At an ancient PAX Aus, nearly a decade ago, I met the only other guy who likes Splinter Cell as much as me. We had a chance to play some together at a demo station, and hoped we could get something going when it came out; I never played any of Blacklist's substantial co-op content with the fantasy that we'd one day be able to do it. I mentioned that errantly the other day, and the motherfucker got hold of me on Steam! So I'm progressing far enough in the single player to unlock the missions we didn't play back then so we can get that going. I really, really don't replay games. But if I left a bunch uneaten the first time around. And it's still really, really fucking good.
Sniper Elite 5 is the closest thing to Splinter Cell you're going to get these days, and I devoured it hungrily; you can play it as more of a Sniper Badass or a wicked human/panther hybrid who gets people by the neck and drags their limp body up into a tree. And since the whole game is co-op, not just some of it, you can do one of those while your friend does the other. Well, maybe you can. Dabe could figure out the really long distance sniping in a way I couldn't, and having beat every Splinter Cell game I was fully prepared to engage in a very muscular sort of stealth action campaign. I don't know how Rebellion came to inherit this mantle, but they did.
Ubisoft announced that they're remaking Splinter Cell, apparently as the first step in a franchise reboot, and every now and then they'll say something; four days ago, Ubisoft Belgium put up a high resolution image of the goggles? Just Belgium though, not the other ones…?
#SplinterCell pic.twitter.com/TW3ejMfkBX— Ubisoft Belgium (@ubisoftbe) January 7, 2023
I don't really know what's going on over there. Ubisoft used to take weird swings and do crazy shit, but they've lost a ton of people up and down the structure and they've had a terrible time getting out of their own way. It seems like they've entered a kind of stasis, perhaps grooming themselves for acquisition in this, an age more or less defined by it. They've canceled something like seven games in the last six months, and now the stock is in a place where all manner of devilry is possible. It feels bad. They got stuck in their own formula for a while, a formula that started to infect game after game, but they've delivered so many startling experiences over the years. I'm ready to be startled again. Well, if you're ready to be startled, maybe you can't be. You know what I mean. I want to be two or three hours into a new game from them and smile, accompanied by a gentle nodding of the head.