Review by revolver1987
The much hyped, much debated, stolen by XBOX PC game is finally here. The timing could not have been better. As most new PC games right now are either RTS games or RPG games, Splinter Cell is a breath of fresh air that everyone will enjoy even if the only game you play is D2.
It really doesn't get any better than this. Aside from minor glitches that will be patched, hopefully, the graphics are amazing. No other words to describe them. The major selling point is the real time shadows, and oh are they beautiful.
You think Neverwinter Nights had pretty shadow effects? They are nothing compared to Splinter Cell. When you see sunlight pour in through blinds and cast accurate shadows on the walls for the first time, you will just stare at it for a few minutes and marvel at how far games have progressed. Aside from the shadows, the character models are excellent with awesome textures. Textures in this game are amazing. Everything looks really good and realistic.
The character animations are top notch. When you watch Sam (the PC) sneak or walk or jump or climb, you will never think ''WTF! He is not walking! That looks like hopping/zombie walking/floating/etc.'' In fact you will not think anything at all because the animations are so realistic.
Excellent. If you have a good sound card and some decent speakers (5.1, if not use Headphones for a more Surround Sound effect) you will hear NPCs move behind you, in front of you, etc. You will hear fire crackle, glass shatter, water pouring, doors opening with crystal clear quality. Nothing is muffled or seems out of place. Music is pretty good. When somebody spots you, the music changes to something a lot more fast paced with lots of bass. That sort of gets annoying. But thats my only complaint about sound.
Take MGS and add in actual sneaking! Shadows actually matter, and just hiding behind a wall will not help you as much as in MGS. Sneaking in the shadows, grabbing a guard, pulling him back into the shadows and knocking him out. Hanging on the ledge of something while guards walk by and not notice you. There are many awesome moments in this game best left for you to discover.
There are however a few things that distract from total immersion...First of all, the missions are heavily scripted. Things only happen when you activate certain triggers (walk in a certain room for example, and guards will start patrol route, otherwise they just stand around). This becomes very apparent when you die or fail and are forced to load the mission again. By your 5th time you will know exactly what a certain guard will do. However, if you keep playing the game without restarting missions too much, the heavy scripting will not be as noticeable.
Must buy game of 2003. This guy can hide from 10 Solid Snakes with his eyes closed. Splinter Cell is a little short, but you will enjoy every second of the game. Best. Game. Ever.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 02/20/03, Updated 02/20/03
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