Review by Galactus21
"Lurking in silence and shadows..."
I never played a Splinter Cell game in depth prior to Splinter Cell Conviction. I knew the simple background stuff about the series. It's a stealth game that features Sam Fisher. I knew that much. Conviction was a spur of the moment purchase, and luckily for me to make such a decision. Conviction is an intense and fun game that I found to be a nice blend of both action and stealth elements. Now, from my understanding the game does stray a bit from the more stealthy elements found in previous games in the series. I'm generally not as big of a fan of stealth games, so the mishmash of both action and stealth components allowed me to enjoy the game more.
As mentioned previously, the Splinter Cell games follow Sam Fisher. Conviction is no different in this case. From what I gathered from the story, Sam Fisher has left his organization called Third Echelon. He believes his daughter has been killed. As he searches for the truth, he unravels other things that are going on in the world, such as a plot to undermine a government. For the most part, the story felt like your typical commando type storyline. It was a bit generic in that sense.
One thing that I thought Splinter Cell Conviction did that was satisfying was the nice blend of stealth and action. You can choose from the beginning to try to go rambo and take all the enemies out, but that certainly isn't recommended. To a point, the player will need to be stealthy in his action. When you've eliminated a certain amount of enemies in a room for example, then a more action oriented technique can be utilized, such as taking cover behind a wall and taking enemies out. This technique doesn't work as well with a room full of enemies because you will eventually get overwhelmed.
Throughout most of the game, you can take advantage of shadows, or create shadows by shooting out lights. These shadows allow you to hide from enemy viewpoints. There will also be plenty of covers, such as boxes or walls. By moving around your environment from cover to cover, and from shadow to shadow, it will allow you to strategically take out your enemies. By taking this stealth course of action, you can execute an enemy by creeping up to them and quickly eliminating them in silence. Additionally, you will have weapons with silencers that will allow you to keep things under wraps. By performing an attack through stealth (attacking an opponent up close), you gain the ability to execute enemies with a quick and stealthy manner.
Additionally, the game has plenty of weapons for you to take advantage of. For most of the game however, having a silencer and a semi automatic was enough for me to take advantage of most situations. Other cool feature that was present in the game was the ability to climb out of windows and pull enemies and throw them over the ledge. One thing however that is problematic with this technique that I found on a few occasions for this to be overpowered. For example, one instance enemies kept coming towards me while I was hanging at the ledge of the window and kept throwing them over. The A.I in this situation was not very intelligent. Other nice features are the ability to drop down from above and take out an enemy.
The developers also provided a nice mix of levels. There were levels heavy on stealth, and another that focused on action. For example, you take control of one of Sam's associates, where you have control of a rifle and you can blast your way through enemies with ease. Other levels included objectives of finding enemies without being detected by the crowd. The game also allows for interrogation techniques by Fisher, although this didn't add much; as the interrogation wasn't quite as wide open as I thought it would be. Overall though, the game offers a nice mix of different things.
Splinter Cell Conviction features some beautiful environments. The game looks very good. The character models are quite solid. I enjoyed the dark and edgy environment, as well as the lighting effects. The cut scenes for the most part were solid as well. The game's voice acting was a bit of a let down though. For most of the game, I felt a bit bored, as the character didn't show any charisma. The soundtrack for most of the game was solid as well. Conviction is a bit short, but in the end the ride through most of the way was quite fun.
I'm glad I gave Splinter Cell Conviction a chance. It provided a great balance of stealth and action. This has given me the incentive to go back to past games and play through those. Splinter Cell's campaign was quite fun and I enjoyed sneaking up on people, and when I failed I still had the capabilities to blast my way through. This mixing of both elements was my type of game, rather than a pure stealth game. I definitely recommend this game.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/24/11
Game Release: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (US, 04/13/10)
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