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Splinter Cell: Blacklist director David Footman is on the offense for the criticisms that spawned after everyone got a good dose of Splinter Cell at E3, the game that many dubbed as an ultra-violent 24 meets Rambo. The game contained absolutely nothing Splinter Cell related, but Footman believes that gamers deceived themselves because they haven't played the game yet.
In an interview with Eurogamer, David explains that the reactions are “uninformed” because there hasn't been enough information released on Blacklist to make such a judgment about the game not being close to its predecessors or lacking proper stealth. Footman stated that...
"Everyone can make kneejerk reactions to a vertical slice of the game that are really uninformed as to what the whole experience is like," ... "We really have to be patient as we roll out each item about the game.”
Well what the heck do you think people would say after watching an entire level where a guy Rambos his way through an army of guys using Jack Bauer-quality instant-kill gun skills? Let's not forget that Splinter Cell used to be synonymous with getting in, completing the mission, hurting no one (if possible) and getting out unseen. That was the gist of the games. So I'd love to know how Footman thinks a Rambo-video is equivalent to getting in unseen and getting out unseen? Seems like an oxymoron.
The older games were taut, poignant and provided a sense of intelligence to the storytelling, they weren't low-brow shooters aimed at gun-ho Americans who just want to shoot some turban-wrapped Muslim extremists. In other words, as a Splinter Cell game the E3 video was trash.
Nevertheless, for gun-happy shooter fans who enjoyed Conviction, more of the same looks enticing. Hence, there's a divide between fans of the series and newcomers to the series.
For the most part, Ubisoft tried remedying the situation with a stealth-only video that still received a lot of mixed reactions, mostly due to the poor implementation of the stealth mechanics. It became somewhat apparent that shooting everything in sight was the foremost way to play.
The other issue is that most of the previous Splinter Cell missions took place at night, and were focused on retrieving intel, spying on someone or disrupting a flow of information. As mentioned, it was slightly high-brow entertainment. Gamers also quickly drew comparisons to the Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes video, which many gamers commended as being the sort of stealth game they expected from Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
I think Ubisoft does better no longer defending the game as a stealth game. Instead, they should just call it what it is: a third-person shooter with some light stealth elements. Trying to convince long-time fans that the series is the same even though a lot of the cool, high-tech gadgets and stealth elements have been removed just makes it look bad all the way around.