Ubisoft Cuts Controversial Torture Scene in ‘Splinter Cell: Blacklist’

By Joseph Leray

The interactive torture sequence that Ubisoft Toronto used to demo “Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist” at last year’s E3 has been removed, according to producer Andrew Wilson.

The first two minutes of this video show the setpiece: franchise protagonist Sam Fisher walks into a tent, kills two people, and grabs a third. Fisher breaks the man arm and jabs a knife into his collarbone. A prompt to twirl the left analog stick appears, and Fisher wiggles the knife back and forth until this debilitated captive spills whatever nugget of intel he was holding back.

It’s brutal stuff, and the scene garnered some harsh feedback.

“The first thing I’d say about that is that possible there was missing context -- and in an unabridged snapshot, it seemed like pretty tough material,” Wilson told Eurogamer and a press event in Paris this week. “We’ve scaled a lot of that back.”

“As we’ve gone through the process of development there are always things that you feel are not working as well,” he continued. When asked specifically about the torture scene, Wilson responded: “Definitely we are not going to see when the game’s coming out that there are torture scenes in it. That scene is not there any more. I’ve not really heard anyone say they loved it.”

It’s unclear if this means the segment has been completely removed, or only changed from a playable scene to a non-playable one. We’ll know more for sure when the game is released in August. In the meantime, do check out our preview of “Splinter Cell: Blacklist.”

[Eurogamer via Polygon]