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Season 16, Episode 40

A show so nice we’re playing it twice.

Actually, we do this every year around this time. Mainly because what we’re talking about in this episode will still apply come next weekend.

It’s Black Friday week, so we’re all about the deals. So long as they are console related. The PC folks among us take a backseat on the deals, sadly. I mean, we get some PC deals from a few places but digital retailers don’t advertise ahead of time as to what kind of discounts we’ll see. Hopefully a few of these on the consoles line up on PC, but it rarely happens.

If you’re looking for the Black Friday spreadsheet of deals, you can find it on our Facebook page or in our Discord. We’ll likely throw out a tweet about it soon, as well. I always talk about how fast games get a discount after being released and I think Sonic Frontiers takes home the gold this year for only being out about a week and already getting a fifty percent slash, but there are plenty of other discounts out there.

However you go about getting your video game deals, we hope you have a great holiday and get the games you want at the price you want! We’ll be back in two weeks!

The original Splinter Cell game is free right now on Ubisoft’s store in celebration for like 20 years since it first released. We’re almost at HALF that since the last Splinter Cell released. In fact, it’s been 3,371 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive) was released.

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Season 16, Episode 39

It’s either A or B. Two choices. Sure, there will be more choices, of course, but it’s really down to just two.

Elden Ring or God Of War Ragnarok.

Those are your Game Of The Year contenders, and I haven’t played either of them. Yet. Ragnarok is only a matter of time for me. Elden Ring…is likely something I’ll never play. It’s just not my cup of tea when it comes to gaming. That isn’t to say it’s bad. I just don’t drift towards those types of games, but I easily tip my hat to what it has been able to pull off. And, in fact, I think it’ll win more Games Of The Year than it loses. But I could be wrong, as Josh pointed out in this episode, God Of War has the advantage of being fresh of mind for folks.

Again, I haven’t played either of them, but Elden Ring pulled off a lot. The sales are phenomenal and I know that isn’t a factor, but it likely has some effect just given the sheer number of people who’ve played the game. So, yes, Ragnarok has the fresh of mind advantage, Elden Ring has the longevity factor. The game has been out longer and had enough time for a massive amount of people to have played it. There’s also the benefit of being multi-platform. Ragnarok is stuck on the PS4/PS5. For now.

My case for Elden Ring is not only the sales numbers but the reviews were nothing but glowing and this game opened a lot of doors for a lot of people. Strictly speaking, games who never ventured into such a genre did so with Elden Ring. Bottle. Lightening. Captured. Was it George RR Martin who pulled them in? Maybe. Was it the promotion of the game? Maybe. Was it the developer? Sure, but that audience was already built in from their previous games. Like I said, it all came together in such a way that I don’t think anyone expected what actually happened. Successful, sure, but THIS kind of success – it surprised a lot of people.

That’s not to take away from God Of War Ragnarok. I think both titles are worthy of the recognition, but, oddly enough, I give the edge to Elden Ring. A game I’ll never play.

But watch Forza Horizon 5 take home the trophy.

Did you know there’s almost been a decade of Games Of The Years given out since Splinter Cell Blacklist released? Ubisoft, it’s been 3,364 days since a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive) was released.

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Season 16, Episode 38

I’m not sure we’ve ever had a peripheral cost more than the console it was made for. Now, sure, I can imagine going back to the NES days with the Power Glove/Pad/Gun/Etc, those would cost more given the console had already been out for a while. But the PSVR2 coming out next year will cost $50 more than the console you have to have to use it with. I mean, you’ve spent over a thousand dollars and still haven’t bought any games to play with the system or the VR.

We haven’t really seen any sort of reviews yet for the device so I’m sure somewhere in all of it you can find a reason for $550. I was going to just recommend the Quest 2 and call it a day, but I can imagine for that amount of money you’ll be getting something significantly better. On paper, it’s already there. And the few previews we do have say it’s pretty amazing. But, just like the console it was built for, the library will keep it alive. Or kill it.

I poked around with the first VR headset Sony did and just a year or so ago it went back to the store for credit. For me, too much was involved, especially compared to something like the Quest, where I can just put it on and play. The VR attached to the console meant I needed a camera and a ton of connections. It was far less than what I needed for the HTC Vive or original Oculus, but it was still an effort to get it all connected and then get it all out of the way when I was done playing.

The Quest 2 has spoiled me, in that regard. And maybe the PSVR2 would do that as well with just the quality, but it’ll need more games than what’s on offer to keep me invested.

