With the absence of Michael Ironside, Sam Fisher may not sound like his old self. However, within moments of the prologue it is clear that this is the same old Fisher, just a meaner, older, and better-equipped version of himself.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist picks up after the events of Conviction, where Fisher had to save President Patricia Caldwell from the mole operating inside the élite counterterrorist force “Third Echelon”. In the after light of the mole scandal, President Caldwell disbanded the corrupt Third Echelon and replaced it with a new counter-terrorist force, the Fourth Echelon, which is now commanded by the president alone to prevent another mole.
The main story begins during a terrorist attack on the Andersen Airbase a part of the Territory of Guam Island. Leaving the base in rubble, a terrorist group calling themselves the “The Engineers”, created the “The Blacklist”: a set of targets, that when destroyed, will eliminate the United States from the globe. The only way to stop the Blacklist is to withdraw all U.S. forces.
Since that is out of the question, it is up to grizzled agent Sam Fisher and a support team of élite units to stop the timed events from wiping out America.
Blacklist plays much like its blockbuster predecessor with one major improvement: it rewards players for playing their way through the game and being stealthy, an attribute not as highly valued in Splinter Cell: Conviction. Blacklist uses an after-level rewards system, which rewards players with in-game money for their play style only after they complete the entire level.
Rewards vary depending on your play style whether it is “Ghost”, a stealthy, non-lethal approach to the game, “Assault”, a loud and in your face approach, or “Panther”, a stealthy and lethal approach.
I found that playing “Panther” style was the most fun. Being able to use a wide range of upgradeable weapons that I acquired by spending money earned from completing various tasks and missions was great and I was able to I conquer the game in a flashy, yet subtle way. Blacklist caters to each player’s unique style of play and this is what makes it really fun.
With the addition of Spies vs. Mercs, Blacklist’s competitive multi-player and the option of playing co-op, Splinter Cell Blacklist is a sure-fire hit to leave gamers with hours upon hours of intense, action-packed gameplay.
9.3 out of 10 on the Inscriber scale
+ Intense gun play
+ The return of stealth gameplay
+ Spies versus Mercs multiplayer and Co-op add replay value to the game
– End of generation graphics
– Random glitches in the “mark and execute” function