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View Full Version : [Article] "Splinter Cell Blacklist: the myth of redemptive violence"



LuckyBide
10-29-2012, 05:41 PM
To read here:
http://www.vg247.com/2012/10/29/splinter-cell-blacklist-the-myth-of-redemptive-violence/

codenameeric
10-29-2012, 06:38 PM
Before, Sam could kill if it was necessary to gather information. I fear that now he can kill if it is necessary to murder. We'll see.

shobhit7777777
10-29-2012, 07:04 PM
Before, Sam could kill if it was necessary to gather information. I fear that now he can kill if it is necessary to murder. We'll see.
What?

I sincerely feel that most people haven't been able to grasp the implication of the fifth freedom, what it is and why it is given.

codenameeric
10-29-2012, 07:11 PM
Hmmm... I'm pretty sure that's the reason. He could use it to fulfill his missions. Those missions were about national security and so are the ones in Blacklist, but to me it's different. I feel they've bent the meaning. Same thing, different reason. Still, our interpretations are our own.

Rea1SamF1sher
10-29-2012, 07:31 PM
I would have never guessed them using Taken as an inspiration for Conviction, cause it is thousand times more believeable in it's own universe than Conviction in my opinion...

BoBwUzHeRe1138
10-30-2012, 12:59 AM
Wow...pretty spot on.

They basically said "Make it more like the old games alongside the new explodey vision" without even needing to say those words. Love the article.

rooster82
10-30-2012, 01:55 AM
I think if they want to show the effects that killing has on Fisher it can't be subtle. They need to hit us with it hard.

Obviously there's a line they can't cross and say ''Look at this man. He is a man who kills people for a living. He is the fictional representative of all the soldiers fighting on your behalf today. His problems are theirs. Whatever he feels, they feel it too. Killing is not fun. It's not exciting. It's not for entertainment. It's not something everyone can do. It's brutal. It's unsettling. It's damaging. It doesn't matter who you are but when you take a life, you will change. For the worse. It's a burden not everyone can bear. Which is why men like Sam Fisher do it. So we don't have to.''

That's a pretty heavy way of saying it. I think one way it could be done is by showing a cutscene where Fisher has a ''crisis of conscience'' and he sees the faces of all the people he's killed. Not just his enemies but his friends. Another way to do it is by making him show signs of mental strain whilst out in the field. I want to see him question the mission and the people he's fighting against. If they don't wanna do anything like that then they have to at least acknowledge he's not the man he was before and during his military / government service by showing him with a bottle of booze in his hand.

doogsy91
10-30-2012, 09:59 AM
I would have never guessed them using Taken as an inspiration for Conviction, cause it is thousand times more believeable in it's own universe than Conviction in my opinion...
They were both pretty bad.



It seems the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at Ubi. Marketing is telling us Blacklist will be flat out Michael Bay but then people like Zack, Max, Patrick and now Footman are all insisting it's still very much a stealth action (or stealth/action) game and telling us how everything they've shown us so far is not representative of the final product.

What's with the mixed messages, Ubi? As far as I can tell, you're essentially marketing the game toward people who aren't necessarily going to play or enjoy it. I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.

Maybe it's time the devs grew a pair and stood up to the marketing department.

coltcat
10-30-2012, 10:10 AM
I That's a pretty heavy way of saying it. I think one way it could be done is by showing a cutscene where Fisher has a ''crisis of conscience'' and he sees the faces of all the people he's killed. Not just his enemies but his friends. Another way to do it is by making him show signs of mental strain whilst out in the field. I want to see him question the mission and the people he's fighting against. If they don't wanna do anything like that then they have to at least acknowledge he's not the man he was before and during his military / government service by showing him with a bottle of booze in his hand.
IMO it's a hard concept to show, especially in game cutscenes.
and judging by all the matarials ubisoft wants to show us, it's not even what they're aiming for.
we seen Sam cutting throats, blowing vehicles full of people, shooting the target he suppose to keeps alive and show his cheesy anger all the time like in a 80's action film for no reason.
not one dialogue about "what he thinks about it" was exchanged in all footages what so ever.
and this Sam act like he's kinda smug about this "5th freedom for taking life thing" when confronting the president.

