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14 must-read survival tips for Splinter Cell: Blacklist’s ‘Spies vs. Mercs’

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

7 tips for mercs:

1. Turn it up, too

Audio clues help the mercs, too. Sticky cameras make noise while activated, just like your proximity mines do. If you hear that strange beeping or clicking, stay away — some spy is hoping you’ll walk close enough to his cam for him to kill you with it via remote detonation.

You can also hear spies running around, which is particularly useful if one’s coming up behind you. This is where you’re most vulnerable, because the enemy is way out of your first-person view and usually not detected by any of your special goggles. The thud-thud of the spy’s boots could be his only giveaway.

2. Do a 180

Even if you don’t hear anyone sprinting behind you, you should pull a Crazy Ivan once in a while. Your rear is your biggest blind spot, so check it periodically regardless of what you hear or don’t hear.

3. Be paranoid

See that dark room? Or that cluttered corridor? Assume a threat’s hiding in there, and you’ll probably live longer. Don’t just run in all cocky with your armored bod and big gun — a spy may suddenly pop out and stick a blade in your chest.

Instead, try tossing frag or gas grenades into blind spots, around corners, or into cramped spaces. You might just kill someone who was waiting for you.

4. Stay on target

During a hack, don’t get distracted by spies who are nowhere near the objective. He may simply be keeping you busy and away from the true target: the hacker. Of course, if you can kill this pest, do it. Better to control the situation rather than let a stealthy enemy loose into locations unknown.

But the countdown’s not stopping when you eliminate this non-hacking defender. If it’s taking too long to get rid of him, disengage and go to the threatened zone. Ultimately, you need to prevent hacks to win the match as a merc.

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

5. Save your batteries

In the shadows-and-light gameplay of Spies vs. Mercs Classic, mercs will want to turn on their gun-mounted flashlights to uncover the oppressive blackness. This can’t be avoided, but this also gives the spies a huge clue as to where you’re at and where you’re looking, just like the vision cones on A.I. guards in that other stealthy action game, Metal Gear Solid.

You need the illumination to see (and it can temporarily blind spies, too), but turn off those beams when you want to go a little incognito, so you can surprise your enemies.

6. Look up, look down, but keep your distance.

Always assume a spy is above you, waiting to drop down on your head. Or if you’re near a ledge or on a catwalk, assume he’s hanging over the edge, waiting to grab you from underneath. These are easy kills for spies, but they’re not difficult for mercs to avoid, as long as you’re methodical about looking up, down, and all around for threats.

7. Look outside

Smart spies won’t all gather inside the hacking zone, and they definitely won’t bunch up near the hacker himself. In fact, they may circle around outside the affected area, looking for unsuspecting merc targets to pick off.

In other words, again, don’t forget to watch your back. Just because you’re looking into where the hacker would be hiding doesn’t mean someone else isn’t ready to shank you from behind.

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