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|25th March 2003, 19:58||#1|
Review: Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
Introduction: The name is Fisher, Sam Fisher.
It is the year 2004, a CIA agent goes missing in capital of Georgia, T’Bilisi, another agent is sent in 7 days later, all contact is lost. Instead of sending in another agent, the CIA calls for the help of Third Echelon, a secret faction in the NSA. Third Echelon is composed of a team of hackers, strategists, a mission commander and 1 agent in the field, a Splinter Cell.
In this game you take on the role of Sam Fisher, an agent recruited by Colonel Irving Lambert to become the man in the field of Third Echelon. You are a Splinter Cell.
The story: Tom Clancy, Hooray?!
In spite of what the title suggests, the story for this game was not written by Tom Clancy nor was it copied from any of his books. Actually, the story was written by the people of Ubi Soft and the story was later on approved by Tom Clancy.
As the story develops, you will see that there is more going on than meets the eye. Those agents were killed for some reason, they knew too much. But too much about what? That is for you to find out.
As it seems, the Georgian president (Kombayn Nikoladze) wants to start a war with the US and take over the world. (how original) However, despite the fact that this seems like a rather simple story, it manages to be quite exiting with several twists and turns, which take you all over the world, Georgia, China and even CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia. The sad part is that the story is just plain linear, there is no way to divert from the storyline. If you do choose to divert from it (by killing a key character) you will see “Mission Failed” dancing over your screen.
Gameplay: XBOX to PC
As you may, or may not know, Splinter Cell was originally an XBOX game which has been ported to PC. The biggest problem that this process brings with it, is trying to convert the controls from the XBOX controller to a PC keyboard / mouse configuration. And it seems to me they found an excellent way to cope with the problem of “choosing the walking speed”. Because on the XBOX you where able to regulate your walking/running speed by the force you used pressing the joystick on the controller. On the PC however you choose your walking/running speed with the mouse scrolling button and it works quite well!
When playing the game you have complete control over the camera, and you can swivel it in any direction around you, when you push the forward-button, you will simply start running in the direction the camera is facing, if you push backward, you will walk away from it, rather than walking backwards, this way of control takes some getting used to, but it’s very easy to catch on.
Obviously, if there is one thing the PC has in advantage to the XBOX, is that the mouse allows much more accurate and faster aiming, which will come in handy in some parts of the game.
The human shield in action!
Fisher has a wide range of movements, climbing ladders, pipes, fences, rappelling off buildings, crashing through windows, hanging on pipes attached to the ceiling, a split jump –which allows him to “hang” in the air – and even a double jump (like the one we know from UT2K3). Besides that he can also take hostages which he can force to cooperate, interrogate, of just use as a human shield.
Taking a hostage
And hiding the corpse
It is imperative that you stay undetected, therefore, you must try to hide the bodies of people you’ve killed or knocked out, because it is possible that those body’s are found later on in the game, and because of that your mission could fail!!!
Stealth is obviously the major part of the game, but your approach to situations can vary from mission to mission. In one mission for example, you can chose to peek around the corner and shoot the guards before they know what’s happening to them. But you can also take shelter behind a tank and throw an empty beer can (which just happens to be lying around) to lure them to a certain place, at which time you can set them ablaze by shooting at the fuel pods they are standing next to.
pfffrrt, Windows. You'd really expect the CIA to know better...
Sam also has access to a wide range of gadgets, ranging from sticky camera’s (which can also be used to knock an opponent out if you hit him in the head with it), sticky shockers (to electrify opponents), a lock pick set, camera jammers, wall mines, etc. all of which will greatly help to accomplish your mission if used correctly.
Thermal goggles baby!
Graphics & Sound: Look at the nice butterfly!
Well, about the graphics I can be brief. They just look awesome. The textures are sharp as hell, and the effect you get from the game with light & shadow is just truly amazing.
The only thing you do see as a “result” of the sharp images, is that some of the objects in the game have milled edges.
Also, a big thumbs-up for the sound. And not only the sound effects (whistling of the wind, dogs barking, the sound of a bottle breaking, and so on) but the music the music as well.
When you have been spotted or an alarm goes off, the music starts to get a bit hectic and when it tires down, the coast should be clear. Of course you can argue that this kind of defies the tension of the game, but I still remains a very nifty effect.
Checkout the shades of the butterfly's on the wall!
You can see an example of the milled edges on the frame of the door.
Conclusion: This is the end, or is it?
This game is one of the finest I have seen for a while, from the minute I started playing until the minute I saw the credits roll over my screen, I was fascinated by all this game had to offer.
It features just about everything a good game needs, a decent storyline, fantastic graphics, superb sound effects, a good balance between action & stealth, cool gadgets and a kickass hero! The only thing I really missed where the babes :-)
Let’s just say I can’t wait for a sequel!!!
- Cool graphics
- Superb sound
- Good storyline
- Difficult at times
- Stealth can become tiresome after a while
Game play: 23/25
Fun factor: 20/25
Total of: 87/100
|29th November 2003, 17:27||#5|
Great review! I havn't quite finished this game yet, and have found it quite difficult. However, the graphics and gameplay are great and I have found that spending the money on this game was well worth it.
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