Ubisoft has confirmed the existence of Splinter Cell 3 (working title) today, revealing that the sequel will be shown for the first time via a theatre-style demo (rolling demo we guess) at E3 this week. Previously the publisher had refused to comment on the next instalment's presence at E3, although industry insiders were adamant - and now proved correct - that the title would be unveiled during the week of the event.
Splinter Cell 3 is in development at Ubisoft's Montreal studio, and interestingly has so far only been confirmed for PC (launch date is "late 2004"). "Details on other platforms", says the publisher, "will be forthcoming". A mystery for Nancy Drew to solve, there.
Ubisoft's third Splinter Cell game is set in the year 2008, with players reprising the role of Sam Fisher, Third Echelon's most skilled Splinter Cell operative. Information Warfare has evolved into the most dangerous threat to global stability, apparently, and Fisher is assigned to "execute a hazardous series of operations to investigate and eliminate a new source of information attacks, originating in North Korea.
"To succeed, you will employ a host of unconventional counterintelligence activities to gather intel, disrupt enemy operations and neutralize adversary targets."
There's talk of penetrating "deeper into hostile territory and operate undetected, closer to the enemy than ever before", with Fisher having an array of tactics at his disposal varying from combat knife techniques and experimental prototype weapons skills to more radical hand-to-hand techniques such as the Inverted Chokehold.
Ubisoft also briefly mentions that we'll be able to co-operate "online with a partner to accomplish crucial missions".
And here, for our and your benefit, is a provided list of key gameplay features:
- Deadly Agility: Incredibly complete and fluid variety of moves including athletic and stealth moves, as well as stealth kills
- As Good As Real: Never-before-seen graphics technology offers the best visuals ever to appear on any platform. Advanced physics engine allows rag doll physics, particle effects and perfect interaction with the environment
- Real Weapons of Tomorrow: The most complete arsenal of weapons and gadgets, from the combat knife to experimental prototype combat systems
- Amazing Replayability: Totally open level design with multipaths and optional secondary objectives
- Ultimate Challenge: Intelligent all-new A.I. with personal attributes, natural behaviour where non-playable-characters are aware of their environment and remember past events
- Co-op Stealth: Play multiplayer with a friend and co-ordinate your infiltration in an all new multiplayer challenge
- Thrilling Scenario: Gut-wrenching in-game sequences. Gripping plot with multiple twists and turns