January 25, 2007 - French publishing giant Ubisoft plans to delve into the shadows once again with the PlayStation 3 release of last year's critically-praised stealth-actioner, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Due out in March, this fourth installment of Ubi's highly popular sneak series adds new features and content that previous editions didn't have. In this internal Q&A with Ubisoft Annecy producer, Mathieu Hector, the company explains what those extras are and what PlayStation 3 owners can expect when they play Double Agent for themselves this coming March.
What are the main changes between the Xbox 360 version of SCDA and the PS3 version? Both for the single player and the multiplayer.
Mathieu Hector: The PlayStation 3 version of SCDA is based on the next-gen design of the game, which has already been released on Xbox 360 and PC. However, this version features significant improvements and exclusive content. The Multiplayer features an additional new spy character (a spy girl), two extra maps based on completely new environments and a new set of co-op challenges Moreover, the additional time allowed us to increase the polish of both parts of the game.
Overall, the improved accessibility, the multiplayer exclusive content and the motion sensor support are the advantages that make the PS3 version the ultimate version of Splinter Cell: Double Agent.
Is SCDA using the Sixaxis feature that makes PlayStation 3 unique?
Hector: The Sixaxis sensor has been implemented in both part of the game as well. In the Single Player mode, we were free to experiment various designs for the motion sensor implementation. It is used from time to time to operate various gadgets like picking doors or hacking security systems, or for Sam's special moves like swimming or paragliding. In the Multiplayer mode, the player controls the Drone with the tilt function.
We implemented the Sixaxis control when it was fun to play or adding value to the game play experience.
What was the big reason to implement a female multiplayer skin?
Hector: Having a female playable character in the game is something we wanted to have since we started working on Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow!
On Double Agent, this idea was still present, but we didn't have the chance to implement it on time for the first versions. Therefore, when we started working on the PS3 specific content, the spy girl was on top of our list.
We really liked the idea because it really embraces the fact that the spy should be cat-like, very nimble. And for players like me, it's always more pleasant to follow the acrobatics of a female character, supple and elegant, than those of a born-to-kill-guy!
The PlayStation network has a different setup than Microsoft's Xbox Live. Can we expect the same play on Ubisoft's own servers?
Hector: The title uses a network middleware solution already successfully used on PC and PS2. The PlayStation Network Platform provides all the required services to match the Xbox live quality. The online part of the game has been on beta test since November 2006 on PS3 and we are 100% confident to provide a quality online experience.
Is there anything else you would like to share with gamers about SCDA for PS3?
Hector: Yes, we are very happy with the multiplayer's extra content we developed specifically for the PS3 version. Rather than just more of the same, the NSA training centre and Kinshasa multiplayer maps are really different than the original multiplayer maps. Those maps have been produced with Ubisoft Milan, Italy, the studio which previously worked on the PS2 Multiplayer maps and we hope the PS3 players will enjoy playing them just as much as we did.