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Hardest Tom Clancy Games

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The majority of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy games place a very high emphasis on realism and immersion, and although this does make them incredibly fun to play, it also means that they don’t tend to be very forgiving in their overall difficulty. This was especially the case with earlier titles in the Tom Clancy series where Ubisoft really went above and beyond to make the experience feel as believable as possible, not only through their visual styles and aesthetics, but also with the enemies, who tended to be both durable and dangerous, ensuring that the player never felt too overpowered as a result.

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Although many of these games have aimed to be a little more accessible in recent years, there are still many people who thoroughly enjoy the arduous challenge presented by some of the more difficult Tom Clancy games, which can ultimately make them very satisfying to fully complete. With that in said, these titles listed below are widely considered to be the hardest of the bunch, so it’s time to take a closer look at what systems, gimmicks, and mechanics make them so unforgiving in the first place.

6 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 3.32

Sam Fisher hiding around a corner from an enemy with a flashlight

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Released
October 17, 2006

Developer(s)
Ubisoft Shanghai , Ubisoft Montreal , Ubisoft Annecy , Ubisoft Milan

Genre(s)
Stealth

Just before Ubisoft took the series in a more action-oriented direction, they decided to make one final Splinter Cell game that harkend back to the stealthier roots of the series in the form of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. As a result, the gameplay is very similar to those classic titles, with players being tasked with finding unique ways to sneak around their environments before getting the drop on their enemies without them ever even noticing. The reason this game often gets touted as one of the harder entries in this beloved series though is primarily because of how clunky and unresponsive it can often feel to play.

Because Double Agent runs on the Unreal 2.5 Engine, which had gone long out of style by the time that the game released, it means that actually moving Sam around and sneaking up behind enemies without any noise being made in the process becomes much harder than it sounds. This can prove to be especially irritating when trying to hide behind corners, as Sam will often simply refuse to cling to a wall, or will slide somewhere else entirely. The game is far from unplayable, and still provides a pretty compelling story and plenty of memorable areas, but it’s clear that it wasn’t designed to be quite as challenging as it ended up being.

5 Tom Clancy’s EndWar

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 3.32

Soldier and tanks firing at one another on a helipad

Tom Clancy’s EndWar

Released
November 4, 2008

Developer(s)
Ubisoft Shanghai

Genre(s)
Real-Time Strategy , Tactical , Strategy

In stark contrast to a lot of the third-person action games that had come before in the Tom Clancy series, EndWar is an RTS game that takes place during a fictional third World War where players are able to choose between three major factions who they must lead to an eventual victory. At its core, EndWar is an incredibly fun and vibrant strategy game that really shines because of its large-scale battles and massive variety of unit types, but it’s fair to say that the AI opponents won’t make things easy for the player, considering how aggressive they can be.

For example, the enemy factions will always do their best to rush towards capturing an Uplink which is close to the player during the beginning of a match, allowing them to apply pressure right from the get-go. Additionally, if players rely on one specific unit type too much throughout a battle, the AI will also reinforce and react to this accordingly, so it’s heavily advised to keep a wide array of different soldiers and vehicles to try and outplay them. EndWar’s brutal gameplay perfectly suits the high-stakes tone of the game’s wider context, and while strategy fans will find it reasonably manageable, it can end up being much more daunting for newcomers to the genre.

4 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 3.24

Sam Fisher aiming a gun near an enemy

Splinter Cell

Released
November 17, 2002

Genre(s)
Action-Adventure , Stealth

While Metal Gear Solid had ushered the stealth genre into mainstream popularity a few years before, Splinter Cell took this to a whole new level thanks to the gameplay’s emphasis on using darkness as a resource for sneaking around, which is highlighted through the Light Meter. As players make their way through each area, they will need to try and conceal their identity by keeping the Light Meter as low as possible, which can be done by destroying lights, hiding in obscure areas, and generally just finding creative ways to pass by a room without being seen.

