When you watch the hero of any 90’s spy thriller they all share one thing in common. They always stand directly in the spotlight and soak up as much of the attention as possible. But what about ‘the guy in the van’. They do at least half the work but never get half the credit. Clandestine looks to set the record straight.
Clandestine is a co-op game by design rather than offering it up as a secondary mode. One member of your partnership plays as the operative and the other as the ‘guy in the van’. If you’re in the van you’ll be tasked with checking cameras to identify enemy locations for your partner, hacking doors to allow your partner to progress or even occasionally using the environment to take out an enemy. This all takes place as if you’re the character sat a computer. So all you see is the interface(s) your character would see.
Meanwhile Sarah (the operative), who has an adequately complex back story, will be sneaking around taking and giving instructions, judo chopping enemies and generally mimicking Sam Fisher; from the original Splinter Cell. For this player the game is completely third person. You’ll be relying entirely on ‘simple’ stealth mechanics using cover and only a few simple gadgets. There’s no ‘stealth cammo’ in Clandestine. Everything you’ll use is basically from the 90’s, or at least movies of the 90’s.
It’s very clear that Clandestine’s stealth is looking back to a time before stealth games became third person action games. For instance there are strict limits on equipment, so you can’t become the walking armoury that Sam Fisher has become. The only guns available to you will be pistols. No rifles at all. You must use proper stealth to complete your objectives. And teamwork.
But by far the most important feature of Clandestine is the possibility of emergent experiences due to the need for cooperation. It’s no good being in the van and not providing your operative with real-time updates. I’ve got visions of counting down to indicate when my friend should sneak behind a patrolling guard. Or panicking to quickly open a door as your operative attempts to avoid detection. Imagine taking fire and having to wait for support with no idea what’s going on, trusting that your partner has your back. These stories and interactions are real. They’re what will make Clandestine a great game.
Clandestine excites me a lot. I miss the old Splinter Cell games. And I’ve never been given the chance to be the person in the earpiece. Clandestine is looking like it will be a great stealth experience but also offer something genuinely new. And that doesn’t happen much these days. Once the game is a little closer to being ready I’m hoping to do a play session with one of the team so stay tuned for that. Clandestine should be in any stealth fans wish list and is due for release exclusively to PC early 2015. Stay tuned for more soon!