Generally favorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 58
  2. Negative: 0 out of 58
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  1. Aug 26, 2013
    The melding of Conviction’s third person shooter elements and more traditional Splinter Cell gameplay are more than the sum of their parts here. No doubt about it, this is the definitive Splinter Cell experience. I’d even go as far as to say it’s the best stealth game of this console generation. Sorry, Kojima.
  2. Aug 14, 2013
    A sweet middle ground between the Panther-like action of Conviction and the Ghost-like stealth of Chaos Theory. The delightful improbable success of this compromise is a testament to game design that always has choice in mind.
  3. Aug 14, 2013
    Blacklist successfully continues on the road taken by Conviction, keeping the core gameplay choices and expanding everything with a more open mission structure, greater focus on stealth gameplay, great replayability and a strong co-op and competitive multiplayer support. Dismissing it as another action-oriented Splinter Cell will be an error: it can be as stealthy and challenging as you want it to be.
  4. Aug 30, 2013
    Surprisingly, Blacklist "ticks every right box" as a really good, modern game ought to do. It has an interesting single player campaign with great structure, superb co-op missions and an engaging multiplayer mode.
  5. Aug 27, 2013
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist offers a complete and balanced experience. Its campaign and multiplayer modes are filled with fun and addictive gameplay, specially Mercs vs. Spies. The stealth mechanics are great and they make this game the best Splinter Cell of this generation.
  6. Aug 26, 2013
    The best Splinter Cell since Chaos Theory, Blacklist is a gritty and intense entry into the series that offers an unbelievably robust package.
  7. Aug 23, 2013
    If sneaking is your speed, you can rest easy – Sam Fisher is back, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist is among the very best stealth titles you’ll play this generation.
  8. Aug 19, 2013
    Blacklist has it all. Perfect controls, highlights from all the previous games, a perfect focus on multiplayer fun without sacrificing the enjoyment of the single-player and a great presentation to finish it all off. It has it all, unless you’re looking for innovation. You won’t find that in this best of compilation that manages to feel like a new product.
  9. Aug 18, 2013
    Fisher is back more than ever. Play stealth, kill people without making noise and more important: have some fun.
  10. 90
    The most hardcore Splinter Cell-purists might still be a little miffed, but otherwise Blacklist is by far the best outing the series has had on this console generation. Even if the new Sam Fisher is a bit dry.
  11. Aug 15, 2013
    Ubisoft has outdone itself with this one, producing a game that serves up quality and quantity in spades. Splinter Cell: Blacklist can be a demanding and sometimes harsh game, but it only serves in strengthening your resolve to do better, and explore different approaches and avenues to achieve perfect stealth. Whether you're a Ghost, Panther or Assault player, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has something to offer, regardless.
  12. Aug 14, 2013
    Single player and multiplayer are mixed in an unexpectedly convincing and functional way in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, making it one of the most successful episodes of the saga.
  13. Aug 14, 2013
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist both rewards players for focusing on one infiltration style while also encouraging experimenting with others. This kind of play-as-you-like approach isn’t new, but it’s hard to think of another game that means it with such certainty as Blacklist.
  14. Aug 14, 2013
    Blacklist features an enjoyable gameplay that can be appreciated by both the longtime fans and the newcomers. If we add to this a strong multiplayer mode that really deserves to be played, the overall quality of the package rises dramatically.
  15. Aug 14, 2013
    Blacklist is made with great care and full of content, whether online or not, for countless hours of fun. A package that's truly commendable, although slightly reduced by not very exciting AI, a factor that prevents the Ubisoft production from becoming a classic.
  16. Aug 14, 2013
    Bringing back classic Spies Vs. Mercs is a smart move that will please many, whereas offering a decent length single player adventure that is open enough for all play-styles and all-comers, whilst offering an optional challenge for the veterans, pays off. Blacklist really is a game all about options, and as such, is one not to miss.
  17. A game which excels by making all of its moving pieces work together in unison. There are some rough patches, such as my beforementioned somewhat squiggy reaction to the storyline and the fact that the graphics sometimes seem to be pushing against the limitations of the current console generation, but it would be difficult for me to think of a more versatile or playable stealth game.
  18. Aug 14, 2013
    Blacklist’s bitingly topical campaign, huge selection of co-op missions, and wildly enjoyable update of the Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer make for the best, most ambitious Splinter Cell of this generation.
