I don't want another Splinter Cell. There. I said it.

This video made me sad. It states plainly what I've not wanted to admit to myself, but have felt tacitly for a long time: the reason we haven't seen a new Splinter Cell in 7 years is obvious and... I can't believe I'm saying this... I don't want a new Splinter Cell now.

Splinter Cell is one of my favorite gaming franchises. Even at its weakest moments, it still consistently offered something great and uniquely engaging that I couldn't find anywhere else. The meticulous level design, the slow-boil pacing, the masterfully crafted sense of power and tension, etc. I've loved each and every installment, and after Blacklist showed the series cresting back into Chaos Theory-like perfection again, I anticipated nothing more than the next one on current systems. But recently, standing back and seeing what the gaming landscape has devolved into, feeling the all too familiar anger and disappointment at what my once beloved hobby has been allowed to become, I think it best Sam Fisher just stay away; he deserves so much better than what they'd inexorably do to him today. I'm clutching the franchise to my chest, and like Ripley to Newt with the alien queen and certain death approaching: "Close your eyes, baby." In a single console generation, my mindset has gone from eager anticipation to dubious reticence to now a defeated hopelessness wherein I'd rather have nothing because it's better than any "something" I can imagine they'd deliver.

Ubisoft has made it clear that their model of shallow, congested, open-world store front "games" is where the money is to be made and where their focus lies, and nothing about Splinter Cell lends itself to any of that at a fundamental level. My sincere hope is that that objective fact is what has stopped Ubisoft from trying to shoehorn Splinter Cell into their model thus far, but my legit concern is that it actually might not stop them. I fear that somewhere in the depths of hell, a team of Ubi-demons is slapping price tags on trifocal night vision goggle cosmetics, placing scalable towers throughout a needlessly huge faux Washington DC map, cramming in loot box.. er.. "supply crates" with random equipment in them, and at 2020's E3 we're told Splinter Cell: Meh-Revegenance is coming in Q4 of 2021 and there will be 30 different collector's editions at launch, none of which will contain the complete game.

I stopped caring for Ubisoft since the Rayman Legends fiasco. After Rayman legends, I've yet to buy another Ubisoft game aside from the title I just mentioned. And I did not even pay for it. I got it for free with PS plus. I don't know what to tell you dude. similar to your feelings, I don't want them to make another Rayman if they're just going to do the same crap over and over again. I know they said they're going to do restructuring after the failure that was ghost recon breakpoint and Division 2, but I'm not hanging on those words. AAA companies have done the song of dance before on how "we are sorry and will do better." So I am not holding my breath. They have yet to make a release date for beyond good & evil 2. And that game got announced in 2009. Right now, it may be the longest running vaporware game in exsistence.

Me personally, I don't need rubisoff anymore. Because for all I know, they would mess up Prince of Persia too. luckily for me, there's other gaming companies I do give a crap out and they actually care about their fanbases and customers.

It's fine to let a series just end, in fact, it's good. There's always going to be another stealth game that'll scratch the same itch as Splinter Cell and you might find it scratches it even better.

I'm not a big fan of Ubisoft by any means but I feel they are better than the EAs, Activisions, and now Bethesdas of the world. Maybe Ubisoft had enough sense not to make another Splinter Cell because it wouldn't fit into their mold of games anymore. And now with them finding out that through less sales that playing the same game over and over again has diminishing returns, maybe their restructuring will actually work out. I have a bit more confidence in Ubisoft turning it around than any of the other 3 big aforementioned publishers.

I'd say you're probably right to have your reservations of what modern Ubisoft would do with Splinter Cell. In general, I find it prudent to simply not trust any of the major publishers and avoid holding any good expectations for any release they've planned. They've given us plenty of reasons to be wary over the years. You lose nothing by being cautious. Saved me quite a few disappointments and buyer's regret. And above all, fuck hype.

"I must not hype. Hype is the mind-killer. Hype is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face the hype. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the hype has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

CoCage:
I stopped caring for Ubisoft since the Rayman Legends fiasco. After Rayman legends, I've yet to buy another Ubisoft game aside from the title I just mentioned. And I did not even pay for it. I got it for free with PS plus. I don't know what to tell you dude. similar to your feelings, I don't want them to make another Rayman if they're just going to do the same crap over and over again. I know they said they're going to do restructuring after the failure that was ghost recon breakpoint and Division 2, but I'm not hanging on those words. AAA companies have done the song of dance before on how "we are sorry and will do better." So I am not holding my breath. They have yet to make a release date for beyond good & evil 2. And that game got announced in 2009. Right now, it may be the longest running vaporware game in exsistence.

