The original Splinter Cell was launched on November 17, 2002 – 20 years ago today. To celebrate the big birthday, Ubisoft is giving away the groundbreaking stealth action game for free here on the Ubisoft Store (opens in new tab)and also shared an update on the state of the remake, which – sorry to say – is still very early in development.
Ubisoft announced the Splinter Cell in December 2021, then clarified in September this year that it won’t be an outright switch, but will instead blend “the spirit of the old and the comfort of the new, a process that includes” rewrite and update the story for a contemporary audience (opens in new tab).”
That’s the sort of statement that might confuse fans back in the day, but today’s presentation strongly suggests that the development team “gets” what made Splinter Cell work, about level design, characterization, and even the irresistible urge which some players feel to get it all. mission perfect.
“When we talk about perfectionism in the game, that’s something that’s really important,” said creative director Chris Auty. “In fact, we’d like the remake to go one step further. We want to make sure the entire game is playable from start to finish without a single kill, if that’s possible. So that’s something that’s important to us as well. . “
It sounds like Ubisoft is going to make the non-lethal path a little easier to follow in the remake than it was in the original. Senior game designer Andy Schmoll described the alarm status system in 2002’s Splinter Cell as “a little harsh”, and said the team wants to soften that up a bit in the remake.
“We want to give the player a few more chances to de-escalate some of those situations, right?” Schmoll said. “Clearly stealth is an extremely important pillar for us, and we strive to incorporate modern design philosophies and enhance the minute-to-minute stealth gameplay that was so special in the original.”
While the panel also takes some time to talk about Sam Fisher, noting that the character is a consummate professional with a sharp sense of humor and respect for his opponents, there’s unfortunately no word on whether Michael Ironside will be returning to play the character. interpret. Obviously it’s vital that he does, but for now Ubisoft isn’t saying one way or another. (And yes, I asked. A rep politely but firmly declined to comment.)
It’ll probably be a while before we find out more about Ironside’s return, or anything. Auty said the team will “go into the dark” so it can focus on developing the game.
“We are very early in production,” Auty said. “We’re still prototyping. We don’t want to rush anything. We want to make sure we’re doing the game absolutely right, we’re basically doing everything right and producing an absolutely amazing quality experience.”
So Splinter Cell turns out to be more complicated than some fans might have expected. There’s still plenty of time to clear things up, though, and in the meantime you can get yourself into the Sam Fisher state of mind for free at the Ubisoft Store, where the original Splinter Cell can be found. keep for free (opens in new tab) until November 30. The game runs perfectly out of the metaphorical box, but the age shows: the maximum supported resolution is 1600×1200, which was pretty hot bananas at the turn of the millennium, but now a bit of a headache. Fortunately, there are ways to improve that situation. ThirteenAG’s widescreen fix mod (opens in new tab) reportedly works quite well, and if you want to go deeper there’s a good thread ModDB (opens in new tab) explain other ways to give Splinter Cell a much-needed visual refresh.
Oh, and you’ve been promised some early concept art – you can check it out below.