Ubisoft Creative Director Maxime Beland has shared a video today introducing The Fifth Freedom in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist for PS3.
To quote: Splinter Cell is a franchise that has always been grounded in realism, and the latest installment of the game features a story ripped straight from today's headlines.
In reality, there are conflicts in the world we are aware of. But then there are the conflicts we will never hear about - a war in the shadows that will be defused by the few who must make difficult decisions, and who carry a heavy burden to protect our fundamental liberties.
This is the context for granting Sam Fisher the Fifth Freedom in Splinter Cell: Blacklist - the power to do whatever it takes to protect the greater good. Only the President can authorise the Fifth Freedom, and only the most skilled and trustworthy operatives America has to offer have ever received it.
In order to truly understand the Fifth Freedom, and why it plays such a critical role in developing the story in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, I want to give you some historical background for our story. In 1941, US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave the "Four Freedoms" speech, laying out the quartet of liberties that "everyone in the world" should hold as a birthright:
• Freedom of speech and expression
• Freedom of worship
• Freedom from want
• Freedom from fear
When these liberties are threatened and a terror network strikes at the American heartland in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Sam Fisher is granted the Fifth Freedom and is tasked to protect the other four. This concept is critical to building depth for our story and our hero as Sam struggles with the fine line between right and wrong throughout the game.
When I first watched the acclaimed 2008 HBO TV series Generation Kill, it hit me hard that I really couldn't judge the actions of these soldiers. I was personally never in the army. I had never slept beneath a truck for cover because it was the safest place for me in that moment. I was never forced to kill anyone.
I am not in the position to judge what is happening out there - but it did make me think. We play on our €500 iPhones, sipping our Venti lattes. We go on living blissfully unaware of what goes on, every day. But the ugly truth is that there are real people out there making incredibly difficult decisions to protect our comfortable way of life.
These current and mature themes form the foundation of our story in Splinter Cell: Blacklist. As game creators, we hope to put players into difficult situations that will push them to think about the consequences of their choices. And it's our greatest hope it will be an experience that will immerse gamers and maybe even get them to examine their own perspective.
For a closer look at the game ahead of its PlayStation 3 release next year, take a look at our brand new Fifth Freedom trailer.
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