Non-Lethal Nerve-Punching: Splinter Cell – Blacklist

Sam Fisher of Men deviates from the assault and battery that didn’t make him famous to demonstrate some of his shadowy, stealthy takedowns. It’s not the kind of stealth that involves shooting a light, becoming one with the darkness and leaving a group of men trying to work out how many terrorists it takes to change a lightbulb – instead, in Blacklist young (old?) Sam crouches behind crates and then punches people in the kidneys when they’re looking the other way. It may be non-lethal but there are going to be a few hospitalisations, that’s for sure.

When I was a wee sprat of a lad, I used to play a game called ‘DEAD’. It involved sitting in front of whatever cartoon happened to be on television and shouting ‘DEAD’ whenever a character would have been killed if real world rules applied. It sounds like an odd thing for a child to have spent his Saturday mornings doing when I write it down like that. But you too can be odd by playing ‘DEAD’ with Blacklist, the Arkham games and many others.

The possibility of accidental murders actually concerns me less than the sequence at 1.07 though. That man has effectively fallen over. He’s not staying down, Sam, don’t leave him like that. Punch his organs until they weep.


  1. tobecooper says:

    In 1:07 he at least elbows the guy in the back of the head. Look at 0:47 and the delicate throw. That’s some muthafookin’ stealth – even the enemy isn’t sure if he just got neutralized or if he can maybe still stand up.

    • Heliocentric says:

      The slowmo took the oomf out of that hit to be sure. Still, I think having your neck fractured might stop you.

      Regardless of how often DEAD might fairly be shouted, that you can take a moment to spare life is a nice bring back, even if it is nearly functionally identical (PS its not in a few stealth games as while a dead body will get just quickly looked at a knocked out body will draw more of a guards time to resuscitate the guard, see batman where strung up guards has a chat with those below further distracting them)

      • tobecooper says:

        Was there some bullet time kind of thing going on? It feels like two stunt men fooling around.

        • jessicahutchins7 says:

          Start working with Google. $69 an hour! Seriously I don’t know why more people haven’t tried this, I work two shifts, 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening…And what’s awesome is I’m working from home so I get more time with my kids. Here’s where I went… http://www.Google.MEL7.CoM

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        It’s debating videogame logic with all its associated pointlessness, but for my money 0:47 looks like the kind of fall that you just get a sore neck from unless you’re very unlucky. He even gets both arms on the floor to lessen the impact and assuming he’s not some kind of 8ft giant there’s only a short drop worth of momentum behind that fall.

        • sinister agent says:

          Splinter Cell goons have an impeccable standard of fair play, having played both tag and hide and seek since early childhood. Once they’ve been tagged, they’ll play along even if the tag was rubbish. It’s a rare and admirable quality in a goon.

  2. PedroBraz says:

    Stick with the prod

    • Tridae says:

      It will stun your opponents or knock them unconscious. A nonlethal takedown is always the most silent way to eliminate resistance. Just in case, though, Manderley wants you to pick an additional weapon: a sniper rifle, a GEP gun, or a minicrossbow.

    • Crate says:

      Cyborgs with cattle prods: The Future Of Warfare.

    • dee says:

      Prod with the prod

  3. Deadly Habit says:

    I just hope this is a true to Splinter Cell game.
    The latest Hitman was more Splinter Cell than Hitman, which was a bit disappointing, but at the same time kinda cool for a stealth fan.

  4. RobinOttens says:

    ComDev.. Computer Development? Community Devolution? Communications with Developers? I must be stupid for not seeing what that abbreviation means.

    I’m kind of curious to see how this game ends up. Haven’t played any of them since the third.

    • Grey Ganado says:

      It’s actually supposed to spell comedy, but they messed that up a little.

    • Naum says:

      The guy calls himself “Community Developer” in the intro, so I guess that’s that. Sounds like a fancy nu term for PR.

      • RobinOttens says:

        Cuz ‘ComDev’ sounds like something the military would say yo!

  5. The Hairy Bear says:

    The issue I always have with night missions is that having adjusted my monitor as instructed I can’t then see a damn thing and end up staggering drunkenly into guards who are then confused by my novel approach of sprinting blindly off a building.

    • Heliocentric says:

      This for all games ever, I have a fairly high end display, yes I can see the flag, that doesn’t mean I find that level of dimness acceptable.

      Those screen calibration things seem like they are set for some bizzare moon minitors.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        I suspect they are set for developers/testers in tightly sealed development bunkers.

  6. Optimaximal says:

    When it flashed up ‘ComDev’, I thought it said ‘Comedy’, which is how I’d describe some of these elaborate take-downs.

    Still, if they manage to properly make the game work with the shooty bangs or the ninja stealth (basically how I played the first 3 games) and Ironside’s substitute is close enough, I may give this some attention.

  7. Steph says:

    How can you go “stealth” with a huge green led on the back?

    • Heliocentric says:

      Colour blind guards, true story.

    • sinister agent says:

      I always wondered how that worked, too. “Hey guys, maybe the glowing green lights in the rough shape of a pair of fancy night vision goggles have something to do with all this.” “Shut up, Ron.”

      I came to the conclusion that Sam Fisher is the product of a little-known lost world of evolution, and is in fact descended not from apes, but from the angler fish.

    • AlexW says:

      There’s no need to mock gameplay mechanics not intended to be taken as a literal part of the world when they’ve made a bunch of actually terrible decisions that don’t have the merit of “It’s so the player can easily orient themselves in the darkness the game often takes place in.”

  8. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Don’t make promotional videos during MOvember.

  9. Azriel says:

    I still do not trust this, the game clearly showed it was aimed at the action/twitch finger crowd at EA, hell, it looked like there was sections you could not even stealth at. This looks like some tacked on PR spin to appease those of us who complained about the lack of stealth. I fear the game will still be nothing but action focused with a few token levels of stealth. I swear, the people who are making this game have no idea why splinter cell was great.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Yeap, old SC formula is like quantum mechanics, only few people in the world can understand it.

  10. KenTWOu says:

    Because the previous instalment doesn’t have non-lethal…