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.

Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

Classes

SPIES

Intel Scout

    - 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

Predator

    - 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

Saboteur

    - 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

 
Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

MERCS

Hunter

    - 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

Peacemaker

    - 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)

Disruptor

    - 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

 
Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

Tips and Tricks

GENERAL TIPS

    - 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.

Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

SPY TIPS

    - 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.

Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

MERC TIPS

    - 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.

Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

Editor’s Choice

ANNE LEWIS

“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.”

GARY STEINMAN

“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?”

Spies vs. Mercs Tips and Tricks

For more on Spies vs. Mercs or to see some reviews of Splinter Cell Blacklist, sneak your way over to these posts:

Splinter Cell Blacklist – Spies vs. Mercs in Action

Splinter Cell Blacklist – Spies vs. Mercs Hands-On

Splinter Cell Blacklist Review Roundup

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell® Blacklist™

Release date — August 20, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Toronto, Ubisoft Shanghai (Wii U)
The United States has a military presence in two-thirds of the countries around the world. A group of terrorists calling themselves The Engineers have had enough and initiate a terror ultimatum called the Blacklist – a deadly countdown of escalating attacks on U.S. interests. Special operative Sam Fisher is now the leader of the newly formed 4th Echelon: a clandestine unit that answers solely to the President of the United States. Together, Sam and his team must hunt down The Engineers by any means necessary, and stop the Blacklist countdown before it reaches zero.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language
the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

12 comments
Event horiz0n
Event horiz0n

SvM: it is a beter tactic to play whit the hand gun when on spy side? (more acurate?) ... and is there a damage boost for head shot????? ...or any ""special"" info that people might not know about game mecanics, i would b glad to hear it ! ... t h a n k s ': )

Brad
Brad

The campaign is fun but is lacking in infiltration and exfiltration. Since the very first when I played on my buddies game-cube I have been missing these critical parts of missions. As for people who think the games autosaves are not forgiving enough, you are losers! If anything the game is too easy. I can smoke through any mission in a fraction of the time needed to get the speed run bonus. For example, on LNG you have 10 minutes to disable both pumps and manually shut off the out-flow, I can do it in any play-style in under four minutes, on any difficulty. As for online play, it is very run and gun. To run and gun if you ask me. It is like playing call of duty and that game sucks. The hand to hand combat of mercs is really strong allowing players to camp near doorways and their ability to see into spies only approaches lets them mow down people who have no chance of escape. As for the spies, their gadgets are almost worthless. I have tossed cameras and waited for a mo'fo to walk by and he isn't blasted. Between the lag between pushing boom and them actually exploding the merc can almost always walk away not even knowing they were there. Next, this hitting active cammo and swerving back and forth as you run at me is annoying. Even if they are in a narrow corridor almost nothing works from hip shooting and following the shimmer to aiming at them with controlled bursts. Where is the stealth? Sam Fisher would be so pissed.

SCveteran
SCveteran

I agree with Gabriel. Splinter cell Spies vs mercs used to be all about strategies but now as he said, people are just out there to get kills and don't actually care about winning. I don't even see people shooting out lights anymore? Ubisoft need to add neck snapping, not just h2h lethal knife kills. Not the same splinter cell I'm afraid. Conviction gameplay was just like it

Gabriel lake
Gabriel lake

Honestly, I think that SC: Blacklist is a great game. However, SvM isn't how it used to be. In the past splinter cells Irving Lambert said to Sam that your gun is your last option. This doesn't seem to be the case in SvM. When you play SvM, all you see is people mashing the x/ square button whenever they see an enemy. It's a shame that ubisoft didn't listen to their fans. Some players just spoil the SvM gameplay by not using proper stategies that your meant to do so you actually stand a chance to win the game. As I said at the start Splinter cell blacklist is a great game, just a shame that ubisoft don't listen to their fans and some players ruin the fun.

DatGuy
DatGuy

This is the first time I've played Splinter Cell online n I've found it slightly addictive however, the annoying thing is there's no defence to a melee which is bs. The thing about the game has to be co op and they should've made upgrades harder to get to make the game more difficult and interesting. I was optomistic buying it n was thinking of saints but I'm glad I chose this

Buy Splinter Cell Blacklist: It's awesome
Buy Splinter Cell Blacklist: It's awesome

I'm loving the game, campaing and online, the only thing I have to complain is the fact that spies only have the option of lethal H2H attacks in online mode. But I'm liking the multiplayer mode so far. But, please, tell me why there are always whiny guys. Ubisoft made nearly the perfect splinter cell so far. Take this from a guy who played all of the games from the serie, this is the best game ever. Of course chaos theory and pandora tomorrow were fun but like a panther player couldn't get a high score it was only ghost players who had high scores. Blacklist is all about: Your Rules, Your way.

Peter
Peter

I like the campaign but that is about it. Nothing came close to pandora tomorrow, best game ive ever played. So many changes have happened and not for the best. The third person view seems to close unlike on pandora tomorrow where it was set back a bit and allowed for a more tactical view and encouraged stealth.

Dissapointed
Dissapointed

Please listen to the fans guys - SvM classic is nothing like CT, I agree with the post above. Spies killing? Spies are about having to use stealth to win over killing, that's what mercs are for. There's no danger in SvM classic and Blacklist is just not my thing.

Please bring back SvM Chaos Theory Classic. Those levels were great.

madscientest
madscientest

This game is a BIG let down again... classic mode is not very classic, and the new blacklist game play might as well be called halo gun n run. lethal spys? isnt that merc on merc like your last flop game ubisoft? No neck snapping, only lethal knife kills, and only one vision at a time, mercs dont have a flashlight in blacklist mode(ya, seriously)... FLOP. bring back CHAOS THEORY IN HIGH DEF GRAPHICS PERIOD. no twist, no turns, just good old chaos theory.

by the way team death match sucks to. merc vs merc? WTF ubisoft? sounds like you were not even listening to what the fans really wanted. im an OG pandora player and no game today can match that gameplay period. not even this new one with a so called classic mode.

Ron Tooley
Ron Tooley

Yes I Hope The Game Would Be Good To Play But It Suck's About 10 Mins In The Game It Died Locked Up Had To Turn The Xbox Off And I Said No More For Me.

Robby
Robby

I do like the SvM Gametypes And I played alot of the Mutliplayer Demo that came out a couple years ago...But this one does seem very "Raccoon City" with the Spies, its just a matter of "How close can I get to melee and win.." I'm not saying it cannot be countered or beaten It's just annoying to get a grasp on when thats all you have to do.