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Splinter Cell Blacklist’s Director Says “Stealth Is Not A Nice Thing”


Splinter Cell Blacklist game director Patrick Redding says that stealth aspects in certain games aren’t necessarily a “nice thing”. Trying to keep players on the edge of their seat and remaining undetected or careful for long periods of time can really spoil the flow of the game. Redding points to games such as the well received Batman Arkham games as a series that gets the balance just right. Here’s what Redding had to say about stealth aspects in games.

“In terms of stealth action we’ve always wrestled with how do we stay fresh. How do we evolve it and keep it something that mainstream players are interested in”.

“Stealth is not a nice thing. The majority of people know there’s a manageable period of time in which they’re either going to have to be patient or undetected or careful. It’s how you segment the action. You want to keep that loop, you don’t want that loop to run for half an hour or an hour, you want it to run for 5 or 10 minutes at a time to allow players to move into the next area and engage in some exploration. Games like Hitman, Dishonored and the Batman Arkham games are a good reflection of that approach and so we took those lessons to heart”.

83 thoughts on “Splinter Cell Blacklist’s Director Says “Stealth Is Not A Nice Thing””

  1. God fucking dammit, if you do what i think you’re going to do….
    “durrr, lets turn a stealth game into COD”
    First Hitman, now Splinter Cell. You just made me not want the game.
    Stick to Deus Ex and Dishonored, because “stealth is hard, boohoo”.

    1. deh alright? the new hitman game great emphasises stealth, dues ex has a lot of really good stealth elements, nad so does dishonored and the arkham series. if they’re taking inspiration from those games, im all for it. and i’ve been playing splintercell from the beginning.

    2. stealth is hard? yeah it is. i HATE stealth games with a burning passion and i wish all of them could be destroyed. i am so fucking tired of the red light green light bullshit of splinter cell. just give me a knife and a pistol and let me be

    1. The game is still stealh what he wants is to ad gameplay elements that made sneaking faster and when the action breaks is still a stealth game. I did understand what he meant.

    2. what he meant was to have a good balance of stealth and action, meaning that while there is a lot of stealth, you don’t get bogged down by how monotonous waiting in one spot can be, and im all for it. i love the previous splintercell games, but i wouldn’t mind being able to let loose on a ton of guys every once in a while. that’s why i reeeeeally love the arkham games, because not only are there plenty of stealth sections, but there is a lot of fighting and the combat is superb. i’ve got pretty high hopes for this game personally.

  2. Stealth is awesome, but having to wait 10 minutes so you can move is indeed annoying, if that’s what he means.

    1. Except no game has had to make you do that, so he’s on crack.
      Stealth is about patience, and sometimes planning, on top of not being detected. That’s what makes it fun, being silent and getting through an area like a ghost, not a gun totting maniac.

        1. Well, i didnt, because you never have to sit and wait in one spot for 10 minutes, anyone who thinks thats what happens in a stealth game is an idiot.

    2. its more like 1 to 2 minutes if u have experience. Assesing what its the best way around without killing its indeed awesome

    3. I’m pretty sure thats what he means.
      I think he’s saying that U should keep a game & its pacing fresh and not overdo it.
      Have a segment where U have to be Very Stealthy, then have a segment that gives U a little breather so U don’t turn into a Stressed, Paranoid wreck. :P

        1. I used “U” instead of “you” before the Wii U was even announced. -.-
          It’s just one of my habits when I type on the Internet, Jesus.

            1. It’s called an Abbreviation. O.o
              Like using “U” instead of “you” or WTF instead of “What the Fuck”. You know, like what people do all the time when they text.
              Why am I explaining this? I don’t even care. >_>

              1. Thats not a fucking abbreviation. Calling Call of Duty “COD”, or Gears of War “GOW” is an abbreviation

                  1. Thank you, Mixer. I don’t know why he’s taking this so seriously. -.- I don’t even care.
                    Just leave me alone! Jesus Christ. >.>

                    1. You’re lazy as shit, even on the Internet. Can’t even take half a second to write “you”.

                1. seriously, why does it affect you in anyway how someone wishes to type? did you get what he meant? yes? than it should be enough. god damn i fucking hate people who feel the need to correct everyone, esspecially when it’s something as unimportant as using U instead of you.

