Hanging from a ledge on a balcony, I pressed the Back button on the Xbox 360 gamepad and grizzled superspy Sam Fisher drew an armed guard closer with a whispered a come-hither taunt. Decision time: do I toss an incendiary grenade at his feet and watch the flesh cook off his bones? Tear gas him and then run up and slit his throat? Simply aim my pistol at his face and paint the wall with his brains? Nah, I’m an old-school Splinter Cell purist, so instead I tapped the X button. Fisher reached up, grabbed the bad guy by the shirt, and hurled him over the edge to the concrete below. No one heard. That rush of having so many tools to choose from and the intoxicating freedom to execute a plan as I saw fit is the biggest part of what makes Splinter Cell: Blacklist the best game in the series since 2005’s Chaos Theory.