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Digital Foundry: Splinter Cell Blacklist Wii U Looks Great, Let Down By Frame Rate And Loading Times


Tech analysis site Digital Foundry has compared the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii U versions of Splinter Cell: Blacklist in an effort to gauge which version comes off the best. The Wii U version produces a full 1280×720 internal framebuffer, backed up by 2x multi-sample anti-aliasing. However, the game is let down from lengthy bouts of 20fps performance and sluggish loading times. You can read the full comparison, here.

“V-sync is permanently engaged for Nintendo’s platform, adding to its credentials as one of the better-presented versions of the game overall – and it even outperforms the 360 during earlier in-engine cinematics. However, from the moment Sam Fisher enters the Paladin aircraft, it’s clear this isn’t to last. We suffer from lengthy bouts of 20fps performance during most briefing scenes here, plus similarly sluggish levels of refresh while at the heart of larger shoot-outs.”

105 thoughts on “Digital Foundry: Splinter Cell Blacklist Wii U Looks Great, Let Down By Frame Rate And Loading Times”

        1. The wiiu version is the best version the good parts outweigh the frame issues and loading after all the wiiu is using the HD textures pack from the disk instead of being dlc from the harddrive.

          1. Yes, especially because it doesn’t have offline co-op and has the worst visuals despite being a little higher resolution then ps3 and x360, that is embarassing, and you will call it the best because you’re nintendo fanboy, who damage controls

  1. I don’t trust any of their shit not even the good ones has they mostly never show he evidence of the parts that have the problems or the good things.

      1. But this is convenient to him has the wiiu version moped the floor with the ps3 and 360 versions is just that when are tired of the spyglass looking for defects that the naked eye will never notice.

      2. Just a heads up but nobody respects Digital Foundry. Whatever they say has no bearing, be it a positive or negative opinion.

          1. Okay, I will rephrase the statement as per your concern, although I was hoping to avoid insulting anyone…

            Everyone with a fully functioning brain knows that Digital Foundry are hacks and deserve no respect.

    1. I don’t know about the loading times but the frame rate is a bit lacking on WiiU you will notice if you see both games running on Xbox or ps3 and wii u

      1. The framerate on mine is fine, and the lack of screen tear makes it even better. All of the mission gameplay is 30FPS. There is no issue with it *sigh*

          1. Digital foundry just have that little anti Nintendo agenda going on.

            The Wiiu version is way better than PS3 and 360 versions and the gameplay is butter smooth (for me) backed up by permanent V-sync compared to the 360 and PS3 sub HD screen torn versions.

            It’s not even close , Wiiu walks away with this one.

        1. Why can’t you idiots just accept that this game is the worst on the wii u?it is, read everything, and don’t tell me wii u version is better then the ps3, because it is not, and because you do not have 2 copies of the same game for different consoles, if you read that article, you know the wii u version is THE worst

          1. exactly, all i hear on hear is how its the best version, oh and also seen it on playeressense damage control uncreditable piece of shit website. everywhere else though says its the very worst version.

            these stupid drones need to face reality and stop making up stupid anti nintendo bullshit when these facts are right in front of them. they know it too, at least if they tried not being corporate sheep.

            1. I played it for the Wii U, and the only problem I had is load times (well, the multiplayer drop is another, but they released a patch for that yesterday). Everything else worked perfectly fine. With the gamepad, the best experience of the game is on the Wii U, even Ubisoft said so.

          2. You’re the idiot here; that one reviewer says he was having issues, but there are many, many others that are not.

          3. First off I want to start by saying that I am a huge fan of the Splinter Cell series (mainly the first 3 installments as they were stealth games, not action or FPS like conviction felt like). This game feels like the first 3 games which to me is a very good thing. You have different ways to complete missions so if you prefer more action and want to play it like a FPS you can, I don’t recommend this play style, but it is available to those who like it. I play on perfectionist difficulty which is the hardest difficulty level, I don’t say that to brag but to urge everyone to attempt this difficulty level. It is extremely rewarding to complete a mission on this difficulty and gives the game a more realistic feel as you cannot resupply during missions, you cannot use the mark and execute ability, and there are a few other restrictions but it makes the game more intense and incredibly enjoyable.

