I'm truly feeling sad right now.
I just watched the gameplay demo of Splinter Cell: Blacklist on gamespot's website. I went in expecting disappointment. However, the level of sadness I have at the moment was unexpected.
I had bought every single Splinter Cell since the first (except for Pandora Tomorrow, which I rented and beat), and I loved the original three immensely. Double Agent for XBOX was also good, but the 360 version, other than the multiplayer (which I enjoyed), didn't interest me. I ended up not finishing the game, partly due to a bad frame rate drop.
I also bought Conviction at release. At the time, I was very disappointed. What I played in that game was not a Splinter Cell Game. They had taken what the original three (as well as Double Agent, to a degree) had done, and streamlined it to be more action-oriented. It ended up being like a modern-day Assassin's Creed. To me, while the game wasn't terrible, and the story was pretty good at wrapping up the Sam Fisher story, it didn't feel like a Splinter Cell game at all. It definitely wasn't the same feel as the original three games.
So, first off, the new Splinter Cell has a new voice actor for Sam Fisher. They replaced the always-amazing veteran actor Michael Ironside with this doucher, Eric Johnson. That, to me, is essentially blasphemy. Michael Ironside is, and forever will be, the voice of Sam Fisher, at least in my mind. The new guy doesn't sound the same, and he will never be able to fulfill the role the way Michael Ironside has since 2002.
Second off, they stuck to the exact formula they had established in Splinter Cell: Conviction. The entire... experience of Splinter Cell in Conviction had been changed. The old HUD was removed in Conviction and remains removed in Blacklist, which means no real sneaking elements (they removed the sound and light meters, with the only indication of stealth a flashing warning that appears when you've been noticed). The old game's shooting has been completely removed in favor of dumb QTEs that allow you to aimbot/autokill small groups of enemies in one go (probably to compensate for lack of reliable aiming mechanics), and the slower-paced gameplay of earlier games, where you studied enemy patrols and snuck in to remove enemies one by one (to usually hide in such strange places as broom closets and under arctic ice), has been moved to the sideline (it's still there, technically, but the action gets an emphasis).
Thirdly, no night vision! You can't take those out. Period. They removed them in Conviction. They removed them in Blacklist. Yet they have them appear on the cover. Fuck sonar goggles. I want some frakking Night Vision Goggles. EDIT: It has been pointed out there is no proof of night vision, and I agree. However, I strongly believe it will not be in this game, based on Conviction. Even if I'm wrong, my other points strongly state my intentions here.
Finally, and I think this is the saddest point for me, there is a distinct feeling of selling out that I have not shaken in the several years since Conviction was released. They completely reworked Conviction in order to appeal to a broader audience. This was a success, but it was a success at the cost of older fans such as myself. And when a series compromises its old fans by radically changing gameplay in order to appeal to a new audience, that's beyond wrong to me.
In conclusion, Splinter Cell: Blacklist is looking awful. And I'm very sad, because they took a game I've cherished since original Xbox times, perverted it, and completely changed it. And finally, they have lost another fan, because I will not be buying this new installment after what I saw today.
EDIT: I expect to get two different types of responses to this: The "I totally agree, this is not like the original games at all, they changed it", and then the "Shut up, this game is great, so was Conviction, Splinter Cell is just evolving into a more appealing game". I will tell you right now, I'm definitely a part of the former group. I don't discourage argument, but I'm warning you, I will definitely strongly object to any who might say something like aforementioned second group.