  19. Aug 14, 2013
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist is a beefy game, and its well worth your time to explore all it offers. While a lot of stealth titles reward you for memorizing enemy patrols and choosing your movement carefully, Splinter Cell gives you the flexibly to be the kind of think-on-his-feet spy that Jason Bourne would idolize.
  20. While the new Splinter Cell: Blacklist is definitely not an open-world game – it’s actually hard to imagine the franchise straying that far from its roots – it is a fantastic hybrid of sorts that throws so many options and choices at the player that its linear nature is thoroughly hidden if not forgotten entirely.
  21. Aug 14, 2013
    Pretty much everything it does, it does it right. It's a great choice for stealth fans, and a must-have for fans of the series.
  22. Sep 9, 2013
    Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist a good single player game with a spectacular co-op and multi-player component.
  23. Aug 19, 2013
    A really good game that’s certainly worth playing if you enjoy stealth based games.
  24. Aug 14, 2013
    Despite these minor issues however, Splinter Cell Blacklist impresses with its scope and versatility. Level designs aren't limited to paint-by-numbers solutions, and the game not only gives you the option to play how you want, but pushes you to perfect your play-style.
  25. Sep 12, 2013
    It’s a thoroughly entertaining game that provides a healthy mix of action and stealth.
  26. Aug 27, 2013
    Hands down the most ambitious game in the series to date. Ubisoft Toronto made a very bold choice to try and appease fans of every past game we’ve seen and create a ‘Splinter Cell For All’ style game. By and large they’ve succeeded fairly well at their task.
  27. Aug 15, 2013
    It brings the three different play styles together effortlessly, without selling one short. By handing out points after a mission based on how you play it, you keep coming back to set a higher score. It’s a shame the story lacks depth and graphically the game can’t play with the big boys, but that doesn’t change the fact that you’ll get a lot of stealthy pleasure out of this game.
  28. Aug 14, 2013
    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.
  29. 85
    Like any human, Sam Fisher stumbles occasionally when the pressure’s on. But as long as you’ve got the patience to accept a handful of limitations, you can expect to have a damn good time saving the world once more.
  30. Games Master UK
    Sep 18, 2013
    Meaty chunks of great stealth game book-ended by identity breaking flourishes. [Nov 2013, p.56]
  31. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Sep 17, 2013
    The design mantra, it would appear, is to offer you as much freedom as possible. [Issue#102, p.70]
  32. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Sep 9, 2013
    It doesn't matter if you play the new adventure of Sam Fisher with stealth or action, you are going to have hell of a good time. The game's naïve political thriller story proves it's possible to create the omnifaceted title you are going to enjoy completely your way. [Issue#233]
  33. Sep 9, 2013
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist is like a plasticine. It tries to satisfy everyone and suits all without stealing their experiences.
  34. Sep 1, 2013
    Overall Blacklist is a sublime entry into the Splinter Cell series, it takes the fun but flawed gameplay of Conviction and polishes it a little. It’s not the greatest game ever made, but that doesn’t matter. You enjoy your latest adventure with Sam Fisher and that is all that matters at the end of the day.
  35. Aug 30, 2013
    Through Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Ubisoft has reminded us of what a force of nature, Sam Fisher truly is. The take-home message is that there's still life in the old dog. While, the game may be a compromise of sorts, with a merger of concepts and ideas, its true success lies in how flexible and rewarding the gameplay is.
  36. Aug 28, 2013
    Splinter Cell: Blacklist combines elements of the last episode with the series' original features, and a tough as nails Sam Fisher. The end result is not perfect, but good enough for longtime fans.
  37. Aug 27, 2013
    Blacklist should be the best Splinter Cell yet, but it’s held back by some unperceptive AI, the odd gameplay quirk, and a sub-par story. Even so, it’s still a great game, and both those put off by or attracted to Conviction’s action focus will find much to love here.
  38. Aug 23, 2013
    They say it's impossible to please everyone, but Splinter Cell: Blacklist comes admirably close.
  39. Aug 22, 2013
    Blacklist is a nice start for Ubisoft Toronto, a game that closely follows Conviction's steps.
  40. Aug 20, 2013
    With Ironside gone, it's much more obvious that Splinter Cell is not Splinter Cell anymore. The illusion of "going back to the roots" is just that, an illusion disguised as an option that is never as appealing as the stealth and elimination, "Panther" style the team is so fond of. Still, a good action game with plenty of content.
  41. Aug 19, 2013
