Good news for cloak and dagger fans: Sam Fisher is gracing the Wii with his presence. Another 'launch window' title for Wii, the fourth Splinter Cell sees the top stealth bloke abandoned by his bosses at the National Security Agency. Sentenced to life imprisonment for a crime he didn't commit, Sam falls in with a bad crowd known as John Brown's Army, escapes from chokey and becomes the type of terrorist he once used to fight.
Or does he? As the subtitle Double Agent sort of gives away, Sam's incarceration and defection are all part of a larger plan known only to a select few at the NSA. To ensure that his new JBA mates don't become suspicious, Sam has to commit dastardly deeds that will earn their trust - but hopefully not break the moral law so badly that the NSA are forced to scrub him out of existence.
At the heart of the game is the 'trust meter', which shows how well Sam's cover is holding up. Kill somebody in cold blood and Sam will be the JBA employee of the month, but failure to transmit intelligence back to the NSA will make him public enemy number one. The choices you make will determine.
A new level of stealth
Also new for this Splinter Cell is the ability to cancel alarms by forcing guards to tell their buddies on the intercom that everything is fine. Then, of course, you kill them. As usual, many levels take place inside gloomy buildings, but we haven't seen too many scenes where all you can see is a black screen and Sam's backpack light. They've turned up the contrast for this one, and consequently it's the brightest game in the series.
The Wii version is going to be pretty much the same as the PS2 and GC ones, rather than the expanded 360 and PC editions. Graphics will be better than the GC - but there's no online multiplayer and some of the missions from the Xbox 360 version won't be included. Grumble, grumble.
What you do get, however, is the benefit of a funky new control system designed for Wii. The only examples we know about are wiggling the remote about to pick locks - as an alternative to the analogue-tickling you're used to from the GameCube Splinter Cells - and (sensitive readers look away now) slicing a man's throat with a brutal slashing motion. Lord knows what your friends/parents are going to think when they walk into the living room and see you doing that. Especially if you grunt like a bear while doing it.
Other Wii-related motion control trickery is being tweaked, so Ubi are keeping it all under wraps. But there are likely to be some gadgets exclusive to Wii - and we're hoping that maybe Sam will carry a Wii remote, like Alex Rider and his DS. Sort of hoping. All will be revealed in November.