The United States has a military presence in two-thirds of countries around the world. Some of them have had enough. A group of terrorists calling themselves The Engineers initiate a terror ultimatum called the Blacklist – a deadly countdown of escalating attacks on US interests at home and abroad.
Sam is back in his ops suit and goggles, and he's more lethal and agile than ever. Granted the freedom to do whatever it takes to stop the Blacklist, Sam flies from exotic locales to US cities as he races against the clock to find out who's behind this devastating threat.
Sam Fisher knows exactly what he was made to be: a multimillion-dollar weapon developed by the US government to do what few others can do. Long before Third Echelon tapped him to be the first Splinter Cell agent, Sam was operating behind enemy lines, in situations where traditional rules of engagement didn't apply. From Panama and the Persian Gulf to Bolivia, Columbia, Yugoslavia, and Kosovo, Fisher carried out missions which most American citizens would be horrified to learn about, should the US Government ever admit they occurred. A former Navy SEAL, Sam belonged to an elite brotherhood of warriors ready to sacrifice their lives in defense of America's freedoms. Combat, espionage, and constant training have defined his adult life. His tactical experience has become part of his instinct.
Now, however, he stands alone, having rejected what his service had become and the mandates of those giving him orders. Having sacrificed everything for his country – his marriage, his daughter, his reputation, and his best friend – he finished his last assignment and walked away, a human weapon gone rogue. And the funny thing is, he almost didn't become a soldier at all.
Equal parts brilliant and reckless (not on purpose – he just doesn't think), Charlie has been getting himself in and out of trouble as a hacker since he was twelve. Far from a solitary introvert, Charlie enjoys a healthy social life and has a natural self-deprecating charm that he uses to defuse tension or make light of those who take things (and themselves too seriously).
Owing to his youth and focus on tech, Charlie hasn't suffered many consequences in the real world so he's pretty cavalier about the trouble he gets in. It's hard to worry when you've been able to talk or tech your way out of any problem you've run into. It's all just a game and Charlie always wins… well almost always. And when he doesn't, well, Charlie will grow into a key member of the Fourth Echelon team but he's got a lot to learn, including how to be calm under fire and how to keep focus when all breaks loose (especially when it just might be his fault).
Anna Grímsdóttir (known as Grim to her friends in the NSA) is the technical operations manager at Third Echelon. Her role is to provide Sam Fisher with technical support in the field, as well as to analyze and interpret much of the electronic data. A skilled hacker, Grímsdóttir normally tries to remotely hack into an objective computer system before Fisher is inserted, or when not possible does it direct from Fisher's OPSAT connection to a computer terminal.
Victor Vic Anthony Christopher Coste is one of Sam Fisher's oldest friends. The two served together on SEAL Team Two in Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991. During their time in Iraq, Coste single-handedly rescued Sam from a hostage situation after he was captured by Iraqi forces during a disastrous mission. After leaving the Navy, Coste later became a private security consultant. He served as Sam's contact in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction®, giving him vital information and equipment during certain missions. Near the end of the game, Coste reunited Sam with his daughter Sarah. In Conviction, Coste also served as the game's narrator, retelling the story in a Black Arrow PMC interrogation room. The player also took control of Victor during a flashback to the mission where he saved Sam. Following Conviction, Vic and Sam are working together for Vic's PMC, Paladin 9, taking contracts they believe in, as opposed to blindly following orders. That is, until the first Blacklist attack, where Vic is horrifically injured by a grenade when trying to protect Sam.
Splinter Cell Blacklist builds on the stealth roots of the franchise while exploring new directions to embrace the realms of action and adventure. Players can define their personal play styles and be rewarded for those choices.
Ghost players want to remain undetected.
Assault players rely on instincts and firepower to deal with a situation.
Panther players strike lethally from the shadows in the most efficient and silent way.
Through the use of the Strategic Mission Interface (SMI), the lines between the Single-Player campaign and CO-OP are blurred as the narrative between Sam and Briggs is deepened. Earn in-game currency and unlock additional weapons or gadgets via specialized missions assigned by members of the Fourth Echelon.
Spies vs. Mercs is a unique multiplayer experience that innovates from the roots of the Splinter Cell franchise.
On one end, you have a team of agile, stealthy Spies looking to infiltrate a location and hack terminals to gather information, all while remaining undetected. On the other end, you have a team of heavily armed and powerful Mercs that must defend their terminals and stop the Spies from gathering the data by any means necessary.
Each team has different abilities and tools that they must leverage to outsmart their opponents, setting the tone for big rivalries and very fun competitive gameplay.