Ubisoft Says Complex Gameplay "Holds Back" Splinter Cell

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Ubisoft Says Complex Gameplay "Holds Back" Splinter Cell

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Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond says the inherent difficulty of hardcore stealth has kept Splinter Cell from the big-time, so Blacklist will simplify things for gamers who don't like to think too much.

Stealth is hard. Walking into a room with an automatic rocket launcher and turning everyone inside into paste is easy, but stealth is hard. That's why stealth is also, at least for some of us, rewarding. Shooting a dude who's in your way may be more efficient, but getting around him without anyone realizing you're even there is truly the hallmark of the professional.

But it's hard, and in the eyes of the decision-makers at Ubisoft, that's a problem. "One of the things that held [Splinter Cell] back is despite all of the changes that have happened over the years, it's still one of the more complex and difficult games to play," Raymond told Eurogamer. "Even though we do have core fans who are like, 'Oh, I want to have more of this experience,' when you play any other game that has stealth elements, they're all a lot more forgiving than Splinter Cell. I guess Splinter Cell stayed with the most pure approach to that stealth experience."

The solution to that particular "problem," of course, is to simply dial it all down, and so Blacklist will offer a wider range of gameplay options than previous Splinter Cell games. True stealth aficionados will be able to ghost entire levels without using any aids like "Mark and Execute," but the default mode will provide a more "fluid, modern play-style" that won't demand nearly as much from players.

"You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons," Raytmond said. "Sam does it automatically. The Killing in Motion, being able to Mark and Execute while moving through the map, makes it much more accessible to more of an action gamer."

Before everyone gets mad about the continuing dumbification of videogames, remember that nobody is being forced to play in a "modern" style, it's just an option for newcomers to the franchise who'd rather shoot dudes than dance around them. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, as long as Ubi can pull it off without compromising the elements that originally made Splinter Cell great.

Okay, you can get mad now.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist comes out on August 20 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC.

Source: Eurogamer

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Andy Chalk:
Complex Gameplay "Holds Back" Splinter Cell

After Conviction this has to be one of the biggest lies ever, right there besides Soon™.
Eh, I can't really see why I should go into this with any expectations. Pass, give it a look in a month.

The Splinter Cell games haven't been good since Chaos Theory. I didn't think anything would have changed with this new title.

Someone clearly needs to watch the latest Jimquisition...

The last press release to do with Blacklist had me sniffing the air in tentative optimism. This just slammed my face back onto my desk.

Fappy:
The Splinter Cell games haven't been good since Chaos Theory. I didn't think anything would have changed with this new title.

Hey now, Double Agent was decent.

Funny how Splinter Cell games went kinda downhill from Pandora Tomorrow (yea I liked Chaos Theory, but later.... eh).

I wonder what they're trying to achieve? Create the worst game ever? Get a EA AWARD for destroying a good franchise in the most spectacular way? What?

BTW I actually do understand that the stealth-style gameplay is kinda wonky and needs some new ideas. But I'd much rather have the original gameplay than something completely crappy like the latest SC.

Andy Chalk:
Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond says the inherent difficulty of hardcore stealth has kept Splinter Cell from the big-time, so Blacklist will simplify things for gamers who don't like to think too much.

I know I certainly won't give this game a second thought

After reading all of that I... I'm angry but not because of the game being "dumbed down" as using the features that make it show are apparently optional.

I'm angry because I feel slightly insulted that the developers think I need balls to the walls action and shooting to make a game interesting to me.

Next Ubicrap will need to tackle that issue of 'aiming' , and that horrible notion of 'losing' , and regenerating HP is not enough and will need to go the no health lost path... otherwise someone out there may actually lose in a game and get upset.

... gonna be sick *blearrgghh*

Andy Chalk:
so Blacklist will simplify things for gamers who don't like to think too much.

Ow... OOOW... OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWW... to painful to listen to!

Isn't this what easy mode is?

So they are breaking out the chest-high-walls for this one? That counts as stealth I guess, in the same way that whack-a-mole is a stealth action game.

