I didn't want to start another thread for another Preview of a German Magazine I bought now. It's the PC Games 07/2012 issue.
Compared to the Games Aktuell the PC Games has some nice information they got through an interview with Alex Parizeau. But first I wanted to show that they also have issues with the new Splinter Cell Blacklist. They don't like the overly action orientation in demo because it distracted from the actual classic features the game showed too and a lot of people didn't even know they are back. There is also the issue with the Drone, the Airstrike and the Brutality which seems for them to be out of place for the character of Sam Fisher. The Drone Scene reminded them of Call of Duty and yeah they couldn't write an article about Blacklist without mentioning that title too. A shame in my opinion.
I will post the final thoughts and their estimation of the game. After that I try to translate the whole interview.
Not everything in Splinter Cell Blacklist is to our liking: Some features appear to overshoot their actual aim, are misplaced or even tasteless. The most important question remains. How much Splinter Cell, therefore how much Sneaking, Subtlety and Stealth are still in Blacklist? Unfortunately we could see far to little on the E3 presentation of these things to be able to get an idea how it looks at the end. The developers rather showed action packed sequences and gave priority to shootouts, fast killing and violence. That Splinter Cell Blacklist is a very good looking game and brought back a few things fans asked for years are barely noticed. To judge the scenes out of contest is very difficult too. Splinter Cell Blacklist won't be a bad game for sure but whether it overshoots it's actual aim through drones, brutal shootouts and horrible tortures remains to be seen.
Estimation of Robert Horn:
I hate it that I have to nag. Especially on a very good and traditional franchise. Maybe I am the only one who thinks the violence is repulsive or Sam's brutality (Hit-everyone-and-everything-behaviour) inappropriate. Maybe the rest of the world likes it. Or that small part of the game doesn't reflect at all what kind of nice sneaking passages Blacklist will offer. Does every videogame hero need to be able to do everything today?
E3 Impression = Good // Tough staged Stealth-Action with a big portion of violence. Is this still Splinter Cell?
I think you know what I think about this and it shows it's not only people on the forums or people who comment on Blacklist news articles where you can find people who are really concerned whether Splinter Cell Blacklist is still a Splinter Cell title. I know I have repeated such things now to death but that's what the press (at least here in Germany) thinks about that. Now coming to the interview which is quite interesting because it's also about the brutality the magazines had issues with.
Interview with Alexandre Parizeau:
"That players feel uncomfortable is intended."
PC Games: The interrogations of enemies are back. Are they as interactive as before?
Parizeau: They will be all unique in any case with a lot of variations. We want to surprise the gamers. Moreover there is the very interesting fact that Sam with a reboot of Echelon he was given the absolute freedom. He can do eveything what needs to be done to protect the USA and to save the freedom. Therefore he will operate out of law. For the interrogations this means that Sam needs to do everything necessary to get the information, he needs, to stop the terror. That's a moral gray area. It will be exciting to see how our gamers think about that.
PC Games: The interrogation in the presentation reminds rather of torture. Do you implement it just this way or will you question the use of brutal violence?
Parizeau: That's what I meant. The background idea of our story is that you are a person who is allowed to do everything necessary to rescue human life in the end. The difficult decision that collides with the moral of all shades, the uncomfortable grey area, that's the heart of our story. The circumstance that you feel uncomfortable shall clarify what Sam undergoes in the game.
PC Games: A bit uncomfortable? That was already some though stuff that you showed.
Parizeau: The idea behind that is: What, if you have to do such things to rescue thousands and thousands of lifes? How do people like Sam have to behave in such situations, how are the impacts on the morale and the decisions the gamers have to do? That players feel uncomfortable is intended.
PC Games: Sam Fisher, earlier a gentleman-agent, today a reckless, cold-blooded murder?
Parizeau: He was always in those tricky situations, walked along the fine line, to rescue the world and to avoid diplomatic incidents. That's not different now. Sam is the the spearhead on the edge of a disaster and that's what he needs to prevent. Basically he needs to prevent a war that might come up when the Blacklist is being executed and the USA decides to commit revenge. Sam's path to find out how he manages to pass the fine line and how he handles every situation forms him as a character.
PC Games: With all the drones and airstrikes: Are you sure whether you develop a Splinter Cell and not a new Call of Duty?
Parizeau: Well, I am very proud of the range of opportunities the game has. We have only increased the range between Stealth and Action to be able to give away a lot of variations of playstyles. We have brought back a lot of mechanics for Infiltrations like the knife or non-lethal tactics. There are devices like the Sticky-Shocker Crossbow or the ability to distract enemy AI. On the other side we also increased the range of combat mechanics.
At the moment I have a feeling they talk about a different game. Because what they say doesn't really represent what they showed in my eyes. When you hear them talking it sounds great but when you see the demo you don't know if you can trust them. The same goes for the podcast with Dansky. In my opinion he does say something (completely) different about Sam compared to the Sam showed in the demo. It's great what he said, but it's not what they showed in my opinion. Don't know how I should think about this.