The lights are on
Update: Ubisoft has responded with an official statement regarding the removal of the controversial scene.
The statement from the development team reads:
“As with other game features, the storyline evolves as part of the standard development process. Based on how the game has progressed, we felt that this scene no longer fit in the context of the game, so we decided to remove it. Splinter Cell Blacklist, like previous Splinter Cell titles, has always tried to keep the topics and themes relevant and current. Splinter Cell Blacklist explores moral choices and dark themes through the concept of the Fifth Freedom; a recurring theme in the franchise.”
The controversial scene showcased at last year's E3 has been cut from Splinter Cell: Blacklist, according to a report by Eurogamer.
"Definitely we are not going to see when the game's coming out that there are torture scenes in it. That scene is not there any more," said producer Andrew Wilson at a Paris press event last week, per Eurogamer's story. Still, Wilson defends Blacklist's tone. "The first thing I'd say about that is that possibly there was missing context - and in an unabridged snapshot, it seemed like pretty tough material," he said.
The scene, in which protagonist Sam Fisher brutalizes a terrorist in a sequence that the player controls, showcased a grittier Splinter Cell in which no options are off the table. Torture is always a touchy subject, though, and frankly an action-heavy summer-blockbuster type of video game is an unlikely venue for a real, adult discussion or exploration of the willful infliction of severe pain on another human being.
We've reached out to Ubisoft for comment on and confirmation of the story, and will update this post if and when we receive a response.