Review by Phantom Recon

"Stealth Games Are On The Rise, Splinter Cell Sets The Standards For Them"

There is no doubt that Splinter Cell was one of the most anticipated games of the year, but does it live up to the hype? In my opinion it does, and in fact it surpassed my expectations. When I first heard of Splinter Cell, I expected a game like Hitman 2, where stealth is not the main focus of the game just an option. Instead Splinter Cell is quite the opposite, it implies be stealthy or die. So this is my review of, Tom Clancy's: Splinter Cell.

Graphics: 10/10
Beautiful graphics, some of the best I've seen to date. This game's lighting effects were spoke of highly when it was previewed, and they are quite extravagant. It seems so right to see beams of light coming through blinds in a dark room. It's obvious that the developers really focused on the environments and lighting. The character models aren't too bad either. There isn't anything particularly bad about the graphics, and with the wonderful lighting Splinter Cell earns a perfect 10/10 in this area.

Gameplay: 10/10
Very nicely done. The controls are well suited to the Xbox controller. No other game on the market has moves and techniques so advanced as to those in Splinter Cell. In what other game can you scissor split a wall? Or pull yourself upside down over a pipe? Those are just some of the many moves you can pull off, and surprisingly they are very easy to perform. The third person camera is very easy to maneuver and it's not hard to get it at the right angle. Also, I love the reticule shooting/aiming system used in Tom Clancy games, thank God they included it in Splinter Cell. Everything about the gameplay is as close to perfect as it can get, some may even call it perfect, which I will. I give the gameplay in Splinter Cell 10/10.

Sound: 10/10
Footsteps in the background, leaves blowing in the wind, birds chirping, they're all there. The gunshots sound great too. Most of the time you aren't paying attention to the sounds as you are trying to sneak around, but it's there. A great feature I think is that your footsteps vary in loudness depending on the surface you are walking on, and weather you are crouched or not. I give the sound in Splinter Cell 9.5/10 on regular TV speakers, and 10/10 on surround sound.

Lasting Appeal: 9/10
Although not bad to any extent, this is probably the weakest point in Splinter Cell. There aren't many guns to collect(not that you need them), and there are not many secrets to be found(if any). Yet I still played through the game multiple times just because it was so fun. A co-op multiplayer mini-game or missions would have added to the lasting appeal for me, but the game is fine without them. The missions and levels are great as well. Well designed, and very well laid out. Often offering unexpected twists. I found myself going through some missions many times just to use different techniques and strategies. The lasting appeal gets 9/10.

Overall: 10/10 (Not An Average)
While doing nothing bad, Splinter Cell sets the standard for stealth games with it's great graphics, superb lighting, wonderful gameplay and well designed missions and levels. Splinter Cell is definitely a high quality game, up the with Halo and Grand Theft Auto. I recommend it to anyone with the slightest interest in action, stealth or shooting games. In fact, almost anyone can enjoy Splinter Cell.

Rent or Buy?
Buy! Splinter Cell is an amazing game. If you are interested in it, don't waste money renting it first, go out and get it. You will not regret it at all.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/25/02, Updated 11/25/02

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