Review by magical cow
"Tired of counting sheep? Try splinter cell."
Every now and then you get an overhyped game that just doesn't live up to its expectations. You know, the kind where you are thinking, "just how much are those fanboys getting payed!?" This, unfortunately, happens to be one of those games. It simply isn't good, and no matter how many times they try to make future spinoff titles (the same game, just with an added subtitled, aka Pandora Tomorrow), they will simply fall just as flat.
There was only one other game where I couldn't bring myself to review in scores at the same time, and I THINK it was Big Rigs, although I'm too lazy to check. This game, too, is so bad that I need to repeat that format. I simply can't lay out for you all of my thoughts in a neat organized fashion. You won't get the full picture.
So let's start out with the games main idea. Basically, you are Sam Fischer, and you make true fans go "OMG IM SPLINTER CELL!" Oh wait, that's not it. You have the right to the fifth freedom. I think this means that you can sneak around, but it has never been clearly defined. And guess what, if you are caught, "the Government will disavor any knowledge of your actions." Sound familiar? Yes. This is infact from every single stealth game out there.
So the phrases aside, what do you actually do in this game? Well, the game would have you think you sneak around and make your own choices to achieve your overall goal. It would make you think you are truley a spy. Let me let you in on a little secret. Keep this between you and me, for this is very hazardous information if it leaks out to the message board.
THIS IS A BUNCH OF LIES
That probably sounded harsh. Very harsh. But I can't deny the truth from you. You do NOT sneak around on totally open ended paths. You are not a spy. You are simply a person with some weird clothes who runs around doing what people tell him, and completes the missions the same way every time. There is no open ended method. None. Instead, you will find yourself following the same path every time. There is no alternate way.
One reviewer here put this nicely. He more or less can be quoted as saying "So I climbed the pipe, and thought 'COOL I climbed a pipe to get all the way up here. But then I realized that there was NO other way to do this. I checked for alternate methods, and found none...'"
While I shouldn't be using quotes in a review, that was the best example. He put it perfectly. There simply is no fun in beating the game through again. None. At all. You've done it once, why bother doing it more? In fact, it wasn't even fun the first time. A prime example of this is on I believe level two, where you need to hide a body. Well, about halway through the level, the alarm almost always rings because now they found it. Please.
The level before that starts off with a no walking on the street clause. Well guess what you do instead? You use a closeline to cross the street. Isn't this a bit weird? You are a spy, and therefor want to stop suspicion. But instead of crossing the street, of course it will look a LOT less suspicious if you fly across it like a monkey in a jungle.
THERE IS NO ACTUAL REALISM. NOR IS THERE ANYTHING OPEN ENDED
Another harsh comment by me, but it needs to be said. So now we have established replay value, gameplay, and nothing else. Let's hop over to the sound category.
There is none. I never really found myself listening to some fantastic music. Nor did the voice acting ever look great. In one of the training missions, you need to sneak by so nobody hears you. So when the chief sees you did it right, he says, "Sam... sam did you start. Great Christmas blah blah blah." The way he says it is without enthusiasm. Another example from the very start of the game, is lips not matching words. It looks weird.
But hey, there is some good in this game. How about the graphics. They look good. They are what gives this review a three, and not a one. Everything else was so miserable that the graphics got put to waste. Oh well.
There is also some sort of story having to do with the russians and everyone spying. This also wasn't entirely clear. In fact, it almost seemed intentionally UNCLEAR. What the hell? It has to do with the Russians and soviets, and you spying on them, that much is easily gathered. But the rest must just come ingame with you running around on pipes. Horray.
There is also the controlls issue to work with. I found these completely useless. I can barely move myself around, and to this day still have to think about what I'm hitting. These are just as terrible as anything else, and I have not found a way to customize them. Fan super tastic.
>>Replay: Who would want to?/10
Summary: This game is terrible, boring, and a waste of your time. Don't spend your money on it, for it isn't worth a penny. I'd need to be bribed to play this game. It really is that bad, that I would willingly play Big Rigs, the worst game in history score-wise, than Splinter Cell. At least Big Rigs was fairly amusing.
Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/31/04
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