I remember playing the original Splinter Cell on the Xbox, jumbo controller in flight between me and the wall because I was pretty crap at it. But when I managed to finish a level it felt great, I'd finally won and achieved something. That's obviously not profitable enough.

I'm sure everybody remembers the good ol' days of the NES when games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Adventure Island where games were nearly impossible and you had to try over and over again to get through them? And it was fun? And you felt accomplished when you did complete one of those games?

I think we're actually hurting the children of tomorrow with these dumb down approaches to games. And yes, all children should be playing Splinter Cell.

DVS BSTrD:

Andy Chalk:
Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond says the inherent difficulty of hardcore stealth has kept Splinter Cell from the big-time, so Blacklist will simplify things for gamers who don't like to think too much.

I know I certainly won't give this game a second thought

BADA BING. Outta the park.

So basically the best game is the game that plays itself?

I'm all for intuitive controls, but I'm sure the people who would rather push the stick forward are something like 10% of the actual demographic, and the other 90% just don't make it known that they'd rather play the game themselves.

I absolutely abhor, loathe and despise the use of the term 'dumbing-down' because it implies that complexity=intelligence, which I don't find to be the least bit true. But when a developer makes that kind of comment about their audience, in a statement, phrased like that; then one gets the impression that, "Hey, maybe they *do* think I'm dumb."

"Complicated" gameplay is bad for games, while basically calling most of the gamers stupid is good for selling games?

Raymond apparently does not know her customers (as in she is not familiar with the market or the examples which prove she shouldn't be saying stuff like this), she apparently hasn't played Splinter cell games (they're not that hard), clearly doesn't know the difference between what SC games offer and what makes them sell (as mentioned -> the latest Jimquistion episode). End result of that being that funds are being pushed to areas which will probably only make the game lose money in the end or make it less money.

I like the first one because if itīs "complicated" gameplay (you know, sneaking in shadows is really really complicated!), if they made another one like that, i would probably buy it and play it, but the new one looks boring and uninteresting. I donīt really care much for games that go for mass appeal, it just waters down the experience for those of us that craves a game like Splinter Cell. Iīd rather have a cheaper game that was tailor made for me, than an expensive game thatīs tailor made for everyone in the world, while it truly pleases no one.

This is what it feels like to be in the middle of the spiral.

This is our Reality Television, folks. The triple-A scene is Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Sgt. Sykes:

I wonder what they're trying to achieve? Create the worst game ever? Get a EA AWARD for destroying a good franchise in the most spectacular way? What?

I think Medal of Honor: Warfigther won that for EA for the next decade or so, with Sim City cementing that.

OT: Fucking really? Because I think we could use a bit more fanciful stealth games about. How much money did Bethesda make from Dishonored again?

Didn't Metal Gear Solid just hit some 33 million franchise sales? I mean I know there's been varying complexity in MGS but you can hardly call it a pandering affair for the foaming at the mouth CoD-teens.

I bought Conviction for Ģ3.24 in a Steam sale, completed it once in a handful of hours and haven't touched it since. Even at that price it didn't feel like particularly great value for money and the whole experience was just so simple and watered down, as many have said it so often seemed to be playing itself. Apparently that's good enough.

Wait wait wait.
Hold up

Conviction was *looks again* "Complex and difficult" ?

It was one QTE fest, even the shooting was one big QTE.

I do wonder how they are gonna pull this whole "ghost" style off. I think best would be to use it as a difficulty choice (kinda like with hitman, you don't got instinct when on professional difficulty) That all the M/E, auto jumping and Press E to slap sam and make him do stuff is simply unavailable.

Remember Chaos Theory? Do you remember how Sam Fisher was a Third Echelon Spy? Highly skilled, used the environment and gadgets to get around situations. The enemies were brutal and clever, so combat became a non-option because Sam was a human being who had to rely on his cunning skills in order to overcome the odds.

Now lets look at Conviction: Sam is a mass-murdering lunatic that could channel sheer power through regenerating health, the game practically doing the shooting for you, making enemy AI ridiculously stupid by announcing their whereabouts and actions. Sam should not have to kill in the first place, it should be a last resort.

