Review by YoungGuns87

"This one's OK, but needs fixes..."

Splinter Cell: Double Agent is a good game, but it needs a little more help with a future patch (maybe). At it's current state, the two problems I have are; 1) The game does crash to desktop for me about every 1.5 hours, but by then, you realize you've been playing too long and it's time to quit anyhow, and 2) Opening safes are 50/50 if they'll work right away. The bad thing is, if you can't open a safe, you lose trust in either the NSA or JBA. Only one safe will lose trust in JBA, while the others will lose trust in NSA. This is an easy fix, however, so it's not that bad! Just roll your mouse wheel up, then try to unlock the safe. If you don't have a mouse wheel, hold the 'W' key and do so. If this doesn't work.... then you're out of luck, but the good news is it's worked for everyone who I've told who has this game (so far 3 of 3). Anyway... on to the game itself and my opinions of it...

It's a good game for those who just see a spy game sitting on the shelf and think it'll be fun to play one. For those of us who have played SC, SC:PT, and SC:CT, it's a tough pill to swallow. All the things you've come to know and love about Sam Fisher can be thrown aside - even his language. Sam doesn't speak the same anymore, but is still voiced by Michael Ironside, so you still have the nice spy voice we've all heard from Top Gun as "Jester." I'm sure if you're reading this review you've read others, so it's nothing new to hear the stealth-o-meter and the sound-o-meter's have been taken out and replaced by three colors; red, yellow, green. This is where I defer from the rest of the reviews, because I know what each one means. It's all visual, not sound. If you make sounds, they come and inspect and depending on the color, is if you'll be seen or not. Red means you've been detected. Flashing red means you're being shot at, yellow means you can be seen where you are, but so far, haven't been seen, and green means you're invisible - so long as no one bumps into you. What gets me about the invisible thing is there can be a black patch on the ground where someone forgot to move lighting to, and you go to it, and all of a sudden, it's like the guards can't find you. Like you're an ostrich with your head in the ground. And hiding in a locker 4 or 5 times when I'm about to be detected gets old too... I start looking for them wherever I go, because they're everywhere in the JBA HQ. And, even if you're not inside the locker, for some reason, if you've started into the locker, you'll never be seen until you come out, even if you're standing next to it, and someone rounds a corner, because no one opens up lockers, except Sam Fisher. And, apparently, after opening the locker and going in, no one locks their locker, either. What I was hoping for when I got this one was the A.I. would get an overhaul. Even if the game lacked a little in the storyline, which is one of the positives by the way, the A.I. wouldn't be as... predictable... as the other games. After three times playing with the same A.I., it can get a little too easy to know what they want to do. The other thing I didn't really like was the mini-games within the game. All it takes is for you to wait a minute for the person in the room to leave, and play your little game before they come back to get what you need. The JBA is a good mini-game creator, beings as how you have to play one before each mission starts. Good news is, you get 30 minutes to do so, and complete other objectives before the gore starts (and if you're quick enough, before Gore starts lol!).

Anyway, the good news is, the game gets better. As you progress through it, you'll see the only time you ever get lost is in the JBA compound, where you do most of your work. Yeah, you may miss a turn or two on the cargo ship, but that's because when they say the captain is in the bow of the ship, you expect him to be in the front of it, not in the middle and below the deck. The good thing is, on the ship, you can save and exit if you're frustrated, knowing you can come back and get it down after you eat and move around a bit. You can save and leave during the timed stuff, but I find myself saying "well, all I have to do is go down this hall and hack the PC... easy enough" but then I come back, and I don't know where I am and what I'm doing, with 5 minutes left. Pretty intense.

The thing I did like about the JBA Headquarters was the ability to do what I want in the order I wanted. Freedom. The only time I was worried was when you had to choose to allow some bomb to blow up, or try and defuse it from HQ. But the good news is, you can use someone else's computer and they'll get the blame for it lol! So you lose no face in defusing the bomb, however, good is dumb, so go figure it takes the full 15 minutes you have after some dumb cube puzzle to scan fingerprints, get voices, and hack the keypads, unless.... you've already gotten the 5 voices beforehand... you can't get the fingerprints until then, so don't worry about it. Another optional progressive task(s) is/are three things you can get done if you ever have free time, and that is, look in peoples medical history, their personnel files, and get the fingerprints/voices. The good news is, you only need 1 of each to get through everything, but the obj to gain trust requires 5 or 3, depending on which one you're doing. The thing I didn't like about the JBA HQ, was when you're not in the restricted zones, you were walking... yes... a bomb is about to kill 1500 people, and Sam Fisher can walk calmly to the next restricted area. However, it does play to the reality of the game, because even I would be suspicious if I saw someone running in a 'walk only' zone. Another bad thing, due to programming, is when you're following somebody who is JBA to go to your first tasks (mini-games), and they go down stairs, for some reason, Sam slows way down even if he's not on the steps yet, so now you're not even doing full steam ahead.

Now, unlike the other reviews, I had zero problems with mouse lag or going beyond 8 x 6 screen size. I have mine set to 1080 x 620 and it works fine, and my stuff isn't even 'next gen' equipment, and I have full shadows and everything. So it just depends on what you got as far as what happens. I had no graphic errors at all. No detached clothes or anything. The only problems I had structure wise were stated above.

Like I said before, if you're just looking to buy a game to do spy work, it's pretty good, because you haven't played the past games to know it is better! To those who have played the previous games, the lack of improvement is a letdown. Because this game is out of the shelves, pick it up, even if it just completes the series for you... but realize it was leaked about a month and a half ago that there is a new one coming out for Windows and XBOX next year, so this isn't the last of Sam Fisher! It's working title is "Conviction." If you want a good Multiplayer and Single player game, buy Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, which is uber-realistic and the best of the four games so far.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/02/07

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