Ubisoft has announced that it has greenlit the development of a remake of its stealth classic, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.
Announced on Ubisoft’s website, the remake will be developed by lead studio Ubisoft Toronto, the developers of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It will be built from the ground up using the Snowdrop engine, which is the tech being used for The Division games, the upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora game, and Ubisoft’s as-yet-untitled Star Wars game.
In an interview posted to the Ubisoft website, producer Matt West said, “I think it kind of has to be a remake as opposed to a remaster. Although we’re still in the very earliest stages of development, what we’re trying to do is make sure the spirit of the early games remains intact, in all of the ways that gave early Splinter Cell its identity.”
Part of keeping that remake true to the series identity is that it will be a linear game, and not open world akin to many other Ubisoft games. As for the gameplay that happens within those linear levels, the emphasis is once again on stealth, not action.
“It’s safe to say a lot of us on the team are stealth purists, and we’re behind that level of seriousness when it comes to those kinds of mechanics, and those sorts of things that we want to see in this game,” says Chris Auty, Splinter Cell’s new creative director. “And we’re very, very aware of what makes classic Splinter Cell what it is.”
“It’s important for us to preserve the sense of mastery by supporting players who observe the situations, make their plan, use their gadgets, and outsmart the enemy creatively to deal with the challenges they are presented with,” he explained. “Ideally, they end up coming out on the other side with no one having realized you were even there. That’s the essence of Splinter Cell.”
E3 2012: Splinter Cell Blacklist: Conference Stream Screens
“The gameplay experience we are targeting is directly tied to what we want players to feel, to capture the essence back when we were all playing the original games,” said West.
It’s unclear if anyone from the original Splinter Cell team is working on this remake, but technical producer Peter Handrinos says that series veterans are part of the new team. “There are a lot of vets here, so we’re going to have a really good mix of people who have worked on previous Splinter Cell games, and new team members who are joining and bringing fresh energy and fresh ideas,” he said.
But it looks like this remake could just be the start of Ubisoft’s revised efforts on Splinter Cell. “With this remake, we are building a solid base for the future of Splinter Cell,” Auty said.
While this is the first ‘true’ Splinter Cell game for many years, Ubisoft also last year announced that a Splinter Cell VR game is in development. With two Splinter Cell games in active production, it means Sam Fisher’s curse of being relegated to a guest star in every other Tom Clancy game, from Ghost Recon to Rainbow Six, seems to be finally over.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer.