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The original Splinter Cell is getting a full remake, Ubisoft confirms

Ubisoft has confirmed work has commenced on a remake of one of the most iconic games in the Tom Clancy series, the original Splinter Cell, which turns 20-years-old next year.

The remake is being handled by Ubisoft Toronto, which was behind the franchise’s last instalment, 2013’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. It was also the studio that developed Far Cry 6 and Watch Dogs: Legion.

The game will be rebuilt from the ground up using the homegrown Snowdrop game engine, which the developer says is already being used for Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and the forthcoming story-driven Star Wars game Ubisoft is working on with Lucasfilm.

Ubisoft says Snowdrop will help deliver “new-generation visuals and gameplay, and the dynamic lighting and shadows the series is known for.” The game itself will “draw from the rich canvas of the brand,” the company says in a blog post on December 15.

The first Splinter Cell stealth shooter game was released in 2002 and was popular on PS2 and Xbox, spawning a number of sequels and spin offs along the way, prior to the current eight-year hiatus. This one will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Ubisoft says this is a full remake, rather than some of the remasters we’ve seen in recent years.

Ubisoft Toronto’s Matt West says: “Although we’re still in the very earliest stages of development, what we’re trying to do is make sure the spirit of the early games remains intact, in all of the ways that gave early Splinter Cell its identity. So, as we’re building it from the ground up, we’re going to update it visually, as well as some of the design elements to match player comfort and expectations, and we are going to keep it linear like the original games, not make it open world.”

His college Peter Handrinos adds: “From a tech perspective, if I had to boil it down to a couple of words in terms of the difference, what we’re doing is exploration and innovation here. We’ve got a new engine and a new console lifecycle to take advantage of, so the tech is one area that we don’t want stuck in the past.”

There’s no hint of a potential release window from Ubisoft, but this is definitely one to keep an eye on.

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