Prior to the success of Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance, the collective “Tom Clancy’s” games were arguably Ubisoft’s biggest hits. Rainbow Six revolutionized close-quarters tactical squad shooters with its relentless difficulty and necessitated planning. Ghost Recon took the action into larger areas for a blend of intense action and precision. But it was Splinter Cell that cemented Ubisoft’s place as the master of the techno-military thriller game.
The series took the stealth-action concepts pioneered by Metal Gear Solid and improved them to near-perfect levels, even working the tagline “Stealth Action Redefined” into the first game’s full title. Splinter Cell evolved and morphed in the years that followed, adding more action elements, a greater emphasis on dark, personal storytelling, and creative new multiplayer modes. For a long time, it seemed like it could do no wrong, and even after needing to switch actors for Sam Fisher when developing Splinter Cell Blacklist–Michael Ironside was at the time–new studio Ubisoft Toronto delivered a slick mix of traditional stealth and deadly action.
And then Splinter Cell disappeared, only not in a fun way like when Sam Fisher blends into the darkness and becomes the night itself.