Review by Carter12

"In depth review"

Some may wonder why Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has had so much hype before and after its release on the XBOX. Well the reason for this up roar is because of the magnificent gamplay, eye-watering visuals and most all the coolness of been a secret spy.

You are Sam Fisher, a member of the dubbed Third Echelon, a branch off of the National Security Agency (NSA). You play the part of what’s known as a Splinter Cell, hence the game title, and your role is to gather intelligence form a number sources, such as Embassy’s, Defense Ministry’s and Nuclear Power Plants. All this plus some extra cool gadgets, makes this game a damn right show stopper.

The PS2 version has some extra benefits, so read on.

Gamplay

Well, where shall I start. Alright, I suppose people think that Splinter Cell is a carbon copy of Metal Gear Solid 2. Well to a certain extent, but Splinter Cell takes the idea of stealth and gadgetry to new limits. Firstly, Splinter Cell has a more believable story line, but more on that later. Any way back to the gameplay. What makes this game so special is the heart pounding missions that actually make you feel like you’re in that situation. There may well be only 10 missions, but who cares when each mission takes a good hour and a half to two hours. That is what makes this game so good. Its true that you have to be patient, but that just makes the gamplay 10 times better.

The controls are wonderful to use because they are so simply. For example controls to open doors, fire your weapon and so fourth are one button touches away. The camera is always such a big problem in action/adventure games, but in Splinter Cell the right analogue assumes the role of the camera. This to is so easy to use.

Sam’s movements and actions are mind blowing, especially the muscle straining split jump. The amount of times you have to rappel and climb, just add to the intensity of the game. When your crouching in the shadows and an enemy walks past, literally two feet from you really does put your heart in your mouth. This type of scenario is what people should expect from Splinter Cell.

You just can’t run into to a room trigger-happy and expect to come out unscathed. That’s not how it works. Stealth is the name of the game, (well Splinter Cell is but…).

Splinter Cell is as hard as nails, even on normal but again that adds to the mesmerising gamplay. Firstly try the game on easy, just to get to grips with the game controls.

Story

The story line, as I said early is more realistic than MGS2’s attempt.

Your are thrown straight into the game at the beginning and told a brief story about the situation. Basically the story is this. On March 10, 2004, the CIA contacted the NSA officials regarding the loss of contact with Agent Alison Madison, a CIA operative monitoring widespread communication shortages plaguing the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. A second operative, Agent Blaustein, was inserted into the Georgian capital of T’bilisi, to locate Agent Madison, only to drop contact seven days later. So your guessed it your role is to go and find the two agents and evaluate the situation. If you are caught the American Government will disavow any knowledge of your existence. WOW, its sounds good doesn’t it? Well it is!!

Audio/Video

As soon as you start the first mission your jaw will hit the ground with an almighty thud (and possibly a crack), because of the awesome lighting effects. What people thought was only possible on the XBOX, obviously was possible on the PS2. The way that Sam’s shadows move with the light and how the light shines through iron fences and make a perfect replica on the floor. You could literally spend a day just looking at the fire effects in a blazing inferno of a Georgian hotel.

The sound in this game is also brilliant. There is nothing better then hearing the sound of your SC-2K firing with its silencer. There is plenty of Russian voices and so fourth but the best sound has got to be the background music. If you are not quiet enough and an enemy hears you and tense, spine tingling music kicks in and makes you want to run from you location. This is not possible as you will jeopardise your position. You have to sit it out until the Russian walks past, then it is safe and the music stops, dead to a deafly silence. You would expect tumble-weed to role past.

Replayability

This game is definitely worth playing through one more time, especially in Hard mode. The game will take up to 20 hours to complete in Hard mode.

Buy or Rent?

BUY!!!!!!!!!!! This game is crying out to be brought. Even if you only have £40 to your name buy this game. If you rent it then your wasting money, you should by this game straight away!!!

SCORE CHART

Difficulty - 8/10
Visuals – 9/10
Sound – 8/10 (especially with the inclusion of the Prague Orchestra)
Originality – 9/10
Replay – 6/10
Controls – 9/10

OVERALL – 10/10 (Buy it. Kojima-san move over!)


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/29/03, Updated 06/09/03


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