Splinter Cell producer Mathieu Ferland said gamers will ultimately respond positively to the franchise's new direction, in spite of dramatic changes to the title's core gameplay.
Previous games in the Splinter Cell series focused on avoiding detection, forcing the player to employ stealth tactics in order to achieve objectives. In the upcoming Splinter Cell: Conviction, however, protagonist Sam Fisher will be working in crowded areas and will have to rely on direct confrontation and more overtly forceful tactics in order to defeat his enemies. While Ferland believes the series' new direction will be well-received by fans, he also says a return to the old style of gameplay is not out of the question if he's proven wrong.
"It's not a one-way direction," he said. "You can always go back and do different things, having Sam in a new position, or a different character to explore light-and-shadow gameplay."
Along with the change in gameplay focus, Conviction will also reduce the number of "complex" controls available to the player, instead using only context-sensitive Aggression, Stealth and Interaction buttons. "To us, it's a nice way to expand the brand," Ferland said, "because Ubisoft is a nice company and you can push it hard with innovation, especially in Splinter Cell, and sometimes when you want to push innovation you need to adapt your creative direction to fit the kind of gameplay you want to provide."
Splinter Cell: Conviction is scheduled to be released for the PC and Xbox 360 later this year.