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Splinter Cell: Blacklist's knife torture scene has been cut, says Ubisoft

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

A playable scene in which Sam Fisher tortures an interrogation suspect in Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Blacklist has been removed from the game, according to a report from Eurogamer.

During a Splinter Cell: Blacklist gameplay demonstration revealed at E3 2012, Fisher is shown breaking the arm of an enemy combatant, then stabbing him in the shoulder with a knife. The game then appeared to give control to the player, letting them twist the knife to extract information. The player is then given the option to knock out or kill the character Fisher is interrogating.

Following some criticism of the use of playable torture in-game, the game's developers carefully addressed Blacklist's use of the tactic.

"Any dialogue around that sort of topic is probably something we should be talking about, probably something we should be facing," Ubisoft Toronto cinematic director David Footman said in a 2012 interview. "So I think the idea was to put players in that position where you have to extract information to stop an attack.

"Let's say there's going to be 2 to 3 million people killed in that potential attack. What would you do to avert that attack? Is it worth taking down one hostile who may or may not be the right guy? I think those are the choices we want players to face."

Players won't face that choice in the final version of Splinter Cell: Blacklist, apparently.

"We've scaled a lot of that back, and as we've gone through the process of development there are always things that you feel are not working as well," Blacklist producer Andrew Wilson said in an interview with Eurogamer. "Every game does this, and cuts certain things."

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PC on Aug. 20.

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