Review by MGSSolidSnake

"One of the best stealth games ever made."

I was a bit iffy when I heard that Splinter Cell was going to be ported from Xbox to Ps2. I was thinking that it couldn't handle the graphics or gameplay. And boy was I wrong.

The graphic transition from Xbox and Ps2, while noticeable, is AWESOME! The lighting effects remain intact while the textures are dirtied up a bit (adds for realism, but is really an excuse to water down the textures for the ps2.) The infrared goggles and night vision goggles are almost identical to the Xbox version. The shadows are so good they'll make your jaw drop they are just so magnificent. They added reflections and heat effects to make the ps2 version look good. Props to Ubi Soft for that.

This is where Splinter Cell shines, and very brightly too. The gameplay is awesome, you can use enemies as shields and shoot at other enemies while holding them. You can do a split jump (while there arent alot of places to pull this off is very cool looking) to get the drop on the enemy and hide from them. The stealth is very very realistic. Guards can hear footsteps, see shadows, and will notice if lights get turned off or shot off, they can hear other guards grunts or civilians screams. The AI is very smart. The character controls very responsively and each button on the ps2 controller is utilized (no joke.) While the controls may seem confusing at first they come easy and accessible once you learn them. You also must hide bodies from guards. If you don't hide the bodies in dark places then when the game sweeps the level for how well you hid bodies an alarm will sound off, and the difficulty of the game will increase. Even though there are load points throughout the levels it still detects the old bodies you have in the previous portions. The gameplay is magic, you actually have to think realistically and make the best choices. Shooting out lights and hiding bodies will increase your chance of survival.

STORY 8/10:
The story tries to keep as close to reality as possible which is why sometimes it skews on the boring side. The new ingame cinemas (30 mins worth) explain and move the story along great. And the story is semi-deep but not what I was expecting from Tom Clancy. The story grips you during certain points but kinda lets you doze off in other parts. It is not an uninspired story, it is above-average but nothing more than that.

This is what the game really lacks, extras to unlock and secrets. I gave it a 7 and not lower because there is an added level for the ps2 version and an added sneaking suit just for that level. But only dedicated players will go back and try the very hard and challenging hard mode. I wish there were more difficulties but there are only two: Normal and Hard. The extras are already unlocked to begin with and there, again, aren't many.

This game has set the bar very high for the next developer that wants to make a Stealth game. It is a great game, and it is definitely worth a purchase since the levels are long and the challenge is always increasing. You'll always find new ways to do things and you'll want to test new ways on a 2nd playthrough. Gameplay is great, graphics is great. This is one of the best stealth games ever made.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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

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