Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Box Art(http://www.splintercell.com)  Rated M for Mature by the ESRB.  Sam Fisher is back in action in Tom Clancy’s most recent game Splinter Cell Blacklist.  He is equipped with all his gadgets and is bringing his A game to stop the Blacklist, a series of intensifying attacks on US interests.  You are now part of the 4th Echelon unit, and you and your team have anything at your disposal to stop whoever is behind the Blacklist. The Splinter Cell series has been on the forefront of evolving the stealth genre in games for years and Splinter Cell Blacklist is absolutely no different.  Blacklist introduces a plethora of new features that ambitiously try to drive the series forward.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Box ArtTom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Logo(http://www.splintercell.com)  Rated M for Mature by the ESRB.  Sam Fisher is back in action in Tom Clancy’s most recent game Splinter Cell Blacklist.  He is equipped with all his gadgets and is bringing his A game to stop the Blacklist, a series of intensifying attacks on US interests.  You are now part of the 4th Echelon unit, and you and your team have anything at your disposal to stop whoever is behind the Blacklist. The Splinter Cell series has been on the forefront of evolving the stealth genre in games for years and Splinter Cell Blacklist is absolutely no different.  Blacklist introduces a plethora of new features that ambitiously try to drive the series forward.



Graphics:
Splinter Cell Blacklist is a good looking game.  The lighting is well done and rightfully so because it is an intricate part of any stealth game.  The textures are also good, although not up to the par graphically as games like The Last of Us. However, they do look nice and help convey the overall stealth and sneaking feel of the game.  Overall Blacklist is a pretty game but it also does have its down sides.  There is minor screen tearing and also the facial expressions are below par for a game at Blacklists caliber.  Neither of these things detracts greatly from how good the game looks and by no means makes the game any less fun. 

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots

Sound:
The sound is also an important part of any stealth game. In this area, Blacklist shines.  From all the enemy chatter to the sound effects of your tools you will be fully immersed in the world of Splinter Cell.  For instance you can hear all the enemies having conversations with each other or when they are looking for you.  In most stealth games, the enemies don’t talk contextually to each other. This is not the case in Blacklist.  The talking in the game really adding to the overall stress and realism.  The other thing that really stands out is the sound of both your weapons and tools.  It seems like extra effort was put into both the weapons and gadgets. They seem real even though a lot of them you have probably never heard in real life. 

The voice acting is decent and gets the job done. However, it won’t winning any awards.  Although Sam Fisher is not a chatty guy, Eric Johnson does a good job of making him feel realistic and he added a lot of depth to the character.  The other characters are not as important as Sam Fisher, but none of them did a bad job.  Overall the games voice acting is what you would expect from the Splinter Cell series.  It’s not an AAA cast, but it is an AAA game and the voice actors they have convey that to the best of their ability.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots

Gameplay:
The gameplay is stellar in Blacklist.  They have evolved through the years and have improved a majority of the feature the series offers.  When Splinter Cell Conviction was release, it had mixed reviews not about how good it was, but that it had taken the series in a different direction.  Convictions new direction with the series both made fans mad and lost them.  In Blacklist they have gone back to the traditional stealth of the series, but have implemented ways to appeal to fans of both game types. You can go more action oriented, half and half, or full on stealth.  Each of these different play styles result in players getting rewarded for however they want to play.  What it comes down to is that Sam is deadlier then ever.

A really nice addition to the gameplay of Blacklist is the Paladin, an airplane that works as a mobile home base and grants the player ability to upgrade it to help you on your missions.  This feature is similar to other games, such as Mass Effect, but adds a layer of depth to the game that was greatly needed.  Each upgrade has extremely good benefits, like the ability to see enemies on the radar or to restore health faster.  These upgrades are a must in your mission to stop the Blacklist. Not only do they help you in the main story, but they also help you in the Co-op and non-story related missions.  This makes for more incentive upgrade and also it makes you a more valuable team member.   Not only can you upgrade the Paladin, you also can talk to the crew and other members of the 4th Echelon unit.  This also helps create immersion into the world.  One thing that stands out as a nice touch and a good call back to Conviction is the ability to call your daughter Sarah.  You can check in with her after every mission and this really humanizes Sam Fisher.

Along with the story missions there are a plethora of co-op missions.  A nice surprise was the split-screen.  Split-screen is something that seems to be on its way out.  So when a game comes out and offers an amazing split-screen mode, it is something that should warrant a second look.  The missions that can be done with a friend are extremely fun and also offer another way to play the map.   In co-op,  there are certain passages and events that you can only do as a team.   These make the co-op and the single player a completely different experience and requies different tactics to complete. 

Spies vs. Mercs is back in Splinter Cell Blacklist and it is amazingly fun.  If you haven’t played Spies vs. Mercs before it is an interesting take on multiplayer.  One team plays as the Spies just like in the story mode and must hack up to three terminals.  That doesn’t sound so hard right? Well the other team is the Mercs, and they have quite a few tricks up their sleeves.  Unlike the Spies which are played in 3rd person just like in the story, the Mercs are in 1st person point of view.  This adds an immensely fun twist to the game because your field of vision is drastically reduced as a Merc.  The dynamics of the game drastically shifts as you change from Spy to Merc.  There are two rounds in each game. The first round, you will either start as the Spy or the Merc and then in the second round you will play as the other.  If you are used to first person shooters than the Merc will be fun and probably a lot easier, but when you play as the Spy get ready to become the hunted.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots

Longevity:
With a plethora of game modes and Trophies/Achievements, Splinter Cell Blacklist should have you playing for hours.  A few of the Trophy/Achievements may be a little tough to get, but if you shouldn’t have any problems if you are dedicated.  The real longevity of the game is in the multiplayer. It is so visceral and unique that it is a blast to play.  Grab some friends and you won’t be putting Blacklist down for months. 

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots   Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist (Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii U) Screenshots

Conclusion:
Ubisoft has done a wonderful job evolving Sam Fishers character and making him a more and more realistic person.  Splinter Cell Blacklist does a good job of returning back to the roots of the Splinter Cell series after the slight detour in Conviction.  While it has returned to its roots, it has a few new tricks up its sleeves.  This makes it  one of the finest Splinter Cells to date. With a standout co-op mode and the hugely fun and popular Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode, this game offers a lot of fun to a large audience.  If you are a fan of the Splinter Cell series or just a fan of good old stealth games, Splinter Cell Blacklist will be a wonderful choice for you. 

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