Me personally, I don't need rubisoff anymore. Because for all I know, they would mess up Prince of Persia too. luckily for me, there's other gaming companies I do give a crap out and they actually care about their fanbases and customers.

I get it, and like you, I'm not putting too much stock in any promises of restructuring that will bring back the good ol' days of last gen when you're $60 purchase netted you a complete $60 game (for better or worse,) but as someone who doesn't have a broad array of franchises that I truly love and can fall back on, it's just hard to accept that Splinter Cell peaked 15 years and three generations ago, and how an ugly showing today would not only irredeemably mar the forsaken franchise, but would leave an unfairly bitter taste in people's mouths effectively killing any chance for it going forward. Blacklist was AMAZING, arguably the best Splinter Cell since Chaos Theory; its biggest flaw was not having Sam Fisher voiced by Michael Ironside, and even diehard fans of the franchise turned their backs; could you imagine if all these years later, Splinter Cell showed back up now with all the scummy microtransaction and piecemealing trappings that piss people off? Ugh...

Phoenixmgs:
It's fine to let a series just end, in fact, it's good. There's always going to be another stealth game that'll scratch the same itch as Splinter Cell and you might find it scratches it even better.

I'm not a big fan of Ubisoft by any means but I feel they are better than the EAs, Activisions, and now Bethesdas of the world. Maybe Ubisoft had enough sense not to make another Splinter Cell because it wouldn't fit into their mold of games anymore. And now with them finding out that through less sales that playing the same game over and over again has diminishing returns, maybe their restructuring will actually work out. I have a bit more confidence in Ubisoft turning it around than any of the other 3 big aforementioned publishers.

I generally wouldn't mind if Splinter Cell simply ended on a high note, but seeing as the last gen failed to capitalize on the incredible momentum they had with Chaos Theory and produce a single title this entire generation, it feels more like a huge missed opportunity, loose end, unfinished business, and it sucks. I've played multiple stealth games: Hitman, Metal Gear, Thief, etc, and I liked them well enough, but none of them captured what Splinter Cell did. I'm not saying it's impossible something new could come along and be just as good, but like someone coming to terms with the end of an amazing long-term relationship, thinking to myself that "there's plenty of fish in the sea" rings a little hollow. But your optimism is a welcome "chin up, buttercup" punch in the shoulder; I'd love nothing more than for it to come to fruition (except a new true-to-form Splinter Cell. Yeah, I've got it bad...)

Chimpzy:
I'd say you're probably right to have your reservations of what modern Ubisoft would do with Splinter Cell. In general, I find it prudent to simply not trust any of the major publishers and avoid holding any good expectations for any release they've planned. They've given us plenty of reasons to be wary over the years. You lose nothing by being cautious. Saved me quite a few disappointments and buyer's regret. And above all, fuck hype.

"I must not hype. Hype is the mind-killer. Hype is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face the hype. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the hype has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Yup, this is where I'm at, unfortunately; it's the pragmatist in me. And that quote, is it straight from you noggin? Cuz it needs to be the official Modern Gamers' Mantra. I could see a crowd descending upon the next E3 venue chanting it in unison.

Xprimentyl:

Chimpzy:
"I must not hype. Hype is the mind-killer. Hype is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face the hype. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the hype has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Yup, this is where I?m at, unfortunately; it?s the pragmatist in me. And that quote, is it straight from you noggin? Cuz it needs to be the official Modern Gamers? Mantra. I could see a crowd descending upon the next E3 venue chanting it in unison.

No, I'm afraid I misappropriated that from Frank Herbert's Dune, except I swapped fear for hype.


I agree on adopting it as the official Modern Gamers' Mantra tho, but instead of simply chanting in unison, I suggest singing it in a nice harmony. Maybe also paint the mantra in giant fluorescent letters on the facade of the LA Convention Center. Might help keep people sane.

Chimpzy:

Xprimentyl:

Chimpzy:
"I must not hype. Hype is the mind-killer. Hype is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face the hype. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the hype has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

Yup, this is where I?m at, unfortunately; it?s the pragmatist in me. And that quote, is it straight from you noggin? Cuz it needs to be the official Modern Gamers? Mantra. I could see a crowd descending upon the next E3 venue chanting it in unison.

No, I'm afraid I misappropriated that from Frank Herbert's Dune, except I swapped fear for hype.


I agree on adopting it as the official Modern Gamers' Mantra tho, but instead of simply chanting in unison, I suggest singing it in a nice harmony. Maybe also paint the mantra in giant fluorescent letters on the facade of the LA Convention Center. Might help keep people sane.

A-ha, gotcha. Still, it's apropos; well done, sir. In my disaffected state, you could also substitute "fear" with "hope."

Also, didn't Fight Club do essentially this same scene, when Pitt made Norton suffer a chemical burn on the back of his hand?

