"The Stealth Game of all Time!"

Let me just start this review off by saying that this has got to be one of the best damn games I've ever played. The graphics engine is at top-noch, the storyline gets as detailed as an A+ movie, and the game itself keeps you coming back and wanting more. You are Sam Fisher, a special NSA agent that's always behind enemy lines and in the field of danger. You must leave no trace of your existence during the job. Although killing a foe may compromise secrecy, and safety, the choice between leaving a witness, or a corpse is no choice at all. You do not exist. You were never even born. Silent as a glass, but deadly as a nail, you are a Splinter Cell.

Graphics -
This is the real moment where Splinter Cell begins to shine. As you start the game off, you find yourself in a real beautiful environment, or training course I should say. Sam himself is deeply animated in top-noch form. This game does its best of stretching Xbox's power to the maximum and then holding it there for a while to simply shock and amaze you. Although, the framerate stays well above 30 FPS, it is more then likely that it could drop at any second, however I have never seen a single framerate drop. What makes the game even more 'To die for' are the cutscenes. Splinter Cell features a series of cutscenes after the completion of every level, most of them include news reports that speculate on the current situation of the game such as the military action, the current US cities, and other sort of habitations found in Europe. Everything in this section is a definitely a pro. No cons, just pros.

Overall Score - 10/10

Sound -
All I can say is whoa. At first I thought Splinter Cell was going to feature a boring soundtrack with nothing really fun to listen to, but as soon as I turned the game on, I knew Ubisoft wanted only but the best for their fans. During a mission, I would be sneaking by a guard, and this tedious mission would be playing, something similar to that found in a horror movie right before the actual horror occurs. If by any chance I accidentally spooked one of the guards, the music would automatically change and become a spooky soundtrack that will literally grab your heart and beat it up and down. Now, if the guard actually saw me, and we started a gunfight, the music would become an actual action fest soundtrack, found in your average action movie but with a bit of more excitement in store for you. The voice acting was anything but outstanding. Michael Ironside talking as Sam is really the only person who tried at all (and it sounded amazing). Every other character sounds like they just woke up from a nap. To summarize, Michael Ironside, and the soundtrack are enough for a perfect score.

Overall Score - 10/10

Controls -
Another section I loved was the controls. Ubisoft made it extremely use for us with the controls. They knew that games succeed based if the player can pick up the controls and have an easy time with it. All I can say, is that I had one of the easiest times ever learning the controls. Basically, your A button would be the interaction button. Talk to a friend, grab an enemy from behind, or simply open a door. The X button would be your button that equips your current weapon or gadget. The Y button would be for jumping, and the B button would be for crouching. You could move Sam with the left Trigger, or move the camera with the right trigger. Your best bet would be the right trigger would you have your weapon/gadget equip for firing. The overall learning curve is under 15 minutes, and can easily be picked up and learned by an 8 year old.

Overall Score - 10/10

Gameplay -
The part the game truly takes a mind of its own. You are Sam Fisher, a Third Echelon agent with the right to spy, steal, and kill. During your gameplay you come across elite terrorists whereas killing may not be the best idea. However, you will need to find a path to complete your objectives, and no one can stand in your way, and killing may not be the best path. So instead of it, why not go around? Splinter Cell introduces a new innovation to games where you, the player, will use the shadows as your ally. Sneaking past guards, lurking with passion, and striking like a scorpion towards prey. You will also work with very amazing gadgets such as optic cables to be slide under doors and to see what's on the other side, sticky shockers that electrics your enemies, and distraction cameras the grab the attention of the enemy as you sneak by. Metal Gear Solid, eat your heart out, Splinter Cell is the first true stealth games I've worked with, and it delivers.

Does stealth sound a bit boring for you? Splinter Cell also has amazing battles that Sam has to undergo - a 2 on 1, 4 on 1, even a 7 enemies all against Sam (kinda not fair for the enemies) with a loyal action soundtrack. Sam will also have to interrogate enemies and use their retina to enter places they only have access too. However, a bit disappointing that Splinter Cell doesn't include multiplayer funfest. It would have been perfect to play Online with, but we still have downloadable content. Peek around corners, and knock enemies out by jumping on top of them, Splinter Cell's is enough for the solo player only.

Overall Score - 10/10

The Ups and Downs (A follow-up):

On the up side, I liked:
+New innovations, concepts, and great originality
+Amazing soundtrack, and the man - Micheal Ironside
+Content downloadable

On the down side, I disliked:
-No multiplayer

To buy or not to buy:
Splinter Cell is an amazing game not possible to be finished within one rental period. Already 10 amazing levels, one downloadable level through Xbox Live and OXM, and another one headed our way, Splinter Cell is worth your 50 dollars. Its current price is less than that however. This great game will soon become a must have for any Xbox owner and a classic! The game of the year (2002), Splinter Cell should be bought now without having to think twice. However, let's face it. No one game can be enjoyed by everyone. Splinter Cell's 'slow' solo player can throw some players off as it isn't the next Halo. Rent it if you enjoy fast games only - buy it if you like Action.

Final Reviewed Score: 10/10 - Astonishing!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/24/03, Updated 08/28/03


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