In our Splinter Cell: Blacklist review we said the game is made up of "meaty chunks of a great stealth" which is "book-ended by identity breaking flourishes".
Our reviewer praised the "great stealth playgrounds" and said the "three play styles allow for satisfying improvisation", except when "forced upon you". Overall, your ability to enjoy Blacklist's moments of greatness will "likely correlate to how enamoured you've been with Sam's back catalogue."
We've gathered as many Splinter Cell: Blacklist reviews as we could find and put them into a handy little list below. Take a look to get an overview of how the game is being received by critics.
- OXM: 8 - Blacklist lacks the sheer, improvisational panache of a younger rival like Arkham City or even Klei's Mark of the Ninja - the Clancy fiction is a poor imaginative resource, and the need to satisfy several audiences does, at times, trip the game up (there are some shonky "interactive storytelling" sequences, for instance). As an exercise in carrying triple-A bloat gracefully, however, it's among Ubisoft's finest efforts. Fisher might look like the world's grumpiest, most grizzled ninja, but he's proving quite the crowd-pleaser.
- Edge: 6 - By the time you reach the end of Blacklist everything has grown so big and so explosive that you're left exhausted but not entirely satisfied, and maybe after all that incoherent action you'll recall the time when a single flashlight in Chaos Theory's Panamanian bank made you hold your breath. Ten men searching for Fisher doesn't make for ten times the excitement, but it sure does give him a lot to shoot.
- Polygon: 8.5 - Behind the new coat of paint and a new Sam Fisher, Blacklist represents a return to form for the series. It doesn't revolutionize Splinter Cell, but it manages a sharp trifecta of achievements - it's open to new players, accessible to players from the series' major departure installment and a welcome invitation back to series regulars who missed the stealth focus that peaked with Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Blacklist refines what came before and makes for a great new beginning for the series.
- Eurogamer: 8/10 - Spies vs Mercs saves Blacklist from the ignominy of being merely good. Like Hitman Absolution last year, the campaign feels like a fun game bogged down by its desire to look like a stylish action thriller; it's cavalier with its politics and your time, and on occasions you'll wonder why you bothered to negotiate with these terrorists. But when the game clicks, which it does often enough across its many modes and missions, it overcomes the inadequacy of its storytelling and reminds you why Splinter Cell was so appealing in the first place.
- Official PlayStation Magazine: 8 - Splinter Cell's return to PS3 builds upon a legacy of slick mechanics and crafts an empowering experience whether you choose to pull it in the direction of stealth or action. If you can bear its unironic plot, which gives you the same feeling as watching Fox News, it's more than worthy of your to-do list.
Sam's learned new tricks, gained an almighty toybox and feels righteously superhuman to control, but spreads himself thin in an effort to impress.