It has been a long time since I have been exited for a Splinter Cell title, in fact in all honesty it hasn’t happened since the original. Since the original Splinter Cell title for the Xbox the series has stayed true to its roots to its of being a stealth action experience. Now a first in the series the game has become much more action then stealth. Does this still work in Sam Fishers favor? Read our full review to find out!
So what is this about Splinter Cell Conviction not being a stealth game? Well I should first clarify that there are still good chunks of stealth found throughout Conviction but it is not the centerpiece like it has in years past. Sam Fisher in general is a different sort of Sam then many are going to be used to as well and without giving anything away the story does seem to be a bit more of a focal point for the single player experience.
More then any other Splinter Cell game in the past I am happy to report that this game is much less about trial and error then the experience. The series in my opinion was starting to get to the point where you memorized entire levels just to reach checkpoints. That is no longer a part of the experience or at least its not on the lower difficulty levels. The game is much more about the “experience” rather then the stealth. For hardcore fans of the series this may sound like a kick in the gut but for others this may be the one statement that revives your interest in the series which it was for me.
The single player campaign is full of twists and turns and if your not careful you may get confused as to who the good and bad guys really are. The game ends with a quite climatic finish that once again helps set this game apart from those of the past. I will say that there are times when I wish that Ubisoft when deciding to go away from a pure stealth game would have kept going with the transition. By far the best portions of Conviction are the straight up action. The single player campaign is on the shorter side but luckily there is a whole other cooperative campaign to sink your teeth into after your done.
Speaking of the cooperative play this is a bit different then we have seen in Splinter Cell games in years past. Basically its a recreation of the single player but with a different take on the story and obviously a second agent. The cooperative play can be played both offline and online and both work pretty well. I did have some connection issues online which shortened games early and forced me to find other players to play with. I cannot confirm whether that was a game issue or the other players connection issues, either way it was kind of annoying.
With connection issues aside this is a great secondary mode but really didn’t sync in with me as much as the single player experience. In fact after spending a few hours with the cooperative play I went back and played through the single player again on the higher difficulty. For me the co-op just didn’t feel all that enticing, the action feels like the single player with more enemies and not necessarily a cooperative experience. It works, its functional, but there are far better cooperative experiences out there.
Visually speaking Splinter Cell Conviction is a top notch action experience, there is a lot of high levels of detail, and some great shadow effects that you would expect from a Splinter Cell game. One of the areas that I always thought the series has lacked is in the gun animation as that has always been a secondary part of the Splinter Cell experience. However with Splinter Cell Conviction the developers have done a solid job of upping the animation and making it a much more visually appealing experience. The cooperative play (especially online) seems to take a hit in the frame rate department and doesn’t carry the same level of graphical detail. All in all this is a great looking game that once again shows that life in the shadows can still look great.
I never thought I would say this, but I actually really had a great time playing Splinter Cell Conviction. I mean Splinter Cell games have always been technically sound and visually appealing but “fun” they have not always hit notes like they did in this game. For hardcore Splinter Cell fans this may not be the fun they remember, but for those returning to the series after long layoffs or new gamers to the series this is one of those games you will want to play from start to finish at least once. The game still has stealth but its primary focus is on the experience of being Sam Fisher something I think that has been lost in previous games.
It’s surprising how great 2010 has already been in terms of video games and here we are yet again with another title that’s hard not to recommend. The Splinter Cell series has been in need of some updates, and I think the updates made to Splinter Cell Conviction were exactly what the doctor ordered. Although not a perfect package, Splinter Cell Conviction is a great game that offers a great single player experience as well as a solid cooperative game that all combines into another must have action game.
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.