The United States has a military presence in two thirds of countries around the world. A group of 12 have had enough and initiate a terror ultimatum called the Blacklist - a deadly countdown of escalating terrorist attacks on U.S. interests.
Sam Fisher is the leader of the newly formed 4th Echelon unit: a clandestine unit that answers solely to the President of the United States. Sam and his team must hunt down these terrorists by any means necessary, and stop the Blacklist countdown before it reaches zero.
The latest installment of the splinter cell series, Splinter Cell: Black List, continues the tradition of immersive stealth shooters. The Xbox 360 version offers to install high definition texture packs from disk 2 to the hard drive to give an enhanced experience. Once loaded the first thing I noticed was the change in voice actor for Sam Fisher. No more Michael Ironsides. A bit of research revealed concerns about how his age may affect his ability to perform for motion capture.
The game-play is as good as I remember it. It is a standard cover based stealth game, though the tutorial seemed a little harsh with any failure leading to game over. However in the main game it settles down, and returns to form with a decent array of different wasy to progress through levels depending on how you prefer to play. A refreshing change from a few shooters that can feel like they are on rails.
Finally Splinter Cell has the usual RPG elements based around upgrades to Sam's gear which are bought with money made from the missions you complete with bonuses such as secondary objectives. Unfortunately, some of the upgrades are only available once additional DLC is bought, or for partaking in multiplayer. However there seems to be more than enough regular gear that this can still stand up as a single player stand alone game.
Overall Splinter Cell: Black List is an engaging, well designed stealth shooter that incorporates the usual array of RPG elements, with great game-play and excellent cinematics. A good game that fits well in the Splinter Cell stable.
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