Review by Eddo89

"Silently strikes you as a great game"

First off, I'm new to the Splinter Cell series, and secondly, I don't own multi-system. I will be concentrating on purely the game, because honestly, the graphics is better in other system does not mean it is a poor game in this system. But enough of that, this review would cover the main aspects of the game and look at the offline, I do not have online but from what i know, it is not one of strengths of this game.

Storyline
With your respect, storyline are not that important in a game like this, but it still plays a vital role in the game. People will say this is another Tom Clancy theme game, but I think it you would interest you no matter what is your interests. This game you control Sam Fisher, the field operative of the Third Echelon team, highly secretive intelligence team of the state. The plot basically follows the line, of investigating a small incident, but as they investigate more, they discover chilling facts that could lead to war. The story is assisted by cut-scenes in between missions as well, which is quite semi-interesting in my view. Characters though do have a somewhat strong personality, which made the game all the better. One word of warning is this story might be pretty hard to understand and you probably need to watch all the cut-scenes and in-game dialogue to understand it. Took me 2 playthroughs to understand it.
A healthy 8/10 for this section.

Sound
Nothing spectacular here. The music fits the theme very well, when situation heats up, music changes appropriately. The play the music in occasions, and never hinder your game play(unlike some which plays music loudly when you are trying to hear a conversation). The music itself is quite good I have to say, but lacked a strong theme song.

Sound effects are done quite nicely here. Sound of footsteps changes when you are on different surface and they replicate the sounds flawlessly I have to say. Doors, gun firing, objects flying and computer all have their sound effects as well, and as before it was almost flawless. One bad point I have to say is the lack of dialogue variety for guards. Phrases you heard from the US could be heard in Japan. Guards of non-English speaking countries speak good English(okay, this might be asking too much, but it is still a flaw). For those concerned of the language, generally is okay but there is a few not too appropriate words, but it there is not much and probably would not be noticed or even get offended.
Sound scores a healthy 8/10 as well.

Graphics
People will say Xbox graphics would be better, but the PS2 version would not leave you craving for the Xbox version. The graphics in its own right, is quite well done. The environment looks quite real, and fits situation perfectly(rust could be seen in appropriate places). There is nothing that look out of place, but is not something you would call gorgeous however. At times it lacked the finer details, and repetitive looks of guards does not put a good look either. I cannot say is spectacular, but a very good job nonetheless.
Graphics receives 8/10 as well.

Game play
Excellent. The game play of the game is very good. The basic point of the game is to finish objectives through whatever means. The best way to go about it is through sneaking in the dark. The game itself is sort of hard, but is not one of those that frustrates you to no end unlike some other stealth games. The game requires a fair amount of patience, you have to wait for right moment but yet, the game is very opened ended, but yet is very linear at the same time. There is numerous ways of taking down enemies, shooting, stunning projectiles such as Sticker Shocker or Air Foil Rounds as well as the one hit melee attacks which is lethal and non-lethal. There is more less traditional ways such as dropping from above knocking out when hanging on the posts or ambush while hidden in water. The possibility is numerous but there is always a best way. The controls itself is not not hard but do get confusing without the manual, but flows like a breeze once you get the hang of it. During game play, there is a light meter and sound meter which is pretty helpful during game play as it helps you. Other things that assist you are the high tech gadgets you could use, such as a shootable and retrievable camera, the OCP, a electrical disruptor that knocks out light or cameras for a short period as well as the more traditional gas, smoke and frag grenade, not to mention the rifle and weapon attachments which includes sniper rifle that you could have. Downside to all this gadgets is the inability for you to hand pick the equipments but rather chosen from 1 of 3 pre-determined combination which is stealth, assault or a more balanced one. Despite all of this, you probably could go through the game with only utilizing one or two of these gadgets which further illustrates its the way it is open ended.

Getting away from the gadgets is the movement you could use which many of them looks pretty cool and the number of interactive features you could use during game. Firstly, you have 4 visions at your disposal. The usual 3 which is normal, night vision, thermal vision and the new EMF vision which allows you to clearly see switches, cameras and many more in the expense of clear view of surrounding. Getting around is given the choice of crouching or standing. Different stance have different speed and quietness as always, but you also need to aware of the surface. Different surface would produce different volume of sound which adds a new dimension to the game. Some special movement is the infamous split jump of the Splinter Cell series, rappelling and hanging under tubes.
Interactive objects are computer, cameras, locked doors, lights, some of which you need to hack or pick lock to go through. There is also objects that could be thrown that could distract guards. Overall single player part of the game is very good.

If you got a friend or a sibling that share your interest in video gaming, than you might like to indulge yourself to this mode. Co-op basically puts in a split screen and have to complete missions togather. While the mode itself is short, and easier to a certain extent it do give some good game play. Essentially it is the same as solo mode, but there are some minor changes which makes it very hard to play this with one player. You get to use some 2 player special moves, but there is nothing much more different.

Overall game play receives a healthy 9/10, close to perfect.

Replay and Game Length
The game length itself is not very long. The Solo mode consists of 10 missions, each of them could last you 30minutes to 2 hours. For co-op there is 4 main missions, which consist of 4-5 short missions lasting 10 to 20 minutes each on first playthrough. So there isn't a lot of game play. However, you could replay it until you reach 100% rating for each mission or play on a higher difficulty. This won't last you too long, but I found replaying each mission fun because of the open ended solutions on the mission. I found myself coming back often, so the replay value is very good. Of course if acquired broadband connections, you could play online which further extents the game's replay value.
Overall, this section receives, once again 8/10.

Final Words
A very good game that all who like a stealth or tactical game should waste no time to buy. However for general players who are used to games such as Gran Theft Auto series should rent first to see if you like this as this is not for everyone. Don't ponder because of all the comments Xbox version is better than PS2, this game is very good in its own right, although if you have Xbox as well you should buy that version, but unless you are graphics fanatic, either are fine.

Hopefully my review helped you whether to buy this or not, but be sure to read other reviews as well for a different opinion to mine.


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/05/05


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