Splinter Cell: Conviction Co-Op Interview

Ubisoft’s Patrick Redding discusses Sam Fisher’s personal hell, the role of co-op today, DLC possibilities and the (temporary?) absence of Spies vs Mercenaries.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, April 12, 2010

And what I like about that is that their relationship is evolving at the same time that the players’ ability to play together is evolving. So at the same time that Archer and Kestrel are going from solo operatives to learning how to trust each other, work together, be tactical together and achieve more challenging objectives, the players are also learning how to master these skills which maybe they’ve started to learn in single player, but now they’re extending those skills and combining them in different ways that they haven’t seen in single player because there’s a team mate.

So I think it works because you hear the relationship evolve, you hear the dialogue between them shift, from one mission to the next – even the systemic dialogue is different, where they’re less cold and impersonal to each other, then they move into a more sarcastic mode, then they tease each other a little bit, and by the end they kind of respect and like each other.

Seldom has joining the military seemed so unwise.

Seldom has joining the military seemed so unwise.

VGD: I was disappointed to see that Pandora Tomorrow’s Spies versus Mercenaries mode hadn’t made it into the new game.

Redding: You’re not the only one!

VGD: Did the decision to remove that have anything to do with the new focus on story, on the partnership of Archer and Kestrel?

Redding: The best way to look at it, even aside from story, is that the fantasy here is that you have these extremely elite, highly trained, incredibly effective and ruthless agents that are kind of let off the leash, whether you’re talking about Sam or Archer and Kestrel. Because the stakes are so high that they’re kind of willing to let them move in a much more aggressive and ultimately violent way.

The concern is if we wanted that same feeling in multiplayer, and then said ‘OK, it’s going to be adversarial, it’s going to be asymmetrical and you’re going to have Mercs who are basically equivalent to the dudes you’re murdering in large numbers in single player, and then you’ve got the spies… I don’t see that going any way other than badly.

And I don’t mean to say that there isn’t a possibility of exploring that, right now perhaps I lack the imagination to see it immediately, but I think beyond that we made a decision that this is something new, we haven’t tried it this way before, and rather than choosing the riskiest possible implementation of it, where we just say ‘great, Spies versus Mercs again, but you can Mark & Execute your opponent, you can fool them with Last Known Position’ – that would have been interesting but unbelievably difficult to pull off, compared to what we tried to do.

How many replays did it take them to achieve precisely this degree of ass-wiggle, do you think?

How many replays did it take them to achieve precisely this degree of ass-wiggle, do you think?

And I think it was a good move, a smart move on our part, to play to our strengths, especially on the first implementation of this, to try to come up with a multiplayer mode that really works well with those gameplay pillars, those gameplay mechanics of M&E, LKP and the rest, and then once we see how that works then there’s all sorts of interesting possibilities, then we can really assess and say ‘OK, now, assuming we wanted to go down that avenue what would it look like?’

But I think if we tried to go out the gates with it, I just think right now those same players that were mad it hadn’t been included would be cursing our names for trying to make it work and failing!

VGD: So perhaps we’ll see it in DLC form?

Redding: Well, DLC is a huge can of worms that I’m not going to try and launch into now. We’re going to introduce some interesting stuff with DLC, but I think that in the bigger picture we’re always going to be looking to find ways to expand on the ideas in co-op and multiplayer, because I really feel like that’s becoming our core group, our core audience. Yes, there will still be people who want to play a single player story mode, but I just think more and more it’s shifting towards people wanting to have the experience with their friends as well.

VGD: Patrick, thanks for your thoughts.

Splinter Cell: Conviction is out for Xbox 360 tomorrow in North America, on Thursday in Europe and on Friday in the UK. A PC version is on the way.

Posted in Interviews, Spotlight, and tagged with , , , , .

4 Responses to “Splinter Cell: Conviction Co-Op Interview”

  1. Brush says:

    Well, i must be the only one who never liked Spies Vs Mercs…at all. I guess the internetz wants it (by the looks of any forum), ho hum.

    I think i’ll pick the game up…but hope they do a little extra co op campaign as DLC, with maybe a couple of maps for the hunt mode.

  2. DR Jam says:

    I rather have something missing than present and sucking.

  3. Galil lover says:

    I hate spies vs mercs… love co-op! It splitscreen?

  4. Archer says:

    Love this game, Co-Op is beyond amazing. The style is so fresh feeling, it has this aura about it, it just truly rocks.


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