Clint Hocking, creative director at Ubisoft, considers the original Splinter Cell to be a “big under-delivery.”
Speaking to gamesTM, Hocking explained that Ubisoft scaled back the original scope of the game as it proved to be too ambitious for the development team.
“As great and important as the original Splinter Cell was – for me and a lot of others on the team – it was a big under-delivery,” he said.
“We wanted the game to be a lot more systemic and to give the player more options, with all of these really interesting tools and strategies at [Sam Fisher’s] disposal. But nobody had built a game like that at Ubisoft before, and by the end of [its development] we were cutting a lot of the branching, a lot of the optional stuff and the player choice in order to get a stronger linear through-line, and to put more emphasis on the big ‘Wow!’ moments.”
Hocking and the rest of the team at Ubisoft originally intended to offer the freedom of games like System Shock 2, but abandoning that approach left them sorely disappointed. “It was kind of heartbreaking to see that stuff get cut in the end,” he said.