Ubisoft’s award-winning stealth video game series, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is still “evolving”, according to Ubisoft Toronto animation director Kristjan Zadziuk.
Last year's Splinter Cell: Blacklist was generally well received but it fell some way short of being deemed a commercial success, with an estimated two million copies of the game shifted. The franchise has been known to evolve from game to game and it seems this will almost certainly be the case again when the next-gen Splinter Cell hits...
Speaking with OXM, Kristjan Zadziuk stated, “We haven’t got the luxury of Assassin’s Creed where we know our formula; we’re still evolving."
He went on to explain; "If you look at them, there’s no two Splinter Cells that are the same. They’ve all evolved and adapted. That, to me, is what makes it really exciting."
Strange as it is, the focus on development of the Splinter Cell series is supposedly on the quality of the franchise rather than its commercial success. A higher quality of game can often mean higher sales of course, but it seems Ubisoft is uninterested in following the 'sequelitis' that is causing tired iterations in some of the larger franchises. Zadziuk continued, "We’re getting closer to what that game is, and maybe it isn’t necessarily about Splinter Cell being a 15-16 million Call of Duty-type best-seller. Maybe it’s just about it being the best Splinter Cell that it can be.”
Ubisoft has come under fire in recent years for homogenising its content, with Far Cry 3 borrowing heavily from the Assassin's Creed franchise's gameplay and exploration mechanics. “It’s not like we sit around and go ‘I’m having that’; it’s what works for each game. Far Cry 3 is such an expansive game, so they’re trying to find you an organic way of giving you a map. That wouldn’t work for Splinter Cell – there’d be no point in Sam climbing to the top of a tower and pressing a button. But then again, we have our version of active sprint. It’s not a way of copying Assassin’s Creed, it’s our way of making Sam more fluid.” Zadziuk defended.
What do you make of Splinter Cell's evolution, is it for the better?
Which was your favourite Splinter Cell play style?
Let us know!