Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Overview

Wow! That’s really all I can say about this game. First few images and movies came from E3 this year and it really never just took off from there. I remember watching the first few movies of it and just thought that must be the cut scenes and not the actual gameplay (I was wrong). As time progressed so did the anticipation and now the moment all Xbox owners have been waiting for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has been released, and it left me amazed.

Gameplay

It is really hard to share all the things Ubi Soft has blessed us with in writing this review of Splinter Cell. I will start by saying you play as Sam Fisher a former member of the CIA and Navy Seal. Sam has just been called up from the NSA (National Security Agency). Through the game you will be given information on a ’need to know’ basis, and many times you will end up finding out key information on your own. Another very cool addition to help the game and story move along is watching the news network. At sometimes it is quite humorous to hear the reports and it’s just fun to watch.

If you haven’t heard Splinter Cell is a stealth based third person shooter that isn’t really so much about the weapons but all about making it safely to the final destination and completing what ever tasks that have been assigned to you. You start the game with a tutorial session, where you will learn all you need to know to get familiar with the game. This should really get you prepared for what the rest of the game has in store for you because I even felt the tutorial not to be a piece of cake.

As you start the first mission you start by getting one basic objective that will always amount to several missions. Once you do get your mission you will find out very quickly that you will "never" complete a mission in one try. Usually it will take multiple tries to complete any one mission, and that’s if you’re on the lower difficulty level.

So you got your mission objectives but the biggest question from most people will definitely be how does the game play out, and what I can simply say is superbly. Sam Fisher is very skilled at what he does and therefore weapons are not high on his priority list. Many times the only use of the weapon is to antagonize enemies to be able to get what he wants out of them. Through the game there will be several times where you will not see something which will be your way out. Sam Fisher really uses his surroundings to benefit the safety of his missions so there will also be several times throughout the game where the obvious choice may not always be the best one.

One of the best parts of the game is really how open the game is to interpretation. Like I just said earlier through this game you will definitely need to use your imagination. The game allows you to decide how you want to complete them and several times in the game there could be four or even five different ways to complete a mission.

The silenced pistol will definitely come in handy, especially at times where cameras are involved. You can choose to disable the camera by shooting it, or by skillfully maneuvering yourself around it to avoid detection. The cameras can become a very big annoyance especially when you’re at later parts of missions and they set off the alarm.

If you have seen the commercials or any previews for the game you would definitely know that shadows and sound play are a big portion in the game. In the game if you do make to much noise moving around then you will find the civilians or guards make a run for the alarm, so a word of wisdom for all who plan on playing Splinter Cell, watch your step.

The game’s controls are excellent. They are difficult but the nice thing is you will definitely figure them out from the time your out of the tutorial. You may not appreciate the tutorial while you’re going through it but you will definitely appreciate it once you’re thrown into the game.

Really this is one of those games that really utilizes every aspect of sound in the game. The voice acting through the cut scenes is superb. Sam and company all have very unique voices that really match what you would expect them to sound like. This is particularly true for Sam, who is voice by none other than Mr. Badass, Michael Ironside (Total Recall, Starship Troopers). Many times through the game you will over hear conversations that are pretty funny, that helps lighten the mood of the game.

One of the interesting things Ubi Soft placed in the game was a sound meter. So the more noise you make the more aware the people around you will become. Make too much noise and they will go sound the alarm.

For all of you with Surround Sound rejoice, because this is really a great game to have surround sound for. You really get the stealth feeling and it can really make the game extremely intense.

Graphics

I have really just been amazed at Splinter Cell, the more I play it the more I am just amazed at how far games have come since the days of the Atari and the NES. Splinter Cell is really an example of how Xbox games should all look.

The first graphical features that you will notice right from the get go are the shadow effects. Let’s just say they are downright gorgeous. Everywhere a shadow should be shown they are shown and in perfect fashion. The lighting effects to go along with it just gives every level there own unique and distinguished feel to them.

Sam Fisher is also top of the line. He is extremely detailed and excellently drawn out. He is so detailed that you will see all his gadgets. He moves so fluidly and so realistic that it is just really one of those things where you will just be left in amazement.

The level design is really what drives the game in the later parts of the game. Every level definitely has its own unique feel to them. Each level has many little things that might not look like much at all, but it could end up being something that is necessary to complete a mission.

Fun Factor

Well this is really a tough section to score for Splinter Cell. One of the biggest goals of Splinter Cell was to get you frustrated, but not to frustrated where you would want to throw out the game out the window. It really is perfect because it is just the right amount of difficulty to keep you excited about completing the mission. The cut scenes will definitely help keep you interested with the story at hand. But overall this game is going to get people upset, so those of you with no patience then this will probably be the least fun game you have ever played.

Overall

This is definitely going to be a high bid for a game of the year winner. There are so many things that Splinter Cell does well, and it is still amazing even after you complete the whole game. The replay value is definitely there you will most likely want to go back and try the game out on hard and then there is still downloadable content soon to come. This is one of those games that I would recommend to anyone, this is sure to make anyone happy over the holidays.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.