Review by jinomen
The first words that came to my mind when I saw the early build of this game was ''WOW''. Ever since I played the first Splinter Cell thoroughly and beat it, I was really trying to think hard on how UBI would somehow plan to improve on the first. I mean, Splinter Cell itself was groundbreaking; how would Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow improve upon it and be a worthy sequel? The answer is quite simple...they added a whole slew of game modes and a brand spankin' new Multiplayer game (more on Multi later).
Graphics: 11 (10)
The graphics really are that damn good. You can CLEARLY see every detail in the environment such as letters in signs, plants, animals, etc. I also have to give props to UBI for making Sam's and NPC characters look so good. They improved upon Splinter Cell's graphics big-time. Quite simply put, this game is eye-candy.
The sound is in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound so you can hear everything around you pretty clear. You'll be in total awe if you have a nice sound system set up. Sometimes you can even rely on sound rather than your sight to spot enemies if you can't see them.
Here's where the game shines. Though some people may not like its slow, monotonous pacing a game like this can not be rushed or you'll only lead yourself to death. I myself like it, because the game forces you to use stealth which some people are spoiled from the MGS series to actually avoid using. Also, UBI added a lot of new moves to Sam's arsenal. Two of the most important ones are the SWAT turn and whistling. The SWAT turn enables you to pass doorways practically invisible. You put your back to the wall and you make a swift turn to the other side undetected. It's an invaluable technique for staying hidden. The next move is the ability to whistle. Sam now is able to whistle to distract enemies, rather than somehow find a bottle or shoot bullets. This is another invaluable technique for when those stubburn emenies just don't want to move. All in all this is a well-done job.
I think there is only one ''extra'' per se that needs to be spoken of, and that's the multiplayer game via Xbox Live. The multiplayer works like this; there are two sides to choose from, Spy or Mercenary. If you choose a Spy, you will have to disarm the ND133 virus containers in each map or if you're playing Sabotage mode you have steal the ND133 test tubes and bring them back to your spawn. Spies have to rely on stealth to get to the ND133. Spies can ''kill'' Mercenaries by either jumping on them or breaking their necks/choking them to death. They also run fast and can climb into areas like vents. They also carry a gun which they can stun Mercenaries temporarily. The Mercenaries however, are required to kill the Spies because it's their job to protect these ND133 containers. They cannot get into vents and they have a FPS view unlike a third-person perspective. This makes things balanced. Mercs can kill, while Spies can hide in the shadows away from Mercs. They use stealth to their advantage. Another job well done, UBI. The only reason this isn't a 10 is because of the ranking system. They used the same ELO BS that's present in Rainbow Six and that's bad since a lot of peoples' games seem to be freezing a lot. Other than that, purrrrrfect.
I think we can all assume this is 2004's first strong contender for GOTY. Increased graphics and moves with a groundbreaking multiplayer mode = one of the best games in a while.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 04/03/04
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