"Can Sam Fischer beat Solid Snake in a game of hide and seak? Well... no."

With a plethora of stealth oriented games being released lately, it's no surprise that one would come along on the XBox. Ubi Soft's latest offering, Splinter Cell, tries to capture the glory of stealth and... stealth. Does it work? Can Sam Fischer take the crown from the legendary Solid Snake? Why am I talking like the announcer on Batman? Well, the answer to the first question--no. Splinter Cell is excellent in it's presentation, but comes off as nothing more than a cheap knock off.

STORY-4/10
The story is just ok. And while it does produce a sense of urgency, it just feels a bit rushed. You play Sam Fischer, part of the Splinter Cell. If Sam is killed or captured, they(they being his leaders) will disavow any knowledge of his existence. You as Sam must infiltrate, sneak, and sneak some more. And this is what gets in the way of Splinter Cell. I realize it's supposed to be a stealth game, but sometimes the stealth gets over barring and uninspired.

GAME PLAY-2/10
As you can see, it just gets worse. The game play seems like the developers just didn't care and threw in anything they could. Sure, you can shoot lights out to alter the lighting. That's cool, but we've seen it before. Sure, you can take people hostage as human shields, but once again, we've seen it before. I know I may sound like a fan boy, but we've seen all the things that Ubi Soft calls ''new'' in Metal Gear Solid 2 and Dead To Rights(the latter not being a stealth game, but, meh...). The game play just falters too much to be given a higher score.

SOUND-7/10
This is where the game shines. The sound design from cans being shot, to the guns you fire(or shouldn't fire rather), everything is so well executed in the sound, that I felt like I really was in movie. The voice acting, however, hampers the final sound score. Sam is voiced by Michael Ironside, who has provided voices on Batman: The Animated Series and the animated Superman cartoon. While Ironside was great in those, in Splinter Cell he's lacking. The rest of the cast is an abomination of how voice acting should not be done.

ENTERTAINMENT-2/10
Entertaining? No. Fun to laugh at as it stumbles flat on it's face? Yes. Splinter Cell is probably one of the worst games of this year, maybe even of all time. After all, it's not entertaining to sneak around ALL THE TIME! I do realize that Ubi Soft wanted a pure stealth game, but it gets a little repetitive. Entertaining it is not.

SCORE: 3 out of 10

A FINAL WORD

I know I'm going to be barraged by the Splinter Cell fan boys and such, but before I am, let me just say this. Splinter Cell, to me, in my own opinion, is one of the worst games of this year. And to be completely honest; sucks. It just can't hold it's own with the other great games being released this year. So do yourself a favor, don't buy Splinter Cell. Oh, Ubi Soft, how could you do this? You go from the terrific Batman: Vengeance to this garbage. But alas, the world doesn't stop turning.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 12/01/02, Updated 12/01/02


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