"Ubi Soft did this perfect."

Your Sam Fisher, An ex-Navy Seal, and Cia operative, and you've recently been drafted back into the field by the NSA's new branch. The Third Echelon.

Plot Former Soviet Republic, Georgia, and its political leader Kombayn Nickoladze have been covering up military action agaisnt Azerbijan and have been sucking up American intelligence through a leak in the CIA's mainframe network. The NSA gets a little suspicious and decides they need to take immeadiate action. So Lambert, The head of the operation Calls in Sam Fisher, to take care of business.

Graphics
Character Models Excellent, The guys at ubi soft used hand drawn methods to create fine art work on all of the characters in Splinter Cell. Every Character looks Down right Amazing.
Levels Too say the least, Beautiful. Everything is polished out just right. And for a first, Everything doesnt look repitive. They stuck pop machines in some levels, and they look quite as real as they can get. Bottom Line, Everything looks great, there is nothing bad.
Effects
Lighting If you havent seen them yet, your eyes are missing out. The lighting is this game is start of the art. Probably the best til Doom 3 and Halo 2 are realeased. Take a Window with mini blinds on it. Imagine the sun shining right through the blinds onto your character. There is actually Shadows of each individual blind! Its amazing.
Glow This effect in the game is also really great, but not as noticable. The floresent lights and fire use this effect. The Fire mixes and blends together so well. Do not overlook this effect with the fact that the lighting is so awesome.
Cinematics The CNN broadcasts look downright amazing. You can easily mistake them for real cnn broadcasts if your more then 10 ft away from your tv, unless its a very large, expensive one. Some people say they look a bit bad, but its exactly the opposite. They are great.

Controls Easy to learn, use, and utilize. Fans of metal gear will probably complain that switching weapons during a fight is a hassle, but this game is defintly not a shooter, if your playing this game as it was inteniontally designed you should never have to switch weapons during a fight, because there shouldnt be any fights. There is one or 2 combinations of 2 different buttons you might use ( switching items and weapons, and the one where sam opens the door a little and peaks in) Every thing else is do able with the hit of a single button, except for Jumping manuevers like split jump and the wall kick. Perfect Control on xbox.

Sound and Music
Sound Probably some of the best sound effects your going to hear. They actually dedicated time to make everything sound to you like it would if you were sam in his current situation. Everything blends in the background nicely. If your near a fire and a little bit a way from enemies conversing the fire will drown out most of the conversation, but not all of it. Perfect Sound Effects.
Music Good. When someone becomes aware that something is moving , or doing something there is a sudden noise. When someone sees and confirms your there music plays, like a battle theme.

Interface The in game menu is perfect for a stealh game. It is stealthy looking and feeling. The palm pilot idea RULES. however i didnt really like the start menu. It annoys me sometimes, thats really a niche problem, you probably wont have it.

Gameplay Saved the best for last. The overall feel of this game is simpily awesome. This game has mutiple ways to do everything. You will find yourself redoing objectives because you didnt think you did them Cool enough of Stealthy enough. The very end of mission 2 was probably my favorite part of the gameplay, so far, i havent been to the last 2 levels yet. The last level is suppose to be very fun, and challenging. Overall, This is the best stealh game ever released. Metal Gear solid 2 is very good but it dont actually think its a stealh game now that ive played Splinter Cell. Im not going to put any real examples of the gameplay in because seeing them and doing them is the execitemeent. In alot of parts of the game, you will feel rewarded just that you accomplished a task, because they are often quite hard.

Overall 10/10. It delivers on all fronts. Some people put it behind MGS2, but in terms of stealh, it beats it at all neccessary points. Ubi Soft crammed great things into every aspect.

Rent or Buy Either one is fine. If you rent it, unless you devote most of your free time on it, you probably wont finish it so rent it twice. If you have Live, you really need to buy it to download the levels, OXM will release them out on disc 2 months after the release of the live download. I hear there are going to be 13 extra missions or something.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/30/02, Updated 11/30/02


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