The history of video games has very different titles and events. Some of them have become legend, leaving an unmistakable mark on the rest of the games to come. Today I tell you what happened to Splinter Cell and how sam fisher dared to measure himself with the titan of the stealth genre or stealthSolid Snake and his Metal Gear Solid.
Splinter Cell is a video game franchise created by Ubisoft and that has its origin in the works of Thomas Leo Clancy Jr.., commonly known as Tom Clancy. Other company franchises such as The Division, Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six are also based on these works. Its protagonist, Sam Fisher, ended up becoming one of the most relevant characters in video game history.
So why has Ubisoft removed Sam Fisher from service for so many years? Why hasn’t it been exploited as much as Assassin’s Creed and Rainbow Six? Splinter Cell has only five installments, a rookie figure compared to other Ubisoft collections and other franchises such as Metal Gear Solid.
What happened to Splinter Cell?
Splinter Cell, originally named “Drift“, born in Ubisoft New York as a response to Metal Gear Solid. The development of the original game was problematic: the developers were not completely convinced with all the ideas they had had so far and they were less and less confident that the project would work.
Ubisoft Montréal He knew how to see the potential of Splinter Cell. They rescued the project and rebuilt it from scratch, adding a huge number of elements and changing the setting: it went from futuristic to current. However, the key event for the project came when Ubisoft turned to Tom Clancy to make a new collaboration.
Ubisoft had three very clear priorities for Splinter Cell: bring some stealth mechanics interesting (hide in the shade, turn off lights, etc.), build a iconic sam fisher and bring a history Tom Clancy-style, but distanced from what was seen in games like Ghost Recon and Rainbow Six. The ingredients were already in the oven.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: The Birth of a Legend
that’s how he was born Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002). This game follows Sam Fisher, a retired NAVY Seal who is recruited by the National Security Agency (NSA) to be part of the Third Echelon division’s Splinter Cell program. In general terms, the video game had a particularly good reception. Critics praised the stealth system, graphics, and story; and the booking and sales figures were through the roof from the start. It would reach a million and a half copies sold after its launch.
Splinter Cell passed the test. His next installment Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, was in charge of Ubisoft Shanghai and was released in 2004. It kept everything good from its predecessor, improved the settings and animations, and focused much more on the narrative aspect, which is set two years after the original events. Also, it came with a multiplayer mode pitting spies against mercenaries. Pandora Tomorrow delivered on both reviews and sales.
Ubisoft Montreal brought back Splinter Cell for its third installment, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theorywhose story is located one year after Pandora Tomorrow in a conflict between the US, Korea and Japan. This third installment was a huge leap from its predecessor, as it was developed with the Unreal Engine 2 engine.
The lights and shadows became much more important both at a playable and aesthetic level. The physics and animations were also greatly improved and the settings grew to give a little more freedom within the linearity. The multiplayer mode has also been improved and a co-op mode has been added to the campaign. Chaos Theory is considered by many to be the best Splintell Cell to date. Obviously, it was a success both critically and in sales.
Splinter Cell: Essentials and Splinter Cell: Double Agent they arrived in 2006. Essentials arrived on the PSP, while Double Agent took advantage of the arrival of the PS3 and Xbox 360 generations. first deliveries. The Splinter Cell saga returned to the hands of Ubisoft Shanghai.
The gameplay didn’t change much in Splinter Cell: Double Agent, but its story suffered a abrupt change compared to his predecessors and Tom Clancy’s style: Sam Fisher is hunted down and eventually recruited to infiltrate a terrorist organization located in the US.
Sam Fisher’s retirement
Sam Fisher went into retirement and didn’t return until 2010 with Splinter Cell: Conviction from Ubisoft Montreal for Xbox 360 and PC. The story is completely different from everything we knew in the first three games: Sam renounces Third Echelon and becomes a fugitive after obtaining some information about the death of his daughter Sara. The personal approach of Double Agent and the setting in the United States, specifically in Washington DC, are maintained.
Conviction’s gameplay did not stay true to its predecessors. Montreal would discard some skills and bet on new ones to bring more realism, freshness and fluidity. The execution times, a cover system and the animations to move around the improved scenarios are two clear examples of all the mentioned changes.
Splinter Cell: Conviction was very well received both critically and in sales. He made fans dream of future installments that would improve the present and continue this new facet of Sam Fisher.
