many actually matter to the title.

    • Mr Rud says:

      Maybe I haven’t explained myself correctly: I think that a stealth game, with serious stealth mechanics, should give the option to actually GHOST through the level: no traces, no alets, non contact, which in my opinion is the maximum point of proficiency for a stealth game (Like getting a SUPER DUPER SSS rank in an action game like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry), what this does is really setting an high point or the player, who is forced to use every gadget to archieve the status (MGS4 had an achievement for that)

      That said, I’m not suggesting that everyone should play the game this way: is just that I don’t see a great difference beetween the gamestyles

      • zenjestre says:

        agreement, exception:

        i like to ghost my way through stealth games, but wherever possible, i also like to use as little equipment as i can, with ‘none’ being the ideal number. a true stealth master gets through the level leaving no trace of his presence, relying solely on wit.

  4. Freud says:

    Feels too much like Batman. Give me night vision goggles and I’m fine in a Splinter Cell game.

    Combat should be a last, very ineffective, resort in a stealth game.

    • Syra says:

      Agreed, games like this should forcefully nerf the ability of the player in combat, or make him a glass cannon not give him all the toys all the time and make it too easy, but then this is a ubisoft game and ALL THEIR GAMES DO THAT.

      • KenTWOu says:

        Yeah, that’s why this game has Perfectionist difficulty level without Mark&Execute feature and with other serious limitations.

      • Bones1210 says:

        Uh, just going out on a limb here, but isn’t Sam Fisher an extremely well trained ex marine gone black ops commando? So why would he be a pussy fighter against a bunch of run of the mill undertrained goons? The Splinter Cell games were never “I’m Sam Fisher, and I’m a pussy” They ALWAYS gave you the option to put a bullet in the back of someone’s head or to slit their throat.

        • phelix says:

          A main character is a generic action hero bullet sponge in either a:
          [ ] Hollywood film (Hello there, Michael Bay!)
          [ ] AAA video game production from 201x
          [ ] Snarky parody of the above

          Add a tick where applicable, add new options where necessary.

        • FunkyBadger3 says:

          Pussy is still a misogynistic term, right?

          • Hoaxfish says:

            No, it’s a misandrist term because it implies “non-male” traits. Like when you call someone a jive turkey.

            (honestly, I don’t think it’s either, but more like one of those insults that evolved from some other form of slang to fill multiple uses… like telling someone to Fuck off doesn’t really make a lot of sense in the context of fuck meaning sex).

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            lurkalisk says:

            I didn’t know cats could be so sexist!

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            Maltose says:

            Pussy would be a misogynist (female-hating) term, since you’re using one of the defining physical characteristics of women as an insult.

          • Bones1210 says:

            Oh lord. Sorry, I’m just an abrasive chest beating American with a forehead that sticks out way too far and hates women, because I used the term “pussy” to describe something weak. Perhaps I should use the term, “girl’s blouse” that would be much more appropriate for the setting.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Maltose
            How come calling someone a dick doesnt mean you hate men?

          • zal says:

            It does you man-hater.
            Crotch is the acceptable term. Its important to use it interchangeably too when using any gender-based insult, if you go and only use crotch only for pussy or only for dick, but fail to remove the other from your vocabulary, you’re going to undermine its entire potential to be used as a genderless genital insult. we don’t want to see it start to acquire a gender-role laden use. IE: female genital-based insults for stereotypically feminine traits and male genital-based for stereotypically masculine traits.

            Make a stand, call someone a dirty crotch. AND LEAVE THEM WONDERING WHAT ORGAN YOU MEANT!

          • Simon Hawthorne says:

            Yeah you dick.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Simon Hawthorne
            Dirty misandrist crotch, I think you meant.

  5. zontax says:

    Press (A) to climb up / cut fabric / move to cover / jason.

    Remembering the controls is hard, better put the controls on the screen all the time.
    Thanks Ubisoft.

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Since they are context actions, they need to be telegraphed in some way. The first SC had it too, but in a separate box on the HUD. But I’ll agree that these things have gotten out of hand lately. It doesn’t really help with the immersion.

      And those animations were not that smooth…

  6. DaftPunk says:

    “The Tri-Rotor makes noise and if someone sees it, all hell will break loose.” He says as he hovers right above a mans head and clearly passes through a bunch of peoples vision…

    It’s all about level design Ubisoft, nobody cares about any of these features!

