A violent torture scene in Ubisoft's "Splinter Cell Blacklist" has been cut from the game due to negative feedback, said Splinter Cell Blacklist producer Andrew Wilson in a story published Wednesday by Eurogamer.
"It wasn't nice to see any negative reaction to something you've thrown your life into," he said. "But at the same time you have to have the confidence that as long as you've got that stuff in there, eventually people will see it."
The scene was first demoed in the game's unveiling during Microsoft's E3 presentation last year. Series protagonist Sam Fisher thrusts a knife into an enemy's throat, twisting it to extract information. The entire event is controlled by the player, including the rotating and twisting of the knife. It was meant to demonstrate the more brutal and realistic approach the latest game in the long-standing franchise is taking. But Ubisoft Toronto, developer behind the new title, said it was not necessarily indicative of the overall tone.
"The first thing I'd say about that is that possibly there was missing context -- and in an unabridged snapshot, it seemed like pretty tough material," Wilson said. "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. Every game does this, and cuts certain things."
Torture has always been a touchy subject in video games. While it has become commonplace in movies, the interactive nature of video games makes it much more engaging, and somewhat disconcerting to many players. A torture scene in "Call of Duty World at War" featuring a U.S. soldier getting his eyes burned out by a cigarette during an interrogation scene was also met with similar disdain, but was still included in the final game.