Review by sbn4

"You have the right to steal, destroy, spy, and assaassinate. But do you really want to?"

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for Gamecube is a port of the Xbox thriller that was released in 2002. It later made it's way to the Playstation 2, PC and Gamecube consoles. The game features some of the most impressive use of graphics to date, and attempts to take you on a trip into true stealth espionage action. The game even features new levels and extras that weren't in the Xbox version as well. However, let's get one thing out of the way. DO NOT expect a Metal Gear Solid type of game. This game shares very little similarities with it's Metal Gear Solid counter-part, except for the fact that they are both stealth based action. The most obvious difference between Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid is that Splinter Cell redefines stealth and takes it to a whole new level.

Story: 8/10
Splinter Cell has you assume the role of Sam Fisher, who is affiliated with the National Security Agency. His initial goal is to discover what happens to two of the NSA agents that happen to go missing during their own infiltration mission. The story is quite basic and is easy to understand.

Gameplay: 8/10
This is the portion of the game that you will either hate, or love. Moving Sam is actually simple. The control layout is well done and makes it relatively simple to get used to. When you start a new game, there is even a ''training'' mode that allows that teaches new players the controls. The camera angles are not that bad either. You can manipulate them through the use of the ''C-stick.'' You can turn them 360 degrees around Sam, or get an angle from the top or bottom.

The only problem in gameplay that's noticeable is the actual gun-fighting. When you access you're weapon, it shifts into a mix of 1st person and 3rd person view. Basically it appears that the camera goes over his shoulder. The cross-hair indicates where a fired shot would land. However, the problem is that that moving Sam and aiming proves to be a difficult task when he moves like a clunky tank or robot. More often than not, newcomers will usually get killed by guards because of the poor gun fighting. Yes, it's true that you're supposed to avoid confrontation at all cost, but the question needs to be asked: How on earth does Ubi Soft expect you fight two guards armed with automatics when you have a flimsy 9mm pistol and almost no cover?

Another problem that people might have with this game is that this game follows a ''trial and error'' strategy. You might be attempting a mission and automatically fail it because of the fact that you were not stealthy enough. Next time you try it, you might end up triggering an alarm because of the poor gun fighting. On top of this you must hide any bodies that you kill or subdue. Enemy sentries might spot these bodies and pull the alarm. The worst part is, if the alarm is triggered three times during a mission, the mission is instantly aborted regardless of you're status. This game requires a lot of patience. It all can get very frustrating and very boring.

Graphics and Sound: 9/10
Not much to complain about here. The graphics are pretty much intact compared to the Xbox version. The visuals are nice. Real time lighting plays a huge role in this game. Sam must stay in the shadows so that he can avoid being detected by enemy soldiers. If he fails to do that, he'll be spotted instantly, and will then be ripped to shreds because Sam can only take a few shots before going down.

Sound also plays a huge role. Sam must manage to stay as quite as possible during all missions. If you run through the entire mission, then the game will make you pay for it. Staying low, creeping through the shadows, and being as quite as possible is the only way to go.

Replay value:6/10
Unfortunately this is where the game takes a turn for the worst. The game has little much to do after the first time through. There is a hard mode, but it's not a huge change as long as you follow the rules of being a stealthy agent. The game leaves you with little motivation to play again.

Rent or Buy?
Like it was stated before, people shouldn't expect a Metal Gear Solid. If you are, it is strongly recommend that you rent the game. Those who are fanatics of stealth action owe it to themselves to pick this game up. Those who are only remotely interested in the genre are recommended to give it a rent first. The game can get VERY boring and mundane rather quickly.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/25/03, Updated 04/25/03

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