According to a recent report, Ubisoft might be bringing back the fan-favorite series, Splinter Cell after almost a decade.
Back in 2002, Ubisoft launched stealth-shooter Splinter Cell. Players took on the role of Sam Fisher, a highly trained agent of a fictional black-ops sub-division within the NSA known as "Third Echelon". Splinter Cell, along with Metal Gear and Hitman, is widely considered as having defined the stealth-shooter genre.
The series came to a halt after the underrated Splinter Cell Blacklist in 2013, following several underwhelming entries. However, it seems like, after much speculation, Ubisoft has finally greenlit a new Splinter Cell game.
After multiple Sam Fisher cameos, Ubisoft is finally reviving the Splinter Cell franchise
Following the original Splinter Cell in 2002, Splinter Cell had a phenomenal run during the early to mid-2000s, including Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow in 2004 and the iconic Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory in 2005. However, Splinter Cell: Double Agent and the handheld-exclusive Splinter Cell: Essentials in 2006 were extremely underwhelming. Double Agent was particularly panned for being completely different games on different platforms.
Consequently, Ubisoft delayed Splinter Cell: Conviction from its initial release year of 2007 and went back to the drawing board to reinvent the series. Eventually released in 2010, the game stripped Sam Fisher of many of his tools, taking a more grounded approach compared to the previous titles. Splinter Cell: Blacklist also introduced many interesting gameplay mechanics in 2013 but faced backlash due to a change in cast.
The series was put on ice after Blacklist, while Ubisoft focused on other Tom Clancy titles, with a focus on multiplayer gameplay. Since then, Sam Fisher has made guest appearances in multiple titles, including both Ghost Recon Wildlands and Ghost Recon Breakpoint as well as a playable operator, Zero, in Rainbow Six Siege.
According to a recent report by VGC and well-known industry insider Tom Henderson, Ubisoft has greenlit a new Splinter Cell Project, which is currently in early development. It is still unclear which studio is heading the project, or if the title will be a reboot or sequel to the franchise.
Nevertheless, fans are quite excited to once again put on the trifocal goggles and take the lead as Sam Fisher. However, considering the current state of Ubisoft and its representation of the Tom Clancy brand, it is best to be cautiously optimistic.
Ubisoft’s handling of Tom Clancy games is concerning for the rumored Splinter Cell
The "Tom Clancy's" brand, originally based on the work of author Tom Clancy and developed by Red Storm Entertainment, has become a Ubisoft staple. Over the years, the sub-brand has evolved to include many shooter franchises, from tactical shooters like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon to online action RPGs like The Division.
However, most recent Ubisoft titles, especially Tom Clancy’s, have taken an unsavory trend toward microtransaction-laden live-services. Furthermore, Ubisoft has also announced three new Tom Clancy’s titles recently which are free-to-play multiplayer games. Based on Ubisoft’s previous track record, they are likely to be chock-full of microtransactions.
Fans have been clamoring for a single-player Splinter Cell game with a massive focus on the narrative but Ubisoft could certainly turn it into a free-to-play multiplayer title with egregious microtransactions. Hence, it is in the best interest of the players to be cautiously optimistic about the rumored Splinter Cell title.