Review by DaJedi555

"The future of Stealth-Action is now"

In the past experience of gaming software created by UbiSoft, and I have much experience with them, my reactions to their games were from "Meh, to "Pretty Good." Some were just horrible, but there were only a couple, in my opinion, that totally crashed and burned. *cough* Rainbow Six for PlayStation *cough*

You see, I am a big - nay – _huge_ fan of Tom Clancy novels. Most of the games were worthy of the title "Tom Clancy's -----", but just weren't good games. The original Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell was probably one of my favorites, or at least up there; but, there just seemed to be something missing: the actual feeling that it was delivered from Tom Clancy.

But, now that Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has hit the market, it seems as if all previous bad encounters are redeemed for.

The story is excellent, the element of Tom Clancy has returned with a bang, or rather, a gunshot; the story involves assassinations, stealth kills, and more. This is pretty much the summed up, low-down of the story: This time, there is more than an information crisis. Terrorists, under the command of Suhadi Sadono, have threatened the United States with a smallpox bomb; contrary to the beliefs of most U.S. Citizens, the smallpox disease had not been completely eradicated. It is, again, up to the Third Echelon's stealth operative Sam Fisher to eliminate the threat and restore order. Short enough? Good. A pro to the story is that there are many twists and turns that keep you interested to the game. 10/10

The gameplay mechanics are incredible in this game. You can interrogate captured terrorists, knock them out, or just simply shoot them to begin with. But, unlike the previous game, your “Fifth Freedom”, or more elaborately put, your ability to complete the mission at all costs, including killing, being seen, or even sounding an alarm, does not appear until about halfway through the game's progression. But, that is just one of the few cons of this incredible game. Sneaking up on guards and catching them in a Marine-style sleeper hold has never been a better experience; HDTV has now been enabled, along with (I think) Progressive Scan capability.

Along with your previous weapons, you now have the ability to activate a laser-sight for your pistol, which makes aiming much easier; no matter where you are or how far you are from your target, your shot always, always lands on where the laser sight was, which brings me to the next segment of my review.

The SC-20k makes its return to the game, carrying with it a new function to it: the ability to zoom in and out with the scope, making aiming incredibly-so much more easily used.

And in addition to the improvement of the scope, many more game improvements have taken place, such as the ability to perform a SWAT maneuver, effectively named the “SWAT turn”. It is very, very useful in the later missions where being seen is not an available option for you. But keep in mind that this does not make you invisible. It merely helps reduce the risk of you being spotted when crossing a doorway. Overall, the gameplay is unmatched in almost any other game that I have played. 10/10

The controls are also kind of hard to get used to, again; some of the buttons have different functions, such as the Z button no longer activates night vision, it makes Sam whistle. The left and right on the D pad now take care of night vision. Also, your weapon is no longer drawn with the R button. You now bring out your currently selected weapon with the B button and fire with R. And, the C-Stick takes control of the camera, and the control stick, of course, moves Sam. I think the controls could have been better. 6/10

The graphics in this game are so incredible; I don't have words to describe them with. This game takes full advantage of the GameCube's 256 color capability, utilizing every single color on the palette. It takes almost little to no effort to see the small details that they took extra time and consideration to add. I feel they could have done better on the explosions coming from the muzzles of the guns in the game, though, and some textures in the game feel a little rough. But overall, the graphics are great. 9/10

Overall score: 9/10

If you haven't already, you should give this game a try and experience the awe that this game will leave you in. I promise, if you don't have to pick your jaw up off of the floor, there is something seriously wrong with you.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/04


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