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Splinter Cell: Blacklist scraps knife-edge torture

At last year's Microsoft E3 Presentation, we were shown a snippet from Splinter Cell: Blacklist. In the clip, a new-look, more violent Sam Fisher stabs an enemy in the throat, before twisting the blade (in a player-controlled scene) as a way of extracting intelligence. Now, following negative reactions across the globe, Ubisoft Toronto has officially removed the controversial scene.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Splinter Cell: Blacklist producer Andrew Wilson made the statement at a press event in Paris last week, reports Eurogamer.

It wasn't nice to see any negative reaction to something you've thrown your life into. But at the same time you have to have the confidence that as long as you've got that stuff in there, eventually people will see it.

Realistically, the majority of gamers may never have seen the offensive content. Despite the teaser we were shown, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is really no more or less violent than its predecessors. The snippet on stage was just one small - optional - part of the overall game, with gamers able to choose a less torturous route.

When asked about the topic, Wilson explained that there was "missing context", and that when you take it as an "unabridged snapshot", the scene was presented in a different light to the way it appears in-game.

Because of the nature of E3, Wilson continues, things have to be quick and easy to demonstrate, and are often chosen purely for their predicted impact.

Obviously we were up on stage at the beginning, and it's quite hard to get the value of a stealth playthrough in that environment. We would have got a negative reaction if we showed that kind of stuff.

Since then, however, the "tough" material like the torture scene has been scaled back, with the developers taking the red pen and the razor blade to Splinter Cell: Blacklist. "There are certain things you feel are not working as well," says Wilson - and it's these things that are now on the cutting room floor.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due for release in August 2013, for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

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