Finally, Splinter Cell: Blacklist was launched in 2013 by Ubisoft Toronto for PS3, Xbox 360, PC and WII U. The studio sought to improve everything that failed in Conviction: length of the main campaign, gameplay section and the rescue of the acclaimed multiplayer spy vs. mercenaries.
Result? Blacklist supposed the return to the origins of Splinter Cell. To recap: Third Echelon disappears and Sam goes back to work for the US government under the Four Echelon division. It was a critical success: it is currently considered as one of the best games in the franchise along with Chaos Theory. However, sales did not meet expectations.
Sam Fisher in the shadows
Splinter Cell: Blacklist was the last game in the franchise. Ubisoft retired Sam Fisher from the service… although not completely. We fans have had to put up with company bankruptcies ever since. Although his clothing is available at The Division and has a character in rainbow six siegethe cruelest and most wonderful thing happened in Ghost Recon.
Sam Fisher appeared in Ghost Recon Widlands with his own story: Operation Vigilante. Sam collaborates with Karen Bowman, the undercover CIA agent leading the Ghosts in Bolivia. After getting the information, Bowman tells him that Grim wants Sam back: “The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff fears there is an Empty Quiver“.
Later, Sam Fisher shows up in Ghost Recon Breakpoint with another story of his own: deep state. Although Bowman is not here, the CIA is. Sam is in Auroa to spy on a Navy service station. Nomad finds him killing a couple of enemies at the designated location. We know the story continues because Sam says, “I’m glad you didn’t soften from Bolivia“.
Once again, look for information. This time about a guy called The Strategist, a guy who “has carried out kidnappings all over the world… All from military experts“. He wants to take it to the United States Congress to give “green light to the invasion of Auroa“. When Sam manages to get hold of the objective, several important pieces of information are revealed:
- Echeleon still exists and Sam continues to work in the division, as we already saw in Blacklist.
- Sam’s mission is international in scope. Both the CIA and Echeleon are investigating something that is not fully revealed in Wildlands or Breakpoint.
In other words: Sam is still active within the Ubisoft universe. The possibilities with the current generation are incredible. However, the company’s decisions in recent years have caused many to reconsider whether they really want a new installment.
The future of Splinter Cell
Now we know that Sam Fisher is preparing to return… but not in a new installment as such. Ubisoft announced Splinter Cell Remake (Ubisoft Toronto) in December 2021 after many rumors. will use the engine snowdropwhich he is also using for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and the Star Wars game.
Matt Westproducer of the project, made the studio’s vision for the project clear: “We’ll keep it linear like the original games, we won’t do an open world.” On the other hand, chris autycreative director, explained that stealth will remain at the core of the experience:
It’s important to us to preserve a sense of mastery, supporting players who observe situations, make their plan, use their gadgets, and outsmart the enemy in creative ways to deal with the challenges that come their way. Ideally, they end up coming out the other side without anyone noticing you were there. That is the essence of Splinter Cell.
We know that Ubisoft Toronto plans to add numerous improvements to squeeze the technology out of the most modern systems: a system of pointer sound and a occlusion system that will depend on the material that projects it. As a detail, the study wants to offer the possibility of completing the game without having to kill a single person. This means special animations for non-lethal knockouts, for example.
The bad news is that we don’t have a release date for Splinter Cell Remake. The good news is that we can already get an idea of why Ubisoft dropped Sam Fisher: other franchises like Rainbow Six and Assassin’s Creed they became a priority. Others like The Division were created and Ghost Recon was continued, for example.
Last but not least, Sam Fisher will also return in a animation series from Netflix. Derek Kolstad, creator of the John Wick franchise, will be in charge of writing the series.
Here’s your first look at the Splinter Cell animated series, an adaptation of the bestselling @Ubisoft game.
— Netflix Geeked (@NetflixGeeked) June 11, 2021
Translation: This is the first look at the animated series Splinter Cell, an adaptation of the best-selling game @Ubisoft. Derek Kolstad, creator of the John Wick franchise, is on board to write the series. #GeekedWeek
Will Splinter Cell Remake be a revival of stealth games? The Metal Gear Solid franchise has not been the same since Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain, as it lost its greatest representative: Hideo Kojima. Will Splinter Cell Remake be up to the task? Only time will tell.