Ubisoft has finally confirmed a Splinter Cell remake is on the way, bringing the beloved stealth series back after a long absence.
Thes announcement that the game is in development with Far Cry 6 studio, Ubisoft Toronto, came after months of hopeful rumors and speculation. Fans have been waiting for a new mainline entry in the series since Splinter Cell: Blacklist was released back in 2013. While, as a remake, this Splinter Cell game isn’t strictly “new”, it's certainly welcome.
We haven’t learned all that much about the Splinter Cell remake since its reveal back at the end of 2021 but Ubisoft has promised "new-generation visuals and gameplay, and the dynamic lighting and shadows the series is known for".
We were hoping to find out more about the new Splinter Cell during Gamescom Opening Night Live, but nothing was announced and although Ubisoft was present at Gamescom 2022, Sam Fisher wasn’t. The Ubisoft Forward in September (opens in new tab) didn't offer any news, either, so we're not expecting to hear anything else before the year's up.
Want to know more? Read on for everything we know about the Splinter Cell remake so far.
Splinter Cell remake: cut to the chase
- What is it? A remake of 2002's Splinter Cell
- When can I play it? TBC (but likely not for a while)
- What can I play it on? TBC, but expect PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC
Splinter Cell remake: release date and platforms
Let's get the bad news out of the way first: we probably won't get our hands on the Splinter Cell remake for a few years. Ubisoft confirmed in 2021 that the game is "in the very earliest stages of development". That means we likely won't see the remake release until at least 2024.
Ubisoft also hasn't confirmed which platforms the Splinter Cell remake will be available on. However, given Ubisoft has said to expect "new-generation visuals and gameplay", we imagine this remake will release (at least) on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Splinter Cell remake: trailers
We haven't seen a trailer for the Splinter Cell remake just yet, but Ubisoft has released an announcement video on the project. That looks back at the original Splinter Cell and what makes the franchise so iconic. Check it out below:
Splinter Cell remake: news and rumors
Below, we've rounded up all the latest news and rumors surrounding the Splinter Cell remake:
Splinter Cell's story is being updated
A job listing for Scriptwriter [Splinter Cell] at Ubisoft Toronto has emerged online, giving us a hint at what we can expect. As spotted by Tech4Gamers (opens in new tab), this confirms that Ubisoft plans to update Splinter Cell’s story for modern-day audiences.
"We want to keep the spirit and themes of the original game while exploring our characters and the world to make them more authentic and believable," the listing confirms. So, while producer Matt West has previously confirmed Ubisoft wants to ensure the "spirit of the early games remains intact," expect a few updates.
Splinter Cell VR canceled
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot has announced in a July 2022 earnings call that Splinter Cell VR is one of a slate of games that have been canceled to reduce costs and focus on high-priority titles.
This is unfortunate for those who were looking forward to returning to the Splinter Cell universe through VR and we're hoping it doesn't bode ill for the future of the wider Splinter Cell franchise. We can only take comfort that the mainline Splinter Cell remake appears to still be in development. At least, there’s been no announcement of its cancelation just yet.
Being built on Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine
Ubisoft has confirmed the Splinter Cell remake is being developed on its Snowdrop engine, which is also being used for its upcoming Star Wars game and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora.
Keeping the "spirit of the early games"
If you've any concerns about whether this remake will capture what made the first Splinter Cell great, then hopefully this eases your mind. In the blog post (opens in new tab) announcing the remake, producer Matt West said: "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."
Built from the ground up - but not open-world
In the announcement blog post, producer Matt West also revealed that the Splinter Cell remake is being built from the ground up, with visual and design updates. But West also confirmed, contrary to rumor, the remake will not feature an open world.
"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," West wrote.
Splinter Cell remake: what we want to see
Modern Day Relevance
Although it’s confirmed to be a remake, not a sequel, we would love to see Sam Fisher explore the issues of the 2020s. While the zeitgeist of 2003 is fascinating to look back on, the political sphere has changed considerably – as has the digital world. These two realms play a significant role in the Splinter Cell stories.
We’re not asking for on-the-nose references to recent events or companies; just an acknowledgment of where we are now, with social media and social unrest. Remember when the Bond franchise was revitalized for a post-Cold War setting with Goldeneye? That sort of thing.
A Return to Stealth
After action-focused Conviction in 2010, it was nice to see a return to traditional stealth in 2013’s Blacklist. After Hitman 3, our stealth-fingers are itching for more slow-burn gameplay that tests our patience. A remake of the original Splinter Cell will, hopefully, satisfy that itch.
An almost open world?
We know that Ubisoft Toronto is going to keep the “spirit” of the original game and that it won’t be an open world but the latter is a shame, especially when we consider how brilliant Metal Gear Solid 5 was at incorporating modern-world stealth with an open world.
While open world may now be off the table, we hope the Splinter Cell remake isn’t just a polishing of the original’s level design. Not that the game wasn’t brilliant for its time - and it’s still fun to play - but we would love to see these levels expanded to allow for further exploration… So not officially an open world, but…
Not that Eric Johnson didn’t do a great job in 2013 but, if we’re getting an OG Splinter Cell remake, then we need OG Sam Fisher back. Losing David Hayter as Solid Snake in Metal Gear Solid was bad enough. Things are looking hopeful, however, as Ironside reprised the role of Fisher in the Ghost Recon series back in 2020.
An acknowledgment of the series
The news of a remake will be a blow to those who’ve been craving a new entry in the story for eight years. Sam Fisher’s character has developed since the first game, and we want to know what happens after Blacklist. If there is a hint in the remake – of any kind – that there might be a return to the main storyline, we’ll appreciate it.