            To me the wii u version of this game is by far the best version available. I am sure PC fanboys will disagree but to me there is way more to games than graphic fidelity, so yes, pc version may look better but who cares. The gamepad offers unique gameplay that really adds to the depth and emersion of the game. Being able to simply touch the icon of the gadget or weapon you want to use instead of having to push up on the d-pad to bring up a selection wheel, and then rotate the right thumb stick to highlight which gadget to use, is so much better and really satisfying, not to mention it is much faster so you can quickly change your gadget and use it and then quickly switch to another in a matter of seconds, it is great! Also using your snake cam to peek under doors is awesome, it feels incredibly realistic to have sam use the cam and then the cam is controlled by the gamepad, the image that the cam is recording shows up on the gamepad and you move the gamepad up and down, or left and right to survey they room, totally awesome. You also control your tri-rotor mini drone with the gamepad. Sam launches it and you fly it around while looking at the gamepad, again it adds to the realism and emersion. Also you can control a suppressed sniper drone with the gamepad to take out targets from the sky using the gamepad, it just feels so right! The gamepad is not a gimmick and anyone that calls it that has either never used it or is a blind fanboy that will simple bash anything that isn’t on their console of choice. The gamepad adds so much to the game and isn’t forced at all, every function that the gamepad controls fits perfectly and makes perfect sense.

            Wii U owners on the fence about this game, buy it! Not only are you getting a fantastic game that looks great and plays great, but we need to prove to these 3rd party developers that their games have a place on the wii u and can be profitable that way they continue to release great games on the most unique and intuitive console available. I for one didn’t buy my wii u just to play Nintendo exclusives. I am a 27 year old man with a wife and 3 kids, I have been gaming for 20 years and the wii u is legit. I desperately want to see 3rd parties succeed on wii u because if I can own a console that has all of nintendo’s awesome exclusives that i have played my entire life, has the most games that my 3 and 5 year olds can play, plus have fun family games that me and my wife can enjoy, plus have a stable of more mature games like splinter cell, watch dogs, COD ghost, assassins creed 4, as well as others, plus it is the cheapest next gen console? Hell yes my friends, hell yes

          4. Shut up you spastic.

            The PS3 version has a quite frankly pathetic native resolution and is full of screen tear. Has none of the cool gamepad features or Off tv Play of Wiiu.

            Wiiu has the gamepad features , off tv play , Best console graphics and full v-sync no screen tear.

            Also, As an owner of the game I can 100% tell you that the framerate for me on Wiiu is absolutely fine, it seems like a locked 30FPS probably due to the V-sync.

          5. no go to lensoftruth and see their comparison, clearly the wii u is the winner, it is the only console version to render at a native 720p and then up-scales to 1080p, and is fully v sync, with no screen tearing at all!! it does this all at a steady 30fps in game play, it does occasionally dip below but so does the 360 version, the ps3 version has a more stable frame rate, but then you have to factor in that both 360 and PS3 have a average of about 20% torn frames, while wii u has NONE! also the ps3 and 360 versions render below 720p, so they are sub-HD, the PS3 version cant even run in 1080p like the wii u and 360 versions!
            The PS3 only runs the game at 720p, which is not native it up-scaled to 720p from a sub-hd resolution, the 360 version also up-scales from a sub-hd resolution to 1080p!

            So the wii u version renders at a native HD resolution, has no screen tearing so is fully v sync, the wii u version also has great game pad integration, off screen play,and only dips frame rate during cut scenes like the 360 version, also if you play this game stealthy like your supposed to the frame rate stays stable at 30fps mostly! the wii u version by far is the definitive console version, its the only native hd console version, with no screen tearing, and is mostly stable at 30fps!
            How can anyone deny the wii u version is the best? i have it on wii u and 360, trust me the wii u one runs great, even with no mandatory install, the lack of install is most likely why the wii u version is slower at loading, but that is a minor problem!

            Seriously side by side pictures clearly show that the textures on the wii u look much more better then the hd twins since it is rendering at a native 720p, and then is up-scaled to 1080p, the textures look better then 360 and PS3!
            I am getting tired of websites which talk shit about wii u versions of games, i also own assassins creed 3 on wiiu while my brother has it on PS3, and again on PS3 the game only runs at 720p, but on wii u it up-scales to 1080p, and the frame rate mostly is stable at 30fps for me, it hardly dips, and i only encountered on glitch once, yet all the websites were claiming the wii u version had a terrible frame rate, i swear it ran fine, also the websites claimed the wii u AC3 was full of bugs and glitches, yet these same bugs and glitches are all present on 360 and PS3!