                2. I’ve never much liked these IM or twitter style abbreviations either. But maybe he’s on a lousy phone keyboard or something. Still the capitalization of the U is pretty unnatural looking.

                  Sergio’s cool but I hope Nintendo fans don’t start using U exclusively as a pronoun. Imagine if they’d all been using Wii instead of we in every sentence for the last 7 years. Ick! I guess people joked around with that kind of stuff for a while but it died out.

    1. Not really stealth though because its barely supported. You just do a takedown animation while the dumb AI fumbles about.
      It’s about as stealthy as stealth segments in COD, or Gears of War. Play Dishonored or Deus Ex.

      1. You mean Deus Ex HR. You have to make that distinction, because Deus Ex itself does none of those cinematic takedowns (although its takedowns should be a lot faster; why it takes over 5 to 6 darts to knock out somebody, not to mention put everyone on full fucking alert over just one damn tranq dart is completely beyond me).

        1. uh, no, no distinction needs to be made. both Deus ex games are great when it comes to stealth. it has nothing to do with flashy features and cinematics.

        2. What has HR’s cinematic takedowns have to do with anything?
          Uncharted’s “stealth” is just getting away with the instant kill prompt before the dumb enemy AI start firing.
          And if it took you 5 darts to take down a guy, you’re terrible, and just a pro tip, there’s something called a neck.

      2. eh, not trying to be a hipster, but i really didn’t find dishonored to be all that great, ESPECIALLY when it came to stealth. there was no really reward for being stealthy about anything in that game. most of the time i would just say “fuck it” and just kill everyone and everything. and the level design really didn’t do it for me either. deus ex:HR on the other hand was exhilarating playing it while trying not to be detected. there where always vents or alternate paths you could take and if someone caught you, you were screwed, since you die a lot easier in that game. but idk, i might give dishonored another try eventually, it just didn’t do it for me when i first tried it.

        1. act’ly in Dishonored, if you’ve completed earlier missions with enough stealth points, later missions becomes easier. some missions for example, if you haven’t been stealthy enough you end up meeting the infected ones; but if you’ve gone stealth all the way, you end up meeting them as healthy individuals who may aid you in your tasks. oh, and the ending’s different too. multiple endings depending on your actions.

        2. No, the level design is completely in favour of stealth, you just need to use your abilities and think outside the box.
          And stealth in that game isn’t required, but is completely do-able, thats the idea, its stealth if you want to play it that way, i went through the whole game without being seen, and again without being seen with any upgrades, stealth is a very well supported gameplay style in that game.

  3. what next? make it a FPS, almost infinite ammo, and add tons of weapons? jesus christ developers need to stop trying to please the mindless shooting COD crowd and give true fans what they want. I’m sure 99% of the people that played the series bought it for stealth and not for being Rambo. Hope it doesnt become one of those “another shooter”.

  4. I like how conviction balanced everything so if it is like conviction i will welcome it but i like double agent and chaos theory more. Hate the black and white when sneaking on conviction and that it was too short.

  5. Even though I haven’t played Splinter Cell, I can look at Arkham Asylum, Metal Gear Solid and the new Tomb Raider and see what he means. They always mix things up to stay fresh. Stealth is exciting in small doses, but there needs to be that balance otherwise you’re just moving slowly through the entire game. I don’t see how that’s hard to understand.

    1. The first 3 Spinter Cell games were pure stealth. And they were the best 3 Splinter Cell games, by an absolutely enormous margin. Series fans want another stealth game, not an action game. I don’t see how that’s hard to understand.

      There are plenty of other action games around. There are almost no stealth games these days. You have action games with maybe an ever so tiny amount of stealth as an option, but not genuine stealth games. I swear, they’ll fuck up Thief 4 as well because todays gamers can’t go 2 minutes without shooting something.

