- "This system appears when you can interact with an object or person in the environment."
- ― Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell manual
The Interaction System is an interface between the player and their environment within a video game. In the Splinter Cell series, the Interaction System is used as an interface for the player to connect with their environment, cooperate with a person and do something not specifically defined to a basic control action.
The Interaction System in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series is an interface for how players cause their in-game character to react with their environment. This covers an array of interactions such as picking up objects in the environment, activating light switches, turning valves, switching/piercing generators, etc.
In Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, the interaction system appears in the upper right side of the player's heads-up display (HUD) to indicate that the player can interact with the environment. This includes, but is not limited to: opening doors, picking up enemy bodies, grabbing an enemy (and interrogating), rappelling, using keypad locks, unlocking retinal scanners (by forcing a captured enemy), and using light switches.
In Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the interaction system remained largely the same, however, the interaction action text (used to briefly describe what the player wanted to do) was instead replaced by an icon system. The icons showed the players actions (such as showing a hand icon for when the player wanted to grab an opponent) among other things. In Splinter Cell: Double Agent (Version 2), however, the interaction system is more inline with Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
In Splinter Cell: Conviction and Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the interaction system was changed drastically to display the action text in the environment (as well as showing the correct button to do the particular action). The player can choose their action by moving the aiming cursor to the correct spot (such as moving the cursor on the door to open it, or by moving it under the door to look under it). Different buttons are used to achieve the desired action (such as using one button to open the door, and using another to bash it).