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In order to accommodate for the intense stealth gameplay that Ubisoft were going for, Sam is made to be extremely slow in his movements, requiring the player to practice a lot of patience in order to progress through areas without anyone catching wind of Sam’s position. The sound meter can also be very unforgiving at times, leaving little to no room for error when moving around. This level of difficulty does still do a fantastic job at emphasizing how hard the sorts of espionage stealth missions would realistically be to pull off, and it results in Splinter Cell being one of the most difficult games in its respective genre as a result.

3 Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 3.43

Sam Fisher sneaking up on a target

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

Released
March 23, 2004

Developer(s)
Ubisoft Shanghai

Genre(s)
Stealth

Although Pandora Tomorrow gave Sam quite a few new abilities to help in clearing out rooms, such as being able to whistle and having a laser sight attached to his pistol, the game still manages to be incredibly challenging to complete due to its level design. Because many areas are a lot more linear and straightforward this time around, it also means that each room includes far more enemies than the other games usually would, to the point where actually sneaking through a level without being detected can feel more or less impossible on a first playthrough.

Another big reason why the game is often considered by fans to be the hardest game in the series is because of how much more alert the enemies are of their surroundings, which can sometimes reach levels of absurdity. For example, it’s a common occurrence for guards to somehow possess the superhuman ability to call for reinforcements while being knocked out, and since this happens instantly, it means a mission can easily go horribly wrong for seemingly no good reason. Because the game is actually reasonably short, it feels like Ubisoft wanted to make the experience as arduous as they could to make up for this, a decision which is either a curse or a blessing depending on who’s being asked.

2 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 3.79

Buck shooting first through a floor

Rainbow Six: Siege

Released
December 1, 2015

Genre(s)
Shooter

On the surface, Siege’s 5 vs 5 attack and defend style gameplay isn’t too difficult to understand, but actually getting good at the game is an incredibly difficult task, with the learning curve only growing with each and every update. Because the game features such a staggering number of operators, all with their own unique abilities and gadgets, it means that learning how all of them work within a match becomes essential, not only to know which one to choose in a certain scenario, but also how to counter them.

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Players will also need to familiarize themselves with the maps too, alongside being fully aware of what types of walls can be broken down, just in case any opponents try to get the drop on their team. The gunplay in Siege can also take a very long time to get used to, with the game’s focus on realism making it so each and every gun has a wild recoil pattern that can be pretty tricky to nail down. There’s nothing more satisfying than finally learning how Siege works and outplaying opponents through having good knowledge of the maps and operators, but actually getting to this point can take an agonizingly long time.

Game FAQ Difficulty Rating: 4.33

Soldier firing at a group of aliens

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction

Released
January 20, 2022

After the enormous success of Rainbow Six Siege, Ubisoft developed a neat spin-off title by the name of Rainbow Six Extraction which placed a greater emphasis on its co-op gameplay while also introducing a brand new alien-like enemy called the Archaeans. Rather than easing players into the experience, the game throws them right in the deep-end from the very beginning, with barely any tutorial screens to be seen, which already makes things pretty challenging. The game only becomes more brutal though once players start getting assigned to complete one of the game’s twelve different objectives, all of which involve venturing into an alien-infested base and trying to survive against a merciless horde of enemies, all while completing the mission and keeping everyone alive.

When playing solo, these missions can feel downright impossible considering just how littered each and every area is with dangerous enemies, but things really don’t become much easier when part of a team, especially if the players involved aren’t constantly communicating with one another through voice chat. Although many of the operators retain the abilities that they can use in Siege, such as Alibi’s holograms and Pulse’s heartbeat sensor, these tend to be much harder to use effectively given how unpredictable the enemies can be, which especially applies to the special aliens that appear later on. Anyone who fancies themselves a bit of an FPS veteran should definitely gather a few buddies and try to take on the intense challenge that is Rainbow Six Extraction.

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