As you can see in the video above, we’ve got three very distinct playstyles in Splinter Cell Blacklist. The Ghost is someone who likes to get in and out of a mission, leaving absolutely no trace of their presence. You can either avoid contact with the enemy altogether (undisturbed hostiles give you the greatest challenge and reward), or knock them out. There are plenty of gadgets tailor-made for Ghosts; the proximity shocker is one of my favorites, especially when I feel like messing around with the AI. I’ll lay down mines, fire off a sticky cam for reconnaissance and/or distraction (you can play sounds from the sticky cam to serve as a decoy), and then lure the baddies into my playground.
There’s something completely satisfying about knocking out a terrorist, leaving his body out in the open, then watching one of his buddies take notice and race over to investigate… only to get zapped. I’ll clean up my mess after that, and hide those guys in the comfort of the darkness.
The Ghost is always non-lethal, though. That’s imperative to the playstyle. If you want to use your karambit (the Indonesian knife that Sam uses in Blacklist), you’re trudging into Panther territory.
Panthers remain hidden as well, but strike with lethal force from the shadows. The close-quarter kills are impressively quick and quiet. There’s also plenty of weaponry that either comes with built-in silencers or which can be equipped through the robust customization system. The Five-seveN isn’t your default handgun anymore, but earning cash to get it (or, dare I say, even better guns) is plenty of fun. In all, we’ve got nearly 40 weapons – each individually tuned – that feel distinctly different. As long as you’ve got a silencer, and you take guys out without being detected, you’re playing as a Panther.
Assault is a different beast altogether.
If you are detected and start eliminating threats – with or without a silencer – you’ll be earning cash under the Assault playstyle. You can obviously opt into it, by going loud from the get-go, but be warned: that this will not be easy. You’ve got to accept the consequences of alerting the enemies to your whereabouts and risk getting taken out quickly. Make sure you fire first, or have your explosions be bigger than theirs. Proximity mines, grenades of various flavours, and high-calibre weaponry will be your best friends, along with your “Last Known Position.” This is the best way to get a beat on the opposition if you’re out-numbered. Your LKP pops up as a ghostly silhouette and resides where the enemy last saw you. You can use this to your advantage by being quick, using cover, and repositioning yourself to get a strategic angle on your threat.
Ideally, your survival and success will be more probable with a hefty dose of tactics, but if you just want to let off some steam… this is a solid option for you.
There’s still a lot we’re not disclosing – we want to save some surprises for you! But keep in mind, there are many ways to play Splinter Cell Blacklist. Ghost, Panther, or Assault… you can basically make your own version of Sam Fisher, equip him however you like, and have fun.
You’ll be rewarded no matter how you play, but you’ll always do better mastering one of them (even if you switch it up in different missions).
What playstyle are you hoping to master?