Split screen works, but there is a lot going on
As you can imagine the best option is online with a friend, allowing you a full screen and someone to communicate clearly with. The local split screen option should not be discarded immediately, the screen splits cleanly, but having so much going on at once can be difficult to bear. The bigger the TV the better in this instance. Going online relieves this problem, but if you have no friends currently online it can lead to complications.
The co-op components of Blacklist work best with strong communication. There is only ever you and one ally to rely on. Missions are split between: survival maps against waves of enemies, stealth missions in which you must not be caught, mini campaign missions that cover all skills, and dynamic kill-everything maps. There is something here for everyone, the lover of old school Splinter Cell stealth, but also for fans of more Call of Duty style shooting.
With the right co-op partner, Blacklist is a very impressive game. You use all of Sam’s skills to achieve your goal. The best vantage points are often only discoverable if you work together, and with the enemies prone to downing one of you, being close is important to revive your partner. The issues come with playing with an impatient partner. Three of the four modes reward stealthy gameplay, so running in will either increase the difficulty, or fail the mission outright. I actually found that the majority of random players tackled the game in the correct way. Just don’t be surprised to suddenly start a mission with a Sam Fisher blazing away with an assault rifle, rather than a silenced pistol.
The best co-operative experiences rely on gamers playing it with the right mind-set and that is certainly the case here. Would you really want to play a Splinter Cell game that was just a shooter alone? By forcing the players to use stealth (at least some of the time), Ubisoft have created an immersive and wide ranging co-op mode that should suit most tastes. The high production values are present throughout the game; single player, versus and co-op, and you get a lot of enjoyment for your money. The only real misgiving I have is the shift in balance from stealth to action. This is only optional in the game, but with Sam being more powerful than ever, is it only a matter of time until we get Splinter Cell FPS?
The Co-Optimus review of Splinter Cell: Blacklist is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.
The Co-Op Experience: 2 player co-op either locally or online. Missions are split between; survival maps against waves of enemies, stealth missions in which you must not be caught, mini campaign missions that cover all skills, and dynamic kill-everything maps.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.