Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist recently captured my attention, curiosity and eventually free time, so I decided once again to write a ‘5 Tips for’ article on it (something which I will likely turn into a regular occurrence, with one planned for tomorrow’s Black Ops 2: Apocalypse DLC.) If you haven’t yet fallen in love with Splinter Cell Blacklist, here’s Attack of the Fanboy’s review of it.
Tip #1: Avoid Perfectionist…for now
Unless you’re a real stickler for difficulty, or maybe a big Splinter Cell fan, I’d suggest leaving Perfectionist difficulty alone, at least until you’ve already completed approximately half of the campaign.
Why, you might ask? Well, given my experience with the game, Perfectionist Difficulty becomes much easier after you upgrade the Paladin, your suit, and your gadgets. I’d go as far as saying that there’s minimal difference between Normal and Perfectionist difficulties once you have the right stealth gear. I go into greater detail about which gear below.
Tip #2: Buy Essential Upgrades
As soon as possible, there are a few things that you will want to buy that will make life so much easier for you. Here are some of the most important:
- Cockpit Level 1: $1,000
- Cockpit Level 2: $130,000
- Command & Control Level 1: $90,000
- Command & Control Level 2: $150,000
These make missions much easier, not only because you will be able to see where enemies are facing on your radar, but also because they make any bonus objectives nearly unmissable. Believe me, you want to be able to see these as they give you lots of money, for example: $30,000 per HVT.
- Tri-rotor: $72,000
- Sleeping Gas: $48,000 (+ $27,000 to unlock)
- Proximity Shocker: $48,000
These make stealth a far more viable option, as you can now take more enemies out using non-lethal methods from a distance. This is perfect if you want to master the Ghost tactical style, but they are also incredibly useful for Perfectionist difficulty.
- Torso – Tactical Mesh: $48,000
- Pants – Nanopolymer Coating: $100,000 (+ $40,000 to unlock)
These purchases help in two ways, first; they make you quieter when you move, making sneaking around a more viable option. Secondly, and possibly more importantly, they increase the number of gadgets and amount of ammo that you can take on missions. This includes spare mags for your special weapon and I suggest buying the Crossbow for $100,000.
Tip #3: Tactical Style Mastery
By now, you should know that Splinter Cell Blacklist has three ‘tactical styles'; Ghost, Panther and Assault. If you’re trying to obtain the Mastery bonus for any of these, achieved by getting the target score for that style on 7 different levels, you’ll want to try and stick solely to one. If you aren’t interested and want to mix and match then that’s also fine, but this tip is for concentrating points in only one tactical style.
Assault is the easiest to obtain mastery for; all you have to do is kill enemies using loud weapons and explosives. This shouldn’t be too difficult, the only advice I have is to kill every enemy you see, and complete levels on Rookie or Normal difficulties.
Panther is slightly harder, but still isn’t too difficult. Just be sure to leave melee attacks on lethal, and kill enemies using silent weapons. As long as you aren’t playing on Perfectionist difficulty, mark and execute will be your best friend and the easiest way to kill opponents.
Ghost is the hardest tactical style to master, mainly because you get more points by leaving enemies than you do by using non-lethal methods to take them down. Often, the mastery for a level can’t be obtained just by incapacitating all of the enemies, and if guards are indirectly alerted to your presence, you will lose the bonus for avoiding them. The best way to get Ghost points is to sneak around undetected for the majority of a mission, using Sticky Noisemakers or the equivalent attachment on the Crossbow to lure enemies away from the path you want to take. If you do have to immobilize enemies, do it in quick succession to stack the points.
Tip #4: Complete Challenges
One of the best ways to earn money is by completing challenges. You’ll complete a lot of challenges without even realizing they were there, but you should look at ones that you’re close to if you want to get even more money. You can view them by entering ShadowNet. Sometimes netting two more headshots with one of your weapons could be worth $50,000 and you didn’t even realize, or you’ll find that there are easy challenges you hadn’t thought to attempt.
Daily and Weekly challenges are worth quite a bit more than standard ones, so these are well worth looking at. For instance, one day’s challenge was for getting 5 kills with Proximity Mines, worth $100,000. Another challenge that is worth a lot of money is getting a streak of headshots without using the execute ability.
Tip #5: Rank Up Privately
Whether you consider this unfair or not is up to you, but as campaign money can be spent on Multiplayer accessories, anyone could have an unfair advantage over you.
A very easy way to level up on the Multiplayer mode of Splinter Cell Blacklist is to play Private games by yourself. First, chose a small map to play, and the standard SvM Blacklist playlist. Then set hacks to complete instantaneously, play on the Spies team, and get 2250 experience in under a minute. You can just end the game when you change teams for the next round and start again.
Even if you aren’t bothered by the Spies vs. Mercs modes, this technique is still a good way to earn money quickly, and an even better way to snag yourself the Multiplayer achievements/trophies, without ever playing anyone. All of them can be unlocked in Private Lobbies, most don’t require any other players and for those that do? Well, they can be unlocked by connecting an extra controller; easy.
Good Luck Lurking
There you go, my 5 tips for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Blacklist. Hopefully you’ll find them helpful, if you have any tips of your own or just want to show your appreciation, please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Good luck lurking in the shadows, fellow Splinter Cell fans.