CoCage:
I stopped caring for Ubisoft since the Rayman Legends fiasco.

Rayman Legends fiasco?

Do tell.

Squilookle:

CoCage:
I stopped caring for Ubisoft since the Rayman Legends fiasco.

Rayman Legends fiasco?

Do tell.

Rayman Legends was originally supposed to be a timed, Wii U exclusive. The game was complete and ready to launch in February of 2013. Only for Ubisoft to get scared and back out at the last minute, fearing the Wii U copies would not sell. They pushed the date back all the way to September of that same year, making it multi-platform. The only itty, bitty, problem.....GTAV was coming out that same month within a few weeks![1] They foolishly thought they could get more money by delaying the game. It's almost as if they wanted the game to fail. Ironically, the Wii U version sold the best out of all the consoles. Had they stuck to their guns and waited, would've had another Rayman to cap off a new trilogy. But no, they got scared for dumb, arbitrary reasons, only to dig themselves in deeper shit, and make even less money. I didn't get a Wii U until 2014, and got the 360 version on sale a few months after the game came out, but even I was pissed. And I did not own a Wii U at that time. You can Rayman Legends on even more multiple platforms now, but it sucks that such an awesome game got shafted to bad sales due misplaced/short-sighted greed and bad PR. After this, Ubisoft more or less fired their old PR department. The new ones aren't much better, but not as big of screw ups as the last guys and gals.

[1] This also killed the Wonderful 101 too!

Chimpzy:
snip

The first time I heard those lines was from the Earthworm Jim cartoon. The first time I saw Dune was in late 1999 at the age of 10 on HBO.

....Eureka! Use the memes! And I mean actual memes! Not the dumb Internet memes people prattle on about on a constant basis. Get the good memes, and purge the bad memes.

Spread the message. With it, you can say to the AAA companies:

Xprimentyl:
I generally wouldn?t mind if Splinter Cell simply ended on a high note, but seeing as the last gen failed to capitalize on the incredible momentum they had with Chaos Theory and produce a single title this entire generation, it feels more like a huge missed opportunity, loose end, unfinished business, and it sucks. I?ve played multiple stealth games: Hitman, Metal Gear, Thief, etc, and I liked them well enough, but none of them captured what Splinter Cell did. I?m not saying it?s impossible something new could come along and be just as good, but like someone coming to terms with the end of an amazing long-term relationship, thinking to myself that ?there?s plenty of fish in the sea? rings a little hollow. But your optimism is a welcome ?chin up, buttercup? punch in the shoulder; I?d love nothing more than for it to come to fruition (except a new true-to-form Splinter Cell. Yeah, I?ve got it bad?)

I really liked Blacklist, that's a pretty high note, I've only actually played the very first SC and last SC. But anyway, I never really felt Ubisoft got bad at making games, it's just that they kept making the same game over and over again. And, it kinda got there because of good reasons like why don't we put the better gunplay we have from say Ghost Recon into Splinter Cell, put basic stealth and systemic elements of FarCry into our GTA-like game, and so on and so on. Then, all the games ended up basically the same in the end. So, the fact that they've noticed this could lead to another solid entry into the SC series, along with them making different games again. If anything, the success of their own R6 Siege is proof that games should have their own identity.

I could imagine Splinter Cell going open world. Remember Metal Gear 5?

Oh wait, I'm trying to cheer you up. Um...

...well, I did recall reading at some point that Ubisoft wanted to diversify its lineup from open-world games, but if so, haven't seen much evidence of that.

It will become ubisoft open world RPG. instead of going back to old classic. they will ruined it further.

Hawki:
I could imagine Splinter Cell going open world. Remember Metal Gear 5?

Oh wait, I'm trying to cheer you up. Um...

I don't know. If what you want from an open world game is a playground that offers lots of options to tackle your objectives, then I'd say Phantom Pain is a very accomplished game. IMO its major problem was that everything other than actually playing as "Big Boss" was kind of toss.

I'm not against an open world Splinter Cell that takes a similar approach to gameplay. Provided it doesn't faceplant into the same pitfalls as MGS5 elsewhere, of course.

Not that I expect it, cuz, you know, Ubisoft.

I got bored with most Ubisoft games long ago. I can't think of any that I can play for a sustained amount of time anymore. I tried Assassin's Creed Black Flag a while ago and I enjoy it for a bit but quickly got bored. I find that with a lot of their games. There's something a bit samey about them. The Tom Clancy games have felt a bit stale to me for a while as well.

I hear Assassin's Creed Odessey and Watchdogs 2 are good, but considering I've tried other games in those series I have a feeling I'll be underwhelmed. If anyone can recommend me a really amazing Ubisoft game I'd try it out.

