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Eye Spy - Dark And Light In Splinter Cell: Blacklist

There really aren't enough atmospherically green-hued lighting fixtures in the real world.

Way back when Splinter Cell: Blacklist first leaped into the spotlight, it did so in a fairly strange fashion by, well, leaping into the spotlight. Instead of methodical skulking, we saw fast-paced hulking – in broad, nearly blinding daylight, no less. It felt bizarre, as though Sam had suddenly become some hard-charging young gun in his old age. Recent videos, however, have eased my fear the teensiest of bits on that front – first with some admittedly takedown-heavy stealth, and now by showing us just how much time and effort is going into getting various forms of light and darkness just right.

Clearly, the details are what count here. Different light sources, how they play off the camera, how they affect visibility, etc.  Also unsurprising but still nice to hear: all light sources are hand-placed. In this age of procedural generation, a light human touch goes a long way, I think.

But yes, I’m still far from sold on Blacklist (that introductory daytime E3 demo looked like everything I despised about Conviction multiplied by ten), but I can’t in good conscience write it off entirely either. I tried squinting really hard at this trailer and also offering my ability to tip-toe to the pagan stealth gods, and a couple scenes looked kind of Chaos-Theory-ish. So maybe it’ll surprise us like the Splinter Cell of yore. Maybe we’ll never even know what hit us. But probably not.

I’ll cross my lithe ledge-gripping fingers regardless. Blacklist will be out sometime next year. Do you plan on giving it the time of day?

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Nathan Grayson

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