Ubisoft has officially confirmed a remake of Splinter Cell is in the works after more than eight years of the series being dormant following the release of Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Development duties are being headed by Ubisoft Toronto, and the game will be built on the company’s ever-present Snowdrop engine.
The reboot was announced after years of speculation regarding what the next step was for stealth icon Sam Fisher. In an article on the Ubisoft website, word of Splinter Cell’s resurrection comes alongside an interview with developers working on refreshing the series. Producer Matt West sheds some light on the team’s ideas for the project, saying, “To me, a remake takes what you’d do in a remaster and goes a little bit further with it.” He goes on to state the plan is to stick close to the original’s design while updating the tech at the heart of it. “... We’re building it from the ground up, 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.” So, don’t expect this classic update to fit into the current Ubisoft trappings of big, open maps and exploration.
“The phrase ‘Stealth Action Redefined’ from the original game has actually proven to be a really valuable North Star for us,” says West, which highlights the studio’s apparent focus on still wanting to do something new with the remake. “We’re going to be straddling the line between the spirit of the old,” West continues, “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.’”
At the core of the project is another phrase: “respect the goggles.” West elaborates on this motto, “I love the goggles as a symbol for Sam. We are making a game that is going to be modern, but built on the foundation of the brand’s rich history.” From the interview, it sounds like the challenge and stealth which Splinter Cell was originally built around will be a focus for Ubisoft Toronto. Creative Director Chris Auty adds, “It’s safe to say a lot of us on the team are stealth purists, and we’re behind that level of seriousness when it comes to those kinds of mechanics, and those sorts of things that we want to see in this game. And we’re very, very aware of what makes classic Splinter Cell what it is.”
Splinter Cell’s remake doesn’t have a timeframe for release as of yet. It’s still early days for the project. Though, hand-in-hand with this announcement came the call for game developers to join the team and help usher in a new era for Ubi’s sneakiest franchise.