It has been a while since attending an event in Sydney showcasing a game but getting the opportunity to sneak into IGN’s Black Beta event is a must. IGN had the opportunity to showcase upcoming game Splintercell Blacklist to those who were able to get their hands on the limited tickets that disappeared into the darkness.
On the 15th August 2013, IGN held the event at the Cell Block Theatre in Darlinghurst, NSW where a little over 400 patrons attended the event. Gracing the entrance was none other than a brightly lit up life size statue of Sam Fisher. Which by this time had a little bit too much attention and some very creative snap shots taken with him. The queue stretched further then the eye can see down the street and it was time to let the patrons in the stealth themed event where we had to find our way into the dark set arena where dimly lit green lights showed us where to go. It was very exciting to be sneaking about and to get jumped upon dark clad promoters from V Energy Australia handing out a little booster drink for the night.
As a showcase and to get the crowd into the mood, there was music, photobooth’s for some random photo shoots and a set of consoles for a multiplayer challenge for Spies Vs. Mercs. The game mode is a classic in the Splintercell franchise brought back and is a must that many have forgotten how much fun and intense it was playing the two different factions. Throughout the night there were loud screams and cheers as players watched in awe as matches played off and see some incredible stealth action taking out mercs. I have to say so myself that I even found myself screaming and cheering at deaths and kills and leaving a little smirk on my face as I stealth kill my opponents from ledges and corridors. Sometimes I even would be daring and just run straight towards my opponent to kill them in old fashion melee combat. Like the saying goes, “Which is mightier? The gun or the blade? Neither, it is the one welding the weapon who is mightier.”
Every Ubisoft event I have attended had always been a positive fun outcome and this one, a little on the stealth mature type of event was still fun and enjoyable. Meeting the Community managers manned by Owen and Paul who were both extremely friendly and fun to meet got into the action and mingled with the community. Some photos can be seen of them circulating around the net. Meeting other personalities on the scene was exciting to see that they were letting their hair down and enjoying the event. Some even showed it a little too much that a bongo line was created which circulated both inside and outside the venue.
Though enough of the event and crazy things that happened, the most important thing was about the game, Splintercell Blacklist. The question arises to everyone’s mind is if this game will be well received by the general public. Will there only be a main focus of its core Single Player experience or will the multiplayer be just as good as the Campaign. Unfortunately there wasn’t any chance to try out the single player campaign at the event but there was plenty of opportunities to play the multiplayer game mode, Spies Vs. Mercs.
A simple mode where two sides, one playing as spies and the other as mercenaries face against one another where the objective is to either capture or prevent the hacking of intel. Having played both sides and each round alternates the factions. It is extremely intense in trying to obtain your objective or staying alive. With the spies, you have high tech gadgets at your disposal, having the ability to go invisible and use your goggles for nightvision, thermal or electronic display. Even setting up explosive cams whilst you hide and tag your enemies for your allies to see. Obviously the spies would have an advantage in the tech side but the downfall as playing as a spy is that you have low health and a well-placed burst is enough to turn your lights off. That being said, it gets intense hiding in the darkness and stalking your opponents to get the hit on them with an instant melee kill. Especially when you have taser crossbows, silencer pistols and sub-machine guns which are inaccurate and doesn’t allow you to aim accurately even with you aim.
Now playing as the mercenaries is extremely satisfying as you go on a manhunt for these spies hiding in the darkness and trying to prevent them from hacking the intel. You are heavily equipped with assault rifles, motion sensor and EMP blasts to disable tech gear used by the spies. You have plenty of health to be able to take out a couple or three spies in one go but that doesn’t say that going to hand-to-hand combat will do you justice. You can set your own traps by leaving mines around the area and even committing suicide by placing a mine under your feet and use yourself as bait as a spy jumps out of cover to kill you only to be surprised by a mine blowing up in their face.
Overall, the experience is simply satisfying and intense as you scream and yell at your kills and deaths but when you hear a whole crowd cheer when you achieve a kill in style you know that the game is done perfectly to attract a crowd. Ubisoft has outdone themselves with a great event and a stealth game that will draw out all those hiding in the dark awaiting the verdicts decision of the game. So far it has been well received and is still getting a lot of high praises around.
Splinter Cell Blacklist is now available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC and Wii U