E3 2009 / Splinter Cell returns with a vengeance

Thank you Ubisoft, thank you. According to the trailer and demo unveiled at the Microsoft conference, Sam Fisher is back, and he’s pissed as hell. From what we can gather, Sam’s daughter is killed at the beginning of the game, and he suspects foul play within his agency. This prompts him to leave his job in search of the apparently well connected killer. Sam seems like a more emotional character, and is driven more by rage than anything else. Still, a rogue splinter cell is what we’ve wanted for some time.

In the demo Ubisoft showed, we noticed a few key details. First, since Sam is rogue, it looks like he’s relying on low tech equipment. He’s still capable of the same stealthy, death-from-above kills, but there wasn’t a reliance on infrared vision or light meters. In fact, there was no HUD at all. He made up for this lack with increased brutality. It seems like Sam has a lot of detective work to do, which translates in the game to a lot of broken skulls. Be prepared to beat answers out of captives.

Lastly, we noticed emotive images of Fisher’s daughter draped over walls and heard screams from her murder echoing through his head as he was creeping through buildings. They felt like cinematic reminders of what is driving the action, which should make the story more affective.

All of this points to an exciting and dynamic new iteration of the Splinter Cell franchise. Should be a great November, and we can’t wait.