Review by darthnsoth
"A Dissapointing Showing on the Wii."
First of all let me say that I am a huge Splinter Cell fan. I own and regularly play all 4 of the previous games and have been known to state that this series is the reason I play videogames. That being said, it is with great sadness that this Wii version of Double Agent is such a disappointment. It is a shame and I truly hope that this will not be a trend for games coming to the Wii in the future. I know that from past experiences that such things happened on the Gamecube a little too often, where a gaming company would really slack off and put a lazy port from an inferior system on the Nintendo. And this game, I am afraid, is a poor port of the PS2 version of the game with the Wii controls slapped on.
This game continues a few months after the events of Splinter Cell : Chaos Theory. Sam Fisher is on a mission to Iceland with a partner Splinter Cell of all things. This game has quite a few changes from previous games in the series and the partner in the first mission is only the first difference you will notice. Once the first mission is completed the Double Agent aspect of the game comes into play.
Something in Sam's personal life takes a tragic turn and cuts his Iceland mission short. Sam begins down a path of self destruction and in a last ditch effort to bring him back around he is placed on a mission that has him serving as a double agent. Sam is Sent to jail to befriend someone in a new terrorist group called the JBA or John Browns Army. He must help this person break out of prison and gain his trust to be brought into the fold of the JBA.
Each mission you are sent on from this point forward will have you making the decisions on which orders you are to follow. Do you keep the NSA happy and follow their objectives or do you keep within the trust of the JBA. Often times you are given contradictory orders from each side that force you to choose one side or the other. Your new trust meter lets you see how you are fairing with each side and lets you make your own choices as to how you should proceed. Do you continue to help the NSA while eroding the trust of the JBA or do you follow the orders of the JBA leadership and push your NSA director closer to declaring you a rogue agent? These are the decisions left up to you, the player, in this latest installment of the Splinter Cell series.
This is one of my major disappointments in the game. The control for this game is extremely frustrating and will more times than not have you to the point of anger and disbelief as to what is transpiring on the screen in front of you. I feel I have become fairly comfortable with the Wiii controller, so I was more than a little disappointed to find such a slapped on and clunky control scheme for this game.
The lock-picking is frustrating and after spending hours playing through this game is still doesn't get any better. You need to turn the remote to find the sweet spot to pick the lock but often times it goes from nothing to to much with the smallest amount of movement, then all of a sudden it will work. I found it to be very inconsistent and not very accurate.
The wall hugging is about as bad, if not worst. For this you need to rotate the Nun-chuck to stick to the wall. Only it is very inconsistent in all regards for this. If you are near a wall, it will sporadically stick and unstick you to the wall with even the slightest of movements of the nun-chuck, and often times when when you are actually trying to wall hug you need to continuously twist the controller before you will finally hug the wall. And suddenly you will pop off the wall hug for no apparent reason.
Let me tell you this was immensely frustrating considering that you are normally trying to wall hug to avoid detection from a guard. This also works against you as you will unintentionally stick to a wall just as you are beginning to move to another cover object to keep away from a guard. Did I mention that to jump you need to move the nun-chuck up? This is something else that will often times get you detected when you are trying to wall hug and you rotate the nun-chuck to stick to the wall and you unexpectantly jump.
The remote for the most part is descent in this game. I did however find that sometimes as you are trying to reposition the camera by looking extreme left, right, up, or down, it will stop and you will need to readjust your remote so that you are at the edge of the screen but not too far past. Also aiming with the remote is a bit too touchy with a weapon and a lot touchy if you use the weapons scope.
There is only one save for this game. I really don't know why, and quite honestly this is not a good thing in this game. You are given a checkpoint at a few points in the level and one single save place. So make sure you aren't going to be saving in a bad or compromising position because each save overwrites the last. If you have a bad save you will need to restart the level or purposely die to be able to load from a checkpoint if you have one. This is yet another unacceptable issue with this game.
The level design is quite linear, with a lot of the uninspired level design throughout. There is really only one way throught the level (for the most part) and very little offered to the player in form of choosing your path through the level. The latter levels design and graphics do seem to get a little better but overall it is pretty underwhelming.
Now this is where the game truly shines. The story for the current gen and Wiii versions of this game is great, and quite a bit better than the 360 version. This story and characters are more flushed out and the decisions you make feel like there is something to them. You are given choices for a lot of your objectives and, as opposed to the 360 version, your trust meter will go one up for either the JBA or the NSA based on these decisions. There is not a trust meter for each like in the 360 version. There is a a feel of more weight to these desisions here.
There is a LOT more voice acting from Michael Ironside in these versions as well and there is a lot more explanation of what is happening. If I've taken nothing else form this game, I was happy to have been given the full version of the events taking place throughout this game. there is a lot less interaction with your JBA brethren here but in the level cut-scenes, Sam explains the story around them.
Though I wasn't expecting a whole lot here, I was expecting more. This is a serious downgrade from the graphics in Chaos Theory and this is not acceptable at all. We should be moving forward here not backwards. There are some parts that look descent in the game but over all this was a poor effort. The PS2 was the weakest graphically of the last generation so it boggles me as to why they would post that version and not the X-Box version of even the gamecube one. Bad ports of games was a trend that all too often befell the Gamecube, I really hope this doesn't continue for the Wii.
The sound in this game was fine. The weapon effects were fine and voice acting was very good. It was nice to see more voice acting from Michael Ironside and as usual he does a fantastic job of bringing Sam Fisher to life. The background sounds are quite good and bring good ambiance and feel to the levels.
To be perfectly honest you will be replaying a lot of this game bases on the fact that the control plays a large part in this. There are a lot of instances where you will be retrying an awful lot of this game over and over again because the poor control for the game makes you do so. In the end that may be all the replay you can handle.
As for actually replaying the game by choice though, the trust system give you a lot of options towards playing through a different way each time. A mark against this though is the fact that you do not actually receive a stealth % rating in which to improve upon. So it is up to you to determine what is your optimal stealth achievement for the levels.
As for the story though there is some incentive to retry the levels to make one side happy. You can play through pro NSA, pro JBA, or just take the happy middle ground. There are 3 different ending to the game but only one has a cutscent, making it the true ending. The average person will spend 8-10 hours on this game for a playthrough.
FINAL RECOMMENDATION: Overall score 5/10
I would recommend against getting this game for the Will. If you are a Splinter Cell fanatic like I am, then I suggest you pick up one of the other versions since the control for those are much better. Hey, you know the gamecube version will work on your Wii, so why not pick that one up instead. It's even less money. As always though if after reading this review you are still undecided then rent it. A rental is always a good idea for a game especially if you are not sure.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 12/11/06
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