Review by TIME X

"Sometimes dissapointing yet sweet."

Having not bought a game since Midnight Club 2 I opted for a shooter. I looked around and this seemed to be the best title. A great game since it mixes so many elements and to my knowledge is quite realistic.

You get a total of 2 weapons, 1 which you don't get until a later level. This disappointed me at first but then I realized that it’s essential to master a weapon and all forms of it. You will find that your second weapon has multiple, and very useful, types of ammunition.

Basic Start:
You start out in training in which you try out the actions available to you. Most of these are pretty fun to do however some of them I have yet to find a use for. Then you proceed on to different levels with different objectives. On some levels you can blow everyone to hell, on others you must hide any detail of any living thing besides security guards and workers ever being close to the rooms you so stealthily infiltrate.

Graphic Quality:
The graphics in this game are incredible. Sometimes you think that there are parts of a game they just put in to show how visually amazing this game is. The playstation 2, being the weakest system by numbers, absolutely shocked me with the graphic displays put on by lights, gunfire, and shadows. There are downsides to this, many times you are in a dark room or hallway and are forced to use night vision. With those goggles that Sam Fischer wears all you see is black and white, which ruins the graphics part but helps with the stealth.

Gameplay:
There are some flaws here. Maybe it’s just that the game is hard or maybe ubisoft left out some things. I’d like to be able to just over rails instead of having so scale my way around a fire, but in the end, this game rules. Being stealthy you must find the quietest way to get to your target. Usually there is only one way which isn’t what I appreciate. In this game I thought of myself as spiderman. I always looked up to see where I needed to go. And most of the time this helped. The shooting system in this game works but isn’t incredible. If you move then your target area increases making your shot less accurate. I don’t know how this simulates real life but it adds a level of difficulty needed in today’s shooters. The items in this game are hard to figure out. But once you get the hang of it they will save you. The overall use of environment is stunning. Look around everywhere, check over computer, open every door, look around every corner. If you don’t you won’t finish.

Story:
The story line in Splinter Cell is short and sweet. You don’t get dragged into loads of cut scenes. There are 2 at the end of every level. A game like this needs a story but it focuses on the action. It has less of a story than Metal Gear Solid: Sons of liberty, but more of a story than Red Faction. Basically you have to retrieve something and stop a terrorist from terrorizing people. I don’t want to ruin it for you so I’ll leave it at that.

Sound:
Every sound matters. Hearing a footstep is going to be the difference between life and death. Hearing a cameras squeak is going to save you. Throwing a Pepsi can near a security guard will give you easy access to his neck. Basically if you mute your television you aren’t going to pass the first level. The sound quality is amazing. Everything that moves makes a sound, and the exact sound it would make in real life. It all works with the stealth, hear, see, and feel. All the senses you need.

Items/weapons/gadgets:
I’d like to say great things but I can’t. There is a lot of useless stuff in this game that you just want to find a reason to use. There are some items that should have been scrapped and replaced with maybe an extra weapon. You only get 2, an automatic with sniper capability and a very useful alternate fire option. And a silenced pistol which you will be thankful for more than once. The items in this game get a 6/10, take a chapter out of Metal Gear Solids book, enemy uniforms would be great. However once you look past the items and look at the alternate fire options on your automatic weapon you will rejoice with happiness. Everything is useful one way or another. Hell, if you can’t find a use for someone fire it at an enemy’s neck and see what happens. This really brings up the weapons/items score to an 8/10 because of the over all usefulness of what you’re getting.

Should I buy it, should I rent it, should I forget about it?
It depends on what kind of gamer you are. If you are the Red Faction, Halo, blast everyone type then you might like 1 or 2 levels. But if you are a stealthy shadow then this is the game for you. If you do fit the stealth liker description this is definitely a buy. If you like blasting things then you might rent it just to try it out but will probably forget the whole thing in a month or two.

Why an 8/10:
Because this game rules but those little annoying things that you find in the first couple of levels keep chasing you. Of course you can get around them but you find it pointless to do so and end up throwing things at the wall. But once you see beyond that this is a great game. Stick with it and you will love it.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/11/03


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