    A strange game. On one hand we have mediocre graphics, choppy animations, a general lack of polish, and really bad first few missions. On the other hand, the campaign keeps getting better and in the end looks like a really good stealth game, there's lots of additional missions (in co-op as well) and a great multiplayer mode, that has the power to convince gamers usually avoiding online play. The new Splinter Cell, just like the new young Sam Fisher, doesn't look trustworthy, but it's worth giving a shot. The game isn't as good as Chaos Theory, but underneath all these minor issues hides a really good game.
  42. Aug 16, 2013
    It often works, but there are points in the game where taking the stealthy route is so difficult or tedious that success feels like a punishment rather than a reward, as well as moments when players are forced to put the guns away and rely on trial and error to suss out the proper path through an environment, no matter how itchy their trigger fingers may be...Still, Blacklist is a polished, confident and frequently thrilling shot in the arm for a franchise that was in danger of being left behind with gamers’ shifting tastes.
  43. Aug 15, 2013
    Blacklist doesn't do all too much to bring the series forward, let alone reinvent it. But it still is a good looking, supremely solid crafted and well-balanced stealth game that knows exactly what it needs to accomplish. I know a lot of people who will find quite a lot of beauty in that.
  44. Aug 15, 2013
    Viewed on its own merits it’s a highly entertaining and feature-packed video game, and that’s all that really matters.
  45. Aug 14, 2013
    Blacklist is a well-designed game from top to bottom, one that is both accessible and flexible. It doesn't force you into playing a specific way, and it provides all the tools necessary to accommodate your playstyle, retaining the agility of its predecessor without its restrictions.
  46. Aug 14, 2013
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist is not like Convinction, changing many of the good ideas of his predecessor in favor of other, more mainstream gameplay mechanics. Anyway, the game is fun and even exciting if you’re feeling inclined to the usual spy movie plots.
  47. Aug 14, 2013
    In its best moments, Blacklist is a welcome return to the roots of the series. On top it gives you more options on how to solve the missions, from Rambo to lightning fast killer to ghost. Unfortunately Sam is too powerful – at the expense of atmosphere and suspense.
  48. 80
    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.
  49. Aug 14, 2013
    It's with--and against--others that the game hacks into your pleasure centers, so while Sam Fisher may not be the man you remember, Splinter Cell: Blacklist has too many sweet adventures in store for you to miss them.
  50. Aug 14, 2013
    Purists may struggle with Blacklist simply due to how it toys with stealth. Given that it's still the game's core, and that its suite of modes, especially online, are damn entertaining, though, mean it's a solid finale to this generation's Splinter Cell.
  51. Aug 14, 2013
    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.
  52. Aug 30, 2013
    It’s a superior game to Conviction, but it won’t be held in the regard as the original Splinter Cell or Chaos Theory. It’s spread too thin and too focussed on trying to cater to everybody than exploiting what it’s best at.
  53. Aug 23, 2013
    Ubisoft Toronto's flexible approach succeeds in catering to both fans new and old. A strong co-op mode and the addition of both classic and a fully modernized Spies vs. Mercs makes Blacklist worthy of holding the Splinter Cell name.
  54. Aug 16, 2013
    Blacklist feels like Splinter Cell Conviction 2.0, which is not necessarily a bad remark. A few bugs and a less-than-interesting story chases away the top score. Nice split screen action and a sound that makes for a thick atmosphere keep it above average even though Sam Fisher himself is boring beyond belief for a character with at least six game titles to his name.
  55. Aug 14, 2013
    Probably the most comprehensive title of the series, yet one that seems to have suffered from its own ambition given the lack of polish on some of its more technical aspects. Story-wise, it's nothing of note, and the gameplay mechanics should be more seamless, but fans will enjoy a true and complete Splinter Cell experience nonetheless.
  56. games(TM)
    Sep 23, 2013
    Most will likely find it a fairly inoffensive time-consumer. But it is a new low for the series. [Issue#139, p.90]
  57. Aug 19, 2013
    It's clear that, like Sam, Ubisoft has a plan. They want a Splinter Cell that builds on Conviction but is truer to the series' heritage – and with Blacklist they've achieved that, albeit imperfectly. If the next game can refine the formula and give it a proper plot, then just maybe Ubisoft can deliver a classic the next time Sam is the man with the plan.
  58. Aug 14, 2013
    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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 384 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 89
  2. Negative: 20 out of 89
  1. Aug 22, 2013
    Being described as the most ambitious Splinter Cell yet by Ubisoft, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, despite being overall an Ok game, falls short asBeing described as the most ambitious Splinter Cell yet by Ubisoft, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, despite being overall an Ok game, falls short as a true Splinter Cell experience.

