Splinter Cell’s Complexity Has Held it Back From Being Popular
Ubisoft Toronto's studio head Jade Raymond discussed why Splinter Cell fell out of favor with the gaming public, and how the studio hopes to rectify that with Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
Due out this August, Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be the sixth console game in the series, and will feature a return to its roots of sorts. Over the course of the franchise's lifespan, Splinter Cell has transitioned from a sure-fire hit to a cult favorite, with other Ubisoft titles usurping the crown. Current head of Ubisoft Toronto (the dev team behind Blacklist) Jade Raymond believes the complexities of a stealth game have caused the game to fall out of favor with the general gaming public.
"One of the things that held it back is despite all of the changes that have happened over the years, it's still one of the more complex and difficult games to play," Raymond told Eurogamer in an interview.
"Splinter Cell still really is a thinking game," Raymond added. "It's really about being intelligent and taking that time in the first phase to plan out how you're going to do things, and understanding the elements, and even planning your gadgets and your load-out and being smart about it. That's where you get the thrill, but it's a different way of playing than most games on the market these days."
For Ubi Toronto's part, Raymond assured the studio was doing everything it could to cater to the longtime fans, while still offering new playstyles and options for first-time players. Raymond described Blacklist as having a "fluid, modern play-style," which Ubi hopes will appeal to players seeking a bit more action, and a little less calculated stealth.
From what Ubisoft has shown of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, there certainly seems to be a wide variety of ways to play. Hopefully the mission to open the game up to more casual players won't diminish the challenge for those that have been playing since Sam Fisher's first adventure, but we won't truly know the answer until later this summer.