Ubisoft is remaking Splinter Cell
We’ve been waiting almost 10 years for a new Splinter Cell sequel—and we’re going to have to keep waiting. That’s because Ubisoft has announced its next project within the franchise will be a remake of the series’ first game.
The remake is now in development at Ubisoft Toronto, and will run in the same Snowdrop Engine that powers The Division 2 and the forthcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Though the project is still in the earliest stages, Ubisoft has released an interview with three key figures on the project—creative director Chris Auty, producer Matt West, and technical producer Peter Handrinos—which offers some insights into how the development team is approaching the remake.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure the spirit of the early games remains intact, in all of the ways that gave early Splinter Cell its identity,” West said. “We’re going to update it visually, as well as some of the design elements to match player comfort and expectations, and we are going to keep it linear like the original games, not make it open world.”
Handrinos noted that, from a technical standpoint, Ubisoft Toronto is looking at what new tech can do “for light and shadow, for animation tech, for gameplay, AI, even audio.”
Despite all the changes, one recurring theme in the interview is that the team is committed to keeping the overall feel and the “pure stealth” (or close to it) approach of the original game intact.
“There’s stuff that simply needs to be redone from scratch to be up to snuff for a modern gameplay experience. With that, though, what do we need to do to absolutely preserve the feeling of early Splinter Cell?” West said. “We’re going to be straddling the line between the spirit of the old, and the comfort of the new, so that we can excite and surprise new players, but also make sure that when our returning players pick up the controller, they have that sigh of relief, saying ‘Ahhh, they got it.'”
To commemorate the announcement, Ubisoft also released an 8-minute mini documentary covering the history of the original game. Don’t expect any discussion of Ubisoft’s plans for the remake, however, as this is purely a history lesson.
First released in 2002 as a timed exclusive for the original Xbox, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell introduced players to spy Sam Fisher, his iconic night-vision goggles, and a new vision of stealth that was all about light and shadow. In the game, Sam had to shut down a nuclear threat from the fictional president of the real-world country of Georgia.
Today’s announcement didn’t mention any specific platforms or a release window. Still, Handrinos did mention having “a new console lifecycle to take advantage of,” so we can safely assume it’ll be out on the PlayStation 5 and/or Xbox Series X/S at some point before they’re obsolete.