Splinter Cell: Blacklist announced at Microsoft Presser - Updated

Ubisoft took the stage this year at Microsoft's press conference to announce that they're bringing Splinter Cell: Blacklist - their latest in the series - to the Xbox 360 in Spring of 2013.

They even showed off some early footage of the game in motion which exhibited several of the game's cool new features, including one of the coolest ideas in Kinect integration yet. In the gameplay demo, the player used Kinect voice control to distract a guard by shouting "hey you!". The guard cluelessly walked over and was subsequently taken out by Fischer.

They also showed off a sequence where players will be able to use voice recognition to call in airstrikes and other mobile assistance.

The story of the game follows a group of rogue nations which have grown fed up with American presence in their countries. They conspire together to create a "Blacklist" of escalating terrorist attacks until forces are withdrawn. Sam Fischer is given a presidential mandate and the freedom to act above American law in the pursuit of the Blacklist.

The most impressive part of the demonstration is something Ubisoft is calling "Killing-in-Motion." Throughout the demo it became clear that Sam Fischer is more agile than ever. Not just in his bodily movements, but in his capability to take down a mark from just about anywhere. Whether it's hanging from a ledge, behind a sandbag, or from two stories up, Sam can take down targets with fluid, vicious grace.

That includes a new Mark and Execute system which makes it even faster to take groups of enemies down with one motion. We're sure you'll see more of that soon as video from the conference slowly finds its way onto YouTube.

“Ubisoft Toronto has taken great care to develop an evolutionary Sam Fisher experience that takes the franchise to dramatic new heights,” said Maxime Beland, creative director at Ubisoft. “With exciting gameplay enhanced by full motion-capture performances, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist offers a highly cinematic experience that will immerse fans and gamers new to the series in an intricate, action-packed adventure.”

Finally, right before leaving the stage, Ubisoft quickly mentioned that Splinter Cell: Blacklist will in fact feature the legendary online Spies vs Mercs competitive multiplayer mode made famous by Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

This story is still breaking, so check back in the coming minutes for more E3 news.

Andrew Groen

Andrew is a freelance video game journalist, writing for sites like Wired and GamesRadar. Andrew has also written a book called EMPIRES OF EVE: A History of the Great Wars of EVE Online.