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Fight For The Top 50 – Splinter Cell: Blacklist

by Ben Reeves on Nov 28, 2013 at 03:00 AM

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The only part of hide and seek I ever really liked was the hiding. I love being a ninja – watching others and knowing they can't see me. I love the idea of getting so close to someone that you could touch them, and yet they have no idea that you're there. Some people would call me a creeper, but I don't use my stealth skills for evil. I use them to save the world while playing games like Splinter Cell: Blacklist.

Learn more about the Game Informer Fight For the Top 50 Challenge 2013.

Ubisoft's newest entry in the stealth action series perfectly taps into my desire to sneak into a high tech complex, slip past my foe's defenses undetected, and exfiltrate before anyone is the wiser. However, the beauty of Splinter Cell: Blacklist is that you don't have to play the game as a stealth operative all the time. If you want to charge a foreign stronghold guns blazing, you can level up your weapons and prepare for a firefight. Splinter Cell's mark and execute system also allows you to set up slick takedown encounters where you clear out a room of foes in seconds. Unlike stealth games from decades past, Blacklist is balanced so that its not game over the second you get spotted; you always have options to either fight your way out of a jam or slip back into the shadows. This game lets you think on your feet, and it makes you feel like an improvisational spy.

Unfortunately, Blacklist was so sneaky that it seems to have flown under the radar this year. I don't remember Ubisoft drumming up too much excitement over the title before its release and after it came out, I don't think many people played it. Some people said that it was too much like the last entry in the series, Splinter Cell: Conviction. I have to agree that the games are fairly similar, but more of a great game is never bad. I also think that Blacklist improves on Conviction in a few key areas such as the game's progression system, which allows you to upgrade your weapons and equipment to fit your playstyle. Blacklist also marks the return of the much beloved Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer mode. Splinter Cell: Blacklist is a well rounded stealth action title, and I'd love to see it make our year end top 50 list.

The Top 50 Challenge.
I don't think that many of the Game Informer editors have experienced Splinter Cell: Blacklist for themselves. I don't think the Splinter Cell series has ever garnered much of a fanbase around this office, but I'm hoping that will change. I know that Reiner is also a fan of the series, and he seems to appreciate nearly every genre. I think he'll really like Blacklist's brutal action moments, open-ended gameplay, and grounded storytelling. I'm also hoping he checks out the game's Mercs vs. Spies multiplayer, because it's such a refreshing change from standard deathmatch modes. I hope he enjoys it as much as I did.

Reiner was given one day to play Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Come back tomorrow at 9 AM CT to read his impressions and see if it’ll get his support for Game Informer’s Top 50 Games of the Year.