doogsy91
10-30-2012, 11:30 AM
and this Sam act like he's kinda smug about this "5th freedom for taking life thing" when confronting the president.
Yeah I can't stand that scene. The way he looks away as he says it and all. Who the hell acts like that?

coltcat
10-30-2012, 12:33 PM
Yeah I can't stand that scene. The way he looks away as he says it and all. Who the hell acts like that?
So glad I'm not the only person to be disappointed by that scene.
She's the president for fck sake, not Sam's long time friend. (as matter of fact, even if Sam knows her now, its only for last 6 month). aren't Sam should have a bit more manner? he's not Snake Plissken.

and stop making Sam acts flippantly when talking about murders to The highest command possible.
with "cheesy 80's action rebel guy" expression like that, how could ubisoft expecting players gets involve with any ethical subjects the game wants to present? when our protagonist doesn't even act like he gives a dmn.

UbiZack
10-30-2012, 12:49 PM
It seems the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing at Ubi. Marketing is telling us Blacklist will be flat out Michael Bay but then people like Zack, Max, Patrick and now Footman are all insisting it's still very much a stealth action (or stealth/action) game and telling us how everything they've shown us so far is not representative of the final product.

What's with the mixed messages, Ubi? As far as I can tell, you're essentially marketing the game toward people who aren't necessarily going to play or enjoy it. I'm sorry, but I just don't get it.

Maybe it's time the devs grew a pair and stood up to the marketing department.

I can't speak to the process at other studios, but I can say that one of the factors that makes it difficult to show the 'vision' is that we're developing a game in unison.
By that, I mean everything is being developed at the same time. Every level, all the coding, etc. It's not about finishing one aspect and moving on to the next.

Marketing can only utilize what is polished enough to show. Many of the more hardcore elements (ie: stealth paths and proper 'patrols') are constantly being tweaked and refined.
So there's more liberty to discuss than there is to show.

We're hoping to be able to show off a bunch of the sneakier stuff very soon.

BoBwUzHeRe1138
10-30-2012, 01:06 PM
I can't speak to the process at other studios, but I can say that one of the factors that makes it difficult to show the 'vision' is that we're developing a game in unison.
By that, I mean everything is being developed at the same time. Every level, all the coding, etc. It's not about finishing one aspect and moving on to the next.

Marketing can only utilize what is polished enough to show. Many of the more hardcore elements (ie: stealth paths and proper 'patrols') are constantly being tweaked and refined.
So there's more liberty to discuss than there is to show.

We're hoping to be able to show off a bunch of the sneakier stuff very soon.

I really hope the vision at Ubi in regards to the more complex systems like enemy AI and other stealth mechanics jive with what I picture/want.

That's why I wasn't too upset like some were over the absence of KOs in the Ghost demo...citing that not having them complete shows that the emphasis is on stealth but I figured it was because Ubi worked to bring back the knife (which I am glad) and so immediately went into doing the animations for the kills. Seems awkward to bring back the knife, make it capable of cutting tents, but then stop and go to KO animations rather than just just do the knife ones which is what I believe what Ubi did -- I'm glad KOs return...I'm wondering now though if KOs are differentiated from kills by having KOd enemies be revived if their body is found.

I hope I'm blown away but forgive me Zack because right now it's not looking too good...I mean the game looks like a major step up from Conviction but IMO -- that's not saying much...I hope it manages to find a way to bring back classic gameplay mixed with SCC... :l

doogsy91
10-30-2012, 02:51 PM
I can't speak to the process at other studios, but I can say that one of the factors that makes it difficult to show the 'vision' is that we're developing a game in unison.
By that, I mean everything is being developed at the same time. Every level, all the coding, etc. It's not about finishing one aspect and moving on to the next.

Marketing can only utilize what is polished enough to show. Many of the more hardcore elements (ie: stealth paths and proper 'patrols') are constantly being tweaked and refined.
So there's more liberty to discuss than there is to show.

