Review by BGuerrie

"Blinded by the light"

Sam Fisher is tough as nails. Sneaking around halls and staying in the shadows was Sam's protocol. Slithering like a Snake and getting passed armed soldiers was in his prime back in the day. He wasn't compared to Rambo -- he was an undefined, sure-kick-ass character with undetectable tactics. That's what Splinter Cell was all about.

In Splinter Cell Conviction, Fisher finds himself battling for answers to what exactly happens to his daughter, who in part has been told she was murdered. And what better way to get such sweet revenge then an Espionage who loves to crack necks?

Fisher is long retired from his “special-ops” days, but that doesn't mean he is washed up and rusty. Mr. Fish still has the ability to climb up structures, unconsciously beat down a team, and wear some fancy goggles.

The one player mode and story may seem convincing at first, but once you jump into its real plot it's hard to feel much for it. Exceptionally, I have to say at one point it did have some nice twists and all; I was on the edge of the seat to see what happens next. Over the courses of the single player mode you will be faced with past, present, and future events prior to and actual to the climax of the game. Sadly, it ends up being so short.

In terms of gameplay, you still have some familiar controls and some memorable concepts in the previous games. Staying out of the light offers you invisibility to the enemies, although this opportunity to do so is much rarer than any previous SC game. You will find much more action similar to the Max Payne series by all means.

Yes, there still are portions of the game where you must sneak past guards and laser grids, but for the most part your missions are to get to point B -- capture, interrogate, rescue, etc. In most cases, you can do so by running in gun-blazing. Not so sneaky.

Quietly sneaking up on enemies and taking them down with some physical assault can earn you a nice bonus. The “slow-mo” feature that is added gives you the chance to lock onto enemies and automatically give you a one shot kill. An irresistible sight, nonetheless.

Still, shooting enemies can still be a real pain, especially in a far distant gunfight. Unless you have a scope on your equipped weapon, enemies will shoot at you from all corners and yards away. It becomes irritating when you cannot see your foes or perform accuracy.

Since you will encounter more action compared to its predecessors, Conviction lets you upgrade your weapons and equipment as you earn more “points” throughout the campaign mode and online multiplayer. Adding a silencer, improving its accuracy and range is a definite plus. You can also purchase new costumes and customization for your online character as well.

The lighting may look cool with the reflections of the shadow, but some characters other than Fisher look much more flat and less detailed. Once you have a good cover, the screen turns black and white; notifying your character is unable to be seen. Although it looks cool at first, it can be distracting and harder to see where you are.

Now for the online features. You can buddy up with a friend via Xbox Live and compete or work together on some great and challenging missions over numerous stages. You can also play with split screen. Modes consist of eliminating certain amount of enemies, hacking into computers, and fighting hordes of soldiers. If you're not playing against someone, teamwork is crucial into surviving and advancing further. If a partner falls, the other player can revive him if time is restrained. It's difficult, but to its own right, having the right partner can assure victory.

Splinter Cell fans may be more disappointed in the fact that Conviction takes away it's more in-the-dark feel as it leans more towards an action game. But even with more action, it still does a good job presenting it. Despite its cons, the online is addicting and a true challenge to grace for. For my tastes, I prefer the previous games in the series. It's still worth a look though.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 05/12/10, Updated 07/11/12

Game Release: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (US, 04/13/10)

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