You effectively nullified the core aspect of Splinter Cell: Being invisible, and using agility and wits to infiltrate enemy compounds to achieve your goals.

Go back to your Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory roots and make the core premise of the series relevant: Stealth!

It's meant to be a third-person stealth game, with combat elements.

Not a third-person action game, with stealth elements.

Hm. you know, you could make splinter cell easier.

Or you could not make a splinter cell game.

It seems funny to me how developers, get into the industry because they obvious like playing games, fail to realize how people choose games. I have never, once, in my life played not played a game because it was to complex (on the contrary, I've stopped because it was too simple, IE: Warframe). If I don't want to play your Splinter Cell game it is because either, A: I'm just not interested in a stealth game, B: it doesn't come out for the systems I have, C: I don't have the cash to burn, or D: (and this is a personal gripe) It's only on Origin so screw that. Dumbing down your game isn't going to make it more marketable to me - it's just going to piss off your fans and insult the new players.

I think I know where this is going :D

BECAUSE GAMERS ARE MORONS! It worked so well for Dragon Age 2, a game that sold such incredible numbers that they cancelled the DLC for it because no store on earth actually wanted to sell it... Yeahhhh...

First off, you cannot design games two different ways. You cannot both make a game accessible to running and gunning and at the same time make it stealthy. Your gear set will be designed to do either of those two things.

Now Deus Ex pulled it off (even then I'd say it nudges more to stealth) by being in almost every sense of the word an RPG with guns. Splinter Cell is not an RPG with guns. It's an action game with shadows in it.

Thank you Ubisoft for sharing your cerebral vomit with us. Now get back to making Rayman, the only game I actually look forward to from you.

So what they are almost LITERALLY saying here is that they want the game to be bought by more stupid people.

Someone, please, just shoot me.

Splinter Cell Conviction was too complicated? lolwut? I mean, you could play actually fairly stealthily, treating every room like a puzzle to be solved, but the puzzles were rarely challenging, and you could also run and gun the entire game as well.

I was still holding out hope for the Splinter Cell series. I actually liked a few new things they did in Conviction, and still saw some of the old Splinter Cell in there. I've been hoping that Blacklist would take all its lessons from Double Agent and Conviction and dig up the formula from Pandora or Chaos Theory. Apparently they're going, pardon my language, full-retard.

Since this is the same Ubisoft that handles Rainbow Six as well, I'm going to assume that this is the end of Rainbow Six as I knew and loved it. I didn't care much for the Vegas games, but I've been holding out a lot of blind hope for Patriots, even after Ubisoft got rid of the head honchos for the project.

Awwww. Is making good games too hard Ubisoft? Awwww. Poor baby.

Andy Chalk:
"You can climb up, do 3D navigation and jump over things without thinking too much or pressing buttons," Raymond said. "Sam does it automatically."

Huh, I thought Ubisoft made Splinter Cell, not Square Enix. *ba-dum tish*

I don't have anything against introducing gameplay elements for casual gamers like Hitman:absolution did, but it seems that in thsi case they want to take the stealth out of a stealth game. I really hope they try to find a balance between action and stealth, because otherwise this franchise is dead to me.

When I first read the headline I didn't see the word "complex" and immediately thought: "What? So they're going to try and take the Hideo Kojima route?"

God dammit...Splinter cell games were honestly one of the few stealth games i really loved for challenging stealth routes...oh well, fuck splinter cell, now its back to thief.


If the development diary is anything to go by, combat is over powered and stealth is just a waste of time. We still don't get to interrogate? That makes me sad.

Jade Raymond, you have no idea how many middle fingers I'm pointing towards you at this very moment. I mean, I wasn't expecting anything great to come of this particular Splinter Cell, but, still, goddamnit.

well they were already not getting my money(because changing the voice actor because you want them to do mocap is stupid and while not as stupid here as in thief it still sucks) but this makes me want to give them negative money

Yeah because dumbing down always makes money. Just ask Capcom.

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