Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Pros & Cons
TechSpot MetascoreBased on 22 expert reviews
- Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer
- Replayable campaign
- Great story
- Some memorable missions
Reviewers Didn't Like
- No Michael Ironside
- Steals lots of ideas from elsewhere
Expert reviews and ratings
Version Reviewed:TOP GAME MOMENTProbably Sam's infiltration and escape from Guantanamo Bay, but in truth there a lot of great...
Splinter Cell: Blacklist is far from terrible, but it’s not the classic that Chaos Theory was and it learns the wrong lessons from Conviction. That said, this is the strongest the series has ever been in multiplayer, and for that reason – and for the few missions where its stealth pedigree clicks into place - it’s worth peeking into its darkened corners.
The best big-budget stealth game in years. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is cohesive with its narrative and level design. The gadgets are bested only by the enemies they are used against. Levels feature multiple pathways and sublime...
Splinter Cell Blacklist is the most open-ended stealth game I've ever played. There, I said it. I've played the other Splinter Cell games, mostly because I'm a big fan of Tom Clancy, but also because they were remarkable and unforgiving. Now, I'm not...
I’ve always wanted to like Splinter Cell. It was that series of games I wanted to play but the fanboy in me refused to let that happen. I was a Metal Gear fan and always had to scoff at the “other stealth series.” That was how the lesser,...
Though it lacks the subdued intelligence of Chaos Theory, there's some cracking good sneaking to be...
Spies vs Mercs saves Blacklist from the ignominy of being merely good. Like Hitman Absolution last year, the campaign feels like a fun game bogged down by its desire to look like a stylish action thriller; it's cavalier with its politics and your time, and on occasions you'll wonder why you bothered to negotiate with these terrorists.
By the time you reach the end of Blacklist everything has grown so big and so explosive that you’re left exhausted but not entirely satisfied, and maybe after all that incoherent action you’ll recall the time when a single flashlight in Chaos Theory’s Panamanian bank made you hold your breath. Ten men searching for Fisher doesn’t make for ten times...
Patiently waiting in a room for a guard to move may sound like the opposite of an exhilarating experience, but it's the tension of planning coupled with execution that makes Splinter Cell Blacklist such a winner. Blacklist's multiple methods of enemy engagement brings Ubisoft's grizzled veteran spy to an outstanding new frontier, giving players the best game in the franchise's history.
Purists may struggle with Blacklist simply due to how it toys with stealth. Given that it's still the game's core, and that its suite of modes, especially online, are damn entertaining, though, mean it's a solid finale to this generation's Splinter Cell.
But there’s an amount of finesse and strategy that goes beyond the basic run and gun of other multiplayer titles. And Blacklist doesn’t do much to ease players into those systems, unless you count the campaign. I worry that the playerbase Blacklist will need for multiplayer to find traction might not stick around.
Despite these minor issues however, Splinter Cell Blacklist impresses with its scope and versatility. Level designs aren't limited to paint-by-numbers solutions, and the game not only gives you the option to play how you want, but pushes you to perfect your play-style. Splinter Cell Blacklist provides clear evidence that Sam Fisher needn't go back into retirement just yet.
It might not have the most imaginative of plots and the delivery of that narrative is just okay but it’s not supposed to be anything too deep – it’s a summer blockbuster. In those terms, Splinter Cell: Blacklist succeeds at every turn thanks to Ubisoft Toronto’s impressive balancing of stealth and action that is, as yet, unmatched in this genre.
Blacklist is far from the disaster many feared. While you can play it as an all-out action game, you’ll find the going tough, and it’s still best played with a more stealthy approach. Do so, and you’ll discover a Splinter Cell that harks back to the series’ highpoint, Chaos Theory.