Once upon a time, Sam Fisher and Solid Snake were top of the gaming tree, stealth operatives in their prime. Times change, of course. Fisher hasn't starred in a Splinter Cell game since 2013's Blacklist, and the future of the Metal Gear Solid series looks uncertain after series creator Hideo Kojima left Konami to go it alone.
Fisher, though, is back, in cameo form only as part of Ghost Recon Wildland's new Splinter Cell-themed mission. There are a few reasons why this is exciting: Fisher is once again voiced by the wonderfully gravelly Michael Ironside after Eric Johnson assumed the role in Blacklist, and Fisher himself is depicted as an older man who's "clocked some miles" since we've last seen him.
And it's via a new cutscene that we get a cool nod to the Metal Gear series from Sam Fisher himself.
THERE MAY BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
In the cutscene below, Fisher says "I've heard they don't make them like me anymore" before he references an "army infiltration" operative who wore a bandana - a clear nod to Snake. Fisher is then told this person retired, which is a nod to Snake's fate in Metal Gear Solid 5 and, perhaps, Kojima's exit from Konami.
Fisher seems stunned by the realisation he is the last stealth video game hero.
"Then it's only me..." he utters.
This isn't the first time Splinter Cell has referenced Metal Gear Solid - and vice versa. The video below, from YouTuber Doctor Gamma, includes a couple of fun Easter eggs found in the two stealth rivals.
So, is there a future for Splinter Cell? Fingers crossed Ubisoft's got something cooking. As for Metal Gear Solid, well, there's always Survive.