            Rayman legends is light years better on wii u, and the wii u version also has more co op players,and also more content! also the wii u versions graphics in general look better, not to mention the murphy levels work great on wii u compared to the hd twins! so rayman legends definitive version is on wii u, need for speed most wanted definitive console version is wii u, splinter cell black list by far definitive version on wii u, yet the websites all talk shit when the wii u version is best, or they down play it, its damn annoying!
            I own and game on all platforms, and so i am not biased, yes i have preferences like everyone, but i call it how it is, the western media mostly talks shit when it comes to wii u and wii u versions of games!

            Fellow wii u owners go out and buy splinter cell blacklist it is a great game, and a great wii u port, ubisoft are one of the few western publishers who have supported wii u and nintendo from the start, seriously we need to support good third party games and companies! they could have easily just given us a shoddy port, but they are clearly starting to get used to developing for the wii u!
            And its only year 1 of the wii u life, and already we are getting games which are either on par with the current gen or are better then them!
            Remember that the current gen consoles are cpu focused,while the gpu are not as strong, and so most games and engines this gen are optimized to be cpu intensive, but wii u and the upcoming next gen consoles are now reversed, they are more gpu focused, while to cpu are not as strong, so once games and engines are optimized for gpu’s the games should run allot better on wii u, PS4 and xbox1!

            I cant wait for year 2,3 and 4 of the wii u, once developers start to use all the 1gb of ram, the edram, and also offload cpu tasks to the gpgpu, wii u ports and first party games should blow us all away! if they are achieving this is year one, one can onyl imagine! it took the PS3 and 360 7 years to get to this level, they are maxed out and struggling, its why 20% of the frames are torn on the hd twins, while wii u is not even breaking a sweat fully v sync, all they needed to do was use all the ram, so we could get faster loading, and even higher res textures, even though the native resolution is still higher the the hd twins, and if they offloads cpu tasks to the gpgpu, then this game would have ran allot better then it already does!

    2. There is absolutely NO framerate issues with Wiiu version of Splinter cell at all. All of the actual missions are smooth , feel like locked 30 with V-sync.
      When your on the paladin aircraft, I personally don’t notice any framerate issues, it’s fine.

      Once again an overly dramatic analysis. Wiiu’s version of Splinte cell has basically no noticeable FR issues at all. Period.

      1. Doctre81 noted that the alleged frame-rate drop takes place during a cut-scene, which is inconsequential anyway. While there is a bias towards Nintendo, I think it’s more of places like Digital Foundry thinking they are smarter than they actually are and have become lost in their own fantasies.

  2. Though the wiiu version won I don’t care if it has a 3 fps drop every half an hour for 2 seconds also ps3 and 360 are ugly looking by the way of the article.

    1. 20 fps=3 dropped frames per 30 minutes according to you?
      oh lawd fanboys are gonna fanboy…

      can only imagine the struggle wiiu is gonna go through when the xb1 and ps4 hit…theres certain assets in certain games which aren’t even possible to run on wiiu

      1. Did you know the wiiu version is the only one in actual HD?or how v sync works or that the game was rushed and still beat the 360 and ps3 vaseline looking graphics?

          1. What else are you gonna compare it too? the other aren’t even out and the only next gen games available right now are exclusives on the Wii U.

        1. Ok, you need to die, bf4 is running at 30 fps on consoles 7 years old, let me repeat this again…7 motherfucking years old, x360 is 8 years old, but no matter, no matter, it runs at 60 on ps4 and one, that is what you and everyone else here should compare it with

  3. The only place I’ve noticed the framedrop is in the interactive cutscenes, even then it’s not enough to damage the whole experience. The load times are a bit long, but there is never even a blip while playing through a level, I will take the longer load times to have a level that never has screen tearing or texture issues, which they don’t in the Wii U version. This game is very impressive and very fun! Lets not nit-pick all the reasons it’s better than the other versions, lets just play it and enjoy the game!

  4. All it proves is that developers are still learning the Wii U’s architecture. They’ve learnt how to optimise for the two 7th gen consoles for a while now. No big deal.

    Just another anti-Nintendo propaganda from the mainstream gaming media. Nothing new there.

    1. Not just. The game is using the Unreal 3 Engine, an engine which is CPU-centric, and not optimized for the more-modern, less-powerful CPUs the Wii U has, so it’s already at a disadvantage from the off. The game is rendering visuals to the Game Pad also.

      Even still, it’s a good effort that the WiiU version performs as it does. Hopefully the loading times can be fixed with a patch. User experiences suggest the digital version has the same issues.

