Developer: Ubi Soft Montreal
Publisher: Ubi Soft
Estimated Release: Nov 12th – Xbox Nov 26th - PC
Recently we had a chance to visit with Ubi Soft to take a look at their upcoming action title, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. Unlike previous games with the Clancy branding, Splinter Cell is not a tactical shooter in the tradition of Rainbow Six. Splinter Cell is a third person stealth/action game, along the lines of Metal Gear Solid 2.
The story follows the exploits of Sam Fisher, an operative of a black-ops unit of the National Security Agency. Voiced by actor Michael Ironside (Jester from Top Gun), Sam is a lone wolf sent in to do the missions that are too hot, too top secret, and too dangerous even for the likes of Rainbow. Since you’re by yourself, you’re given the newest weapons, and gadgets that would make James Bond and Q green with envy. The story of Splinter Cell starts when a pair of CIA agents disappear in the former Soviet state of Azerbaijan. The investigation into their disappearance uncovers a larger plot to unleash a war of terror on the United States. And of course, Sam’s the only man who can find the culprits and put an end to the threat.
Just like the rope climb in high school
The build that was demonstrated to us was newer than the one shown at E3. This time around we got to see the second level of the game, where Sam must infiltrate a military complex in which it is believed the bodies of the CIA agents are being stored. From the outside of the building, we were introduced to a number of the stealth techniques players will be using to silently infiltrate. Lights of course are shootable with your silenced rifle and pistol. There’s a sniper mode where we can see the inherent unsteadiness of the crosshair as you’re zooming in. In order to stop the reticle from floating about, Sam can hold his breath, steadying the crosshair, but only for a limited time, after which Sam must let out his breath.
You can't see me
The two types of enhanced vision modes were also demonstrated – starlight nightvision and infrared (similar to heat signatures the Predator sees). The starlight nightvision bathes the world in a pixellated gray-greenishness, but where key elements like geometry and character models are highlighted clearly. The infrared mode casts everything in a dark bluish/purple haze, where geometry is muddled, but the warm bodies of enemy soldiers are highlighted in a rainbow of green, yellow, and red tones. The amazing part is that enemies who you kill eventually have their bodies cool off and become invisible in the infrared mode.
The infrared vision allows you to do some neat tricks in stealing key codes. You can hide in the corner and watch as a soldier punches in a code on a number pad to open a door. If you zoom in on the keypad after he leaves, you will see the residual heat signatures his fingers left on the keys. The heat on the numbers fades out in the order he pressed the numbers, revealing the code.