The beans spilled and we know that Splinter Cell: Convictions is coming out this year. The question is: What took so damn long? We’ve been waiting on it for, literally, two years. We’ve only seen a glimpse of what the Ubisoft peeps have planned, and that glimpse wasn’t the best glimpse. It looked so pretty two years ago. But, that was before Assassin’s Creed and all the other amazing games we’ve played. Can Splinter Cell come back and win our hearts and our souls? Or was Chaos Theory the crown jewel of the Splinter Cell legacy? Here is a list of things I want, and don’t want, from the upcoming sequel.
Classic Splinter Cell missions: What I enjoyed about Splinter Cell was that it was on rails, but it was a really big boxcar. Meaning you had one place you had to go, but you had a lot of room to get there. You could go in shooting or sneak around. You could do side missions or you could barrel through it. Double Agent tried to do this, but Chaos Theory mastered it. I would love to see more of that, more epic missions that give me the freedom and the tools to do the mission my way. I don’t want this open-world mess, like Assassin’s Creed or GTA4. Splinter Cell games have always had wonderful spy stories, and I’m looking forward to more of that.
“Bourne” Combat: I want some of the same, but I also loved the Conviction combat model that the trailer showed off. Splinter Cells never had combat like that before, and I would thoroughly enjoy it. Punching, kicking, throwing tables, stuff like that. Sam Fisher should have the ability to toss guys around just like Jason Bourne, and it would be a fresh piece of game play that would be much welcome.
A new lead character: I loved the way that Michael Ironsides played the Sam Fisher character. He was old, seasoned and moody. But do we want that anymore? I could use a new character that was a bit younger, maybe even a rookie. Yeah, Sam Fisher is awesome, but I think it is time to move past it, and introduce something different and new that would recharge the franchise. Even though Splinter Cell was well served by the characters, the gameplay has always been where the energy was. A new, lead character could be exactly what this franchise needs.
Merc vs. Spy: Change it back how it was for Chaos Theory. Just do it. Shut your mouth. Do it. Now.
Open-World Crap: No. No. No. I don’t not want that. The Conviction trailer from a few years ago made the gameplay seem freer, giving the player tons of choices and using the city like a sandbox…just like Assassin’s Creed. I loved Assassin’s Creed. But Splinter Cell ain’t Assassin’s Creed. It isn’t Grand Theft Auto either. Open-world gameplay is ok. I have fun with some of them. But I love how Splinter Cell has always had this raw focus. If it is an open-world game, it won’t be all that bad. But, choices don’t always mean that the game is going to be good.
That Double-Agent thing: I like knowing what I need to do. I don’t want to have to always make a path choice. Do I want to be good or do I want to be evil? What can I do to be evil? I’ll just do this, this or this. I hate it. In Double Agent, you could be a good guy or a bad guy. Your ending, of course, depended on your decisions. Just like Mass Effect. Just like Bioshock. Just like tons of other games. This isn’t a bad thing, it just isn’t right for Splinter Cell. It made the gameplay too complicated. I didn’t know what to do half the time, and the other half I hated what I was doing. No thank you. Just let me sneak into rooms and grab guys from behind. Isn’t that enough?
Co-op: No. I do not want to play Splinter Cell Co-op. Yes, it was fun in Chaos Theory. But, there were moments when it was not fun.
Jayslacks: Ok, K. I’m in the room. Remember, we can’t kill the Vice-President. You wait until I move in and then we’ll…
Blam! Blam! Blam!
Jayslacks: What did you do?
Kzilla: I’m sorry. I was in there. I had my gun out. Sorry.
Jayslacks: Damn it!
Kzilla: And now the alarm is going off. And here comes more guards. And I’m getting shot.
Kzilla: Look! I’m jumping on the Vice-President’s couch!
Hopefully, Splinter Cell Conviction will go back to the classic Splinter Cell gameplay. We need this, Ubisoft. We need a Splinter Cell game. We will buy it. We will play it. We promise. Hurry up.