Given how much i enjoyed playing Batman:AA has done enough to sell me on Splinter Cell: Conviction. I've played the Splinter Cell of old and it was never really enough to sell me on the game. Also the game reminds me also of the Bourne Identity and the Bourne tie-in game that was released last year. I enjoyed that game but felt it needed more polishing. Hopefully this will combine the two with better results.http://www.gametrailers.com/video/exclusive-create-splinter-cell/58513
An exclusive "Create a Hero" documentary.
I want this game in my life more than ever now, and it looks like they polished the graphics and gameplay a lot since E3.
I have been playing Batman: Arkham Asylum and I have to say that the gameplay is pretty similar, which is a good thing! Yes, I would like to see the old-school splinter stealth stealth again, but I'm fine with this!
And it was great seeing Michael Ironside!!!!
http://www.consolemonster.com/newspost.php?id=0000006367Console Monster sat down with the producer for Splinter Cell Conviction, Alex Parizeau. After giving us a quick demo of his extremely practised skills in mark and execute on the Tokyo Game Show demo, he told us all about how Splinter Cell is evolving as a brand, the difficulties with innovation and what he loves about the game so far.
All the trailers and gameplay videos have shown a more action based Splinter Cell. Is there still the traditional stealth elements in Conviction?
Yes. It is a different kind of sneaking around, it?s not like waiting for the patrols to pass by but you can finish levels without being detected. So the idea is that you?re going to kill people, some of which you are going to have to kill as you are not going to want them walking by later on. This keeps you undetected and leave your enemies having no idea what hit them. That, to me, is the main difference philosophically between Conviction and the previous Splinter Cells.
With the interrogations, can you kill the targets accidently prior to getting up close?
You can?t. You?ve worked hard to get to these guys and you will need to get information from them. So you?ll need to find each of them and approach them. Each interrogation will have their own surprises and won?t play out the same way. You can?t mess it up by doing too much damage or killing them too quickly but the idea is that you have interaction with them.
For example, there is a piano in the background. What would happen if I take the target over to the piano? Well you will see in the game but this is a reward for the players and to use this moment to tell a key moment in the story. It?s a way to get players involved with the scene rather than having a scripted sequence.
Are you worried that the mark and execute mechanics remove quite a bit of control from the game?
It?s a different way to play, that?s for sure. We have had a lot of comments on how players believed it will make the game too easy but we are balancing the game with mark and execute mechanic in mind. So no, it?s not too easy. If you tried to play the game like I did, you?d get your ass kicked. I guarantee you! At TGS, I saw over 30 journalists get their ass whooped over and over again. So if you jump into a room and hope mark and execute will save your ass... it?s not.
You have to plan your attack, prepare, use strategy. You have to keep your timing or the enemy will be aware of you, so you need your timing and have to know for sure you are using it well and you need to use your gadgets in conjunction with it to do it correctly. If you pull it off it is immensely satisfying, it works really well and you feel like 'I?m Sam Fisher? the bad-ass spy agent I should be. It is not a win button.
How do you earn the mark and execute mechanic and is there a limit to how many people we can mark at once?
The idea is that you have to do a hand-to-hand stealth kill before you earn the right to use mark and execute. This gives you a nice balance of having to get close to your enemy and taking one from the pack then eliminating a bigger group. At first you will find that you have to take your time, hiding in the shadows setting up your attack. After a while you will find that you can link it.
For example, I went into a room with a pipe above one guy and two other men beside each other. I marked to two together and then took out the first guy under the pipe, setting up my entrance so I would have easy access to climbing a pipe. As soon as I took out the guy below me, I could take out the other two quickly with mark and execute. This is something that we find is extremely rewarding for players because once you get used to it, you can clear a room with three guys in it quickly. It works really well.
Regarding how many people you can mark, it depends on the customisation of the weapons. You are never going to get a room full of 12 people but certain weapons will have a high mark allowance than others.
Are there set weapons given to Sam Fisher or can you pick up weapons from the environment?
Any enemy weapon that they are using you can pick up. So again its part of the idea that Sam is working on his own doesn?t necessarily have access to all the weapons and gadgets he?d usually have. So he is going to use anything he finds. So if there is a weapon on the ground that he needs to use to get out of a sticky situation, he will use it. The weapon load out, the way it works is that you have access to your pistol and your assault rifle. So your pistol is usually silence and is going to help you with more stealth attacks but when you get into situations where you are faced with a large amount of people then you?d need to resort to your assault rifle.
It seemed you went away for a while and come back with a new build. What was happening in the development cycle?
