Spies vs Mercs is a beloved game mode that took some time off but has since returned in the recently released Splinter Cell Blacklist. This cat and mouse style multiplayer is pretty different featuring one team as spies in third person view and then the other team in first person perspective as the heavily armored mercenaries. You’ll have to adapt fast and develop strategies that don’t incorporate running and gunning or lone wolfing.
Since this multiplayer mode plays so differently than most games out there and to prevent frustration at the slower and more tactical pace, I figured I’d put together a little list of ways to help you survive even longer. I mean, it’s no fun constantly watching the loading screen, right?
So here are my tips and tricks for not only staying alive longer, but for maximum team success….after the jump
Whether you’re a spy or a mercenary, the best route to success is communication with your team. Spies will want to coordinate not only which terminal to hack (as you can’t hack multiple terminals at one time) but also for keeping the mercenaries at bay and away from the hacker. Mercenaries are at a disadvantage in terms of agility and height so working as a team to track the spies hiding in the shadows is a great away to stay alive longer. You become much easier to pick off solo so make sure to communicate, especially when trying to find the hacking spy.
K/D Ratio Doesn’t Matter: Call of Duty this is not. Lone Wolf tactics will only serve to help lead your team to defeat. Team objectives are vastly more important than personal ones in these game modes and working as a team will give you better odds for success rather than all of you running around doing your own thing. If you go 1-12 but your team dominates the match, then you’ve succeeded. Completing objectives becomes that much harder if you’re not all working together.
Darkness Is Your Friend: I like to call spies, the glass cannons. Yes, they’re extremely powerful and being able to knife a merc from the front is icing on the cake. Even with all this power, the spy has one major weakness: they can’t take a hit. Try to go toe to toe with a merc and you’ll lose pretty much every time. As a spy, stick to the shadows, be tactical, and coordinate with your team.
Patience: If there’s one thing that modern multiplayer games have taught us, if you see an enemy, you take them out immediately. That line of thinking won’t help you or your team here. Try to think two steps ahead and plan your attack. Remember, you’re a spy, you can’t take too many hits. Mercenaries have the upper hand in terms of firepower so getting one kill and then immediately being taken out by his waiting buddy won’t help things. Use your gadgets, retreat, or find a way to pick off both.
Overcharge It: People may be drawn to the flashy UAV or digital ghillie suit, but one of the key classes is the Saboteur spy. Their ability is to use overcharge which will not only drain the special suit meters of your enemies within range, but it will cause electronics and explosives to detonate as well. Got a pesky UAV flying around? Overcharge it. See mercs setting or standing near their own mines? Overcharge it and watch them explode!
No Running: Did you know that when you run as a Spy, you ping the Mercenaries radar? The best thing to do is to stay in a crouched position when you move as you’ll stay undetected by the roaming Mercs.
Distraction: In Classic or Blacklist mode, if you’re not hacking then you’ll want to run interference. Remember, kill/death ratios don’t matter here so no one will care if you go 20-0 but your team gets shut out. Teamwork is key here so to help keep the mercenaries busy and away from your hacking teammate, try to lead them away from where your partner is hiding. If that means drawing their fire and taking one for the team than so be it. Everything helps in this regard.
Stay Together: Even though you’re packing more firepower and armor than the spies, you’re lack of agility makes you easy to pick off especially when spies drop from the shadows. That’s why having a pack mentality will really come in handy. Not only can you cover flanking positions but you become a harder target when you have a team of mercs keeping tabs on all different angles. Couple this with communication and you become a fearsome group.
Flashlight Usage: In classic mode, light and shadow dominates these maps and it may be tempting to shine your flashlight at the darkness. I can’t blame you here, but remember, spies can see your flashlight as well which will tip them off to your location. I’ve found that it’s better to use it intermittently as much as possible. Turn it on, have a quick look, turn it off and move. This should keep spies guessing to your location.
Stay Frosty: As a mercenary, you’ll want to constantly be keeping an eye out for enemies as spies really could be anywhere. Look up, look down, and most importantly, look behind you. It’s much too easy for a spy to get the drop on you from behind so just imagine their surprise as you turn around and blast them. Never hurts to look like that crazy guy by constantly looking and turning. On a side note, be careful around ledges as it’s much too easy for a spy to grab and pull you over. Let your gadgets do the talking.
Vision Modes: One of the most critical aspects to any mercenary gear is the vision mode. By default, you’re given the motion tracker which will ping and give you a general location of any spy dumb enough to be running around. Where things get real interesting is when you purchase the RFD and ATS systems. The RFD will pick up on electronic signatures, so any time a spy uses their vision modes, abilities, or gadgets, they’ll light up for you. The ATS is similar but uses sound to do it. So weapon fire, explosions or anyone nearby will alert you.
Have any more tips and tricks that have worked for you in the past? Let me and everyone else know in the comments!