    • Njordsk says:

      I also love the way he retrieves the drone. It magically comes back into his pocket when he’s done. New technology there.

      • JimmyBlanka says:

        They took that straight from last years Ghost Recon game, its even the same animation meh… rest of the footage looks pretty promising though, atleast better than Conviction.

  7. Hoaxfish says:

    That was never off-side

    Yea, that ref is blind I tells ya.

  8. SuperNashwanPower says:

    I am going out on a limb and saying … this looks good to me. I havent followed the whole series, I played the first one, and own Pandora, Chaos Theory and Double Agent (not played them though, curse my kleptoludomania) and TBH the stealthy playthrough looks pretty cool. I like the fact he goes outside the building. But yeah that whistle cam thing was cool.

    Anyone suggest which I should play first – Pandora, Chaos or Double Agent?

    • Njordsk says:

      I’d say pandora then chaos. DA isn’t very good.

    • bleeters says:

      Chaos Theory is about as good as the series got before it took a nose dive. It was also really the only time in the series that I cared about what anybody had to say.

      I miss you, grumpy old man yet upbeat Fisher.

  9. DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

    It’s still this same shit of guiding you down autosaving hallways, carefully constructed so that no one can ever get stuck or confused, everyone gets to be a winner, instead of just throwing you in a large area with a bunch of tools to get a job done however you feel like going about it. And it looks like ghost just means knocking everybody out instead of a killing them, you still have to interact with and disable in some manner every person you come across, stupid as hell.

    Me and my buddies spent like a week or two trying to do just the CIA level in the first game. We didn’t get mad or throw a fit when we failed, we we’re having a good time, it was a challenge. Ubisoft is literally incapable of making anything close to that nowadays. Who was asking for simpler games anyway? All my buddies ever wanted were easier control schemes maybe (games like Blood Money and whatnot had some wonky control issues back then, that is one thing that’s improved), but not the whole damn game to be dumbed down. And didn’t Chaos Theory sell better than Conviction anyway?

    • Njordsk says:

      They *ucked up every tom clancy games anyway. Started with the ghost recon futur warfare thingy reboot, which was so dumbed down it was an insult to our grey matter. Then Rainbow 6. Then SC.

    • Farcelet says:

      Oh come on now buddy – this game has THREE DIFFERENT WAYS of completing it!

      I completely agree with you.

      I liked it when being utterly unseen was ideal, taking people out silently (thus leaving a trace of your presence) was not quite as good and resorting to lethality, firefights was a worse case scenario. Unstuffing up a situation was a big part of the fun, but yeah – I guess this is yet another experience we’re to be denied these days. Just how far down the path of accessibility are we to be taken? I’m positively certain each “playstyle” will be balanced out to be of equal challenge and reward regardless of what would objectively be best, too.

      It’s the same bad taste I felt going through Deus Ex Human Revolutions – I don’t want to be narrowed down to a segment of your player base, developers – just give me the tools and let me deal with the rest.

      • MarkB says:

        Having all playstyles balanced to be the same difficultly always annoys me. Part of the fun of doing a ghost run or whatever is feeling like you are constraining yourself by choosing not to kill people. If non-lethal approaches are just as easy as lethal it loses that and it just becomes a matter of taste.

        It’s similar to how “morality” in games generally doesn’t significantly impact gameplay. Like in Mass Effect the morality binary is basically are you going to be idealistic or are you going to be ruthless. But being ruthless doesn’t actually make the game any easier, so it’s just about whether you want to think of yourself as noble or “badass”. It would be much more interesting if being ruthless actually made your life easier, so you would be organically driven towards immoral behavior.

        • Farcelet says:

          Absolutely.

          In fact, this reminds me of pretty much every RPG that ever existed – clicking on “I WILL SAVE YOUR KITTEN, FOR FREE!” guaranteed you a reward – ASKING for one guaranteed you a dirty look.

          Being the best one can be to others is a challenge in life, curiously enough it’s the course of action that generally reaps the greatest rewards in games.