And also a price cut too.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it’s been 3,357 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 37

I love a good horror game. I just won’t play a good horror game. Or a bad one. It’s a genre I don’t really ever dip into but they’ve mostly been some of the more fascinating play throughs I’ve watched or experienced. And sometimes, when we’re ever so lucky, we get a pretty good story out of it, or, at the very least, a massive franchise with some winners and losers.

It’s Halloween and the topic of scary games has come up yet again. Our likes and dislikes, the good and the bad, and then the ones that dip a toe or two into the genre but aren’t really considered scary. The Last Of Us isn’t a horror game but it (or the enemies and a few instances in the game) always end up on a list of “scary moments”.

The Resident Evil franchise is probably the go-to king of the genre, but I have to hand it to Supermassive Games and their Dark Pictures Anthology. It’s one of the most directly consistent studios putting out quality titles in the genre and they never seem to stop. Also, the frequency of the output on top of the quality itself just boggles my mind. If I had to pick horror games to play, it would be theirs. The cinematic aspect to it puts that whole “it’s like playing a movie” thing into better perspective. Because that’s exactly what it feels like.

Games like Amnesia, and Five Nights at Freddy’s – even games like some of the Resident Evil remakes – are, again, fun to watch but I’m not so good at playing them. Anything that gives a sense of never knowing what’s coming behind you or from any side really and has extremely tense moments, I just can’t enjoy. It messes with my mind to the point where I don’t enjoy playing the game anymore. I get frantic and discombobulated.

Hell, I’m also sure it hikes up my blood pressure, which is a big no-no for me at this point.

Speaking of scary, the real horror story, Ubisoft, is that we’ve been waiting 3,350 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 36

It’s getting closer and closer to that time of year when we’ll start to hear about all the Black Friday discounts, where games are concerned anyway. And by the way, just because it’s a Black Friday deal doesn’t mean it’ll happen on that day or that you even have to go out in the mess to take advantage. You can pretty much stay home and do the shopping online, if you like. And, better yet, a lot of these deals will go live the week of Black Friday or sooner.

The reason I’m bringing this up is because we always do, but usually a little too late. My general rule is to stop buying games around August. But you can put that into effect anytime you want even before then (There is also the option of not giving a damn and just buying what you want when you want. Not a thing wrong with that at all). Any later than that and you risk running into buying a game at full price and then seeing it heavily discounted within a few months.

Our best example of this is from last year with Guardians Of The Galaxy. This game was released October 26th last year at a full price of $60. The big steelbook collectors edition was $80, I think. Anyway, during the week of Black Friday it was down to $25. All editions. One of the biggest drops in the shortest amount of time and one of the best deals I got last year. Great game too.

Now, we don’t have any deals yet that have shown up but they will be over the next few weeks. We’ll run them down as much as possible when we get them so you can better stay informed of what’ll be on sale, for how much, and when.

Maybe by next Black Friday we’ll see a discount on a brand new Splinter Cell game (unlikely). Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,343 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 35

Lowered Expectations…

Things seem lite. I feel like we should be talking about new games released or just around the corner to do so, but nothing stands out. There’s God Of War in November and your usual Call Of Duty.

Let me take a moment to talk about Call Of Duty. That franchise doesn’t even make a blip on my radar anymore. It was the quietest of blips before since I’d stopped playing the games, but even more so now I just…forget about it. OR, rather than forget, it’s just a part of life now. Routine. Every year we get a new CoD. Every year around the same exact time we get a new one. And there’s been so many now it just rolls into itself over and over again and it feels like the passing of time. You don’t notice it anymore. It just happens. But that’s just me, probably. I doubt it feels that way for fans of the franchise.

Anyway, there’s other games on the horizon but not much being said. Scorn is out now but the reviews are all over the place and it’s a pretty short experience. Gotham Knights releases soon and…I don’t know where I am with that game. It doesn’t look fun and for all the stuff I have read that says not to compare it to the Arkham series – that’ll be tough for me, I think. Maybe. Sonic Frontiers is on my radar but, like, at a discount whenever that may happen. There’s probably a Nintendo Switch title or two getting some big releases that have fallen off my radar or don’t seem to be as big as they once were when announced.

It just feels lite to me. Maybe not to you, however. I guess it all depends on what you like and what you’re looking forward to. I hope your horizon looks a bit brighter than mine at the moment – game wise anyway.

Sure would be a lot brighter if we have a brand new Splinter Cell. Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,336 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 34

They almost never pick the one YOU want.

