Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC
Rating out of five: *****
A long time has passed since Splinter Cell first stalked on to the Xbox, its perennial protagonist, Sam Fisher, dazzling in signature night-vision goggles.
Since then, the franchise has gone through multiple transformations: first assuming the stealthy tones of Metal Gear, and later adopting the speed of the Jason Bourne movies, it now takes its cues from Jack Bauer (Fisher even allied with a faux CTU team).
So begins Blacklist's unabashedly 24-inspired story, involving terrorists, the spilling of blood on American soil and every other cliché in the book.
Still, as long as gripping gun-fights and tense set-pieces kept us firmly on the edge of our seat, we didn't criticise 24 unduly - and for the very same reasoning, Blacklist also gets a pass.
The secret here is in the combination of Fisher's stock sneaking with a new ability to go dynamic - this time, he can shift from ghost to predator in one exhilarating heartbeat.
Add to that aggressive foes, masses of upgradable equipment, a cleverly implemented co-op aspect and multiple ways to negotiate each stage, and you're left with a hugely entertaining and full-blooded action game. - The Independent