I am grumpy. In the world away from my desk and monitors, people have been meeting and playing Splinter Cell: Blacklist and I wasn't invited. They were probably worried that having someone there who has completed every Splinter Cell, bar that rubbish one set in the prison, would mess up their plans. I might be disrupting their electrical flow of PR by dropping truth EMPs. Like pointing out that Ubisoft don't understand what "Ghosting" means. They don't want my truth making their screens all squiggly. The thing is, Ubisoft/The MAN, the video below of the Spies vs Mercs mode might have just won me over.
It looks like they've realised what they have in Spies vs. Mercs. A well-regarded and different take on multiplayer isn't something many games have in their DNA. You don't always need to keep coming up with new ideas to grab attention. Yes, the new SvM has a number of tweaks, but it's still, at heart, about the tension between two different playstyles, with Mercs protecting datapoints from the hacking stealthoids. Blacklist's take will be four-on-four, and full of gadgets that creates sub-classes within each side: Spies will be able to access an insta-stealth invisibility cloak that Mercs can counter with a drone that reads heat signatures. Another Spy preset will be able to track enemy movement and inform others, while a Merc has toys that'll blind spies.
And if you're staring at your copy of Pandora Tomorrow, weeping at how they've taken the classic template and ruined it with all the additional extras, there is a crowd-pleasing addition of "Classic" mode. It drops the player count and the gadgets. It's about shadows and movement, over gadgets.
It's out August 23rd, and I am now intrigued.