The fourth chapter in the Splinter Cell series shall no longer be known simply as Splinter Cell 4, but Splinter Cell Double Agent. This latest installment in the franchise promises to innovate on the Splinter Cell formula and deliver a totally new gameplay experience. At least, that's what the PR guys at Ubisoft will tell you.
Very little has been revealed about this game up until now. Early screenshots were released showing a weathered Sam Fisher in convict garb fending for himself in a prison complex. Questions were raised, and speculation abounded but Ubisoft have come clean about the games premise, and it's certainly sounding interesting.
As the title implies, this game will see Sam Fisher taking the role of a double agent by infiltrating a terrorist organization known as the JBA or 'John Brown Army' at the behest of his long time employer, Third Echelon. This main story element appears to have more of an effect on the gameplay than first meets the eye. Ubisoft claims that the double agent dynamic is what will set this game apart from the rest of the series. Contradictory mission objectives from both the terrorists and Third Echelon puts the choice in your hands. For example, do you arm a bomb to maintain your cover as member of the JBA, or disarm it at the command of Third Echelon? Situations like this will lead the story on branching paths and can effect the outcome of the game to substantial degrees such as the death of main characters resulting from your choices. Many games have boasted player choice vastly changing the scope of the game's story yet still end up following a fairly linear path, so we are still a bit iffy about how much of a difference you really can make.
The game also promises to be the most emotionally charged of the series, which links back to some of the choices you'll be forced to make as a double agent. Could you execute an innocent man in order to save thousands of lives? You'll have to make that decision fast with your fellow terrorists breathing over your shoulder. Sam's personal life is also to make an entrance into the games proceedings as people he knows and loves will intermingle with his morally ambiguous objectives.
The games story will see Sam travel to various exotic locales such as Iceland and Africa but is said to remain primarily in America. Sam will still have access to his cool gadgets such as spy cams, new vision modes, and all new pieces of field equipment such as scuba gear and sky diving apparel.
The double agent dynamic, branching storyline and the emotional involvement that comes with the moral choices could possibly make this the most ambitious Splinter Cell game to date. Splinter Cell Double Agent will ship for all current generation consoles as well as the Xbox 360 and the PC and will deliver exclusive content with each version such as exclusive maps. We'll bring you more info on this potentially great title as it becomes available.