Splinter Cell remake is officially in the works

Splinter Cell
(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell series went MIA during the PS4/Xbox One era, but the company is finally resurrecting it after an eight-year-long hiatus. 

Previous reports suggested the Splinter Cell franchise would return, and today (Dec. 15), we finally have official confirmation from Ubisoft itself. This is exciting news for fans of the franchise and for the floundering stealth game genre as a whole.

As detailed in a post on Ubisoft’s website, Ubisoft Toronto is leading the charge on a Splinter Cell remake. According to the post, the game “will be rebuilt from the ground up” and use the company’s own Snowdrop engine to deliver “new-generation visuals and gameplay.”

Based on Producer Matt West’s comments, it appears this title will be a full-on remake of the original game released in 2002. “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,” West said. 

Since the Splinter Cell remake is being built from the ground up, it will not only have updated visuals but also updated design elements befitting a modern title.

“Stealth Action Redefined” was the original game’s catchphrase and served as a “North Star” for the team working on the remake. This phrase is in line with the team’s desire to redefine what a stealth game should feel like for modern gamers. 

That said, the core gameplay will remain unchanged from the Splinter Cell you know and love. Carefully observing one’s surroundings, making plans, using gadgets and creatively outsmarting enemies remains essential.

With regard to the smaller maps found in the original Splinter Cell (compared to the larger maps of later entries), West said: “Every square inch is part of a choice, or directly offers a choice, or has a direct ramification. That density of gameplay is at the forefront in Splinter Cell, and that’s going to be really, really important for us.” It sounds as if the team is going for quality, not quantity — though there will be countless ways for players to complete missions.

This Splinter Cell remake sounds reminiscent of Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 reboots. Therefore, we should expect similar storylines and mission scenarios from the original title, only with modern AAA graphics and more user-friendly UI and controls. 

On that note, it will be interesting to see if this remake, like the original Splinter Cell, will have you fail missions the instant you’re detected. I wouldn’t mind a more Metal Gear Solid approach where you’re given alternate means to complete missions should enemies spot you.

As a Splinter Cell fan, I’m very excited about this remake. Also, given how almost all of Ubisoft’s core franchises are giant open-world behemoths, it will be refreshing to get a focused experience that won’t take more than 100 hours to finish. 

We have no idea when the Splinter Cell remake will arrive, so it may be a while until we're finally playing. But it's good knowing the Hitman franchise will no longer be the only AAA stealth series on the market.

Stay tuned for more news on the Splinter Cell remake as it develops.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on X/Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.