This is the new Splinter Cell, subtitled Blacklist. What's the sale here in the new trailer for the 2013 console and PC game? The ability to play as an American agent who can do whatever the hell he wants. "Completely off the books, no prosecution," the President promises.
Our playable hero, Sam Fisher, is down. He's using this "fifth freedom" to hunt the terrorists.
The trailer sure is begging for Fisher to bust out some waterboarding. It's slamming its fist on the America-unleashed-to-kill-Middle-Eastern-enemies button.
Is this the whole game? Or is there another shoe that needs to drop?
Here's Jade Raymond, head of the Ubisoft studio that is making Blacklist in an interview with me this past March:
"I think we need to push a bit harder," she said. "I think it's possible to have something that's entertainment and full of wow and explosions and has a bit more depth for those who care to pay more attention to that. I think we can deliver those things in a way that the people who don't care won't notice."
If Splinter Cell: Blacklist does indeed have a tone other than, Team America, F-Yeah!, Ubisoft's trailer-makers and marketers are doing a fine job hiding it. About as good a job as they are with the Revolutionary War-era Assassin's Creed III, which is also supposed to be something other than some USA flag-waving fist-pumping slice of Apple Pie, despite everything that Ubi marketing has decided to show to its prospective American customers.