Splinter Cell Blacklist Gameplay preview part 6 – Level Design

Today we’re continuing our look at the Splinter Cell Blacklist Gameplay focusing this time on the level design.

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Sam and company get thrust into various regions across the globe, offering a variety of levels to navigate.  From the five levels we’ve played there’s a distinctive edge to the level design that offers multiple routes and seemingly has elements which accommodate the three play styles Ghost, Panther and Assault.

In Chicago’s opening, Sam has to enter through a singular double doors, but has a wide interior playground to sneak or kill through to get there. The inclusion of an open area fused with a single choke point looks like a common theme and adds an excellent sense of scale to the levels and scope to sneak, kill or get into a firefight.

The Typical South American Estate offers multiple routes through its grounds before entering as well as several objectives contained within. Remembering, this is just one section of this level Sam has to navigate. There are a variety of ways to tackle this area although for the video we’ve already taken out the guards for demonstration purposes.

There’s a pipe leading up the side of the mansion which leads to a handy balcony which for those using a sniper rifle makes for an excellent vantage point to take out a few of the guards undetected.  Using this route also enables Sam to bypass a few enemies below as there’s an option to drop down on one of the walkways to reach the pool side. The verticality is good here as there’s scope to jump over railings or use a stairwell and head to lower ground if necessary.

The pool side brings its own set of challenges depending on how one is playing. It’s exposed but does have several  shadow pocket areas to hide in. Again, there’s easy access to the lower floors if things get a bit too close. Unfortunately Sam cannot enter the water but in context makes sense as this would leave him exposed due to the lighting in the pool.

Beyond the pool and closing in on the first objective here, there’s a outside cooking area and more stairs and places to hide. The pipe leading upwards offers a great spot to hide and scope out the objective zone.

So if we now head back to the start of the estate grounds, we’ll take another route.

Immediately it’s noticeable how much darker the area is away from the house. The outer wall can be climbed over and the railings or stairs used to progress. The outer wall can effectively be used to navigate the dinning area, but you still have to work through the dinning area to reach the stairwells leading to the base of the pool.

Again you can get a real feel for a lack of lighting here as the focus is more towards the house and its immediate surrounds.

The ledge can be used here no doubt getting Sam well wet, but the area beyond is shrouded in cover making for a deceptively easy approach to the first objective – except remember, there are guards patrolling here making the sneaking pretty challenging despite the copious amounts  of cover.

 

 

 

 

Written by: Rob Cram

Rob Cram has hundreds of video game reviews, thousands of articles under his belt with years of experience in gaming and tech. He aims to remain fair and free from publisher/developer influence. With his extensive knowledge, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement with his views are entirely optional. He might have a bias towards cyberpunk.

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