          Incidentally I think one of the most fun moments I had in Myth (classic RTS Bungie game, long before Halo) was when I tried to defeat an army I was only meant to lure across a bridge – I spent hours and hours trying, only once coming close to victory. It’d have probably broken the level as the requirement for success was having one of those units come across the bridge, but goddamn was it a blast. Why? Because I was defining my own challenge.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Me and my buddies spent like a week or two trying to do just the CIA level in the first game.

      Oh, c’mon… CIA level wasn’t that hard.

      • DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

        We were drinking. Also just playing it for a bit every day, and resetting every time we made any mistakes.

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      Vandelay says:

      Perhaps I am just mis-remembering, but wasn’t the first game very linear? I’m pretty certain that Chaos Theory is the only one that was fairly open, both in the design of levels (still quite limited though,) and the way you actually approached an objective.

      To be honest, the footage in the “ghost” part of the above play through is the way I always played Splinter Cell and, I imagine, is the way most people have always played it. I also saw nothing in there that made it look as if a true ghosting wasn’t possible, although that depends on whether you are awarded xp for traversing areas without detection.

      The tri-rotor thing is ridiculous though.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        It’s kind of hilarious how people are throwing around vague rhetoric about “railroading” and “lack of options” in this game when last time I checked their entire outrage was that that the game allows people to play in a more action-y manner than they personally approve of. In fact, the whole point of this video was that you can play it several different ways.

        You don’t get to throw out the “railroading” allegation when your whole beef is that they’re giving players options you don’t like instead of railroading everyone into your personal idea of the One True Way to play the game. You have to pick one criticism or the other.

        And for what it’s worth, I strongly prefer the stealthy option myself, and I’m glad it does indeed appear to be supported in this game, which like I said, was kind of the whole point of this video.

  10. Ross Angus says:

    Could I draw everyone’s attention to the alt text? Thank you.

    • The Random One says:

      No, thank YOU.

    • phelix says:

      May I wish you a wondrous day, sir?

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      jrodman says:

      it’s a shame they insist on using alt (text for people who can’t see images) instead of title (text for everyone). Then the snark could be more accessible!

      I love snark.

  11. mr.ioes says:

    Don’t they use the same “threat indicator” than Crysis 2 did? I’ve certainly seen that one before.

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Reminded me of Far Cry 3 actually.

      • mr.ioes says:

        Exactly, Far Cry 3 it was!

        • JimmyBlanka says:

          Yeah but it originated in Conviction. Since then every Ubisoft shootergame has used something similiar. While Conviction had alot of flaws, it definitely spawned alot of new interesting hud- and gameplay mechanics that Ubisoft has since then sticked with.

    • KenTWOu says:

      It’s a slightly modified version of “threat indicator” from Splinter Cell:Conviction.

  12. Bones1210 says:

    I’m not sure if this game is gonna be good. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. I know that Conviction, while not like other Splinter Cell games, was still an enjoyable experience. But I don’t see why everyone has to be “ALL VIDEOGAME COMPANIES ARE SHIT BLAAAAHHHH DRM, ALWAYS ONLINE, DLC FUCK MOTHER FUCKING FUCK FUCK!” Don’t buy the game then! There are plenty of good games out there, and if you don’t enjoy any of them, then you need to find a new hobby! This is supposed to be a medium that people can enjoy, but honestly guys, game companies cannot do right by any of you any more. They can’t win.

    • bleeters says:

      I’m not sure how people complaining when something they like is transformed into something they don’t like is unexpected or unreasonable.

      Besides which, it’s not like there was or is a vast array of other third person stealth/action titles on the PC to play instead. Action heavy cover shooters are a dime a dozen.

      • Grape Flavor says:

        I don’t see how a sane person could watch that video, particularly the first two parts, and think they were seeing an “action heavy cover shooter”. Clearly you have no real idea what that genre even is.

    • Ender7 says:

      If it is a brand new IP they can do whatever they want with it as long as its clear the direction in the first game. Existing franchises turned to shit, so different it is really a different game with the beloved franchise named slapped on and whored out to sell more copies? Yea, your going to get justifiably bitched at.

  13. burben says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but other than the addition of some new gadgets, this seems like the same gameplay as Conviction, but with each action you perform segregated into either Ghost, Panther or Assault in order to make it seem like there’s more variation in player actions. I mean drones that are completely obvious to the naked eye as well as completely audible being two feet above an enemies head are cool, but….

