Ghost Recon: Wildlands' latest special operation pays respects to iconic Metal Gear Solid protagonist Solid Snake in this week's Splinter Cell-themed mission. Last week, Ubisoft teased Sam Fisher's then-impending inclusion in Wildlands, thus crossing over the Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon video game franchises - both of which are Tom Clancy titles owned by Ubisoft. Then, earlier this week, the publisher unveiled exactly how that was going to happen.
Ubisoft plans to release four special operations, for free, as part of Ghost Recon: Wildlands' second season and the much-touted Splinter Cell-themed mission is part of Special Operation I - the season's first update. In the mission, the Ghosts aid Sam Fisher (who's once again voiced by Michael Ironside) as he infiltrates a site in Bolivia. The mission went live on April 10, and it seems that players have already discovered a touching tribute to Fisher's fellow stealth video game hero, Solid Snake.
A cutscene from Ghost Recon's Splinter Cell-themed mission (below) has Sam Fisher talking with Karen, who notes that Fisher has "clocked some miles" since they last spoke, to which Fisher responds: "I've heard they don't make them like me anymore. There was this other guy, though - Army Infiltration. He wore a bandanna or something." Karen responds by saying, "I heard he finally retired." Then, in a somber tone, Fisher realizes, "Then it's only me." This reference is more than just an easter egg, as it pays respects to Metal Gear Solid protagonist Solid Snake, who "retired" in Metal Gear Solid 4.
While the reference is subtle, it's clear who Fisher is talking about. All players needed to hear was that the guy wore a bandanna to realize that he was referring to Solid Snake. Interestingly, this isn't the first time that either game has referenced each other. It's actually an ongoing tradition between the Metal Gear and Splinter Cell franchises. But, while most references from past games are just that - references - Ghost Recon's mission allows Sam Fisher to pay his respects to one of the most iconic stealth video game heroes. And the fact that Fisher takes a moment to remember Solid Snake instead of just immediately moving on is sobering.
Furthermore, this tribute can also be looked at from a meta perspective, as the Metal Gear Solid franchise seems to have stalled seeing as franchise creator Hideo Kojima and his studio, Kojima Productions, are no longer working with Konami - the studio responsible for publishing the Metal Gear series, even though Konami is attempting to continue the series with their own releases. Meanwhile, Ubisoft is poised to announce a new Splinter Cell game at E3 this year. So, at least one stealth series will keep the fire going.