As posted on Hijinks Inc. Please visit our site and tell us what you think!
Splinter Cell Conviction, a long overdue game, but was it worth the wait? Well, considering the game has been out since April 13, this review is long overdue, so maybe I don’t have any room to talk.
The saga of the release date was one of epic proportions. Pushed back more times than any game I can remember, I hardly believed the release date until I walked into Blockbuster and it was waiting for me on the shelf. But once I got home and began this journey, I was very happy with what I found.
The game touted “A New Level of Splinter Cell Action”, a “Blockbuster Experience”, “Jaw Dropping Visuals”, and Xbox LIVE Play plus a Co-op Story Mode to boot… it delivered on all accounts. If you’ve ever played a Splinter Cell game, you know what to expect in this one. Stealthy movements, a lot of watching and timing your attacks, gadgets… all your regular super-spy fare. And that’s exactly what it is, only it’s so much more.
This game grabs you right from the word ‘go’, there’s no dilly-dallying around. The game takes place 3 years after Sarah Fisher’s death. It starts out with Victor Coste being interviewed by some guys in a Black Arrow facility. This takes place throughout the game, the levels you play are you ‘acting out’ the story that he’s telling. Having disappeared after the events in Double Agent, Sam is located by “Grim” and is warned that a group of hitmen have located him. After finding and dispatching them, he finds that they have knowledge of Sarah’s murder, and after that, it all hits the fan.
The process of finding out this new information is one of the new interrogation scenes in the game. 2 or 3 times throughout the game you encounter characters from whom you must extract some vital information. The game provides you some nice interactive surroundings to uhh, coax the information out of them. Just look at that bathroom scene in the previous picture to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
The first thing that I really enjoyed and appreciated about this game was the new way they give you instructions. Instead of giving you a quick pop-up with your next set of directions, they show up on the sides of buildings or objects, as the picture shows here on the right. It’s a really cool way to do it, really keeps you involved in the game. Not to mention, it just looks really nice.
Another very subtle change to the game, that really adds alot to the game play is the “last known location” system. Whenever one of the bad guys catch of glimpse of you, you leave a shadow or outline of your location. You can then move as they come in for a closer look and take the opportunity to flank your distracted opponents. This is basically the same thing that has happened in previous games, but now, because of the outline, you know exactly where the bad guys attention is headed, and can use that to your advantage.
If this were the only changes made to the game, it would be worth playing on these merits alone, but they also added in a bit more action for those of you that aren’t as into the stealth game, or maybe you just get bored from time to time. Now you’ve got a marking system at your disposal, which you unlock whenever you silently take out an opponent. This marking system allows you to mark up to 4 enemies for immediate execution. Sam will shoot all the marks as soon as you push the button, allowing you to clear a room at the push of a button. My favorite parts of the game were the times you could sneak into a room via pipes near the ceiling, by seeing the entire room, I could mark 4 guys and point my aimer at another. After waiting for a poor sucker to walk underneath me, I could drop down to take him out, shoot the guy I had aimed at before dropping, and then push the button to eliminate the extra 4 targets. 6 guys taken down in the span of 1, maybe 2 seconds. It… felt… amazing.
But all those great things only cover the single player. Ubisoft really put some time into the co-op game as well. I played through the entire co-op story with a friend over the course of 1 or 2 nights. It was a lot of fun maneuvering through these levels and taking turns trying to one up each other taking out the baddies. Of course, we occasionally ran into some trouble, and it was just as much fun as we both scrambled trying our hardest to escape detection. I would love for them to create an entire game based on the co-op version of Splinter Cell, if it was done right, it would be quite a bit of fun.
Overall, this is a very solid game. The story is very well written, the controls work well, and the levels are challenging but not impossible. Sam Fisher is one bad dude, there’s no way around that, but it would be nice if they incorporated a bit more of what made Splinter Cell such a great series in the first place. Adding the the stealth bonus and the ability to sidetrack guards with the system they’ve created for this game would make for a nearly perfect game. The only downside is that once you play through the game, there really isn’t a ton of replay-ability. So I consider this to be a renter, a top notch renter, but still not quite enough to make me go buy the game.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Platform: Xbox 360
Cost: Varies [Amazon Link]
Release date: April 13th, 2010