Ubisoft Toronto's Splinter Cell remake will be linear 'like the original games'


A remake of Splinter Cell is now in early development, and it won’t be open world

With a surprisingly low-key announcement, Ubisoft Toronto has confirmed that it’s working on an honest-to-goodness Splinter Cell game — but maybe not the one we were expecting. Rather than a brand new Sam Fisher outing after many crossovers and cameos in other games, the next step for this series is a remake of the original Splinter Cell.

The remake is using the Snowdrop engine (as seen in The Division and other games, including the upcoming Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora), and it’ll be leaning heavily into the “dynamic lighting and shadows the series is known for,” according to the company.

It’s interesting to hear Ubisoft frame the remake as being “greenlit” in a blog post, and quotes from the development team really put its status into perspective.

“Although we’re still in the very earliest stages of development, 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,” said Splinter Cell remake producer Matt West.

“So, as 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,” he added.

Walker also touched on “density” in the original game — where “every square inch” of the map feels important in players’ stealth-minded decision-making — and how that differs from many of today’s “really big worlds.” It’s going to be “important” in the remake.

“A lot of time has passed since the original Splinter Cell, and even since the last sequel [Blacklist] — enough time to miss an entire console generation,” according to technical producer Peter Handrinos. “So now we’re going to take the time to explore what this means for us, for light and shadow, for animation tech, for gameplay, AI, even audio.”

For now, all fans really have to go on are hopes, dreams, and good intentions, as today’s news is just as much a “hey this game is happening!” announcement as it is a recruitment drive for Ubisoft Toronto. I’ll say this much: I have more faith in this remake giving Splinter Cell players the general vibe they want than I would with a brand-new entry.

And on that note: “With this remake, we are building a solid base for the future of Splinter Cell,” according to creative director Chris Auty. I hope fans aren’t monkey-pawed.