Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Splinter Cell: Blacklist Features for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCWii U
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8Out of 10
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The most exciting part of E3 is now over. Each of the major players has hosted a conference, giving everyone a look at their gaming line-up over the coming months. Here we look at what we saw and rate each of them out of 10. How did Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft do this year?

Tom Orry - Editor

Watch Dogs screenshot

Well done Ubisoft. You did the seemingly impossible and revealed a brand-new game at E3. It hadn't been leaked and it looked brilliant. Watch Dogs, for me, is easily the most exciting game at E3 2012. It really goes to show what a carefully thought out E3 stage demo can do for a game and a publisher.

While Watch Dogs is seemingly some way away (it's been announced for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3, but rumoured to be for next-gen too), the publisher also impressed with demos of this year's Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed 3. Far Cry 3 looks mightily impressive, and is out in just a few short months, and Assassin's Creed 3 (despite my own interest in the series dwindling) certainly looks the part.

I've seen plenty of people moaning about Splinter Cell Blacklist due to its continued move away from stealth, but I really don't mind. I liked Conviction a lot and Blacklist appears to be an even slicker version of that, with the gameplay looking to be a lot more fluid.

The publisher didn't do everything right, completely destroying many people's interest in ShootMania with an incredibly dull presentation, and failing to convince me about the Wii U - although that's not entirely Ubi's fault.

Like with EA, there were some games missing. Where was Rainbow Six, a title that's already been announced? And I had hoped we'd see a new Prince of Persia. Still, Ubisoft has a great looking slate, and has positioned itself as one of the publishers to watch as we presumably start to transition to new platforms next year.

Score: 8/10

David Scammell - Staff Writer

Watch Dogs screenshot

A show-stealing reveal for hi-tech thriller Watch Dogs pumped a shot of adrenaline back into the arm of a flailing first day.

It looked incredible, didn't it? Just look at that lighting, that draw distance, those facial animations. On a visual level, it's surely the game of the show. But while rumours of which consoles Watch Dogs may eventually end up on continue to rage across the net, I have an even more interesting theory about the game's inception.

I believe Watch Dogs may have started life as Assassin's Creed 4.

It would make a lot of sense. You don't need me to tell you how its mechanics appear incredibly similar to those of Ubisoft's biggest IP, so, putting my analyst hat on for a second, I'd suggest that once the publisher realised how successful Assassin's Creed could be by sticking to stories set in the past, rather than taking AC into the future it created a fresh IP.

Whether I'm right or not doesn't really matter. Watch Dogs' presentation was the biggest hint yet that we've got to that point in the cycle where this console generation has clearly outstayed its welcome, with games being demoed on PCs even more powerful than a Fukushima power plant. Ubisoft can't announce - or even formally hint at - the next-generation of consoles before Sony and Microsoft do, of course, so was this the publisher's way of teasing us with its next-generation technology? It's got to be.

Elsewhere, though, I thought Splinter Cell looked incredibly slick despite not seeming much like a Splinter Cell game at all. Conviction, for all of its shooter-focussed changes, was still a good game, but one I personally struggled to get my head around due to approaching it with the same mindset I approached the others. Knowing that Blacklist is far more Bourne than Fisher this early on is a good thing, in my opinion.

Far Cry 3, too, appears to be shaping up to be one of the finest shooters we've seen in a while, while ZombiU looks likely to be one of the biggest launch hits for Wii U - provided it doesn't turn out to be another Red Steel.

And sure, there were low points. Why Ubisoft chose to dedicate almost 10 minutes of its show to ShootMania - a relatively niche and somewhat dated-looking 'pro gamer' shooter - is beyond me, although given the time that it happened, ever so slightly predictable. We'd reached that point in the conference where anything could happen, of course, like a man jumping out with a laser gun and assaulting a bewildered audience. What ever happened to that, by the way?

But where would we be without that Watch Dogs announcement? Probably back writing articles about whether E3 still had any relevance.

Score: 7/10

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munkee's Avatar

munkee@ VG_Dave

weirdly, one of the first things I thought when watching Watch Dogs was "Oooh, Cyberpunk Assasins Creed."

So, yes. I agree.
Posted 08:51 on 07 June 2012
VG_Dave's Avatar

VG_Dave@ Jamel_Shepard

Ubisoft hasn't given it a date yet, unfortunately. All we know is that it won't be this year.
Posted 19:46 on 06 June 2012
Jamel_Shepard's Avatar

Jamel_Shepard

i heard it was on xbox nd ps3
Posted 18:38 on 06 June 2012
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

Just making a note of a mistake: "(it's been announced for PC, Xbox 360, and PC, but rumoured to be for next-gen too)" (I think you meant to add PS3 there for one of those ;)
Posted 18:34 on 06 June 2012
Jamel_Shepard's Avatar

Jamel_Shepard

When does watch dogs release.
Posted 18:33 on 06 June 2012
ReadySteadyGo's Avatar

ReadySteadyGo@ Insanity

Yeah Watch Dogs was clearly the best game of the show but was soooo running on PC :p
Posted 17:53 on 06 June 2012
Insanity's Avatar

Insanity

Out of all the potential for E3, Ubisoft has to be the winner, Shootmania event mid-way through was interesting albeit poorly executed.
Then obviously Watch Dogs being a huge reveal and spreading across the internet like the viral virus every marketing director wishes they had.
Posted 16:16 on 06 June 2012

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 23/08/2013
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Stealth
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 1,393 182
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