"Overated....But that doesn't mean bad."

Splinter Cell was awarded the console game of the year, over Metroid Prime, and well, I love Metroid Prime, so if this game beat it out, it has to be a better game, right? Wrong...Although Splinter Cell is still very enjoyable and gives the authentic stealth experience, the game is too linear, lacks replay value, and when compared to Metal Gear Solid or Hitman 2, it is quite easy.

Graphics - 9/10
Graphics in Splinter Cell are very good. The game runs smoothly all throughout, and I haven't really noticed any kind of slowdown at all. The lighting is fantastic, the environment looks awesome, and basically everything in Splinter Cell looks good. Although it was chopped up a bit from the XBox version, it is still great to look at.

Gameplay - 9/10
Everything about Splinter Cells is screaming stealth (well, not literally, that'd blow a cover anyday.) There are a lot of different moves at Sam Fisher's disposal. You can climb poles, crouch-walk to sneak on enemies, jump, use night and thermal vision goggles, do the cool roll move when you push X before landing a jump, and there's also the split jump, where you can press yourself against walls, then drop down on an unsuspecting guard and take him out. Its really fun to play, that is, if you are a stealth game nut. Splinter Cell has very little action when compared to MGS2 and Hitman 2, it is really more stealth and less gunplay. If you don't particulary care for stealth, this score is a 6.

Sound - 8/10
The game has very cool musical effects. When you are sneaking around with no one seeing you, you can hear a faint little tune. If someone hears something or sees a ''shadow'' vaguely, the music gets louder and it basically tells you to find refuge quick if you don't want to be seen. If someone starts firing away, the music becomes tense and sounds like an action sequence. The music is different for most of the levels, too, so no repetition. Definitely a cool effect, something seen previously on NBA Street, in a way. Sounds effects sound good, the guns sound like they are supposed to sound, and footsteps sound like footsteps, and footstep sounds will also vary if you are walking on different flooring.

Control - 8/10
Control will take some time getting used to, and it feels more like a PC game at first, but as I played on, I found myself really adjusted and could manipulate the controls without fault at all. One thing SC has over Metal Gear Solid is that you have to press a button to lean on walls, and in MGS, its quite annoying when you back against a wall when you don't want to. Controls are pretty good, but if you are a Mouse/Keyboard fanatic (I hate using M/K, gives me hand cramps.) then you might want to search for the PC version.

Replay Value - 2/10
Here is the big downfall on Splinter Cell. There is really no hidden options or features, only 2 difficulty modes, no rankings after completing a mission, and its very linear. Splinter Cell is a lengthy game, I say close to 15-20 hours of gameplay is in store, but after that, you may not want to play again.

Buy/Rent - Rent (Buy if you love stealth games.)
You may beat on a rental, you may not beat on a rental, but if you absolutely love stealth games, Splinter Cell is highly recommended, otherwise, just rent. Either way, everyone should really experience Splinter Cell, as it is a pretty good game, but not console game of the year material (Metroid Prime should've won.)

OVERALL: 7.2, or a ''7''.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/22/03, Updated 06/22/03


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