        1. Cuz the others version can’t run it and it was easier also hit the links the wiiu version won is just that sick is stupid and just took the click bait part.

      1. no my friend its worse then that they are using the unreal engine 2.5!!!
        LMAO!!! maybe its cheaper for them to license but i cannot fathom why they didn’t use the unreal engine 3, look at mass effect 3 on wii u, it uses a modified unreal engine 3.5, and the wii u version of mass effect 3 ran buttery smooth at 1080p, i think it renders at 720p and up-scales to 1080p, either way it too has no screen tearing and runs a steady 30fps, compared to the PS3 version which is barely 20fps at times, and is the worse console version, while the wii u with no optimizing ran mass effect 3 at the same performance level as the 360 version, if they optimized it is would have probably ran allot better then the 360!

        Either way mass effect 3 on wii u using a modified unreal engine 3 proves wii u can run unreal great, so why they didn’t use unreal3 for splinter cell is beyond me!
        Maybe its because unreal engine doesn’t work well with the PS3, and so the used the older engine instead! who knows, but its definitely unreal engine 2.5 in splinter cell black list on all platforms!!!

        1. Is not about gaming that I’m starting to hate him. Have you see the shit he said about the gamer girls?

          1. Yeah but there was a debait about that and I didn’t watch it all the way through because I had things to do, he kinda fixed what he said…but I don’t know how it all turned out. I can’t say a thing on that but he’s not the only one saying that about girl gamers…and its kinda pointing out to all people who do stick to one or two games and call themselves “hardcore or wanna-be” gamers as well. He does have a point on that respect.

            1. Real girl gamers are no different as me and you, the true gamers voice but he was pointing to the ones that talk too much shit, stick to one or two games, flash their tits and other body parts (which I like because I’m a guy but I have to control myself), and other things. I even came up with a quick name for them…”female shit talkers”. I have separated into 2 collums, Real Girl Gamers and Female Shit Talkers (RGG & FST).

          2. The kid is only 19 years old. Give him a break. For the most part his videos are okay. There are times when he gets a little too immature in his presentation, but that is to be expected. He’s a young dude. Not an excuse, just an explanation.

  5. Game takes forever to load. But that’s my only complaint so far. Other than that I have enjoyed the game on the wii u. I think they could have used the game pad more though.

  6. I call Bull on the comparision. DIGITAL FOUNDRY is showing a lot of bais here…I don’t buy nothing they say…….its clear Wii U has the best version outside of PC. …and Ubisoft praised the Wii U version more so Then the others……u can see the xbox360 and Ps3 tearing during cut scenes….u see none if that on Wii U……its visually better. They try to kill every every mulitplat that get more praise on the wii u…its craze

    1. They did say the wiiu version is the best version just click the link has sickr is just using click bait headlines.

  7. I guess that’s a shame, but c’mon, many console games have this problem. Ever played Mafia 2 on PS3? Not only does it look horrible, but there’s framerate-drops all over the place. How about Far Cry 3 on Xbox 360? Same problem, framerate drops during cutscenes and the over-all framerate is pretty low.

    1. The thing is that the wiiu version is superior cuz the other versions are in sub HD needs installs and they don’t have v sync on always also they still have the same frame rate issues.

  8. 1 hour ago
    What a crock of shit! the wiiu version is native 720p and upscales to 1080p, and is also fully vsync, so no ugly screen tearing like on PS3 and 360, also both PS3 and 360 render at sub hd resolutions, and when you play splinter cell stealthy like your supposed to the wiiu version runs a steady 30fps, even when you play run and gun the frame rate drops are for a second or two and then goes back up, and so is not so noticable in game, the PS3 and 360 versions have 20% torn frames! LOL and its damn ugly! strange that in pictures of wiiu vs 360 the wiiu version has more crisp,clean higher res textures! couple all this with EXCELLENT gamepad integration, and its clear to see the wiiu version by far is the definitive console version of splintercell blacklist!

    The load times are longer on wiiu but to be fair both the HD twins have installs, the wiiu version runs off the disk with no installs, curiosly i would love to know if the digital eshop version of this game loads faster from a hard drive,its one of nintendo’s many flaws with the wiiu, they should have included atleast 80gb hard drives with every sku,and had mandatory or optional installs, this would improve load times allot, lego also had terrible load times!

