Review by protossc541
"Fun, but something is still lacking"
Ok, lets look at this objectively.
Fun Factor: 10/10
This game is a triumph of modern spy thrillers. It makes me think of a prequel to The Bourne Identity. The gameplay mechanics are excellent as well. First off, the control scheme is great for a game like this. It is realistic down to having to hold your breath in order to steady your aim while sniping. The characters and AI are impressive as well. The enemies actually seem dumber in this version than in X-Box, but only on the first few levels, and only on Normal difficulty. It has all the action of the X-Box version and a few new secrets. You can even hook up that gameboy advance and lay bombs on people to detonate remotely. The camera almost never gets stuck, and it is very easy to control. Sam moves fluidly and only the shooting is off (You pull out your weapon and shoot with the same button. Until you get used to it, expect to alert guards with accidental shots) The ability to distract enemies and take them out with a headshot or a smack on the head is also a plus.
Once again, Objectivity. I will pretend this is the only version to exist.
The graphics on this game are great. The animations are smooth and Sam runs nicely at 60-70 fps. Nintnedo used the GameCube's capabilities fairly well. Some of the best effects are shown off early as well. The flame and smoke rendering are second to none. Showcased on the first level, it appears quite real. Many of the cut scenes were re-rendered as well. Nintendo used the Resident Evil style cutscenes instead of the polygonal characters so Sam Looks a bit different between levels. The shadows on the walls and textures are high quality as well.
Ok, here's where I rip into this game.
The graphics on this game come out as horrible when compared to X-box. They removed all of the shadows, and painted the walls to make it appear as if they were still there. All of X-Box's particle effects are gone. This means that you don't need nightvision to see a guard fifty feet away in (what is supposed to be) pitch black conditions. The cutscenes were re rendered because the playstation version was ported over too us and the playstation can't handle the X-Box's level of detail. This game is exactly the same as PS2 with some exclusives, and that includes the graphics. While they are good for a modern game, Gamcube can handle most of the particle effects that X-Box can. We got ripped off because PS2 is too old and decrepit to do. Oh, The Humanity!!
There, Rant over.
What can I say? The score for this game sets the mood as well as the graphics do. (Better if you don't own X-Box like me) They were composed specifically for each level, so they match the tempo. By the time you have been playing a few hours you'll be shot through with adrenaline every time you hear that fast music that means you've been spotted. The sound effects are great too. Walk over glass and enemies come running, run up behind the and they turn and fire. Of course, this game needed it with the stealth component.
There really is nothing in the world like shooting a rendered terrorist in the head. Unless of course you do it after having dropped behind him after standing between a wall and then grabbing him, interrogating him, THEN shooting him. (Man, say that three times) Everything from being able to rappel down a rope to shoot someone trough a window to being able to set a remote bomb on someone and blow them up from across the level is in this game. The sheer carnage you can wreak on one person is amazing. Then you move the body and do it again.
See ''Fun Factor'' For all the reasons you'll be coming back. No seriously. Long after you've mastered every level, you'll be coming back so you can intentionally set off alarms. Then you'll fond a dark corner and lob grenades at unsuspecting henchmen and laugh maniacally at the idiot who gave YOU the fifth freedom. Stupid General, I'll start another war!!!
A great game in its own right, I gave it an 8 instead of a 10 because, in fact, I found the graphics very dissappointing. I was expecting Nintendo to use The X-Box's version and they went with PS2. This angers me because the GameCube can, in fact, handle most of the graphics features of the X-Box. Splinter Cell could have had all the shadows with slightly lower res textures and smaller models. They didn't however, and we are left with the end result, which is very dissapointing to me.
And for those of you who say graphics dont' make a game, know that apperance matters, graphics set a mood for the game that the sound and gameplay enhance. Besides, if graphics were all that mattered, I'd give this a 2.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/15/03, Updated 04/15/03
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