  14. woodsey says:

    I am increasingly interested in this.

    I don’t really get the bitching from everyone (especially about the bloody gadgets – it is Splinter Cell), it looks more and more promising. If anything this is where I would have expected the series to evolve to after Chaos Theory. I don’t mind the Conviction stuff being in there as long as I can stealth it up properly, and its balanced as it should be. For now, that seems to be the case.

  15. Tomac says:

    I love seeing people complain about having variety and wishing games were more rigid and strict and forced you into one method of play.

    What? I’m not forced to play the game a certain way? I can play it however i want? FUCKING CASUAL SHIT!

    • tobecooper says:

      From the video presented here, I see three playstyles: take out everyone, take out everyone or take out everyone. That’s barely a choice. Seriously, Wolfenstein 3D let you take out enemies in four ways too.

      Edit: bah, I am being overly melodramatic, and you know an option to kill everyone isn’t necessarily bad but it would be nice to truly ghost levels. Thieves had it, Deus Ex had it, Splinter Cell Chaos Theory had it.

      • Tomac says:

        Show me where in the video the guy says that subduing everyone is required.

        Just because the guy in the video subdued everyone doesn’t mean you have to. A lot of the guys looked quite easy to simply slip past, but walking past everyone doesn’t show off the gadgets and maneuvers so of course he isn’t going to do that.

        It’s like watching a video of someone playing Thief and blackjacking everyone and going “OMG YOU HAVE TO BLACKJACK EVERYONE HOW DUMB”

        • bleeters says:

          And yet, had there been a previous Thief game with a much higher emphasis on blackjacking and far less so on sneaking, to the point that you can’t even decide whether you knock a person out with said blackjack or bash their face in with it and are then unable to move their body, I might indeed have concerns about pre-release footage for an upcoming Thief game that made no mention as to whether it’s actually possible to avoid blackjacking people altogether.

          • tobecooper says:

            What Bleeters said.

            And I really dislike the notion that non-aggressive stealth can’t be cool. The parts where he was jumping around like a monkey were pretty nice to look at.

          • KenTWOu says:

            @bleeters
            Anyway, you can move their bodies in Blacklist. And the game counts every enemy you leave behind ala Mark of the Ninja.

          • bleeters says:

            @ KenTWOu

            That link’s pretty encouraging, especially the part about the game keeping track of how many people you’ve avoided contact with altogether, in addition to less-than-lethal takedowns, when playing ghost mode. So thanks for that!

    • Ender7 says:

      What choice? Go in and take everyone out like an idiot is your only choice.

    • Turkey says:

      The reason everyone is complaining is because they’re most likely fans of stealth games.

      It’s a niche subgenre with a niche audience.

      If you try to make a stealth game for a everyone, the developers get confused about who to prioritize, and generally the fans of the genre get a sub-par stealth experience and the rest get an easy action game.

  16. PopeRatzo says:

    In the screenshot, lower-left corner, there’s a little notation that says “press A to move to next cover”.

    That means this is another horrible third-person console shooter with controls that make your character feel like a marionette with elastic strings.

    That means at the very least I’ll wait until it’s $4.99 on Steam or more likely just skip it entirely.

    • Ender7 says:

      $4.99 is still to high for the hassle of ubisoft bullshit DRM which will be cracked when the game is out.

      • KenTWOu says:

        You still think this game will have always online DRM? Or that was your simple Uplay complain?

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      But wait – I thought morons were meant only to play consoles?

      I am confuse.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        Ah funkybadger, always too focused on being rude to contribute.

  17. hopedavis342 says:

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  18. Radiant says:

    What they should do is, instead of having areas filled to the brim with machine gun totting ACME bad guys, have the areas filled with civilians.

    You can still shoot your way through but the fact that you mass murdered your way to that computer is highlighted a bit more.

  19. 1Life0Continues says:

    Needs more zombies.
    And dubstep…

  20. zain3000 says:

    Ghost Panther Assault

    Anyone else think this sounds like the straight man’s version of Robot Unicorn Attack?

  21. int says:

    Couldn’t you have saved that opening song for a DayZ article?

