Review by Ratly

"Great Game with its share of problems"

First of all for everyone who thinks that this is just a cheap port of the XBOX Splinter Cell think again. There are quite a few changes that actually make this a completely different game. I have played the XBOX version so much that each level and enemy location is etched into my brain. So when I picked up the Gamecube version I thought it would be a walk in the park, boy was I wrong. Each level has been changed dramatically from room placement to added security cameras even enemy placement has been changed. On top of the different level layout Ubisoft decided to add GBA support as well. The GBA actually makes the game much easier by adding a little radar that helps you locate hostile units making your job that much easier. You can also use your GBA to use the all new Sticky bomb as well as trigger wall mines.

Now for the bad. One of the things I feel could have been improved are the graphics. The graphics are good and in some cases close to what the XBOX can do but there are some flaws that really are noticeable. For example if you run the game in progressive scan the Nightvision becomes useless as it makes everything appear unbelievably dark, so much so that it is actually better to not use the nightvision at all. Textures are also somewhat bland as they don't have as much detail put into it as the XBOX. There also seem to be some glitches in the game script where certain events don't happen and as a result the rest of the level might suffer. One such event happened where I was supposed to follow a guard to a room where he was supposed to be killed and was not, and as a result I was not able to progress because when I went into the room where he was to have died, he would drop dead and the game would give me a mission over message saying he was my only way into the room even though I was already inside.

GRAPHICS: 8
Graphically the game is quite beautiful but not as great as it could've/should've been. The problem with the progressive scan is one that shouldn't have happened.

SOUND: 9
I liked the music in Splinter Cell it really helped get me into the mood. Especially in dramatic scenes it really helped set the mood. Voice acting was done quite nicely with ''most'' of the cast doing a great job.

GAMEPLAY: 9
I liked the game mechanics and everything moves quite well. I would have to say both the XBOX and Gamecube versions run very simillarly. However I feel that the Gamecube has better hit detection. On the box there were many times I shot someone in the head and he still managed to kill me. Thankfully when I shoot a guy in the head on the cube he's the one to drop dead, not me.

REPLAY VALUE: 6
The replay value drops considerably when you realize that there isn't anything to unlock. Basically all you can really do is fire up the game and do it all over again. Personally I never really get tired of this game. I'm always trying to find better ways to do things, new ways to incapacitate a guard. The games replay value is basically what you make it.

BUY/RENT???
Splinter Cell isn't everybody's cup of tea it demands a lot of patience and many of the areas and puzzles come down to trial and error. As much as I like this game if you're unsure I would recommend trying before you buy. Splinter Cell is short enough that you could beat it in several hours if you have a good idea on how the game plays. Otherwise it might take a few days perhaps a week or two tops. If you try the game and feel that maybe it's not what you're looking for then at least you saved yourself 50 bucks that you can blow on yet another game.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/03, Updated 04/28/03


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