Review by YanaMan
"The All-Time Best Espionage Game Ever!"
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is one of my favorite games ever! I think that the story is next to perfect and greatly effects the overall enjoyment of the game. This game is definitely worth buying. Although some people don't like it much, I love it.
Tom Clancy has produced many games, none of which I've played before. Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon are just a few of them. If they're anything like this game, I will buy them soon.
Let me start off this category by saying one thing: this is one of the hardest games that I've ever played. It's that simple. The game has two modes, normal and hard. I'm playing it on normal and it's still hard. The only difference between the two difficulties is your opponents damage you more than before and you damage opponents less than before. Since this game is based around espionage and stealth and not shooting and fighting, this shouldn't be much of a problem.
This a very fun game to play. One of the best parts is all of the gadgets and equipment that you have. For example, you have 4 different visual modes: normal, scope, night vision, and infrared vision, all of which add to the game tremendously and help you on your missions. Another cool gadget is the sticky shocker. It's basically a mini tazer that you shoot out of your secondary fire spot of your weapon. It sticks to an enemy and shocks them until they pass out. The same element is used for sticky cameras. You shoot them the same way and they stick to walls and other objects to do some recon work. They even have a diversion camera that makes noise to draw enemies and then gasses them when they are near. This is great. Your equipment is also endless. You have grenades, medical kits, lock picks, fiber optics cables, camera jammers, and more!
Another element that adds to the overall fun of the game is the stealth involved. In order to get past the enemy, you'll have to sneak around. Some of the levels even have your heart beating. I've found myself, while playing this game, whispering and moving slowly, as not to alert any guards.
And finally, the controls. The controls of this game are easy to learn. I thought that Metal Gear Solid 2's controls were a little hard to get used to, but these only took a few minutes. One of the hardest factors of the controls to get used to was the fact that you have to control the camera completely. While using one joystick to move the player, you have to use the other to adjust the camera. After a while, though, I found this to be an advantage because you can use it to look around corners while standing against a wall. Every button on the controller has a specific function, and only 1 function.
The story in this game is great. You're Sam Fisher, a professional spy. You work for the United States Government, but if you die or get captured, the government will deny any knowledge of your presence. You're a lone field operative which is always being monitored by a team of highly skilled people to assist you.
The game starts off in its introduction by showing 2 field operatives, Madison and Blaustein, infiltrating a Georgian (the country) warehouse filled with military weapons and soldiers. They get captured and eventually killed. Your job is to find out what happened to them.
On inspection you find out that their sub-dermal microchips that give all of their vital information have been removed from their bodies. You also find out that the Georgian president, Kombayne Nikoladze, is planning a war with the U.S. On some following missions, you obtain vital information about the Georgian president and his secrets for the U.S. Government to stop him. He launches computerized attacks to delete CIA information and has insiders in the CIA to tell them what's going on.
As you can see, the story is very intricate and complex.
The graphics of this game are pretty good. I know absolutely nothing about game engines, so all that I can tell you about this game is what I see and hear. The shadows in this game really help out a lot. The difference between light and dark is what helps you out as far as gameplay is concerned too. Shadows are realistic as well as lights. When glass busts, it looks completely real. The game is completely animated and no motion capture is used at all. This gives the game a more realistic feel, to me at least. The movement of the characters and the physics of everything look complete and real. There is no noticeable slowdown at all in the game either.
The sound in the game is okay, but not much more than that. During cut scenes, the sound is great, but otherwise, there isn't much at all. Almost every guard in the game whistles while on patrol and each one that whistles does the exact same tune. This gets really annoying while figuring their patrol patterns. The sound does use the Doppler effect though. That is, as a sound source gets nearer, it's more intense, and as it gets further away, it's less intense. This helps out a bit. Also, there's not much interaction with sound that you can do other than shooting and breaking glass bottles.
Play Time/Replayability 10/10
Splinter Cell gives a lot of playing hours to the gamer. It took me something upwards of 20 hours to complete the game the first time through. There's plenty of variety to the game, so it never becomes boring. The story is too interesting to get bored anyway. You won't even want to drop your controller to go to bed or use the bathroom.
The replayability of this game is also great. Most of the levels are just as good the second time through as the first time. Guards can still surprise you and you'll still have to do a lot of watching the guards and sneaking around, that is of course unless you did so bad the first time through that you played it a few times worth on the first time through. Another good feature of this game is that you don't have to play the whole game again. You can select which of your favorite levels that you want to play. That means that you can have even more fun!
Final Recommendation 9/10
I would definitely suggest that you go out right now and buy this game, especially if it's your type of game. I'd pay more than $50 for this game. Even getting it used would work if you don't have the cash right now. I give this game 9/10 overall because of the great gameplay, intricate storyline, better than average graphics and sound, and awesome play time and replayability.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/28/03, Updated 05/28/03
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