We're hoping to be able to show off a bunch of the sneakier stuff very soon.
I'm not under any illusions that making a game is simple and straight forward and I'm not having a go at the devs. I really like what we're hearing from you, Max and Patrick etc but surely you can see where I'm coming from?? What we're seeing and what we're hearing are too pretty different things. I'm sure time will even it out a bit but I just think it's hardly ideal to have left us with the E3 demo for so long as the only gameplay footage. The wider community who don't know there is plenty more stealth to come and who possibly don't even know the ghostthrough exists will all be under the impression that Blacklist will feature little to no stealth at all, which, understandably, would be difficult to digest, given the franchise's heritage. A quick look at any Blacklist video on youtube will make it pretty clear that people have already made their minds up about the game and are completely unaware of the work that is being put into developing it's stealth features.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that my beef is more with the presentation of the game thus far than with the game itself. After hearing Max say a while back that Deniable Ops really defined the style of play they were after with Conviction, I'm remaining pretty optimistic that the team can deliver a properly good SP experience this time around.

oO_ShadowFox_Oo
10-30-2012, 10:02 PM
With all of these comments about the stealth being a big component of the game, you can only assume that it will be there - whatever the form.

But everytime we hear the devs talk, they're seem to be talking about the concept of killing to get the job done and the effect it has on people. This seems to be the main pillar or issue that the game is trying to tackle.

I dunno how this makes me feel, to be honest. It's all a little too - weird....

And they're talking about this like topic they were talking about how Sam would react to having his daughter taken.

Even Footman promises that stealth is in there, and that you'll even be forced to take those routes - *gasp* (AMAZING!) - but not a single peep about any stealth related concept or gameplay mechanic.

Still seems dubious, but we'll see...

I just hope the game doesn't try to step beyond it's means and get preachy.

Rea1SamF1sher
10-30-2012, 10:24 PM
They were both pretty bad.
I liked it.
Might be because I didn't have any expectations there, while I do have some for a Tom Clancy Splinter Cell game.

doogsy91
10-31-2012, 09:37 AM
I liked it.
Might be because I didn't have any expectations there, while I do have some for a Tom Clancy Splinter Cell game.
Fair enough. Neeson's speech to the dude on the phone was more than enough to put me off lol.

SolidSage
11-01-2012, 03:39 AM
I just scanned the article because it seems like more of what we have been hearing all along, "action is there in spades but stealth is going to be comprehensive." Cool.
To be honest with you, I've got tired of playing Chaos Theory as of late. I love it, it's awesome, it's BA and all that but after a while hardcore stealth gets a bit boring and repetitive. I've really hit a point where I just want some excitement.

Conviction was an excellent game experience, I won't argue that it was a deviation for SC but it was done very well and delivered a rich and fulfilling experience. I would have loved for the stealth to offer more depth and of course I missed some of the old tools. Blacklist has me excited because the more stills I see of it the more I believe that the Devs have incorporated a lot of absent features and it LOOKS phenomenal. The latest one where he is standing in cover it's flipping great. I thought you told me something about that Max, that wasn't so good...were you telling porkies? I hope so :)
I have no doubt that it is going to be an exciting, entertaining and completely satisfying game. I don't know that it will be as related to Legacy SC as hardcore would like but for me, a direct repeat of another experience isn't necessarily the best thing.

The breadth of play that could be available may really make this the stand out title of the generation.
I'm sure the story will be entertaining and thrilling, if a little action movie oriented but as far as that goes, I don't think there's anything cheesy about Sam's lines or actions in the scenes we have seen. He's a professional, he doesn't have an opening in his schedule to get all wimpy eyed and reflective. he's been killing people for years, friends a lot of this time, at least in Blacklist the enemy is a little more clear cut and the decision to go 5th Freedom seems a bit clearer to me too, since there is a count down timer involved. I know similar threats were present in Legacy but the timelines were different as well as the scope of the enemy. In Blacklist he is facing Military styled factions of an allied enemy.
The task is clear, the enemy is clearer, the methods of the enemy are very clear and all of this should make the guy feel a lot better about the fact that he has to go back to older methods when he went to war for a living.

As far as his manner talking to the President, yes it's the Commander in Chief but let's be honest, there'll be another one along in a minute, then another and another, all the time Sam is towing the line and saving the Country. He's a legend, a hero and B.A, he wasn't disrespectful in any way but the guy doesn't need to be licking the boots of a Politician who probably spent most of their career in the Courts or writing laws or running a business.
It's the funniest thing in the World to me that a Civilian with little or no military experience can become the leader of the strongest military in the World. It makes sense but it's still funny.

Anyway, hard tasks are performed by hard men. The strongest deep six all those weird emotions and keep on moving right along.

