Review by Chatturgah

"Sam's Back! Bigger, Badder but not better."

All right as you know this game is Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow the much awaited sequel to the acclaimed Splinter Cell. If you haven't played Splinter Cell I recommend you platy it as it is a good lead in to this game. I'll be rating the game based on these 6 category's, Presentation, Sound, Graphics, Game Play, Re-playability/Difficulty and Story. Let's get into it.

Presentation- 7
This was ok. Nothing really jumped out at me. All the menus are clean and easy to get around in. The box art is pretty good. But I offer a warning to those of you who like me look at the back of the box and see "32 levels of gripping Clancy action." There are 8 mission. They mean 32 load times and save points.

Sound- 8
Well nothing was lacking in the sound department I never said "Whoa that sounds amazing!". The voice overs are pretty good and the lines are well written. The guns for the most part sound pretty good, you get the 'ting' sound when you hit a metal object. The music is good too. It really gets you tense at parts. But as I said nothing is going to blow you away.

Graphics- 8
Again, good but nothing mind blowing. The characters are all really well done. The F.M.V.'s are great. Sam moves around really nicely, good animation. The weather effects are cool and new. Like when you have your night vision equipped and there is a lightning strike you will be blinded for a few moments. What I didn't like were the jaggies in the game. Textures, they look good on the Game Cube again nothing to go 'wow' about but they are decent. The details aren't there the graphics just aren't as polished as they should be. But never the less a good looking game.

Game Play-9 Nothing much more than the last game though
This can bring even the best looking and sounding game down. I'm sure you remember the innovative game play from the previous installment, well it's here but it has lost some it's shine. Let's get into it. The first thing I noticed are the controls. What the heck happened here? How did they screw the controls up this bad. The control stick moves and the C-stick looks around. Thats fine, total control of the camera is always good. But back to the controls. I can't pin-point what exactly was wrong with them but it just didn't feel right. Ok, now this game is all about hiding and and being sneaky. You have a meter on the side of your screen that tells you weather you're light up like a Christmas Tree or totally in the dark and unseeable. Next you get to wait. Some times this involves waiting for up to a minuit to take your shot or wait to sneak by. Now, there are a few firefights... But no all out fire fights like in the first game. Also unlike the first game almost every level has a limit as to how many alarms you can trip. You can also use the split jump more. There is even a new variation of the split jump. The half split jump. You can use this to get to really high places. While were talking about new moves, there's another special move that lets you go past door ways unseen, it comes in pretty handy. You can shoot out lights to get more darkness in which to hide. Where this game really shines is how tense it is. You're crouching in the shadows and a guard takes a step over then another until he's standing right in front of you. Now you have to decide not to move or to try and get out of his way and risk being spotted. The weather also comes into account in one level but I wont spoil too much. Like in the other game you have thermal vision and night vision. You use thermal to avoid landmines and mostly snipe people. I think night vision is pretty self explanatory.

Re-playability/Difficulty- 7
Well I'm not sure if I'm going to play this game again on hard or not. But it does have some GBA connectivity features. Like remotely controlling turrets. I dunno if that offers much though. The game isn't that difficult for anybody that has played Splinter Cell before. There were really only 2 or three parts that I really got stuck on.

Story- 8
It's Tom Clancy approved. Need I say more? Fine I will. But not much, so I don't spoil it. Well it involves America, a war and small pox.

Verdict 7.5 rounded to an 8
Closing Comments
I really wanted to love this game but I couldn't. So, I recommend the original. But if you have that then by all means go a head and get this. But I would want you to rent before you buy... Remember a Splinter Cell operative is like a sliver of glass, small and almost undetectable.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 07/25/04

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