Giant Bomb editorial institutions Ryan Davis and Vinny Caravella had made a bet — for pride and maybe a nominal amount of money — about whether Sam Fisher would have his trademark three-lensed night vision goggles in next year's Splinter Cell Conviction. There was room for doubt, as Fisher appears to have gone rogue in his new game, using none of his standard gadgets in the Conviction demos presented since E3.
Ryan had bet that Fisher wouldn't have the goggles in the game, a sign of just how fully re-invented the franchise would be.
Vinny said there would be goggles.
On Friday night, just a couple of hours before I had the opportunity to join the men on a special edition of their Giant Bombcast podcast here in Seattle, one of the game's developers speaking at a Penny Arcade Expo live stage demo revealed the answer. That sealed it. I had to attend. I had to go on the show and settle the bet.
I had been in that stage demo audience. A developer played through the same chunk of the game that I'd sampled and covered at E3, receiving raucous applause and cheers throughout as Fisher shot guys from shadows and threw some of them out of windows. The Ubisoft developer followed his demo by showing a brief clip that he said would settle a question he knew people were asking. The short in-engine snippet that may have lasted 10 seconds merely panned up Fisher's body to reveal the famous goggles on his head.
I Tweeted this fact. Then I notified Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker that I would be en route.
A couple of hours later, I was one of nine people in a Wu-Tang-sized special Giant Bombcast. I settled that bet on the air. Well, I thought I did. Ryan is holding out. After all, he said, the goggles could still be cut from the game. Or the game could never come out.
Hear it all for yourself, plus plenty of other chatter among me and what amounted to a Gamespot reunion. Bonus content includes lots of MAG and Eyepet talk as well as discussions of a Val Kilmer video game and how I would improve Steven Seagal's reality TV show.
Giant Bombcast: PAX Edition
(The image in this post is from an earlier Splinter Cell game.)