Review by The Jesster

"Spectacular! The top game in Stealth Gaming!"

It is night. A lone guard walked through the dark hall, his posture slouched. He is tired and bored, and his shift is almost over. Soon he can go home and rest. He hears someone typing from the room in his left. The light is on, how strange... He enters, nervously fingering his weapon. He slowly looks around, but sees nothing wrong, except for a computer in the corner is on. He walks over to it, starts to shut it down, when suddenly a hand grabs him from behind and yanks him backwards. A gun is pushed to his head. A voice hisses in his ear, ''Hello there.'' He moans and struggles to free himself from his attacker's iron grip. But suddenly, something cracks against his head and he collapses to the floor. The attacker drags the man's body to a closet, grabs the man's satchel and leaves as silently as he came.

This is Splinter Cell, the highly anticipated PS2 version of the X-Box hit. But does it live up to it's big brother's standards? Read on to find out.

Graphics 10/10
While not as awe inspiring as the X-Box version, Splinter Cell is one of the best looking games on PS2 to date. The lighting effects are incredible, the people look real, and so do the areas. The areas in Splinter Cell are all very dark, covered in shadow. If you find yourself in a bright light, get out of there as fast as possible. In Splinter Cell you utilize shadows to move from area to area.
Anyway, the lighting is fabulous. You can see sun rays seeping through windows and reflections of lights off metal objects. The characters all look quite nice and detailed.

Sound 10/10
Not only will shadows be your best friend, but so will the sound. Listen carefully for enemy footsteps or cameras, and you will be sure to get out alive. There are different sounds for different things you walk on. Gravel sounds different from dirt, dirt sounds different from concrete, etc. You can hear enemy guards talking with one another, even whistling sometimes. If a guard sees or hears something suspicious, you will hear music start to play as the guard investigates. If you are spotted it starts to play techno music. The sound and music is really good

Gameplay 9/10
Most of this game you will spend moving very slowly, surveying the area and studying guard patterns. If you are one of those people that likes games with lots of action, this game is not for you. This game requires more stealth than Metal Gear Solid 2. You will find this game to be incredibly frustrating at times. You will keep getting caught or spotted and you will feel like throwing your controller at the TV. DON'T. Controllers aren't cheap and neither are TVs. And this game gets easier as you keep playing, once you find your style. Some of the moves in this game are great, like the move where you put your feet between two walls and hold yourself up.

Story 9/10
The story isn't really that important in this game. It's just the Georgian president and government is crazy and starts attacking the US, yada yada yada.

Controls 9/10
The controls in this game are really easy to get used to, better than the X-Box controls.

Replay Value 7/10
This game is really linear, so there isn't that much replay value. It's fun while it lasts though.

Buy or Rent?
If you are a fan of Stealth games, then you should definitely buy this game. If you are easily frustrated stay far away from this game. If you are unsure, this game is definitely worth a rent. If you buy it, you may find that it is a bit short, but a blast while it lasts.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/13/03, Updated 04/13/03

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