Review by Exodist
"Another Splinter Cell game, but with a twist..."
I had the original Splinter Cell on PS2, but I never managed to get into it. Maybe I just don't like Stealth games that much (with the exception of Manhunt and Thief), so I ended up selling it (I got 50P for it). However, I came across Double Agent, cheap for 360, and decided to get it and give it a go. Sometimes people get games and never really play them, then sell them, and I nearly did, but I decided to give it a go, and I did. Here are my thoughts.
The story starts with Sam Fisher on a mission with a rookie (I think at least), who manages to mess it all up. After the mission, Fisher is informed his daughter has been killed, ran over, and Fisher completely loses it. He gets one more chance though, to go undercover, which he accepts. He is soon arrested, and joins a terrorist group after rescuing one of them from the prison. He then has to play the double agent, pleasing the good guys, but not making the terrorists suspicious, so he can complete his mission. This is pretty much it, you go off, and well, do the missions I guess. There are a few endings though, and even a bonus if you do the right stuff.
The game plays out a bit like the first one (the only other SC game I have played). You start the mission with some objectives, one gun (which you only use in emergencies), knife, and a lot of gadgets. The game is split up into missions, and Terrorist HQ levels. Whilst in the HQ, you must perform acts for the Terrorists, like completing the course, or doing shooting, whilst planting trackers and the like for the good guys. This will earn you trust in either side, so if you don't do something for the Terrorists, it might go down, and vice versa for both sides. Unfortunately, it's not really used to it's full potential, and I found the game still easy to beat, despite these choices. Only on hard does it go down a lot, making decisions (especially when you have to act fast) even harder to make. Missions just involve sneaking around, taking guards out, and again, doing objectives for the good and bad guys, for trust. However, the whole game is rather short, taking me about 7-8 or so hours to beat, with the extra ending.
Splinter Cell even has LIVE, but unfortunately, missions are not available in Co Op (like in a previous one I hear), although there is some form of co op. Unfortunately, I was unable to test this. However, I did get to play the proper multiplayer. It's fairly simple, but hard to master. There are two teams, spies and mercenaries, with up to three players on each team. Across the maps, are different terminals, the spies must get close to these and hack them (the closer they are, the faster the bar fills). They can move to other terminals and continue as well. Once they get a complete file, they must take it back to their base, taking two will win them the game. They are fast, and play much like Fisher in single player, they can turn lights off, break windows and climb pretty much everywhere. The Mercenaries, must protect the terminals, either killing all the spies (every player has 3 lives), or waiting for time to run out. They are played in a First Person view, with infinite ammo, and grenades. Each team also have gadgets to use, which are fun, like flash grenades for spies (to kill a merc, they have to sneak behind them and break their neck), or little drones which mercs can control and blow up spies with. It's all fun, especially as spies, my personal favourite. Level design is good too, and fortunately, you can't get into each others base, since the spies base requires acrobatics to get it, where as the spies can't get through the doors to the mercs base. My favourite level is definitely Boss House, and each game brings a new challenge, I couldn't stop myself from playing.
Graphically, DA looks superb. It has brilliant lighting effects (put to good use), with nice, detailed character models and textures. Whilst it doesn't look as good as something like GoW or Bioshock, it definitely comes close, which is impressive, despite it being a multi-platform game. Music in the game is scarce, although the music that is featured is nice, suiting the game well. Voice acting was fine, as were the sound effects.
Overall, I would give Splinter Cell Double Agent 8.3. The campaign is good fun, although the trust system doesn't use its full potential, and the whole game comes in rather short. However, multiplayer is a blast, and kept me hooked for a while. A fair few people still play, so if you have a copy, it's worth checking multiplayer out. I nearly sold this game, but I gave it a chance and loved it, and if it's going cheap, it's worth a try.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/16/07
Game Release: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent (EU, 10/20/06)
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