Ham Tyler is back. Pardon me, Sam Fisher is back. That first name check was for all you 40-year-olds who remember watching V: The Final Battle kick the hell out of ABC’s The Last Days of Pompeii in the May sweeps period of 1985. Anyway, Michael Ironside is back in Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy series, as an NPC mission-giver in Ghost Recon: Wildlands’ second season of content, which launched Tuesday.
In this video, you see Ironside talking about what it means to be back in the game. “People think of it as returning to a cottage or a building or a place,” Ironside says. “I’ve never left. I’m Sam.”
Well, that settles that. (Ironside is a method actor; when he gets into a role, he doesn’t leave it.)
Fisher isn’t just a contract for Ironside. As he explains, he initially did not want the role because he felt Sam Fisher — as pitched to him — didn’t have much of an emotional basis, and therefore no connection with the audience. And that is the currency of any actor, be they stage, screen or whatever. Still, “I think we were fairly successful, in the beginning,” he says, “we created a character that people identified with, that spoke to people’s isolation or their sense of loss, or their mistrust of authority.” Yep, you could say that.
“Sam never left,” Ironside continues, as he shares his battle with cancer between his last appearance in the Splinter Cell series (2010’s Splinter Cell: Conviction) and now. It’s been remarkable to see Ironside, a tough-guy character actor on film (Total Recall) and TV (Smallville, Walker, Texas Ranger), take on a video game role and complete it in a way that has made him indispensable, if not iconic. You can find Sam Fisher in the PvE mode of Ghost Recon: Wildlands following the game’s latest update on April 10. He’s part of a new mission (which supports up to four playing cooperatively) that, if completed before May 16, delivers Fisher’s one-of-a-kind sonar goggles to the player.