It's been a very long, emotional, uplifting, and draining day.
You don't know me. Yet.
I'm Zack Cooper.
I'm the Community Developer here at Ubisoft Toronto (writing you from E3/LA).
It's been an emotional day because the team finally got to talk about its new baby.
It's been uplifting, because of the overwhelmingly positive response that we got from the audience at the Microsoft press conference, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
It's also been draining because I read what a lot of you are writing, and it pains me.
Not because of my place on the project - I've only been at UbiTO for a few momths - but because I feel (and I'm being completely honest and unfiltered here) like a lot of people are jumping to conclusions.
I am a huge fan of Splinter Cell (old and more recent). I'm a big fan of the stealth genre as a whole.
I'm also a big time gamer (before hopping on with Ubi, I was on the journalism side of the industry).
I would really like for you guys to open up your minds for a moment (I'm not pleading, I'm asking).
Understand that a lot of what goes into an announce is marketing.
Show what sings to the people. Not just the hardcore fans.
We knew that there would be some resistance. We knew that there would be knee-jerk reactions to being outdoors.
It's bright. ...and there are lots of enemies.
...but I assure you (and this is where you're going to have to trust me for a bit)... there is PLENTY of stealth in Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
I'm going to do my best to convey this to you (ideally, by the end of the week - there's a LOT to do).
We are not going to please everyone. That's impossible.
...but I am (and certainly the team is) very confident that you will be very pleased with what you will see.
We listened to the fans.
Spies vs. Mercs is back. ...and it's going to kick some serious ***.
There will be plenty of shadows and darkness... and sneaking... and moving bodies... and sticky shocker moments (and TONS of other stuff we'll communicate later).
There will be alternate routes, and more open levels.
It comes across as an action game. I know. ...and it can be just that.
...but you can also be the sneaky bad *** Sam Fisher who a lot of you know and love.
But with a different voice.
The decision to go with a new Sam Fisher in that regard was with the gamer - you - truly in mind.
I love Michael Ironside (I was the guy who did the interviews). I loved Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher.
In order to push the gameplay to tomorrows standards we HAD to make the change; To push the envelope of gameplay and combat. (you watched the video, right?)
You've seen Killing in Motion.
...you HAVEN'T seen how it is so much deeper than just pushing a button and watching some slow-mo bullet-time. You will.
Conviction was released in 2010. Blacklist will be out Spring 2013.
Settling for just a voice-over wasn't deemed acceptable for us, when we've got the capabilities to do full performance capture (and I'm a guy who worked in radio for 11 years - I appreciate the power of voice)
...as for the idea of having someone do the physical movements and laying on someone else`s voice? Come on, guys.
The whole 4th Echelon team has been doing full performance capture. It would be a disservice to the theatrical process (the believability of the story-telling) to do any such thing.
I've spent some time with Eric Johnson - the new Sam Fisher - as well (video of that is forthcoming).
He's not only a great actor, but he's a great fit. (sidenote: early in Eric`s career, he was involved in a scene where he was interrogated by Ironside, who, afterward, offered Eric a part in another project shortly thereafter).
There is SO much to Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
We aren`t kidding when we say this is the biggest (and most customizable) Splinter Cell ever made.
You will truly be able to play how you want.
I`m simply asking you to believe me at this point - because a lot of this is not in what`s marketing calls the "communication calendar" - until later.
I could get in trouble for this... but to me, it`s more important to make sure we don't lose you to some rash judgements before you see the big picture.
...not just 6 minutes of gameplay and a CGI trailer.
The story... the elements that are for YOU the hardcore fan who's been playing since 2002.
The multiplayer... the co-op...
I am a longtime SC fan... and I, too, dealt with some initial shock when I was first shown some of what you've seen.
...but I've seen so much more (and you will too, when it's ready for public consumption)... and I KNOW that you will be happy.
Please... just be patient.
Sorry for the rant.
Feel free to reach out to me.
It`s a busy week - as you know - but I`ll do my best to respond.
Thanks for listening.