Right I gots to get back to Creed. It has a really cool evolution of it's stealth features and I played with them for a bit. Then I got bored and decided stabbing, hacking, slashing and running people through was more fun. Oo oo, and meat shields are so good when the enemy fires off a volley at you. It really is very good. Takes a minute to get it to open up, the story early on really acts as training sequences but there's so much to do and get proficient with that it's a good thing, and it doesn't actually feel like training. I was just anticipating get my full load and letting loose.

P.S.
Taken was awesome.

doogsy91
11-01-2012, 02:13 PM
As far as his manner talking to the President, yes it's the Commander in Chief but let's be honest, there'll be another one along in a minute, then another and another, all the time Sam is towing the line and saving the Country. He's a legend, a hero and B.A, he wasn't disrespectful in any way but the guy doesn't need to be licking the boots of a Politician who probably spent most of their career in the Courts or writing laws or running a business.
It's not that he appeared disrespectful to me (to hell with the ***** footing) but he seemed to act with a certain arrogance I suppose. I always thought of Sam as being quite charismatic if you know what I mean. The way he can strike up "friendly" conversation with anyone he "runs into" and will remain perfectly calm and will happily resort to producing witty one-liners in what appear to be very stressful situations. I know we haven't seen much yet but I'm just not feeling that it's going to be there anymore and I already really miss it. Ironside delivered his performances with much more bombast than what we seem to be getting now. Compare the way Ironside delivers the "I am Sam Fisher... I am... a Splinter Cell" line in the Not Today trailer from CT to the Fifth Freedom trailer. There's just so much more charisma!!

newhenpal
11-01-2012, 04:48 PM
Truffaut would be highly amused if he read this article and looked at Blacklist's promotional material.

Does anybody here remember one of Ubisoft's comments about Conviction's levels being "mini sandboxes"? Well I'm not entirely certain, but having read this article on this subject yet again, I now get the impression that this is just Footman hyping this games qualities to unprecedented levels like Beland did back in 2009. Perhaps there really is nothing in Blacklist that can be seen as having the supposed depth Footman harps on, which is a good thing. The last thing gaming needs is another team of sophomoric action game writers attempting (and failing) to hammer in their views on the nature of war and violence through weepy scenes of morality and Michael Bay-esque shenanigans.

Stick to aping Taken and its trashy ilk, Beland and Footman. You guys aren't capable of tackling Full Metal Jacket and Generation Kill.

SolidSage
11-01-2012, 05:22 PM
It's not that he appeared disrespectful to me (to hell with the ***** footing) but he seemed to act with a certain arrogance I suppose. I always thought of Sam as being quite charismatic if you know what I mean. The way he can strike up "friendly" conversation with anyone he "runs into" and will remain perfectly calm and will happily resort to producing witty one-liners in what appear to be very stressful situations. I know we haven't seen much yet but I'm just not feeling that it's going to be there anymore and I already really miss it.
I didn't find him to be arrogant when talking to the President, just more about business and no frills.
I hear you about a different temperament and wit in Legacy though, and I agree that in those days Sam was a different person. I mean, he basically is a different version of himself in Blacklist. A bit more youthful and with a different attitude. I'm okay with it though, in fact, I wanted Sam to be younger after Conviction, this 50+ year old stuff is getting too far out there for me, making him less appealing as a visceral hero for me. And to be honest I'm okay with a bit of a personality change too. I'm really enjoying the character change ups in Creed, it keeps it interesting, and while I know it's still Sam, I do think a different take on Sam might be very good. Have to wait and see though.



Ironside delivered his performances with much more bombast than what we seem to be getting now. Compare the way Ironside delivers the "I am Sam Fisher... I am... a Splinter Cell" line in the Not Today trailer from CT to the Fifth Freedom trailer. There's just so much more charisma!!
I agree that Ironside was a great Sam and that he had some great lines to deliver. They were incorporated in to the game play in a really cool fashion.
I actually really like Eric Johnson's work so far though. The voice sounds awesome and tough, even if it makes Sam sound like a different guy and I have really enjoyed the scenes with Jadid and then the MI6 guy. As far as viewing goes it's getting me jacked up like a Lethal Weapon or Diehard movie. That's why, in spite of the newer versions of SC not following the Legacy formula so devoutly I really enjoyed C and think I am going to enjoy the heck out of B. They just look like really entertaining action stealth adventures. They fit within a certain desire I have that wasn't historically met by SC as much as other games.

