Review by dwashbur
The Excellence Continues
Splinter Cell got me hooked from Sam's first mission. Pandora Tomorrow continues that trend. I'm currently playing through it for the second time and loving it just as much as the first time. The story is outstanding, the movements and equipment are wonderful, and there are some hard choices to be made, such as Dahlia, so save the checkpoints in different slots and play it out both ways. It's incredible. The only drawback is your support team. Whenever an alarm is raised and reported, Grim has to repeat what it says. She reminds me of Sigourney Weaver's character in "Galaxy Quest." Lambert seems to think he's your father because he's constantly either lecturing you (a complete waste of time and breath) or telling you things you already know. Brunton has a unique talent for denoting the obvious. But these are minor annoyances, nothing more. Sometimes the pistol sight is a little weird, and I kept bumping the left trigger by mistake and turning on the laser sight, which of course the enemies can see. But all in all this game continues the trend of quality established by the first game. Definitely a keeper.
The basic mission is to track down and deal with an Indonesian terrorist named Suhadi Sadono, who has some very interesting contacts and has somehow gotten his hands on a biological weapon resembling smallpox. He has placed containers of this agent in several locations, and if he doesn't make certain phone calls giving the code "Pandora tomorrow" the bugs will be released. US powers-that-be know this, so for now the guy is bulletproof. Sam has to track down what the agent is, how he obtained it (and from whom), where the phone calls are going, and how to put a stop to all this. We meet Sam's old friend, Douglas Shetland, who pops in and out at various points and who will figure more prominently in the next game, Chaos Theory. Shetland is an enigmatic character; you never really know what he's up to or why. But Sam trusts him, and that's what counts. The game takes you to locations all over the world, from Paris to Timor to crawling on the underside of a speeding train. Great stuff! If you're doing these games in order, which I recommend, then if you have an Xbox 360 you probably already have the free emulator that allowed you to play the first one. It's automatic with this one, so play away and have a blast.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow (US, 03/23/04)
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