Earlier this week, we reported on Sam Fisher's eye-catching cameo in Ghost Recon Wildands' new DLC because it references fellow stealth video game hero Solid Snake. But it seems there may be more to Fisher's surprise appearance - and fans of Splinter Cell are excited.
All week, Splinter Cell fans have wondered whether Sam Fisher's appearance in Wildlands signals an upcoming new entry in the franchise, and there are a few good reasons why it looks likely.
Firstly, Sam Fisher in Wildlands is voiced by Michael Ironside, the actor who played Fisher in all the Splinter Cell games except the last one: 2013's Blacklist. Would Ubisoft go to the trouble of getting Ironside back in the voice actor's booth for a one-off DLC?
Secondly, the Splinter Cell-themed Wildlands DLC depicts an older Sam Fisher, one who might have the experience of the previous games' adventures behind him. (In a cutscene Linda remarks: "You look like you've clocked some miles since we last spoke.") If there is a new Splinter Cell, with Michael Ironside along for the ride, an older, grizzled Sam Fisher would make sense.
And thirdly, the Wildlands DLC cutscene ends with Linda giving Sam a new mission. "Grim sent word," she begins.
"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs says there's a possible 'Empty Quiver'. I can get you airborne in one hour."
"Really? You know, a guy once said, 'The price of success is hard work and dedication.' An hour, huh?"
"You got any coffee?"
"This is Bolivia. Of course there's coffee."
That's it. You can see the cutscene in full in the video below (skip to the five minutes and 37 seconds mark).
As you'd expect, fans are talking this exchange up as a strong hint that a new Splinter Cell game is coming soon. The phrase "Empty Quiver" is United States military nuclear incident terminology and refers to the "seizure, theft, or loss of a functioning nuclear weapon". Perhaps the new Splinter Cell game begins with Sam trying to retrieve it.
And in a recent interview with Xbox's Inside Xbox show (skip to the 59 minutes and and 30 seconds mark in the video below), Michael Ironside teases the return of Splinter Cell, saying: "Let's see if the storylines allow an organic presence like Sam back."
Of course, Ubisoft may just be having some Splinter Cell-themed fun, and Sam Fisher's appearance in Wildlands may be nothing more than a cameo. But with E3 right around the corner and Ubisoft-related announcements expected at the show, we don't have long to find out.