For those who found the Splinter Cell: Blacklist trailer shown at E3 2012 to be, at best, unpleasant (Tom Bissell wrote an excellent piece on its blasé depictions of torture), this latest video is unlikely to offer much appeal. It delves into Sam Fisher’s presidentially-granted ‘fifth freedom’ which gives him the power to, in his own voiced-over words, “uphold our laws … by breaking them”.
As a concept, I’d rank that somewhere between “freedom is slavery” and “war is peace”. Essentially, it allows the game to hoodwink you into thinking that Sam might somehow still be the good guy, despite the fact that he seems to stab everyone he meets in the neck. It’s ok though! The president asked him to!
Maybe Ubisoft will pull back the curtain at the last moment to reveal that Splinter Cell: Blacklist is all some sort of clever satire on the abuse of power and moral hypocrisy. We’ll find out, when it’s released in 2013.