With Blacklist not hitting store shelves until August, it seems we have more time on our hands to get reacquainted with Sam Fisher. We’re still kind of grasping at straws with many details of the title still under wraps. Recently, Ubisoft Toronto opened it’s doors to outlets all over the world to get some hands on time with the game and get more answers to all of those burning questions.
I know many fans of the franchise feel like it’s going in a more action oriented direction rather than sticking to the stealth rules established with the first title and Pandora Tomorrow. With everything I’ve seen and read, I’m fully convinced that Ubisoft Toronto took heavy inspiration from Chaos Theory as well as taking elements from Conviction. Personally, Chaos Theory remains my favorite game in the series so I couldn’t be happier. Ubi is also trying to make sure that fans of true stealth are happy with this title starting with the recently announced Perfectionist Mode.
Think Mark and Execute is lame? Tired of gadgets and tech providing too much help to the player? Think the AI is being dumbed down in favor of cool stealth takedowns and action? Perfectionist Mode is your ticket to the stealth game glory days. If you’re looking for a slower paced, more detailed and disciplined experience, this is where you need to start. For one, enemies will deny all frontal attacks so you’ll need to work harder to take them out unseen. Mark and Execute is also disabled in this mode along with the goggle’s ability to pick up enemies behind walls. You’ll need to take your time and think in order to be successful here.
What’s interesting is that between missions aboard the Paladin, Fourth Echelon’s mobile base of operations, Sam is able to speak to his colleagues, gain additional insight into their stories, and receive optional/side missions which helps Sam gain better gear. While the better gear and these missions appear to be completely optional, it’s nice to know there’s extra content in here for those that want it.
Unlike the recently released Hitman: Absolution which seemed to punish players for not playing a certain way by deducting points from your score, Blacklist rewards players for playing how they want. Grouped into three categories (Panther, Ghost, and Assault), your performance is graded at the end of each mission with points rewards based on how you play. The game seems to reward more points for Ghosting levels though it also has the most risk as if you are spotted or break cover, the Ghost points are lost to Assault points.
With all that said, two items that were not discussed were the co-op modes or the returning fan favorite mode, Spies Vs Mercs. Here’s hoping we get some details soon because I can’t wait. And Ubisoft? Bring this game with you to PAX East so I can get my hands on it like you did with Conviction back in 2010. Selfish request, I know.