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Splinter Cell 5 - "Who Said Anything About Hiding?" 

Sam Fisher's been off the radar for a little while, Ubisoft having given the old lad some time off whilst they made that bloke in the hood from Assassin's Creed their stealth-man of the hour. Well, the guy who pays Michael Ironside's rent is coming back this year, in the long-delayed Conviction. In the CGI and in-game footage below, it's clear this is an earthier, angrier, more brutal Fisher. Maybe he's so grumpy because he just heard the Left 4 Dead 2 announcement?

This pre-rendered video sets the scene: Fisher as renegade, seeking revenge for the murder of his daughter, and claiming he's done with hiding:

Then this in-game footage shows what manner of romp we're in for: a much more hands-on Sam, eschewing gadgetry for more plausible tools such as mirror shards and, most importantly, those big, beefy hands of his. It's a mess of familiar, uh, homages: 24, Bourne, Nu-Bond, that Liam Neeson Taken movie, the Manhunt games... Question is, is this Ubisoft actively wanting to take the series in a slightly different direction, or simply a -hey! - conviction that more out-and-out action games bring in the biggest bucks these days?

Looks a lot of fun, in an enormously sadistic way. I do like that he can now hand-shuffle across a ledge at ridiculous speeds. Clearly having a family member murdered makes your arms more powerful.

Splinter Cell: Conviction is due - when else? - this holiday season.

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