It’s Back: Splinter Cell Blacklist’s Spies Vs Mercs Multi

Credit where credit’s due: Splinter Cell: Blacklist is looking significantly more like classic SC than Conviction or Double Agent – except, you know, when it’s really, really not. There’s pitch-black darkness and rainy atmosphere and the option to play without killing anybody (though non-lethal roughhousing  is, sadly, quite encouraged), so that’s a good-ish sign. But what of multiplayer? Conviction mystifyingly abandoned the series grimly satisfying, intriguingly asymmetrical Spies vs Mercs showdowns, so it’s good news indeed to hear that clandestine game of cat-and-mouse-and-AK-47 is making a return. Catch it after the break (courtesy of IGN) before it throws down a smoke bomb and places a not-so-gentle hand around your tenderest of neck regions.

Yep, looks pretty Spies-vs-Mercs-y. Spies still rely on light, shadow, and a bottomless bag of agility and gadget-based tricks while Mercs burn through the dark in an attempt to track them down. This time around, the latter apparently have access to rather mobile (and, you know, explosive) drones as well, so it’ll be interesting to see how Ubisoft tips the balance to keep everyone on even-ish footing.

Also definitely of note: it’s not just two-vs-two anymore. That’s make it a whole new ballgame, and it was already a pretty weird ballgame to begin with seeing as there were no balls and mostly guns.

Splinter Cell Blacklist will ruin all of your lights in August. I’m still a bit hesitant to let Sam Fisher re-infiltrate my heart, but the return of Spies vs Mercs definitely has me feeling more open to the idea. What’s your take at this point?


  1. AlwaysRight says:

    Yeah yeah yeah, what about Spinter Cell: Chaos Theory style co-op multiplayer eh?
    The best/most underrated multiplayer mode ever.

    … also Amon Tobin.

    • Lekker says:

      Exactly my words. Best CO-OPERATIVE mode in game to date.

      Also as you mentioned, Amon Tobin.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Ammmmon…………(silence)………..(drop, drop, echo)………..Tobinnnn !

    • Malleus says:

      For SCCT style coop to come back we need SCCT style gameplay to come back too. Which isn’t entirely present here. I mean SCC had a coop story mode but it wasn’t the same at all. It’s really a different game now.

  2. kevmscotland says:

    More Aliens than Colonial marines.

  3. kwyjibo says:

    This looked better when gameplay was interrupted by “moral choice” QTEs after you had tortured an enemy in an interactive knife twisting sequence.

    • Serpok says:

      I have no idea what are you talking about.

      Do you?

      • AlwaysRight says:

        Do you?

      • kwyjibo says:

        “In early June, at the E3 convention in Los Angeles, I attended a demo for a game called Splinter Cell: Blacklist. In the demo, I watched the Splinter Cell franchise’s long-established hero, Sam Fisher — operating somewhere in Middle Eastistan — enter a tent, kill two gentlemen, and grab a third. Sam asks this third gentleman where a certain colleague of his might be. The gentleman declines to answer, so Sam sticks his knife into the gentleman’s clavicle. The gamer is then given an onscreen prompt to twirl around his controller’s joystick, which in turn twirls around Sam’s knife in the gentleman’s wound. The screaming gentleman gives Sam the info he needs — and, suddenly, it’s “moral choice” time, for Sam has to choose whether to kill or knock out his freshly tortured victim. Let’s review: a moral choice — after an interactive torture sequence.”

        Read more at link to

  4. Scythe says:

    And the award for “Most frequent use of the ‘dweeeee’ sound effect in a videogame trailer goes to…”

    I’m not sure if the abandonment of the 2v2 model will dilute the highly focused stealth-chess that characterised the original’s adversarial mode. I’m hoping not.

  5. Tiax says:

    Oh that’s great !

    I spent *so* much time playing this gamemode on the Pandora’s Tommorow multiplayer demo with friends.

    • Reapy says:

      Ha me too, never bought the game, but gd had that hospital on lock down. I normally hate stealth gameplay as its you vs predetermined paths and how much the ai has been programmed to detect, but in this mode adding in people to catch and hide from is pretty amazing. In that game I did have a problem with the taze sleep gas combo as that broke the game balance, but I imagine they tweaked it out some more in later games.

      It really was a great game mode, hope to see it finally get some fame and players.

  6. SuicideKing says:

    Did i just see them use invisibility? Dafuq.

    Never played splinter cell, but is this normal? Kinda fake…

    • Malleus says:

      SCCT SvM already had that IIRC. Some kind of optic camo for spies. Lot of people hated it. :)

      • Heliocentric says:

        If they are using the camouflage they show up like a lighbulb in EMF vision and if they are moving faster than a snail motion vision still picks them up.

        Its not new, and you really should ply the chaos theory one, its looks like they are going to make this great and then ruined with unlocks and DLC.

  7. Vagrant says:

    Maybe it’s being overly cautious of the video but something to note:
    The spies have guns in the video. Maybe it’ll devolve into deathmatch anyways.

  8. Moraven says:

    Played a lot of Pandora’s Tomorrow Merc vs Spies on the Xbox. So good.

    Not sure if I like it being larger than 2v2. I guess it depends on the map design and what things spies can do together.

    Anyone know if Blacklist will have any 2 player co-op missions? Those have always been great also.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Anyone know if Blacklist will have any 2 player co-op missions?

      Yeap, it will have co-op missions, they didn’t announce that yet.

  9. Sunjammer says:

    Spies vs Mercs was what made Pandora a worthwhile game. I had a ludicrous amount of fun with it before, I expect I might again!

  10. Stinkfinger75 says:

    After the horrible idea to make Splinter Cell: Double Agent’s spies vs mercs more accessible I truly hope that this installment will be a return to form that will harken back more to the Chaos Theory days. Those drones though, they don’t give me hope.

    • KenTWOu says:

      Basically Blacklist will have two SvM modes: classic and Blacklist. The first one is 2 vs 2 for hardcore players, so Spies have no lethal weapons. Maps are lit differently, they have more shadows. The second one is 4 vs 4, it has lots of additional features, more gadgets (i.e. drones), weapons, experience points, three classes for each side, customization and unlocks. The same maps, but not so dark.