Like a lot of things we consume for entertainment, I suspect the ideas of remakes are subjective. The negative points being it’s either too soon for a remake or it was never worthy of one to begin with. The positives being returning to an old game with a fresh coat of paint on it or other kinds of tweaks and fixes or giving newer fans a chance to play something they were never able to when it originally released.

We can probably all agree that remakes are a cash grab – be that good or bad. Depending on the depth of the remake/remaster – do they start from the ground up in rebuilding the game or are they just adding in elements to upgrade the look, are they tweaking the controls or adding in gameplay mechanics – a little to a lot of work can go into one. Calling some of the more robust remakes/remasters a cash grab would seem a bit disingenuous.

But again, it’s all subjective. Especially when it’s a title you don’t really care about. I don’t think anyone’s ever done one for a sports title. We never got ”Madden ‘95 Remastered” (at least I don’t think we ever did). Call Of Duty has been doing this but that felt more like a lack of ideas rather than a cash grab. Probably a little bit of both, really. The original Myst has gone through a number of these sorts of things. I can’t tell you how many copies of the original game I have that have some sort of subtitle or pre-title, each one claiming to be better than the one before it. And these aren’t sequels, mind you, but legit releases claiming to be remasters, remakes, real, 3D, anniversary, and other some odd editions.

Still, it falls to a matter of opinion. There’s nothing wrong with these things. As a consumer you either buy it or you don’t. Which kind of breaks down every sort of subjective discussion, doesn’t it? Is it worth your time, your money, and do you even want it in the first place?

I mean, I’d like a brand new Splinter Cell, Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,329 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 33

Happy Spooky Season. Let’s visit a tech graveyard.

We could say we called this whole Stadia thing going south way back when it was first announced, but EVERYONE called it, really.

Google leaves a trail of death behind it. Like some weird nature thing where the company gives birth to a product and then just moves on to something else leaving it to live or die on its own. I’m sure that’s not actually the case but in both software and hardware, they can’t seem to keep things going. And it doesn’t have to be doing poorly. Plenty of things google offered would just get turned off or shut down for no real reason at all.

I tried Stadia in a beta and even some after release. It was interesting and worked well enough in the beta that I was excited for the idea but ultimately, video game streaming isn’t there yet. I loved the idea of opening a browser and playing a triple A title of some sort. And it was cool to see it load in my browser just as it would on a PC or console, but you still knew you were playing a streaming game and not something directly from your system. It wasn’t there yet. Not as ambitious as Google would like, I suppose. I think, eventually, video game streaming will get there, but that’s a long way off and even then you’ll need people supporting it once we do get there.

I was just as skeptical about the Steam Deck and I already kind of regret not getting one when I had the chance. It has nothing to do with streaming, but more so Steam’s track record for physical devices. I think they got this one right, however.

And me saying that probably means they’ll shut it down within a year. Actually, it’ll probably take me buying one before they decide to pull the plug on it – if my track record of new tech holds like these companies do.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,322 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 32

Pretty soon, the card number will match the price…

There was a lot of stuff leaked last week and still relatively very little was revealed. I mean, Diablo 4 was going to probably look like a better Diablo 3 with some QOL changes here and there, but nothing surprising.

The GTA6 leak was massive as far as just how much got leaked but none of it was all that significant. We already had official confirmation that the game was in development and these leaks showed very little, at least to most of us. I’m sure other game devs could look at those videos and read way more into them than I could, but yeah…it exists. We’ve got the faintest of details on it so far and I feel like for as much as companies protect these things from getting out – this really didn’t change anything. I’m still of the opinion that we shouldn’t see stuff until it’s ready to be seen, and, really, this kind of leak sort of makes my point. I prefer my leaks to be shaky low quality cell phone camera stuff – of a trailer or gameplay with a near finished product. Not whatever this stuff was.

Then there’s the whole 40 series from NVIDIA. If you were still scratching your head over the EVGA dust up from last week, well…now you know. Probably. There was more to it than that, I’m sure, but having the base price of your lowest card be near a grand and putting your partners in the position of selling at a higher price, well, I’m not looking forward to what those prices end up being. Thankfully, there’s competition in the market and if AMD can play their cards right, they’ll come out winners here in a big way. We just have to wait until November to see how that shakes out.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, we’ve been waiting 3,315 days for a new Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 31

I mean, the word Graphics was in their name!

Sometimes it feels like there’s more to a story than what we are all being told. This whole split between EVGA and NVIDIA seems like one of those. Or, maybe it isn’t. Maybe we’ve been told exactly what’s going on and maybe this is how other companies feel about it as well, but EVGA is the only one taking action on it.