  22. Premium User Badge

    maninahat says:

    To people complaining about the changes from previous Splinter Cells towards a more generic, combat orientated approach…didn’t they always do that? I remember in the first Splinter Cell, the game starts throwing waves of alerted enemies at you around choke points, and there was even a tower/turret defence style section. And Chaos Theory often had moments where you’d get caught and have to knock someone out to escape. The fact that the game gives you a fully automatic machine gun with a grenade launcher, and on occasion, a shotgun or sniper attachment, suggests they always wanted to encourage violent play styles at certain points, even forcing you to do so on occasions.

    I like ghosting (as in real ghosting) whenever I can, but the series always had a tendency towards dick moves, in which they try to force a different play style.

    • Grape Flavor says:

      Yeah I’m calling mega nostalgia goggles on this one. The Ghost playthrough plays just like classic Splinter Cell has always played. Entirely avoid all guards is the Only True Way to play Splinter Cell all of a sudden? Sorry to burst your bubble but most people KO’d a fuck ton of guards in the old Splinter Cells, I highly doubt it was even possible to complete the games without even knocking anyone out.

      People are just throwing a fit that the Assault style even exists. Ignore it and go for 100% Ghost rating then! That’s what I’m going to do. You guys need to get a grip, and to go replay the old Splinter Cell games because they’re not nearly as different from this as you seem to think they are.

      Yeah, the only way to play the old games was to sneak through without touching a single guard. That’s why they gave you a fucking assault rifle, huh?

      • KenTWOu says:

        Sorry to burst your bubble but most people KO’d a fuck ton of guards in the old Splinter Cells, I highly doubt it was even possible to complete the games without even knocking anyone out.

        First of all, Chaos Theory is the best game in this regard, they forced you to knock out one guy at the end of the first mission, kill one guy on the boat, talk with few NPCs, escort your target, etc… And you should use lots of almost impossible tricks with sticky cams and smoke grenades to avoid the most idiotic sequence in the whole game before killing Douglas Shetland. So IIRC you should interact only with six or seven guys during the whole game. But…
        The second, they actively encourage you to knock out almost every guard in the game. Cause you could interrogate them and these interrogations were very very funny. And if Chaos Theory gave you certain abilities like wireless hacking to avoid these interrogations completely, the first two games didn’t have such alternatives. So you’re absolutely right! Most people KO’d everything that moves in these games.

  23. Jerkzilla says:

    I don’t really get it, I mean, if the straight up assault option was available for the entirety of a mission, why not just send an entire special forces team? I mean, imagine how could you possibly argue against sending a proper team when there’s no real need to remain undetected.

    And secondly, while the gadgets may not necessarily be stupid, the way they implemented them is. Especially the tri-rotor thing and instant retrieval. A few minutes into that video and all of the immersion was already down the drain.

    Also, how the hell do the sonar goggles even work? It looks like the most arbitrary thing anyone ever came up with. I mean, the heartbeat sensor from Raven Shield was pretty sketchy, but this is a whole
    ‘nother level of bs.

    • MrUnimport says:

      I think the concept is that a special forces team has a larger footprint, is more difficult to conceal when concealment becomes mandatory, requires more supplies, is more difficult to train up to a given standard of effectiveness, etc. than a single, supremely elite operative with all the backup he can possibly get, not to mention that Splinter Cells are uniquely authorized to participate in nasty wetworks missions where deniability of US involvement is a concern, where sending a whole team of guys is less “deniable”.

      You know, because the white, mid-30s, growly spec-ops ninja with the absolute latest in every kind of military technology is probably from, like Canada or something. Could be France?

  24. MrUnimport says:

    Assault ought to be the “I screwed up” mode, quite honestly, hence the stealth aspect, but I certainly don’t mind a developer showing off an automatic weapon and human shield tactics which have been part of the series from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed Conviction’s perform-a-takedown-and-get-into-a-position-to-execute-the-rest-of-the-room gameplay loop, and it’s interesting it’ll be available here even if it’d seem to interfere with the classic stealth gameplay.

    My main objection is the around-corner stealth takedown, really, it seems like it makes body-hiding a bit easy. At least there are no tranquilizer guns to permit people an easy “moral” way through rooms of armed guards.

  25. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I think they got their drone ideas from Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. And of course real life. It looks really similar.