Review by Triforce24
"Best Portable Splinter Cell Yet..."
Let me first explain my prior experiences with the Splinter Cell series. On the consoles I have played the first Splinter Cell, Pandora Tomorrow, and Conviction. On handhelds I have played the GBA ones, as well as the DS version of Chaos Theory, PSP's Essentials, and the iOS's version of Conviction. Splinter Cell 3D is a remake of the console version of Chaos Theory, which I admit that I have never played and so perhaps my review may seem unfair because I am judging the game on its own merits and not comparing it to the original version (Oh, and multiplayer on this version would have been great though). But let's dive right into it
Visuals: The most innovative aspect of the 3DS is of course the 3D visuals and most developers are trying their hardest to create intense 3D effects and if you come to this game expecting to be wowed by the 3D, then expect to be disappointed. Now I am not saying that the 3D Is terrible by any means, rather it is very subtle and to be honest I enjoy having it that way because it is very easy on the eyes and keeps you focused on the action. In terms of graphics, I also have to say that the game is actually more impressive than people are giving it credit for. The environments and characters in the game are fairly detailed and if I had to draw a comparison I would say that the graphics are comparable to Gamecube. The game while it does look good, it should have looked even better due to the strength of the system. While playing I didn't notice any objects popping in and despite what many are reporting I experienced little slowdown. In fact the only slowdown you will encounter is when you're loading the game off a checkpoint, in which the game will slow for a brief second, but nothing too major or gamebreaking.
Sound: Perhaps the greatest part of the game is the sound. All the characters have voice acting and each actor sounds fantastic. Even the enemy characters talk to one another. In addition to that the environmental sounds are also quite impressive. The Seoul level comes to mind because in the background you can hear gun shots, and while playing the level wearing headphones it really gives a feeling that there is a war going on around you. Oh, and Sam Fisher stills sounds like a badass..... so that immediately makes the sound great XD.
Controls: As for the controls, for the most part they are pretty tight. Many of your actions are controlled by the touch screen and I know that normally would put most people off, but it is actually well implemented. The touch screen controls gun selection, goggles, and environment interactions. In other words from selecting which weapon to use to even opening a door, all that is controlled by the touch screen. This system works quite well though because the icons are easy enough to hit with your finger, and I have never experienced such a smooth touch controlled system. Moving Sam around is also quite easy. The circle pad is used to move Sam, while the D-Pad is used to reload, jump, crouch, and get up against the wall for cover. The face buttons are used to control the camera. Most people believe that such a method would be wildly inaccurate, but after some adjustment the face buttons actually do their job quite well, not perfect, but certainly not terrible. And finally the shoulder buttons are used for shooting as well as melee and knife attacks. Everything feels really good, but there is definitely an adjustment period. I didn't get fully comfortable with the controls until I completed the first level.
Gameplay: Finally, that brings us to the most important part of it all. The game is simply fun. I had my doubts buying the game after reading so many reviews, but to be honest I never let reviews bother me (Hell I considered buying Asphalt 3D instead of this XD). When I started the first level and was sneaking around and snapping necks, I have to say that I was reminded of my first time playing Splinter Cell because it was just a totally new experience to be able to play a portable version that is just so close to what the console versions are.
In conclusion, if you're looking for the first great action game on the 3DS, then go pick up Splinter Cell 3D. The controls take some getting used to, but at its core this is still the same great Splinter Cell experience that I remember. The worst aspect of the game is that there is only a campaign and not much to really go back to when you're done, but fun is had the whole way through.
Final Score 7.5 out of 10
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 04/18/11
Game Release: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D (US, 04/10/11)
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