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Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ stealth is giving us our Splinter Cell fix

Assassin's Creed Shadows looks incredible from a gameplay perspective, and it's partially thanks to the addition of Splinter Cell mechanics on PS5 and Xbox.

Assassin's Creed Shadows stealth Splinter Cell: Naoe next to Sam Fisher

Ubisoft Forward treated us to our first proper look at Assassin’s Creed Shadows’ gameplay, and wow it didn’t disappoint. Though I’ve generally avoided the series’ big RPG installments like the plague, I am ready to lock in for Naoe and Yasuke’s shadowy Sengoku adventure on PS5 and Xbox. While the Splinter Cell remake was notably absent from the event, Sam Fisher enjoyers may find solace in Shadows’ shinobi sleuthing.

Shadows’ dual protagonists certainly seem to be working out the way I hoped they would. Yasuke’s heavy-hitting samurai playstyle will appeal more specifically to fans of the series’ modern, open-world games, while Naoe’s expert deployment of stealth will be gratefully lapped up by series vets like myself. While I’ll be sure to make liberal use of Yasuke’s hefty-looking kanabō, it’s Naoe’s side of the coin that has naturally drawn more of my attention.

During her portion of the demo, Ubi is quick to showcase what Naoe is capable of, having her initially swing into the daimyo’s castle, landing an assassination on an unsuspecting guard. From here, we can see Shadows taking inspiration from its stealth-based cousin, as Naoe crawls through the grass before knocking out a light, giving her an easy takedown opportunity on the guard investigating the disturbance. It’s only taken 20 years, but I’m glad to see Splinter Cell mechanics finally permeating Assassin’s Creed.

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Elsewhere in the passage, we can see Naoe kidnapping a bystander and knocking them out, before manually turning off a nearby light source to obscure the body – real nice. My favorite moment from the gameplay segment, though, arrives shortly after as the shinobi shivs an unsuspecting samurai through a closed door. I don’t want to get too excited, but we are so back.

Though I’ve already established these mechanics aren’t exactly innovative, I am at least glad to see Ubi offering a more robust suite of stealth-based tools to enjoy Shadows with. My only hope is that there will be considerable opportunities to creatively deploy them, rather than crutching on one or two ‘overpowered’ ways to dispatch enemies.

As for Splinter Cell fans, this looks to be the only way you’re going to get to enjoy a Fisher-lite experience this year (outside of XDefiant’s Echelon faction, of course). Though it’s been the best part of three years since the Splinter Cell remake was announced, it failed to materialize at this year’s Ubisoft Forward event. The game’s development status is currently unknown, but the fact that Ubisoft Toronto is currently helping out with the development of the Prince of Persia Sands of Time remake probably has something to do with it. Maybe next year, eh?

For more of the latest on the best PS5 games and best Xbox games from Ubisoft, check out the best loadouts and class setups for XDefiant. To stay up to date with the latest news and think pieces on AC Shadows, be sure to give our Google News feed a follow.