Review by DOA

Reviewed: 04/28/03 | Updated: 04/28/03

So, which would you rather have.. a split jump or a card board box?

...... the card board box in this case...

When I placed Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell into my Playstation 2, I knew it would be a lot different than its X-box counter-part. But I had no idea just how much of an over all product has changed since Splinter Cell for the X-box. For starters the whole introduction to the game is differetn. The opening sequence no consists of ''The Name of the Game'' By Crystal Method or the random assortments of clips from the game, here we're treated to a few scenes in Georgia where two CIA agents are captured by a splinter faction of the Georgian Army. Then we get a glimpse of the games' star, Sam Fisher. With this new introduction comes a fantastic score from the Prague Symphony Orchestra

Comparing the PS2 version to the X-box version, well, there is no comparison, X-box, hands down, has the better visuals. The X-box version of Splinter Cell has higher resolutions and frame rates than that of its PS2 breather en. On the PS2, everything just feels so watered down. Not what if could have been in my book. Trying to hide in the shadows can throw you off during game play. You think you're in pitch blackness and the stealth meter shows you in the white, ripe for on coming enemy fire. As for the level design, they also seem highly watered down. Very linear in design, which doesn't allow too much room for maneuvering around enemies. Which can be a real pain at times. Also, certain levels have been changed around, what I mean is that levels that took place during the day or early evening now takes place at night. Another thing that bothered me was that when people spoke, there was no lip movements. Ah, nitpicking.

Sound wise, the PS2 and X-box version rank just about equal. But the PS2 just eeks out the Box. The great opening from the Prague Symphony Orchestra to the great voice acting. Besides you can't get any better with good old raspy toned, Richter, er, Lt. Jean Rasczak, NO, Michael Ironside as the voice of Sam Fisher.

The heart of any game is its game play. Splinter Cell is no different than any other game. After the X-box's phenomenal presentation of what a stealth game should be, this incarnation has some fairly lofty expectations to live up to. Needless to say that it doesn't top the X-box's version. Not even close. But it does stand on its own two feet. But they are practically the same game and all. But what the PS2 version has that the X-box doesn't is the binoculars and a few other toys that were not present on the Box.

After Ubi Soft Shanghai drastically altered all the levels, making changes I never dreamed would happen. People who were accustomed to the lay out in the previous game will have to drastically alter their approach now that the levels have changed so much. What would have been simple, now becomes more complex. Another thing that was altered was the level endings, they were cut much shorter which really kills the challenge of sneaking past the last batch of guards. Pity and alls I hoped for was a more challenging experience.

Replay is fairly high, as usual with a game of this kind, the extra level, which is as large as an X-box level. That's a good thing. The new binoculars and the silver bullet suit is an awesome touch.

Final Thoughts:

The PS2 version of Splinter is not as good as its X-box counter-part, but as a Playstation 2 game, it's one of the best games and probably one of the finest stealth games on the Playstation 2. Eclipsing the clunky Hitman 2, just inching out Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty/Substance. This is a fine example of a stealth game. As much as I like Snake, I like Fisher just a little bit more.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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