Xbox 360 Review: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Time to get your Echel-on!

The Splinter Cell series has always been full of stealth and dramatic moments with Agent Sam Fisher and Blacklist is no different, but having said that…this instalment proves that the series still has the ability to surprise, which is hard for the 6th game in the series but it holds nothing back and makes good changes to the overall design of the franchise, but is it enough?
The story follows a group of terrorists called the Engineers who attack a US Air Base and claim they will carry out an attack each week if America doesn’t withdraw its troops from overseas. It’s up to Sam Fisher to get to the bottom of the so-called Blacklist agenda and put a stop to the threat.

Now, this is the first game in the series with a different voice actor for Sam and I have to say the younger voice doesn’t match the age of the character, which is a shame and I know it’s not what most want to hear…but the original was so much better and he’s sorely missed throughout. Despite this, I enjoyed the overall story and kept with it till it’s rather satisfying conclusion. It’s just a shame that for whatever reason they didn’t want Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher anymore or he declined to do it, I’m not sure which is the case but it’s a shame nevertheless.
The Xbox 360 version I got to review has Kinect commands which are handy but they don’t always get picked up properly by Kinect’s mic, while the game also brings back Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer modes, as well as introducing co-op missions which are also a great addition to the overall Splinter Cell experience. The overall design of the missions are well done and Sam still has plenty of gadgets at his disposal, while introducing new elements like being able to mark up to 3 targets with the right bumper and hitting Y to kill/pacify them at once. The game also offers lethal/non-lethal means to deal with enemies, which is also reflected the game’s achievements which can vary from going through the game without killing anyone to not being detected for a mission. It will test your limits as a gamer, but that’s what keeps me coming back.

In terms of visuals, Splinter Cell is starting to show its age on the current gen of consoles but hopefully Ubisoft can reinvent the wheel with the next-gen. It’s not a bad looking game by any means; it has moments of brilliance in its presentation and the cutscenes are done well, but the voice-acting does hold the game back a little, it’s not terrible…it’s just doesn’t have the same quality as past games in the series.

The Verdict

Splinter Cell Blacklist is still a great entry into the franchise; it adds new elements that improve the overall quality of the game, but takes a few steps back in terms of story and the new voice-actors aren’t nearly as good as the past ones. Overall, it’s worth getting for fans of the series and it’s a much better game than Conviction was, but it’s just not in the same league that Chaos Theory gave us back in 2005.