Phoenixmgs:

Xprimentyl:
Snip

I really liked Blacklist, that's a pretty high note, I've only actually played the very first SC and last SC.

Really? In my humble opinion, Splinter Cell is one of those few franchises that, in the beginning, managed to do what you hope any franchise will, and that's improve with each iteration. Playing only the first and last is missing the storied rollercoaster between its bookends and maybe missing why I'm so upset that it's been shelved for 7 years and fear that any resurgence now will be tainted by current scumbag monetization practices.

Splinter Cell, the fresh, modern military espionage, pure stealth game with a grounded, mature story and grizzled veteran protagonist was a solid 8.5/10

SC: Pandora Tomorrow, staying true to its new audience of its unique, methodical gameplay, improved on its progenitor across the board making it an easy 9/10.

Then SC: Chaos Theory, coming out at the end of the Original Xbox/PS2's life spans, was an 11/10, the unicorn. It pushed the aging hardware to its limits and absolutely nailed every aspect of the quintessential Splinter Cell experience. It showed that Ubisoft was serious about what had [arguably] become its flagship franchise.

Then the 360/PS3 came out; new tech, new expectations. So Ubisoft gave us SC: Double Agent.. Chaos Theory set a very high bar, maybe a ceiling, and trying to improve upon perfection, they decided to try something different: keep the basic SC stuff, BUT add hiding in plain sight (as the name suggests) and complicate the story with a branching narrative based on player choices. Aaaaand... it was just TOO different. In hindsight, I've been too harsh on DA; given the rampant samey-ness of the ensuing 14 years throughout the industry since its release, I can appreciate what they tried to do, but I and many still find it to be the franchise's low point; I'd say a 7.5 to 8/10 maybe? Still fucking good, but Chaos Theory was a tough act to follow.

Then we got SC: Conviction. It was clear Ubisoft wanted to backpedal back into the shadows (as it were) and recapture the sneaky-sneaky of the pure stealth it'd done so well in the previous gen, but since the show must go on, along with some new mechanics to invite players who like to mix it up with some more fast-paced action, the story stayed on the path of a Sam Fisher mentally broken from the events of Double Agent. The game was markedly better than DA, a clear turn to SC's true form, but still fell short somehow. For me, Sam Fisher had been recognizable for his stoicism, strength and sardonic nature; Double Agent and Conviction broke him down into a flawed, emotional and uncertain man; he wasn't the assured, ice cold, shadowy hand of death (or unconsciousness) anymore. Still, the game managed to be an 8 to 8.5/10; getting' there...

Finally SC: Blacklist; Sam Fisher is back baby!!! 9 to 9.5/10!!! Ubisoft righted the ship and managed to find that happy balance between newness and familiarity and gave fans a smooth, polished ride that invited and rewarded playing the game however any player so chose, pure stealth, balls-out action and everything in between. This was as close to Chaos Theory quality the franchise had come in a generation. One could argue it's almost an improvement since along with excellent pure stealth, it offered more ways to appreciate the game. Except one itty-bitty thing.... Sam Fisher looks and sounds about 15 years younger. Yeah, the iconic Michael Ironside that had voiced Fisher for each of the 5 previous games and cemented his role with his iconic whisky growl was out, and some new guy was in. Fans were livid and weren't having it. Coming off two "not Chaos Theory" games in a row, this was the deal breaker, the worst offense of all, the killing blow. Some fans didn't even bother to play the game making it basically dead on its feet despite it being best the franchise had been in 8 years!!!

So, that's why I say Splinter Cell hasn't ended on a high note, not the high note it deserves. It was left hanging when things were just getting better. I don't know who to hate on more: the entitled fans who allowed Blacklist to underwhelm when it was more than worthy or the dev/publishers who effectively took their ball and went home and put Splinter Cell on the shelf to collect dust for 7 years, the same publisher that has managed another fucking Assassins Creed ever 12 minutes for over a decade.

But anyway, I never really felt Ubisoft got bad at making games, it's just that they kept making the same game over and over again. And, it kinda got there because of good reasons like why don't we put the better gunplay we have from say Ghost Recon into Splinter Cell, put basic stealth and systemic elements of FarCry into our GTA-like game, and so on and so on. Then, all the games ended up basically the same in the end. So, the fact that they've noticed this could lead to another solid entry into the SC series, along with them making different games again. If anything, the success of their own R6 Siege is proof that games should have their own identity.

God knows I wish this were the case, but business being business, the sea change necessary to get back in my good graces and restore my faith in dev/publishers' vision would take an act of God. I know Ubisoft can make good Splinter Cell games (hell, I obviously love them all,) but would they? I've not the mental endurance to hope so anymore.

 

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