We started on this game about 4 years ago and we had a clear goal of rejuvenating the brand. Coming up with something fresh for Splinter Cell and for the stealth genre. You know what happens, when you try to innovate you take risks, that?s always the case. So we tried to innovate on multiple fronts, from the technology side to the gameplay side and all sorts of different fronts so we tried different things.
When we were about 2 years in we had pushed innovation in a lot of different directions, so we had a lot of mechanics like being able to push everything to all our lights being completely dynamic. I don?t think you guys have ever played a game where the lighting is 100% dynamic. You can shoot all the lights down and every light will have an effect on the characters. That is something I think is a really cool innovation that suits well the gameplay. That I don?t think any other games had done. We focused on the crowd stuff and we pushed innovation on a bunch of different fronts but after about 2 years in we looked at what we had and felt that in some ways we had lost the core of what Splinter Cell was about we had strayed away from what the brand was.
So we started looking at everything we have and we needed something to ground those innovations in. So they need to make sense from a narrative perspective for Sam Fisher and for players from a gameplay perspective. We went quiet for a while and looked at what the key was and who Sam Fisher was. What was going on in his life, how is he going to deal with that situation. We felt the personal thing really shined through and was a nice change for the franchise with Sam Fisher leading his own investigation. He?s not working for Third Echelon anymore after the events that happened in Double Agent. So it really made sense from a narrative perspective and I think that?s what we want as players to experience also.
We want to know who that guy is, we we?ve played that character for several games but imagine what this guy has gone through, think about what happened in Splinter Cell 1, Pandora Tomorrow, Chaos Theory, Sam has been all over the world. He?s been involved in conflicts where no one can even say he was there and help save the world and while he was doing that he was dealing with his family life, his wife died of cancer, his daughter gets run over by a drunk driver, he loses friends around him. I mean this is crazy! So his life was the military and the military rejects him after double agent. So what is going to happen to this guy? It was really interesting to think and grab those innovations into what Sam Fisher had become as a character, as a person after Double Agent.
How has buying the Tom Clancy name changed Splinter Cell? Have any restrictions been lifted?
What a lot of people don?t realise is that Splinter Cell was a brand created with Tom Clancy and Ubisoft. So that is something that is not the same as other Clancy brands. Of course, the only ?restrictions? were staying true to Sam Fisher and the history of him and the Splinter Cell universe. I really think that?s our strong point actually because although the gameplay has changed quite drastically, it makes sense in the world and according to who Sam Fisher is and where he is in his life. It?s not like we are coming up with all these mechanics and just dumping them in the world, this is a game that?s grounded and who Sam Fisher is as a character, where he is now at this point after Double Agent so I think it feels more genuine because of that.
How long is Splinter Cell: Conviction?
Of course, it depends on difficulty level and how you play the game but we have estimated it to be a good 12 hours.
What sort of levels can we expect to see? Is there a lot of variation?
Actually yes there are a lot of variations this time around; it is something we have really worked on. There is an outside section, underground, warehouse which is something more traditional for Tom Clancy. The first level we had shown at E3 showed more public areas and you are infiltrating a mansion so there are certainly a lot of different settings for Sam Fisher.
Is the AI dynamic or are they set on paths? Is the AI aware of you?
The AI is very dynamic. I am really proud with what the guys have done with the AI in the game. It is two things too, the AI is difficult in games. I think if it?s too intelligent, too dynamic then it?s going to kick your ass. So it wouldn?t be fun. So you have to sort of balance it in a sort of way so their moves are sort of predictable and you can learn a balance with them. Also that their reaction is realistic and that they don?t put themselves in positions where you can take them out too easily. I think that we have struck a really nice balance where the last know position [mechanic] helps you predict what is going on and lets you really build strategies. They are just realistic with the environment around them, so if you shoot out a light they will go investigate it or if they see a dead body they will freak out and alert the other enemies in the area. They will investigate a noise and point their flashlights around the area and up towards pipes. All those things, I think, work pretty well. I am really proud of the voice system we have for the AI. Some are super funny, giving the enemy a different character.
Last but not least - What is your favourite feature of the game?
Ah - My favourite gameplay feature is the pacing of the game. We have all seen movies where you have seen the hero do his thing and it feels really good when you master the controls and the features to really feel like you are control of the situation. All these guys who know idea of your presence and you are just weaving in and around the shadows and then just hurting them so bad. It just feels really good! That is my favourite thing you know, using all the gadgets and features to be a bad ass, be the predator and to remain concealed. They don?t know what hit them or where it comes from. They are just freaking out but you?re like completely annihilating them and I think that is a really good feeling.