Moral ambiguity is everywhere in video games these days, from the war epic Spec Ops: The Line to the upcoming dystopic thriller The Last of Us. Clearly developers are trying to make for a more thoughtful brand of mass murder, and Splinter Cell: Blacklist is no exception. Ubisoft creative director Maxime Beland talked about how the choices won't be black-and-white in Sam Fisher's next outing.
"We love the idea of putting the player in those situations that [real soldiers] are going through," Beland told Game Informer. "It's not a question sometimes of doing the right thing or the wrong thing. Sometimes it's I need to do the wrong or the wrong-er. What do I do? There's no good option. So for us, the interrogations are a bit of that. We want to put the player into situations that are like the one we're showing at E3; the guy just told you everything you needed to know. You're done. You're good. You're Sam Fischer. This guy is finished. Are you going to kill him?"
He says the key to showing morality in a game is to make sure it isn't attached to a gameplay system itself. "If we told you, if you're the good guy, you're gonna to get this, and if you're the bad guy, you're gonna get that, you're not thinking 'what am I doing here?' In those moments, what I like is when you play them and you talk to your friend about it after, you say 'I did this. What do you think?' That's the kind of discussion we want. And I think it's cool to make people reflect on it and hopefully grow as humans a little bit. Because we've got some guys everywhere in the world that are making those decisions every day for us."