"Not a bad game but MGS is better (with the exception of MGS's plot)"

Splinter cell. This is the game which Xbox owners bragged about being the best stealth-based action game ever. Now that it has been released on the Play Station 2, we can find out what's so damn good about it. Any one who has played Konami's Metal Gear Solid is sure to have bought this title. But is it better than Konami's masterpiece? Let's find out. In this game, you are put in the shoes of an operative who's name is Sam Fisher. Sam Fisher is a highly trained and experienced agent who works for a top-secret military organization, Third Echelon, who's job is to stop terrorist threats and you have been callled to do that job.
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Graphics:9
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The graphics are simply a joy to look at though the graphics have been toned down from the Xbox version. The character models are less sharper and it's a little rough around the edges. The light textures also were a lot better in the Xbox version. There are some clipping issues like guards with guns sticking out of walls and dead bodies that when layed down near a wall, have there heads stuck in the walls. The Xbox's in-game graphic cutscenes have also been replaced wiht prerendered cutscenes that look far better. Overall, the graphics are superb and there were no other flaws besides the above mentioned ones.
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Sound:8
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The audio is simply teriffic and as we all know, the audio of a game has to be good in a stealth-action game. If a game produces very little noise when you run than you may think that the enemy won't be able to hear only to find out they've raised the alarm and a whole squad of elite guards are after your tail. Not in this game however. The faster you move, the more noise you make and the noise that's produced will be your one way ticket to game over. The music in the game gets faster and heavier if you get spoted by an enemy guard. Sam Fisher is voiced by Michael Ironside. With his gruff manner of speaking, he's perfect for the role. Only problem was that the Russians and Chinese should speak in their native language with subtitles.
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Gameplay:8
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The gameplay of Splinter Cell is pretty good and it should be because the gameplay's what makes a game good or bad. Sam Fisher has some new tricks up his sleeve that weren't in any other stealth-based action game. Like the ability to do split jumps atop a narrow passage. Then you can shoot on unsuspecting enemies or drop on top of an enemy to knock him unconscious. This has got to be the coolest move in the game. Crouching is very important in stealth-based games and it's no exception here. You have to stay crouched if you want to remain undetected. While crouched, you are nearly invisible to the enemy (That is if you don't bump into them). He can also kick off walls while jumping so that he goes higher. This is necessary for the split jump. Rappelling down walls is a pretty neat addition too and you can kick into a room through the window this way (Just like the SWAT team). You can use your enemies as human shields so that his allies won't shoot at you or sneak up to them and knock them out with your elbow. In some parts of the game, you'll have to force your enemy to pass a retinal scan that prevent further passage. After taking care of an enemy, you should make sure you hide his body in a safe location so that other guards won't be able to find it because if he does, he may ring an alarm which in some missions, are restricted so if you ring more than three alarms, it's instant mission failure. Picking locks is also an essential part of this game. You do so by rotating the left analog stick until you feel the controller vibrate. Then you wriggle the stick until the pins loose. Sam Fisher also has a huge collection of high-tech gadgets which aid him in his missions. The optic cable is used to look under doors. It's useful if you are entering a room and want to check if the coast's clear or not. Then there's the night vision goggles which enable him to see in the dark (Most missions will be in the dark), a camera jammer that disrupts nearby security cameras, heat vision goggles, which show him warm bodies like enemy guards and sticky cameras that can distract guards and throw tear gas at them. The game is less difficult than the Xbox version but still it's a challenging game. There is also a stealth meter which shows how visible you are to the enemy guards. The A.I. is ok and will investigate if they hear a noise or something dropping but other than that, they the same dumb computer controlled guards who always follow the scripted path and they don't exhibit any complex behaviour. Sometimes they can see through walls and since their guns sometimes stick out of the walls, the bullets do hit you.
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Replay value:7
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The replay value isn't much. You'll probably want to play it on a higher difficulty but other than that, there are no other playable modes and the game isn't a very long one either.
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Buy or rent?
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Those who like stealth-based action games like Metal Gear Solid should surely check this out. If your an impatient person, don't even bother renting the game as this game requires time. For those of you who have time, rent it out and see if you like it.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 12/16/03


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