Splinter Cell: Blacklist: Blame Avatar tech for Michael Ironside’s Absence, states Ubisoft
Too old for this sh**?
by Nicholas Laborde
©2012 Nicholas Laborde
Being a massive fan of the franchise since day 1 of the first title, I anxiously (but professionally) grilled our presenter of the game after our behind-closed-doors presentation at E3 2012.
The answer is reasonable, but fans still may not be happy.
I’ll iron your side…
I simply asked: “What happened to Michael Ironside? Was he not game to do another title?”
The developer got serious, said “Ironside? Who’s that?” and we had a good laugh.
He went on to explain that some of the members of the new Ubisoft Toronto studio were friends with some of the producers of the wildly successful film Avatar.
Splinter Cell: Blacklist uses the same motion capture technology as the film, which is undoubtedly the driving force behind the new “killing in motion” mechanic.
And then, the revelation: the technology is very specific.
As it turns out, the technology requires that the motion capture actor also do the voice acting at the same time to imitate exactly how body mannerisms looks during speech; no longer are they two separate things.
Michael Ironside is getting older, so this makes sense. He’s no longer the action hero of 1980s sci fi series V or action film Starship Troopers.
After thanking the developer for his time, I meandered back onto the wild show floor to think about what else was on my schedule.
Not necessarily blacklisting fans?
Ironside personified Sam, and to hear another actor – especially a younger one- taking his role, can be upsetting to many die-hard fans.
“We’re fans of the game!” enthusiastically said the developer after giving us the scoop on why Ironside wasn’t there.
I’m going to reserve judgement on the title.
In the meantime, look for our in-depth preview in the coming days, with an exclusive tidbit about the return of Spies Vs Mercenaries.