Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Review

Published on August 26th, 2013

Great game … Lacking conviction

Finally, Sam Fisher is defending the world against terrorists. It’s a stunning change of pace which was what most people wanted but it brings more good than bad. This time he faces an organisation called the “Engineers”. Armed with his wits, stealth, gadgets and a partner who might is basically Call Of Duty on legs, Sam aims to take down terrorism. Splinter Cell: Conviction in my mind was a great step away from the old Splinter Cells adding new element to the game and refreshing the series. However with the general amount of bad reviews from fans it’s no surprise that Ubisoft have taken back a lot of the elements from Conviction, bringing Sam closer to his roots.

The Story

The general plot is rather pedestrian in comparison to previous titles and is hardly intriguing. The main villain however is very good, it’s just a shame so little is seen of him. The plot could use a lot of thickening and a DLC will surely be cried out for to add to this disappointing campaign. Sam is back to take down a terrorist organisation planning an attack on the United States. This includes a new sidekick, Briggs, who apparently is there to make things seem as much like Call Of Duty as possible. The plot takes Sam all over the world on several missions. The plot is predictable and mundane and could have been taken from any spy thriller movie, The story is uneventful and doesn’t seem to be able to get it’s message across making the ending a load of gibberish.

Gameplay

Blacklist has seemingly gone back to the more traditional Splinter Cell games whilst keeping some element of Conviction. The result is as you might expect is a game that isn’t quite as good as either of the gameplay models it lifts from. You have the freedom to play the game with stealth and predatory stalking or all out action, running through and killing everything. However this freedom comes off more like confusion, the game tries to force sneaking elements in one moment before forcing in action style gameplay. Other confusing segments are the aerial bombing and FPS segments that really take away from the Splinter Cell elements of a third person shooting game based on stealth. Nevertheless even with the conflicting design the game does have some quite enjoyable features. The level design whilst not nice to look at can be very fun with lots of ceilings to shuffle across and windows to hang from. It’s very disappointing to say that the only real thing the game has going for it is the Spy vs. Mercs multiplayer. I love the multiplayer element and it’s a lot of fun however it’s a real shame to say that without it the game wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

Visuals

Sadly the visuals are another let down for the game with muddy textures and screen tearing on occasion. Add that to the fact the game seems overly dark at times, and some loading times that could rival Skyrim, you’ve got a game that you know is presented as well as it should’ve been. Which is a shame because the overall design is still as charmingly Clancy as ever.

Audio

The voice acting is a major let down, with yet again the bad guy seemingly doing the best to steal the limelight. Michael Ironside is no longer the voice of Sam Fisher and it’s very noticeable in the game. Shoddy dubbing and bad mixing make the voice acting painful to listen to, which really doesn’t help the storyline. The music in the background is what you’d expect from an action game, the music swells to build tension, and the more action-intensive segments are accompanied prominently with drums as you run through the level slaughtering guards.

In general

Splinter Cell: Blacklist is a big let down to those who indulge themselves in the Sam Fisher story-lines with great intensity. The multiplayer is loads of fun and seems to be the only good thing going for the game. The campaign seems like it was an afterthought and is just there with no real depth. The conflicting gameplay styles also make the game a little disappointing and the only the the two styles mix well is in the multiplayer.

The verdict

Unfortunately the game only exists for its multiplayer which isn’t what I bought it for and I assume it isn’t what most other Splinter Cell fans bought it for either. The game has become like Call Of Duty, the campaign exists and the only reason to do it is for the achievements/trophies and the only real element of the game becomes the multiplayer.

Story – 6/10
Gameplay – 8/10
Visuals – 6/10
Audio – 5/10

Score – 6/10

Review by – LAZYLAMB8995

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