      1. That’s likely because their stories weren’t as fast-paced as today’s stories. In fact, some of those stealth have almost no story told to you at all; your actions unfold the story as you play.

  6. I agree with the guy. I’m not going to move super slowly then get caught after an hour then have to redo that hour again.

  7. I like steath, I don’t give a fuck about what the mainstream gamers want, I just want to play a game with great concepts and gameplay. Mr. kojima surelly disagres with this statement about stealth. that’s why metal gear will always be the king of steath games.

  8. Removes main voice actor.

    Replaces stealth with action.

    Says it’s still Splinter Cell….

    Seriously though, I’ll wait to see what it’s like. There’s a chance they won’t fuck it up. But everything they’ve shown or said is not filling me with confidence.

    1. And people say i dont know english? Dude you need to read what he said completely not just a few parts. To understand this people need to have played all the games.

      1. I read what he said.

        I’ve played all the Splinter Cell games.

        What is your point?

        The second paragraph starting with “seriously though” indicated that what came before it was somewhat in jest.

        I know they’re not replacing all the stealth with non stop action, but they’re doing enough of it to worry me greatly.

        The problem is that Splinter Cell is a niche game, or used to be. And it was better for it. In their effort to expand their audience into including gamers with ADD that just want to shoot people in the head for 8 hours, they’re turning a Splinter Cell game into something else.

        They could keep the game interesting and new by adding to and improving upon the stealth elements. Instead they’re just adding action, as if thats the only way to push the series forwards.

        I’ve watched the videos of play throughs released so far. The videos of the level they’ve showed so far at E3 and everywhere else, looks awful, even with stealthy approach. But I’ve watched the Abandoned Mill level videos as well, and the stealth there looked reasonably decent.

        So, I’m on the fence at the moment. But it’s not looking particularly good.

        1. They are not adding action in the sence of open warfare he is adding action on the stealth elements thats why he compared to batman. On previus splinter games you had to wait for a guard to pass trough certain section for you to do certain moves in this 1 you could take a guard in more diffrent ways making the game more action. Is not just wait for him to look the other way and break his neck.

  9. slinter cell assassins creed 4 all we need is rainbow six patriots and I’m set for 3 years I hope.. I’m still blazing on vegas 2

  10. If he thinks it’s hard to make a stealth game, maybe he should make another kind of game? Instead of turning, what I guess is, a stealth game in to something else.
    Also, stealth is always a nice thing. No exception, I think…:/

  11. It’s because they put too much crap for us to deal with that’s why they think having to use stealth to interact with all of those elements makes for a very slow game. I get that there are multiple guards on a well-secured compound, but the best stealth games usually only had like one or two guards patrolling a room or a part of the compound. It wasn’t because they wanted to make the game really easy; they just wanted to make sure the game’s pacing wasn’t slowed down just because of several different elements. That’s why games like Dishonored and Deus Ex series does stealth so damn well; despite the large number of guards or obstacles along a conventional path, you can just use some tricks you no doubt developed over the game to bypass a large chunk of those obstacles instantly. The best part about that is that it’s a choice offered to you; you don’t ever have to do it, leaving you to decide if you want to take a harder route as well, and you never have to feel like you’re taking the easy way out by making that choice because you earned the ability to make that choice.

  12. On NEOGAF, people were acting real mad retarded about this guy’s statement. As a huge splinter cell fan, keeping the franchise fresh by balancing out stealth and action is great!

    1. People who never played the game dont know how necesary this changes are. They make the game realistic and fresh.

  13. I guess I don’t understand. Stealth is why I love Splinter Cell more than any other “battle” game. For me, it’s way more strategy. That’s what I like. How can that be a bad thing… or as he put it, “not nice thing.” lmao

  14. I think very few people read the last sentence of the article…. A balanced dose of stealth & action is always welcomed. Always playing it slow and covered could bore the ‘standard’ gamer, but I wouldn’t mind doing so. Playing Metal Gear has really gave me the patience ^^’

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