If they can truly offer the deep stealth experience that I love from Legacy games as an option AND deliver the intense action that gets my senses firing at the same time, I really think Blacklist will be a game engine that I spend a lot of time with and really enjoy. As it is, down the line with Conviction I am finally getting tired of it. I've done the action to death in it and I've explored the stealth as far as you can go...it would benefit from a good bit more stealth but overall the game was an excellent purchase and worth every penny.


I'm of the mind set that even though I would like to see continuation of the original SC concept and blueprint, I won't let that desire spoil the enjoyment I should get from a rich and entertaining experience that is being offered in Blacklist. I'll even go so far as to believe that there actually is a chance that they could find and deliver that old school feel within the package. That would be fantastic.

Jazz117Volkov
11-01-2012, 05:51 PM
Been hearing a lot of hate directed towards E.J. Not so much on these boards, but just around the webz.
It's uncalled for IMO, the dude is doing a good job. The more I reflect on it, the more I'm happy about the switch-up. That's not saying I'm ecstatic, but rather content.
Though, if I'm being honest here, the "action" scenes thus far have been pretty OTT and juvenile. I'd like a more serious and "realistic" presentation with the action. Nolan-esque would go a long way towards awesome.
That said, I can't wait to see the cut-scenes with Sam, Grim and the Paladin.I like me a good character story, and if B can at least pull that off, Ima be happy.
Couple cinematic story-telling with legacy gameplay options, and you got a package I'm interested in.

I haven't been super vocal about it before, because honestly, there was never a point, I was perfectly able to let it slide, but now that the "cinematic" story is go ahead, I will voice my displeasure with the static, cut-and-dried mission set-ups of the legacy titles. Pandora and even Chaos Theory had some nice between-mission scenes, but nothing ever crossed over into the "mission" and, for me, that always felt a bit too gamey. A nice cut-scene to pull the player into a level, and then another to push them forwards into the next "story-scene" helps weld the experience together in a much more seamless fashion, IMO.

EDIT: Wait, isn't this topic about "redemptive violence"?
Yes. Ahem... okay.

oO_ShadowFox_Oo
11-02-2012, 03:44 AM
It's an oxymoron.

No-one can redeem themselves through violence.

Sam's most endearing quality to me was that he tried to avoid it, not embrace it.

codenameeric
11-02-2012, 04:41 AM
It's an oxymoron.

No-one can redeem themselves through violence.

Sam's most endearing quality to me was that he tried to avoid it, not embrace it.

Very true. What was so cool about Sam is he was capable of being brutally lethal but he restrained himself. To me, that showed he was a seasoned professional - and he had morals and principles. He had a deep character and would have no trouble deciding when or how to use violence (or not). Things like that didn't phase him at all because he was that experienced. Sometimes the more powerful you are, the less you have to exert that power.

doogsy91
11-02-2012, 05:47 AM
Been hearing a lot of hate directed towards E.J. Not so much on these boards, but just around the webz.
It's uncalled for IMO, the dude is doing a good job. The more I reflect on it, the more I'm happy about the switch-up. That's not saying I'm ecstatic, but rather content.
Though, if I'm being honest here, the "action" scenes thus far have been pretty OTT and juvenile. I'd like a more serious and "realistic" presentation with the action. Nolan-esque would go a long way towards awesome.
That said, I can't wait to see the cut-scenes with Sam, Grim and the Paladin.I like me a good character story, and if B can at least pull that off, Ima be happy.
Couple cinematic story-telling with legacy gameplay options, and you got a package I'm interested in.
Agreed. But I just want to make it clear that I by no means hate Eric. I don't know the guy from a bar of soap, but I do think his performance of Sam thus far has been inferior to Ironside's. Apart from that, I'm pumped for Blacklist.


Very true. What was so cool about Sam is he was capable of being brutally lethal but he restrained himself. To me, that showed he was a seasoned professional - and he had morals and principles. He had a deep character and would have no trouble deciding when or how to use violence (or not). Things like that didn't phase him at all because he was that experienced. Sometimes the more powerful you are, the less you have to exert that power.
You pretty much hit the nail on the head.