    Anyway ubisoft need to be praised, they are one of the few western publishers who have supported wiiu from launch, AC3 was also a good port from a new console,need for speed was the best on wiiu,rayman legends is easily best on wiiu, splintercell for consoles is also best on wiiu, this is good!

    Wiiu owners should all go out and buy this,show support to good third party ports people,and buy rayman too! its a shame more developers dont use that whole 1gb of ram the wiiu has,once developers start using all the ram and offload cpu tasks to the gpgpu i am sure wiiu games should be substantially better then current gen consoles!
    i own and game on all platforms including a gaming pc, the wiiu is underestimated trust me, it is very capable, its nice to see developers who utilize the hardware, we are getting games this good quality in only year 1,what till we are in year 3 and 4,wii u will shock allot of people! For me my PS4,PC,and WiiU will do great!!!!

    1. This shocks me!


      That is the first time I’ve ever seen you stick up for nintendo and you say your a true gamer. That’s what I wanted to hear. *thumbs up* One BIG THUMBS UP for you player!

      1. he stole my comment, go see on this link i made this exact comment about 9 hours ago and he stole my comment and pasted it here like he done it, how sad is that, and not even a mention it was written by me LMAO on digital foundry my name is LonDonE that dude big playa is most likely a fake, and clearly you can all see he stole my comment i made on DF,lololol its flattering and annoying at the same time, i wrote that with passion, i was worked up, and mean EVERYTHING I SAID IN IT, so if he posted it because he agreed fair enough but at the very least he should have wrote who is was written by!
        Go and see on the above link, you will see my name on the comments section, but the comment is hidden you have to click the show icon to see it, because all the 360 fan boys voted it down and so its hidden, my nintendo fans should go up vote it so others can see the truth!!!

        My comment is the 11th comment down from the top!!!!

    2. @big players
      hey you stole my comment i made on digital foundry about splinter cell and then pasted it here word for word like you wrote it, LOLOLOL that’s funny, its kind of flattering when you catch some one in the act, LMAO, seriously that’s some funny shit, but at least i know you agree with me!!! digital foundry is too full of deluded fanboy’s! and their are not allot of nintendo fans on their site, hence allot of nintendo hate, its 360 fanboys mostly and some pc and ps3!

  9. DO NOT feed the trolls. All he wants to do is to get attention just because Splinter Cell: Blacklist on the Wii U has no screen tearing unlike the 20% tearing on both PS3 and Xbox 360. Instead, have fun, enjoy, and play the game.

  10. Ma PS4 will not achieve expectations, believe me, the crisis in the world is a big culprit,
    people have no money!

  11. To me it just sounds like the game is not optimized as most multiplats aren’t for the Wii U. Not other reason or explanation as to why frame-rates would drop that low. That is due to laziness of the developers, not system power.

  12. Every version has severe framedrops and PS360 have horrible screen tearing….My faith in the modern video game industry is slowly going away :/ They cant even optimise their game *sigh*

  13. I just love how people are such graphic whore’s these days. Yes the framerate is worse on the Wii U version but it does not tear like the other console versions. Overall for graphics, PC is the way to go it looks like. But if you are playing Blacklist for the graphics then you really shouldn’t play the game. Blacklist’s shines (as well as most Ubisoft games) in the the gameplay. If you want a deep and enriching movie like experience then play Metal Gear Solid. If you want to play a video game that has fun gameplay than play Blacklist.

  14. I don’t think any of you guys know what the heck v-sync is.

    All the v-sync does is that it will match up with your TV or monitor refresh rate. This feature either improve or decrease the performances on your PC or console. V-sync is enabled so that your console or PC won’t have to work so hard when your TV or monitor only display so much refresh rate.

    For example your Monitor is 60 Hz and your graphic card can go to 120 fps then you better off enabling it so it can match your monitor refresh rate. So your graphic card only work up to 60 fps when your monitor cannot display anything higher than 60 fps. If you got a monitor that is 240 Hz then you probably disable the v-sync feature or else your graphic card will try to work so hard to get to 240 fps. It take a lot of experiment to figure out which one is best for you.

    In general for PC gaming we usually disable v-sync feature unless you got a monster graphic card.

  15. Pingback: Ubisoft Looking At Patching Splinter Cell: Blacklist On Wii U | My Nintendo News

  16. Pingback: Ubisoft Looking At Patching Splinter Cell: Blacklist On Wii U | Nintendo 3DS News


    Wii U is weak compared to PS4/X1 and Wii U is on par with PS3 and 360. Weke up already!!!!

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