Splinter Cell Blacklist: Spies vs Mercs Detailed

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Splinter Cell Blacklist: Spies vs Mercs Detailed
Splinter Cell Blacklist: Spies vs Mercs Detailed

It feels so good to be back on PlayStation.Blog! Whether you got a chance to check out our Spies vs. Mercs trailer or not, we’re bringing some deeper insight (and a live Q&A to follow) into what we’re working with in Splinter Cell Blacklist’s multiplayer experience.

First off, if you’re not familiar with Spies vs. Mercs, I will say one thing: It is an experience like no other. Either you’re playing as a Spy in third-person perspective, trying to remain undetected and hack terminals while being quick, agile, and deadly in shadows; or you’re the Merc, in first-person perspective, a brute force with unmatched weaponry who’s trying to defend the data from the infiltrators.

One of the cool aspects of Spies vs. Mercs in Blacklist is that you will be playing both sides before a game is done. There’s a very applicable quote from “The Art of War” (by Sun Tzu) that I like to use: “Know thyself; know thy enemy.”

By that, I mean that you can’t truly master the Spy until you fully understand how to eliminate one. The same thing goes for playing as (and neutralizing) the Merc. A game of Spies vs. Mercs isn’t done until you play as both classes — which also helps prevent the ‘rage quit’ (added bonus!).

Now… that’s the overview. Going under the hood, today we’re revealing two of the multiplayer modes: “Spies vs. Mercs Classic” and “Spies vs. Mercs Blacklist”

Spies vs Mercs

Two VERY different games, played in VERY different ways. ‘Classic’ is a mode that was designed specifically for our fans. Gunther Galipot was the creator of the original concept of Spies vs. Mercs from Pandora Tomorrow. He’s returned for Blacklist as a Game Director, and he’s bringing his baby back just like it was in PT and Chaos Theory.

It’s 2v2… and very much an intense game of ‘cat and mouse’ meets ‘hide and seek,’ in which you and your partner need to be in constant communication to outsmart your opponent(s). Spies have no lethal weapons, and rely on vertical navigation, shadows, night vision goggles, and smarts. The Mercs have heavy weaponry, a flashlight to track the Spies, their own set of tools, and force… but also need to play intelligently, themselves.

What you can’t see is your greatest threat.

It’s also worth mentioning that the maps played in Classic are lit differently, to further push the core elements of light and shadow.

Spies vs. Mercs ‘Blacklist’ is a new and refreshing take on the original Splinter Cell multiplayer experience. It supports a maximum of eight players (4v4) and, while many core principals return, there’s an incredible amount of customization that comes into play.

It’s really all about creating your own playstyle. You can do so by configuring loadouts with different weapons, gadgets, vision modes, and armor parts with both active and passive abilities – which are specific to each of the sides.

Spies now have access to lethal weapons and gadgets – adding an entirely new dynamic to Spies vs. Mercs. Despite the uptick in speed and pacing, strategy and teamwork remain at the heart of the gameplay.

There’s SO much to obviously talk about with Spies vs. Mercs (both Classic and Blacklist), and there’s still more to reveal down the line…

…but for now, what’s on your mind? I’ll be here for an hour to take your questions.

Comments are closed.


44 Author Replies

  • Zack there is one thing from COD I would like to see in SvM, I never thought I would say that myself either when it never compares to SvM, but a theater to watch previous game and to save short clips of gameplay would be awesome for this!!! I know I would have short clips highlighting stealth and then the Ass beatings I would be puting on the competition!! Just an idea any chance we will get something like that???

  • Thank so much Zack for answering all of these questions, you are GREAT man.
    I’d ask more questions but everybody here asked them already.=P =P

    • All good!

      …just catching up now, and running out of time!

      (Thanks for the kind words, btw!)

  • I’m guessing you’ve played some new svm haha , how does it compare to the old versions ? Does it feel new or just like the old days ? As well will spies vs mercs have a limited number of lives or how does it work , if so how many lives does each spy and merc start off with and is it different in different modes ( p.s. hope I have annoyed you too much with all the Q’s today but I’m so excited lol )

    • All good… we love excitement ;) (we also share that feeling, too)

      So, full disclosure, I don’t have much previous experience with SvM.
      I never had any of my consoles online until a few years into the current generation.

      I played some of the CLASSIC mode yesterday, when we had some of our fans here at Ubisoft Toronto… and that was pretty intense. A lot of the guys said it felt just like PT/CT (which is probably the highest form of flattery)

  • Thanks Zack! Is there going to be a demo?

  • Godmode_is_King


    Thanks for the answer!

    Follow up: What gadgets do the spies have to choose from in Classic? A variety, I’m sure, but will it be a cornucopia of grenades? Perhaps a terrific gaggle of tech gadgets?

    Inquiring minds, Zack. Inquiring minds :)

    Also, can you comment about a beta possibility?

