Splinter Cell: Blacklist is coming to the Wii U. Nintendo says so.
This morning Nintendo issued a press release that, for all intents and purposes, seems to be standard boilerplate stuff. It more or less exists to reassure Wii U owners (or, at least, their representatives in the gaming media) that the console will see improved third-party support in the future, and that rumors of the console's demise are very premature. Of course, that's exactly what a console creator would say about a moribund machine, so let's ignore all of that in favor of the real news here: The confirmation that Splinter Cell: Blacklist will appear on the Wii U.
According to Nintendo, the latest entry in Ubisoft's stealth-action franchise will appear on the Wii U on August 20. For those of you keeping score at home, that's the same date the title is slated to appear on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC platforms. Further, the House That Miyamoto Built points out that the Wii U incarnation of Blacklist will feature a number of Wii U-exclusive features that either enhance the gameplay experience or quickly become annoying gimmicks, depending on how you feel about the Wii U Gamepad. To wit:
Showcasing enhanced game-play features using the Wii U GamePad controller, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist allows players to operate innovative gadgets, take out enemies and move through the environment, and intuitively switch between weapons, among other features. The GamePad touch screen, along with motion-based inputs, are sure to immerse fans and gamers alike in this thrilling modern-day adventure.
Great news, right? Certainly. The Wii U needs more quality titles, and everything we've seen of Blacklist indicates that it will be a valid continuation of the Splinter Cell franchise. That said, it seems unlikely that Blacklist will be the sort of game that would drive people to buy a Wii U purely for a single gameplay experience. Sales of the Wii U have been disappointing, so while it's certainly good news that the console's library is being bolstered in this way, there's almost no way this one game can reverse Nintendo's current fortunes.
Still, if you picked up a Wii U for something like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, ZombiU or New Super Mario Bros. U, Blacklist should be a solid investment. There are currently no real stealth-action games on the Wii U, and since Konami's next Metal Gear title is still a ways off (and may never appear on the Wii U), a new entry in the Splinter Cell franchise should at least prove a reasonable substitute for those gamers who get off on creeping up behind some heavily-armed jerk and twisting his neck until his spine audibly snaps in half.