Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent
Review by BoyLover X
"Ubisoft should stop making games"
Sam Fisher, an agent for the top secret Third Echelon, is back to protect America from terrorists... again. This time, he must go undercover and pretend to work with a terrorist group (hence the subtitle "Double Agent") to get close to the enemy and sabotage them. Not very interesting stuff, or well told. The game is basically just meant to set up the story for the next game in the series. There aren't any "OMG, did that just happen??!!" plot twists here. There's also supposed to be a love interest, but I didn't get the feeling that there was really a connection between the two characters until late into the game when all of a sudden the characters act like they have actually been in love the whole times. It was very poorly developed due to not having much dialogue.
The graphics were simply ported from the PS2 version of the game, which is a huge step down from the previous game (Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory) on the GameCube. There is very little lighting, and the lighting is extremely simple. It's so bad that sometimes you will step into an area where you think you should be hidden, but the game thinks you are in a lighter area so enemies will see you when they really shouldn't. At other times, the opposite will be true.
Textures are extremely bland, and the color pallette is terrible. Sometimes it felt like I was looking at the Splinter Cell game for the DS. Seriously, these graphics aren't even the best for the PS2, let alone the more powerful GameCube, and seem even worse for the Wii (a next-gen console). Shadows were beautiful in the GameCube games, but in this game most of the time you don't even have a shadow! WTF????? There are some pop-up issues, too. The ultimate graphical insult: there is no widescreen support. This is a freakin' modern game, yet there is no widescreen support? Ridiculous. On top of these bad graphics, the game doesn't even keep up a smooth 60 frames per second.
I know that the Wii is technically the weakest next-gen console, so I didn't expect Xbox 360 graphics. Some people may say "I bought the Wii for gameplay", but you have to draw the line somewhere, and you have to set your standards higher: there is no reason why these graphics should be acceptable.
Main characters have pretty good voice actors (returning characters have the same actors as previous games) but there is less dialogue here. Enemies sound terrible have repetitive and annoying things they say that aren't well written. "IT'S GETTING PRETTY ROUGH HERE!" and "Nothing but ghosts and shadows" are the same crappy voice clips we heard in previous games, and they are still very laughable. Music is a step down from Chaos Theory, and there isn't even very much music.
Just like the other games in the series. Sneak around, take out guards silently, avoid security cameras, etc. Too bad the gameplay feels like it's getting stale. You have the ability to choose good or bad objectives to regain trust of Third Echelon or the JBA (terrorists) since you are a double agent and must convince both sides that you are really working for them. Unfortunately, these choices don't really affect the outcome of the game: the only thing that changes is which CG cinema you watch after beating a level. You may get lectured by either side about how you screwed up, but it doesn't really matter since the missions and story don't change drastically.
Throughout your missions, you'll be avoiding pretty much the same obstacles as previous games... and the solutions to avoiding them are the same. There aren't any cool new weapons or gameplay moves, so the game starts to get boring. The level design seems too linear most of the time, and less interesting than SC: Chaos Theory.
The AI is simply screwy, even compared to previous games. For some reason, they don't usually react to the noise of objects being thrown as distractions. They have trouble seeing you even when you are right next to them. However, as soon as you are in alert mode, the enemies magically gain "super vision". They will be able to see you even when you run and hide in dark areas, even from long distances which is completely unfair. They can also shoot you when you are hiding around corners (yes, their bullets can somehow go a little bit around corners).
Somehow, Ubisoft even managed to screw up the controls. Other Wii games like Zelda and Resident Evil 4 feature excellent aiming controls that feels better than analog sticks. This game does not. You can't point and shoot: instead, you point to the edge of the screen to steer your gun around. Why is this more complicated than necessary? This is actually WORSE than analog sticks, and the worst controls for any Wii game. There are some actions that require twisting the nunchuk: these simply do not work well. The game seems to have a lot of trouble figuring out whether or not I twisted the nunchuk. Why didn't these actions simply get mapped to the 2 button? The 2 button isn't used for anything...
Final Score: 2/10
It feels like everyone at Ubisoft's quality control department sleeps all the time. Or maybe there is no quality control department. Between this and Far Cry: Vengeance (which I also reviewed), I have concluded that Ubisoft just can't make Wii games that don't have serious glicthes and flaws. This game froze up on me once. FC: Vengeance froze up many times, and Red Steel froze up a few times. Yet, no other Wii game has frozen up on me so I know that there is no problem with my Wii console. The problem is Ubisoft's ****ty programming. I will never buy another Ubisoft game again: they have stolen enough of my money.
Let's see here... everything about this game is worse than Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. On top of that, it features the worst Wii controls so far. Yeah, there's no reason to get this game if you can find a copy of SC: CT for the GameCube or Xbox. If you really need another Splinter Cell game, try the Xbox 360 version of this (it's supposed to have different and more interesting levels).
Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 08/26/07
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