Splinter Cell Review

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Graphics: 10
Sound : 9.0
Gameplay : 9.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 9.5
Review by Patrick “Rhett” Moore

Many games these days involve repetitive actions and tasks involving running and shooting at people, or taking something from point A to point B. These games get the gamer tired and frustrated at the software because it's such a waste of money if the objective is the same thing put into different perspectives. Splinter Cell dawns a new era on games, Pure Stealth. This is so far the only game available that relies on hiding in shadows, sneaking past guards, infiltrating outposts, and extracting information from terrorist leaders. As Sam Fisher, a retired special agent of the third echelon, you must do secret missions with the highest risks, to keep terrorist leaders from conquering the world over 10 extremely dangerous and long missions. This PS2 version also comes with a special refinery level in the snow, with a special new skin for Sam, and a new gadget or two.



Gameplay:

Since this is a very stealth oriented game, it's very slow paced, but can get exhilarating at times. Sneaking and dashing are your best friends, you cannot beat this game just by shooting at anything you see, that will quickly get your mission failed. There are many objects like cans and bottles to throw as a distraction, which adds to the ability of sneaking. There are also many other cool ways to sneak, besides crouching, like repelling down walls, climbing up ladders, and rolling. The guns are there too, silenced of course, with which you can take out enemies and lights for safe passage. The pistol you start out with is just a basic silenced 5.57 mm pistol. There is also a machine gun, shaped like the PN90, called the SC-20K. This rifle can shoot regular bullets on auto fire or single shot, and also Sticky Shockers, Sticky Cameras, Sticky Gas Grenades, and Airfoil. The shockers are little balls that emit a bolt of electricity at anything they touch, while the Gas grenade lets out knockout gas. The other two gadgets, such as the Airfoil, just act as a distraction, while the camera's use is obvious.

The aiming and moving of Sam Fisher is easy and flexible, and done swiftly with the left analog stick. The moving is touch sensitive, meaning the harder you press forward on the analog stick, the faster he runs or crawls. Aiming with the right analog stick is easy, and the sensitivity of the crosshair on the screen is slow, so you can make precise shots. The controls for jumping and taking out your weapon will need some getting used to, but it ends up being very easy in the end. I think the controls are very easy, but will need practice. The controls also differ in the two different difficulty modes, where hard is faster, and normal is slower and also easier. Hard also means smarter enemies and more damage dealt to you by bullets, and also less tries.



The AI isn't extremely smart, but still smart enough to kill or capture you. You should always watch the enemies' path, so you can get the jump on them. Try to do your plan in a hurry though, sometimes there are other guards around the area that could hear or see you take him. If someone does see you, he will run for the alarm, or stand and shoot. Enemies can also traverse the levels without running into a wall or a glitch, and will take advantage of some walls and shoot behind cover. The AI needs some polish, but can be fun to mess with sometimes. The levels are also good and expansive, it takes at least a good half hour to finish one mission, even on normal difficulty. The stealth and action included are very unique and addictive, it even gives a feeling of control over the enemies.

Sound:

The sound is very high quality. Voices are done by real people, and sound vibrant and detailed. They also fit the characters well, Sam has a deep and intimidating voice to keep you interested, and your enemies scared. The enemies are mostly Russian, and have nice Russian accents to go with their camo and attitude towards things. The generals and higher ranking officers have nice, unique voices, like Sam. A leader called Vyashashlav Grinko has a nice deep voice, along with a Russian accent. When you get into action, you will start hearing tense spy or thriller music (Depending on the situation) that can add to the feeling, but to a point it can get annoying. Gun shots and metal clinging sounds are realistic and nice, maybe copied from their brothers in real life. And other things like broken glass and dangling chains make awesome noises too, but can be heard by the enemy if you aren't careful. I think the sound is well done and deserves to be in Splinter Cell.


Graphics:

The graphics are definitely top notch, with realistic shadows, life-like skeletal animations, and extremely detailed faces. The shadows are the best part of Splinter Cell, lights can show shadows so detailed, that you can see your little hairs sticking up. A lot of games have shadows that might seem good, but here the light depicts almost every detail between it and the wall, that it's scary and nice to look at. You can even shoot a hanging light, and watch it swing and show off nice shadows like it would in real life, it is so damn cool to watch. The animations of Sam and the opposition are obviously done by people, and added into the game, because he moves so swiftly that theres no "clunks" where the skeleton pops out or gets locked onto itself, so it looks great. The people and especially Sam look great, Sam has a nice slim black suit, with all kinds of gadgets on his back and belt. Sam also has nice blue eyes, and blinks, and even moves his mouth (as do all characters), along with having a nice brisk of hair starting to grow on his face. A lot of people say that the game gets jerky a lot, but it really doesn't. It didn't jerk once for me, and so it has a steady framerate of 40 or so. Graphics are definitely top notch and worth a high score, amazing to look at, even for the PS2.

Multiplayer:

None. (Will be in upcoming Pandora Tomorrow though)


Overall:

This game has the best stealth you can find these days, even better than Metal Gear Solid. The story and graphics are deep and detailed, and of the best quality on the PS2 to date. This game deserves any stealth action fan's attention, and that fan will not be disappointed. A truly great game.