Splinter Cell director says Metal Gear Solid's "clear rules" showed the team "how stealth should be done" and "set the rules for any stealth game"

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft developers working on the original Splinter Cell borrowed a thing or two from Metal Gear Solid's influential, stealthy 'action espionage' way of doing things.

Hideo Kojima's 1998 action-adventure, Metal Gear Solid, by no means invented the the act of sneaking around intricate, zig-zagging levels all while unarmed, but it did somewhat popularize the stealth genre in general. Metal Gear Solid's complicated anti-war storyline and sometimes indulgent, always ambitious cutscenes are probably what garners the most attention nowadays, though the game's careful infiltration is what snuck into other series.

Speaking to Retro Gamer in Issue 261, the original Splinter Cell director Francois Coulon reveals the team looked to Solid Snake's antics for inspiration when creating Sam Fisher's similarly hush-hush debut. "MGS showed us how stealth mechanics should be done," says Francois, specifically pointing to the classic game's "clear rules" that always clarified what was happening and how to react. 

"It is a complete and consistent set of rules that set the way for any stealth game," Coulon continues. "Remove one of its elements and the experience will be dull, frustrating, or ridiculous. MGS was perfectly executed in that regard. No frustration - you know when you lose and you don't blame the game for it."

Things have come full circle for both stealth icons in the decades since their debut as publisher Konami went back to the drawing board with a series of re-releases and an upcoming Metal Gear Solid 3 remake, and Ubisoft is kind of trying the same approach with a Splinter Cell remake that was announced three years ago and has since gone MIA

While we wait for both, why not check out the best stealth games tip-toeing around?

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.