While I’m about 5 hours late to the party of publishing this amazing news, it is confirmed: Ubisoft is remaking the original Splinter Cell.
Let’s talk about the specifics from Ubisoft’s announcement above, and what they mean.
First off: It will be a linear-progression game, NOT open world as has been speculated. This means we’ll be able to enjoy classic Splinter Cell-style gameplay with any luck.
Next, the engine being used is Snowdrop: this is the same engine used by The Division, and despite the engine being used for open-world games, this is an excellent choice for a few reasons.
Snowdrop includes solid movement and cover mechanics, and they already have strong UI components that will fit well within a Splinter Cell remake.
Interiors in Snowdrop are exceptionally well-done compared to Anvil, which is the engine used in Ghost Recon Breakpoint. The amount of detail and handling of lighting is much better here when it comes to interior spaces: Breakpoint has always had interiors that rendered more as an afterthought than anything decent.
A lot of discussion was done about the flow and lighting-mechanics, as well as showcasing the classic Splinter Cell verticality and stealth movement. On top of that, they talk about how Splinter Cell has always been more of a “measure twice, cut once” sort of game: Taking your time and being methodical is critical to the Splinter Cell gameplay of yore, and it sounds like we’ll get the same in the remake.
There is also the hint that we’ll see more Splinter Cell after the remake: Whether it’ll be remaking others in the series, a continuation post-Blacklist, or (my guess) a reboot of the series, we’ll have to wait and see.
As far as when we’ll see the new Splinter Cell remake, that’s going to be a while no doubt. I wouldn’t expect to see it until late 2023/early 2024 at the EARLIEST, just because Ubisoft has only now started announcing that they are hiring for it. Why so late, given the established Snowdrop engine?
Well, Snowdrop doesn’t have a proper stealth system conducive to Splinter Cell.. Yet (although there were hints at stealth mechanics in The Division Heartland). As well, in some ways, a remake is more challenging than a completely new game since you’ve got to decide how to get everything to work in modern tech, as well as make it approachable to new players of the series.
Overall, this is welcome news, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open for further updates.