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Hands-on with Splinter Cell Blacklist

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Picture an Uncharted game in your head. It should be easy – there have been four of them, big sellers. Now imagine that action-adventure gameplay repurposed to realistic military shooters. That’s Splinter Cell Blacklist.

Sam Fisher – set to be played on the big screen next year by Tom Hardy – is back. The previous game, Conviction, was essentially about Sam avenging his murdered daughter. This time, the terrorist threat is merely a backdrop to Sam being put in charge of a new presidentially authorised covert unit.

But what of the gameplay? Three separate ways of playing have been identified and catered for in the gadgets and weapons at your disposal. ‘Ghost’ is the extreme stealth style, ‘Assault’ is about going in all guns blazing and ‘Panther’ sits between: the mission doesn’t just end if you’re spotted (as in the early games), you must think on your feet and fight your way out of trouble. Plan for the best, prepare for the worst.

That single-player campaign is joined by co-op missions and the long-awaited return of ‘Spies vs Mercs’ multiplayer. As a spy, you’re stealthy, agile and able to disappear into the shadows. Mercs are heavily armed and heavily armoured. Your mission: see a spy, blow their head off.

It’s the classic Splinter Cell, resurrected for (presumably) a wider audience. Sam Fisher: iconic status awaits.

Splinter Cell Blacklist will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on 23 August

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