- "Helping kick-off an upcoming plethora of stealth-related content, Splinter Cell Community Developer, Zack Cooper, shows off a classic mechanic with a modern twist."
- ― Official Ubisoft Youtube video description regarding the feature's return in Blacklist.
Closer Than Ever (or CTE) is a gameplay mechanic featured in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Splinter Cell: Blacklist where the player's character animation gradually changes depending on the distance from an enemy guard.
Closer Than Ever is a gameplay mechanic that changes the character's animation depending on their distance from a potential target (an enemy guard). In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, CTE makes it's first appearance by having the player transition to a ready state if they get near an enemy, or if an enemy gets near them. The player's character will hunch over more, reach out their left hand in a 'creeper-like' state as their left hand is placed on their combat knife (ready to do a lethal attack, if the player chooses). The player's movement also adjusts, allowing them to move slowly or in a tiptoe walk animation, reducing surface area on the ground and making less noise. This animation is the same for Splinter Cell: Double Agent for both versions.
In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, CTE returned by having having the player enter into a slower and cautious state whenever they are near hostiles. This can be ideal for players who are utilizing the Ghost or Panther playstyle to take out opponents patrolling an area. The animation is different than the animation from Chaos Theory, and the player's character does not reach for their knife. Splinter Cell: Blacklist has a similar feature while doing climbing/cover actions as well, the player's character will change to show that they are 'ready'. For example, when the player is hanging from a pipe, they will bring their arm down and move their torso in a 'ready' position when a hostile is under them (and they are able to take them out using hand to hand).
- The Closer Than Ever mechanic was one of the 'classic features' brought back by Ubisoft for Splinter Cell: Blacklist, enough to warrant it's own introduction video.
- Since it's introduction in Chaos Theory, the feature has only not appeared in one game, Splinter Cell: Conviction.