Review by Dan-O
"A very well thought out game that exceeds my expectations"
Every so often a game comes along that makes one stop for a moment, and give dedicated time to honor the games overall goodness. Splinter Cell is one of those games. It offers a lot in it's 3CD's. Mostly, a fun, intense and well built game that seems very well polished. You play as Sam Fisher across a myraid of missions to do some investigation work for the government, youre always in contact with a helpful voice that gives small clues as to what to do next.
Splinter Cell is about Stealth, not gun-ho mowing enemies down. While Sam Fisher does have a few guns he can play with, he's supposed to do a stealth approach first, guns second. The game begins with a well thought out tutorial on the controls of the game(while controls are customizeable, they do take awhile to get used to). You have to pass the tutorial in order to begin the game.
The Graphics are bar-none some of the best in-game graphics ever seen on the PC. The intense shadows of the main Character(Sam Fisher) are something that need to be seen in order to comphrehend. The lighting in the game is perhaps the most intense lighting of all, stand in front of a light source and watch it glance off Sam Fisher. Very well put together.. for a price. Aside from needing a extremely high end computer to get the game running smooth at mid-high settings. (My system specs at the bottom). I'll touch on sys requirements at the end.
The sound in the game is in a word awesome. The music is very dynamic. When Sam is sneaking around the music is laid back, and relaxing.(if music plays at all). When Sam is seen, a cool techno type beat drops on the player. Very intresting to say the least. The gun shots are well put together, as is the ambient effects. The sound is firm, polished and if you have the speaker set to appreciate it very environmental.
When writing a review I like to spend a little time talking about what system you need in order to play the game at an acceptable frame rate. Splinter Cell is an intense game, so using a GeForce2 with a 500mhz P2 won't cut the mustard(I tried, and it's a slideshow even at low detail). I ran the game on a 9700PRO/AMD 2600+XP with 1gig of DDR400 on an A7N8X, and for the most part the game ran smooth on MEDIUM detail settings with some jerkyness. Running on maxed out details is obviously meant for the future, as aside from the 3ghz Pentium4/ 9700PRO users. Heck, if you have a 64meg video card you can't even enable high resolution shadows(128mg cards only). I recommend a 1.8ghz processer with at least a GeForce4 4200, and 512-768meg of RAM to play the game at an acceptable frame rate. Patch 1 was just released but I only see about a 4FPS increase without the patch.
Splinter Cell is a well put together game, and will be in the running for game of the year I'm sure.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/21/03, Updated 02/21/03
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