    • Terrific gaggle, eh? ;)

      SPIES have:
      Flashbang, Sticky Cam, Smoke Grenade, Sentinel (destroys enemy grenades and drones), EMP grenade

      MERCS have:
      Intel Device (reveals all enemies in range), Proxi Mine, Resupply pack (weapon + gadget ammo), Frag, VX Gas Grenade

  • It seems that time is running out, so in advance Zack, its was really fun to talk to you, thank you for your loyalty for the fans, we will see you on the forums ;)


    What are our plans for Blacklist after launch? Will Blacklist be fully supported by devs after launch???

    Thanks again Zack

  • A last question and an old one you may have overlooked:

    Are the neck-break and other classical moves returning?

    now the old one from last page:

    are there coop moves in SvM? (just asking, nothing crucial but would be nice)

  • Godmode_is_King

    Also, how does the hacking work? Wireless? Or is it more classic?

    • There are zones for each hacking station… you need to get right up to the station to initiate the process, and then remain alive and in the zone for the hacking to continue.

      If the hacker dies, a teammate has X amount of time to get to the station to resume it.
      If they fail to do so, the transfer of data is reset.

  • Very happy you guys decided to bring back Spies vs. Mercs! You guys are OK in my book! :)

  • I’m noticing your keeping quite about the demo and beta questions zack :P is there something you can’t tell us :P maybe a spies v mercs beta is possible ? LoL

  • Btw. Zack you can also read it in the forums but I’ll just say it here as well:

    AWESOME job of the SvM team and of you of course. You have answered almost every question of mine to my complete satisfaction!

    To quote and “old friend”

    “Great Work FISHER! (/Cooper!)”

  • Hey Zack ;)

    Pick up one (or two, or three) of the following questions:

    – Are the SvM spy suits available for the solo campaign?
    – Will there be split screen in the coop mode?
    – Are the 14 coop maps the same that in the solo campaign?

    Thanks !

    • Not sure about the suits…

      Pretty sure I can say that split screen co-op is back…

      …and the co-op maps are entirely different from SP maps.

  • Is it in the spies interest to kill the mercs , are they very lethal , or is it better they go about their game stealthily ?

    • Given the respawn time, it’s never a bad idea to eliminate the enemy… but it’s definitely not the safety approach.

      Priority #1 for a Spy should always be to get the intel!

  • GOTTA RUN, guys… but thanks so much!

    This was a lot of fun for me, and, hopefully you, too!

  • Wow, that’s awesome.

    Thanks Zack, I LOVE YOU !!

  • Demo???

  • I really think there’s a beta going to be announced now , zacks quietness on the matter is intriguing , oh well I’d just like to say a super thank you for all my questions you answered today !! Best of luck with splinter cell guys !

  • I like how he says MAAAAAYYYBBEEEE if he knows something we guessed right but isn’t supposed to tell us^^

  • One more time thanks for all the intel!!!

  • I love SC, could we have Conviction please?

  • Oh Zack i love your avatar, is it available on the store yet? I want it!

  • Yea I see maybe as a yea really haha , could of ignores the question but leaves it wide open with the maybe ;)

  • Will the pc version have a server browser?

  • A while back Maxime Beland mentioned that he wanted to drop the main menu (as in when you first start the game you see “single player”, “multiplayer”, “options”, etc.) and favor everything for a playable hub (the Paladin), but that was months ago when he said it. So my question is, will there be a main menu or will everything be accessed to the Paladin?

    Can’t wait to play the game!! You guys are doing awesome :D.

  • What do you guys have in order to prevent/deter ragequitters?

  • I always preferred just straight Deathmatch in Chaos Theory. Do you know if “Classic” will still have that option? Kind of the difference between me and a few others buying it.

  • Games do not get much better than this.
    I remember playing for hours, on the older version.

    Splinter Cells are a personal favorite.
    I am glad to see, that there are those; still wanting more.

    Hope the online population, doesn’t ruin this, like so many others.

  • Please tell me you’ll include LAN/system link and i’ll buy another copy! Loved playing Splinter cell via LAN at my home with my buddies last gen.

    I already preordered My Collector’s Edition. Looking forward too it!

  • The spies vs mercs looks very interesting, just might by this!!!!!!!!!

  • Are you kidding?…the MP will be in 1st person view?…..that cant be true….well I wasnt too much interested now I’m completely disinterested.

  • Wow Nice I hope it come out on the PSN with all the DLCs :)

  • I LOVED this mode in Double Agent. Was truly such a unique take on MP.
    Being older and not having as much time to game these days as I once did, I tend to stick to SP only experiences, however I will no doubt make an exception for this game, as this mode is that bad ass.

  • how did you guys improve spies vs mercs so much since pandora tomorrow and chaos theory?

  • why did no one asked if we are going to have a small beta. whats wrong with you guys omfg

  • They did… many times. he never answered.

    The real question should have been if there is going to be downloadable versus maps and split jump moves returning.

  • Hi there, I’m eagerly awaiting this game (been a fan since Pandora Tomorrow) and wish to ask

    Will the 2 player co-op element in the story mode be optional (could I play solo if I wish)?

    And will the Spies vs Mercs customization be similar to the single player customization?
    (e.g can suits & goggles be altered or just equipment such as guns & gadgets)

  • Hi, my question is about spies and mercs classic mode. can you play with mercs bots like in Splinter Cell: Double Agent?

    thank you.

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