    The saga was known for having stories with memorable and charismatic characters, high political tension and some dark humor. The plot in Splinter Cell: Blacklist instead, is uninspired and cliched (Conviction would have been a perfect conclusion for the series) and the characters, including Sam Fisher (if you can call him Fisher) himself, are as interesting as a cardboard, which is a letdown keeping in mind Double Agent and Conviction were big steps forward in narrative terms.

    Sam Fisher is totally messed up. In Blacklist, he is no longer the ultimate badass who uses a twisted sense of humor to intimidate terrorists and has a sense of companionship and loyalty. He's now an unlikeable jerk with no humanity. His voice acting is dreadful (Michael Ironside is deeply missed). The new actor phones in his performance and gives the impression he's thinking "just give me my paycheck already."

    The gameplay is a continuation of Conviction, and in some times, it's a straightforward shooter, which is the complete opposite of what Splinter Cell should be. It's like suddenly Sam Fisher stopped caring for being a spy. The animation is quite smooth, but unrealistic (Sam Fisher doesn't move his legs when moving through pipes, and you can't believe a man in his fifties moves like Spider-Man).

    Splinter Cell: Blacklist is another case of dead horse beating since it doesn't add anything special to the otherwise excellent stealth action franchise.
    Full Review »
  2. Aug 23, 2013
    It seems the 5 years between Chaos Theory and Conviction had everyone forget what made the series so different than everything else.It seems the 5 years between Chaos Theory and Conviction had everyone forget what made the series so different than everything else.

    "Stealth Action Redefined" was the original subtitle of Splinter Cell. I always thought that the point of a secret agent was that his existence remained as much a secret as possible. In SC:B, it's quite the contrary.

    The SC fans will likely opt for the Ghost approach. In SC:B, being a Ghost means you can be seen by the enemy as long as you knock him out within a second. You can knock out as many people as you want, shoot out light bulbs, destroy cameras, you name it. The next morning, nobody will remember a thing and will probably blame the destroyed light bulbs and cameras on a power surge or something.

    You'll go on this mission where you must hack some computers, and where, if you're "detected", the enemy will wipe out the data and the mission will be a failure. But apparently, if you knock out the entire base before hacking the servers, it's not suspicious at all and they won't wipe out the data, because, bleh.

    And if you remain completely invisible without leaving as much as a drop of sweat, the game rewards you with a lame 11000 points and a few thousand dollars. If you opt for wiping out the whole base, you'll get 20000+ points and even more money. Even shooting light bulbs rewards you with money.

    Everything that was challenging in the previous games is now gone.

    It's a somewhat fun game, but it's pretty far from what made Splinter Cell "redefine the stealth action" genre. Sadly, I don't think it's ever coming back.
    Full Review »
  3. Aug 21, 2013
    I hadn't been into the series in a while but, man, this game. It's like they cared. Like they made it for people like me. Forget COD run andI hadn't been into the series in a while but, man, this game. It's like they cared. Like they made it for people like me. Forget COD run and gun jocks barking into your ear, Blacklist requires thought if you want to be elite. Favorite game of this year easily. Full Review »