Most fans are familiar with Splinter Cell’s classic 2-on-2 Spies vs. Mercs, but Splinter Cell Blacklist has added (along with Classic, of course) an upgraded Spies vs. Mercs mode, appropriately dubbed Blacklist. This mode is all about 4-on-4 combat, complete with cutting edge gadgets and weapons. Yes, in Spies vs. Mercs Blacklist, Spies can go lethal. We asked a few of the folks over at Ubisoft Montreal to dish on some of their favorite Spies vs. Mercs tips and tricks, plus we outlined the bios of each preset class and talked about our preferences as well so you can have a leg up on day one.
- - Gadgets: Intel Suit, Thermal goggles, EMP Grenade
- Handgun: F40
- Secondary Weapon: UMP45 (submachine gun)
- Details: Use Intel Suit skill to reveal and track enemies on the field
- - Gadgets: Digital Ghillie Suit, Sonar goggles, Smoke Grenade
- Handgun: 5.7 USS
- Secondary Weapon: Stun Crossbow
- Details: Activate Digital Ghillie Suit to go temporarily invisible
- - Gadgets: Overcharge Suit, EMF goggles, Flashbang Grenade, Sticky Camera
- Handgun: SC-IS Pistol
- Secondary Weapon: Vector .45 ACP (submachine gun)
- Details: Use Overcharge Suit to destroy enemy equipment and gadgets
- - Gadgets: UAV Suit, ATS goggles, VX Gas Grenade, Intel Device
- Handgun: Makarov PM-B
- Secondary Weapon: RMB-93 (shotgun)
- Details: Use UAV Suit to deploy drones and tag enemies
- - Gadgets: Adrenaline Suit, Motion Tracker goggles, Frag Grenade
- Handgun: D50
- Secondary Weapon: AK-47 (assault rifle)
- Details: Activate Adrenaline Suit to boost combat stats (damage/resistance)
- - Gadgets: Disruptor Suit, RFD goggles, Proximity Mines
- Handgun: PX4 Storm .45
- Secondary Weapon: ACE (assault rifle)
- Details: Use Disruptor Suit to destroy enemy electronics and expose cloaked Predator Spies
Tips and Tricks
- - Communicate and cooperate – Creative Director Maxime Béland said it best: “The team that wins is the team that’s communicating. Things are fast. Because it’s not 10 vs. 10, every person counts. If you have a guy who isn’t where he should be it’ll hurt the whole team.” Divided you fall, so coordinate your efforts.
- Mix up your presets – A team made entirely out of Predator Spies or Peacemaker Mercs will look cool, but might not be very effective.
- Learn from the opposing team – Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Observe their tactics and use them against them.
- Pick the right class for you – If you find yourself relying on gadgets quite a lot, choose a tech class like the Saboteur Spy or the Hunter Merc. They are both able to carry an extra gadget in their grenade slot.
- - Be aware of your surroundings – Spies, pay attention as you’re making your way through a map. If you see a green glow stick on the ground, that means there’s a vent somewhere above it. “Vents can help a Spy bypass a potentially dangerous area. It’s a bad idea for Spies to be running through the same doorways as the Mercs,” says Spies vs. Mercs Level Designer Geoff Ellenor.
- Know thy enemy’s tech – Predators, avoid the Disruptor Mercs as often as possible. Their tech disables the Predator Spy’s cloak. Also, avoid ranged combat. The Predator Spies are equipped with sound reducing boots, which makes it easier for them to sneak up close, but they are very weak in ranged combat.
- Use the buddy system – Intel Scouts, partner up with a Predator Spy. You can tag enemies in the area and send the Predator out to eliminate the threat. I found it particularly helpful to ensure the Intel Scout was my hacker and I used the other classes as support. The Intel Scout can avoid enemies in the level by tracking them and other classes can go on the offensive with an ace up their sleeves.
- - Take advantage of your traps – Setting traps will give you a good idea of where a Spy is, even if they disarm it. Ellenor tells us, “If a Spy finds my trap and disables it, I’m going to get a sound effect that tells me they’re back over there and I can run back to that area.”
- Watch each others’ backs – This should be an obvious one but it’s really easy to fall prey to the run-and-gun, lone wolf style when playing from the Mercs’ first-person perspective. With a friendly at your back it’s a lot harder for Spies to sneak up on you, especially if you or that friendly is a Disruptor Merc.
- Use your proximity mines – Disruptor Mercs’ proximity mines can give you a great idea of where Spies are. Place a proximity mine near every terminal and the first Spy who attempts to hack it will be in for a nasty surprise. Not only does it take out a Spy, it lets your team know what terminal they’re at.
“When I play the Splinter Cell Blacklist solo campaign, I go full Panther. I want to remain undetected and leave no man alive. So in Spies vs. Mercs I want to be the sneakiest Spy. That’s why my preferred class is the Predator. You have to pay a little to unlock this class (only $50,000) but it’s totally worth it if you want to kill everyone in your way and never be seen.
“Because I love the stealth of the Predator Spy – and I know others do too – I love to play as the Disruptor Merc when it’s time to make the swap. Once I have my suit’s skill activated, any Predator trying to sneak up on me is automatically made visible. This class also costs some dough to acquire (again, $50,000). As a plus, I am a huge fan of the Disruptor’s proximity mines.”
“I like the support classes, so I tend to play as the Intel Scout. Once a terminal has been hacked I can scan an area and tag incoming enemies so the hacker can avoid them and the defenders can sneak up behind them and take them out. As a bonus, this class is totally free. You can hop right in and start playing no matter how much money you’ve got banked.
“As a Merc I like having the option an extra gadget provides, and the Hunter – with its deployable drones – is perfect for me. I can send out my drone and use it to tag Spies hiding in areas Mercs can’t reach. This way, when they slink down to a more accessible area, my teammates or I can easily take them out. Like the Intel Scout, this class is free. Why pay for another class when the free one is perfect for my playstyle?”
For more on Spies vs. Mercs or to see some reviews of Splinter Cell Blacklist, sneak your way over to these posts:
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Blacklist™
ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language