I don’t know. No one BUT those two companies have said anything about this whole situation. But the complaints EVGA has would be the same exact complaints from any of the other NVIDIA partners. So why say something now? And why EVGA? And only EVGA at that. I think MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, Zotac, and others all have the same agreements with NVIDIA.

The other thing that stands out here is what EVGA has to fall back on. Other companies I’ve mentioned before all have other products but most of them, like EVGA, rely heavily on the sales of their graphics cards for PCs. However, I doubt it’s 80% of their revenue like it is with EVGA.

And that’s the weird thing about it all. I’m guessing they did number crunching and were…losing money? I mean, the logical part of me, the calculated part, the paranoid and planning part tells me they did the math and figured they’d be good to make this split, but I don’t see how they fill that massive revenue hole.

Should have seen this coming though. I always get something new only to have it become obsolete or die off shortly after. Happens with TV shows too but mostly with electronics. I won’t go over the list (it’s a long one), but yeah, I just put my first EVGA card in my PC back in April of this year.

And, apparently, my last EVGA card.

Meanwhile…Ubisoft, it has been 3,308 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 30

Buyers Keepers…

I’m not really a Call Of Duty player. And it’s hard for me right now to find something to equate this whole thing with, but I think Sony’s displeasure (we’ll call it that) with Microsoft over Call Of Duty is…a little weird.

I don’t know if Sony were ever in the running to buy Activision, but Microsoft threw down almost 70 BILLION for it. And hell, I think maybe nearly 99 percent of that money was for Call Of Duty. And I think if you’re throwing that kind of cash around, you’ll do with the property as you please and if it means keeping it on your platform to increase system sales or subscription sales with Gamepass, you’d be a fool not to, honestly. I mean, I can see Sony’s frustration with the whole thing but they can’t be surprised by this or cry foul for it. I mean, Microsoft owns the franchise now. It’s theirs. They’ll do whatever they want with the property. I’ll remind you again, I don’t play that franchise of games so it’s probably very easy for me to say all these things or speculate anyway.

However, Microsoft usually holds the position of being more available to players. It’s an argument they’ve used a few times when dealing with cross play titles and not imposing restrictions like Sony does. And keeping your newly bought franchise that has been multiplatform to your own ecosystem kind of goes against that philosophy. They haven’t done it yet, and I can’t say they will, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they do. I guess we’ll see what happens with Bethesda’s games to get an idea of how this might play out.

But then again, this is Call Of Duty, and I think that player base will go where those games are. Even if it means buying a new system or subscription service. Even more interesting will be to see how Sony deals with that in the future.

Meanwhile…we had a whole Ubisoft presentation the other day talking about their upcoming library of games. Not one mention, tease or anything for Splinter Cell. And so the clock continues…it has been 3,301 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 29

A relic appears…

We’ve likely spoken about video game nostalgia before. And, for a moment, I’d like to talk about it again. And really, this is just a “me” thing or, well, an “us” thing.

Destiny 2 just relaunched an activity in the game that hasn’t been there since the first Destiny. It launched in September of 2015. Back then, so many of us on the show played that game and did that raid. For me, it was my first Destiny raid. In fact, it was my first raid ever. We completed it. And would go on to do so over and over again. Until people left and moved on to other games or got tired of the Destiny loop. It happens and there’s not a thing wrong with it.

The night before writing this, our group and myself spent a good many hours completing it again. This was mostly with brand new people who’d never experienced this as it was originally released. They only had the options of videos to look at and understand the mechanics of what to do. Back then, we never actually had that. We had to go on crude drawings and very detailed written explanations if we wanted to have some idea of what to do in the raid. It’s not that long ago, but it surprises me how much has changed in that time. We weren’t broadcasting our runs either (don’t even think that was a thing, really) which is a shame since we had some great times and moments back then.

Going so late on the raid run last night but eventually getting to the end and completing it brought back a ton of memories of not only the first time we made that accomplishment back in 2015 (probably taking just as long or longer), but also the many other times we brought someone new along and did it again with them.

Gaming nostalgia is all around us when playing games, be it in the controls of a game or just anything Mario or Zelda or whatever your memory might be, there’s likely to be reminders of it every single day in some way or another. But this kind of nostalgia not only brings memories of the game, but mostly, the friends we enjoyed it with. I’ll snicker at the videos of Bungie developers talking about how this game forms bonds and what not, but here it is…living proof, and it’s doing it again.

To Jeremy, Matt, James, Dennis, Daniel, RJ, and Kevin…thanks for the runs back in the day. By the way, the game is free to play now with crossplay and cross save, so we could have a reunion of sorts. Just sayin.

