Splinter Cell: Blacklist (Xbox 360)

Ubisoft brings back Sam Fisher for another tour of duty

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Ubisoft Splinter Cell: Blacklist
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5


  • Well paced third person tactical adventure
  • Good balance between sneaking and action gameplay


  • Storyline is somewhat convoluted at times
  • Environments can feel a bit samey

Bottom Line

Splinter Cell: Blacklist does a good job of keeping the series relevant after all these years. While the storyline sometimes doesn’t keep up with the scope of the game, there’s no denying that it's still a fun thriller.

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The Splinter Cell games have been taking players on Jason Bourne-esque adventures for just over ten years, and now the series returns with Blacklist. Unlike 2010’s Conviction, which was exclusive to Xbox 360, Blacklist is also available on PlayStation 3 and Wii U, returning series protagonist Sam Fisher to a larger audience than before. Conviction was one of the best received games for 2010, and expectations are high that Blacklist will match that feat.

The game’s title comes from a terrorist plot targeting the US known as “The Blacklist.” The ones behind the scheme are a group of terrorists known as “The Engineers,” who are demanding that the US withdraw all of its military operations worldwide. If the US does not comply, the terrorist group will destroy a domestic target every few days until the government agrees to the demand. The only man who can stop this terrorist plot is none other than covert operative, Sam Fisher.

The original Splinter Cell game from 2002 was a slow-paced tactical title requiring you to hide in the shadows, though the series has evolved over the years to become more of a fast paced thriller. The game is still highly tactical, with the player outfitted with night vision goggles that help to see in the dark. With this handy ability, you can sneak up to enemies to take them out silently, or walk past them without being noticed. While guns are not very useful in the game due to the nature of the gameplay, you can use the darkness and the goggles to outmanoeuvre enemies and take them out more efficiently if the situation calls for it.

The storyline of Blacklist plays out in a single player campaign that took just over seven hours to complete. This tends to be the average length for a third person action title such as this, though skilled players who blast through the game may be left wanting more once it all ends. Fortunately, Ubisoft has packed a robust multiplayer mode that should provide additional hours of enjoyment once the single player mode is completed. There are also some side missions that can be played for an additional challenge, and these can be completed either offline by yourself or online with other people.

The only weak aspect about the game is the storytelling. While the storyline and characters are more fleshed out than past instalments in the series, it is still let down by unanswered questions, odd plot twists and awkward dialogue. Blacklist’s story is still enjoyable, though the above shortcomings indicate that the video game medium still has a bit more maturing to go before it catches up to film and television. The only other thing that draws away from the experience is the lack of variety in locations, with most of the action limited to industrial and military areas.

Despite these minor nitpicks, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is a highly enjoyable action thriller that continues to keep the character of Sam Fisher relevant.

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