Two Splinter Cell super-fans are recreating the franchise's iconic Spies vs Mercs multiplayer component in a new game, Spectre.
Speaking to IGN, Jordan Crawford and Fred Toms, founders of Symbiosis Games, outlined their debut title. Spies vs Mercs was a multiplayer mode that featured in four splinter Cell games; Pandora Tomorrow, Chaos Theory, Double Agent, and Blacklist. Objectives differed over different iterations, but each time, stealth-focused Spies fought against action-based Mercenaries.
Symbiosis Games says it's aiming to recapture the mode as it appeared in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, telling IGN: "We both feel that Blacklist steered the Spies vs Mercs genre [...] away from what made it really special. When you were a spy in Chaos Theory, stealth was exhilarating. Watching an unsuspecting Mercenary from afar and surreptitiously planning your next move was thrilling."
"I feel like Blacklist took some of that magic away by making the spies a lot deadlier and making the gameplay a lot faster. I feel like it removed some of that classic, slower-paced, nail-biting experience that stealth games used to offer. We aim to have that feeling return in Spectre.”
Spectre will refer to the two sides of the conflict as Spectres and Reapers, and will let players fight across three maps and two modes. Each side will have an arsenal of seven gadgets to help them out, as well as abilities named 'Edges', which offer temporary perks, such as reducing the amount of time you're stunned by enemy abilities.
Spectre is planned for a release on Steam by the end of this year, but Crawford and Toms say they also hope for an eventual Xbox Series X release. While it's multiplayer-only right now, the pair says they would be "absolutely thrilled to offer single-player content" if the project succeeds. With the Splinter Cell community desperate for a new standalone game but Ubisoft somewhat unwilling to return to the franchise, Spectre is a fascinating prospect, and it'll be interesting to see whether Symbiosis Games can recapture what made Spies vs Mercs so impressive.
Feeling sneaky beaky like? Check out our list of the best stealth games.