Speaking of memories and nostalgia…Ubisoft, it has been 3,287 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 28

We didn’t really hit the news so much for this show as we did just talking to folks through Discord.

And to follow up on that conversation, I’d asked for help in No Man’s Sky and last night after the show did not disappoint. I appreciate DukeFrukem for giving me a hand in the game telling me how things work or what all can be done and giving me a bit of support on this long journey to…well, there’s no end really. Especially given the updates they continue to churn out.

Seriously, if you’ve ever been curious about the game or were maybe put off by the reception it got at launch, give it another look. There’s plenty of videos out there documenting all of the changes and growing pains this title went through and how it’s done a total 180 on where it was then compared to now. And, by the way, you can usually find it for at least half off from the regular price if not even more than that (as of this writing the PC version was down to about $21 on some sites).

All eyes this week will likely be on Saint’s Row. A series we haven’t heard from in quite some time and will be the first we see on next/current gen consoles. The original reveal had people wondering if this would be a different Saint’s Row than what we last saw and in that comparison, yeah, I think it will be. But not in a negative way. The over-the-topness will likely be brought down a notch or two from the last game, but that’s to be expected and, probably, needed as well. We’ll find out Tuesday.

Well, everyone else will. I’ll be diving into the next season of Destiny.

What none of us will be playing, however, is a new Splinter Cell from Ubisoft. It has been 3,280 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 27

A few weeks back I nostalgically spoke of the console wars. The ol’ Microsoft versus Sony thing we all did way back when and what some still do. It was always a clash, but it was one that took place in a court of public opinion or one we measured with sales and popularity or game titles available or even to the point of comparing the guts of the machines to who was better.

Side note: just to be clear on this, the one that is better is the one you pick. Nothing else matters. That’s the one you wanted for the reasons you wanted it and it’s the best and we’re all in agreement.

What we rarely had and almost never get are these companies actually calling each other out. Apparently, it took something like “Call Of Duty” to make that happen. We go over the whole thing here in a segment of the show and it’s rather long and PR/Boardroom speak, but the gist is there: Sony’s afraid Microsoft’s ownership of Call Of Duty and its likely appearance on GamePass will hurt Sony’s console sales. Microsoft argues otherwise but also goes on to point out that Sony’s deals for exclusivity with third party developers does the same thing. Sony has yet to respond to that (as far as I know), but I’m curious what they will say if they do.

I know I’ve said that competition like this is only good for one group of people and that’s you and me, the consumers, but unless this forces a hand of some sort on either side, it’s just two companies sparring in released statements that likely will result in…nothing.

By the way, I don’t think Sony has an argument here. I’m not saying either side is right or wrong, but I think when your competition finds an advantage or opportunity, then you’ve got to adjust to counter it.

Better yet, whoever gets Ubisoft to make another Splinter Cell game is the winner in my book…because it has been 3,273 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).

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Season 16, Episode 26

The sky’s the limit..

Been quite a while since I’ve started something new. On a large scale, I suppose. I’ve poked around some small indie titles here and there or played some demos but haven’t really set off on a large scale new game in awhile. And while No Man’s Sky isn’t new, it is to me. Also, it’s probably considered indie as well. Hmm…maybe this isn’t any different.

It’s really weird starting something like this. The game kinda throws you in the deep end right off the bat, but if you don’t like where you start, you just start over. It’s all completely random. It feels like Space Minecraft. And while Minecraft is vast and huge and random, you’re stuck on the world you start with. I mean, if you don’t like it you can start fresh on a random new world, but with No Man’s Sky, if I don’t like the planet I’m on I can restart, sure, but I can also get in my spaceship and fly to another planet.

And while Minecraft has a randomly generated playfield, the things that inhabit that playfield are the same as any other. No Man’s Sky randomizes EVERYTHING. There’s a 99% chance the animals and plants I’ve discovered on my planet will never show up again on any other planet. Course, I’m only 3 hours into the game so maybe I’m completely wrong, but I think that’s how it works.

We could do a full commercial-free 2 hour show on this one game alone and its history. It’s kind of an amazing thing and maybe one day we’ll run down the timeline of how this game launched, failed (to meet expectations), and redeemed itself.

Here I am explaining a game that came out in 2016. Strange how new it feels.

Speaking of 2016, the last Splinter Cell game was released 3 years prior to that…Ubisoft it’s been 3,266 days since the last Splinter Cell game (non-animated series or guest spot in another game franchise, remake, or VR exclusive).