Spies Vs. Mercs Returns
Me and my friends used to love making up games back when we were kids. One of the coolest games we made up was played in the dark, in our parents houses when they were gone at work or elsewhere. We called it "Guards and Agent". One of us would take the role of a spy, the others would be guards. The spy's objective was to be as quiet as possible, avoid attracting attention, sneak around, take out guards one by one, get the piece of intel and get out of there without getting killed. Guards were forced to "play dumb", and give the spy some leeway (to balance things out), they were to follow set routes unless they heard suspicious noises or got a glimpse of the spy as he crossed from one room to another. We could play this game for hours on end, and it only ended when our parents came home and flipped back on the lights. Oh, childhood creativity. Where hast thou gone?
Either way, you can imagine how happy we got when we figured out that the Splinter Cell franchise's second iteration, Pandora Tomorrow, had adopted the exact game we used to love playing in real life, into its brand new multiplayer. It featured asymmetrical gameplay that focused a lot more on stealth and guile compared to the more trigger-happy competitors in the industry. Not to mention that you only had two players on each team. The mode was a success, and continued as part of the next iterations, Chaos Theory and Double Agent before Ubisoft decided to not include it with Conviction.
Now, it seems Ubisoft are bringing back this very unique mode in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, but not unaltered. As you will see in the embedded video above, there's basically two different modes. There's the classic one, and there's "Blacklist Spies vs. Mercs". The difference is that the new mode seems to be a lot more arcady, a lot more fast-paced and action oriented. It's now 4vs4, in environments that seem a lot less dark and confined. The concept itself seems somewhat unchanged, though. Spies still need to use stealth and dark places to survive, and guards will still have the deadly assault rifles at their disposal.
Now let's hope this mode indeed ends up being worth it, instead of some afterthought.