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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is one of the very best spy thrillers available on the gaming market. Yes, this is a PS2 game but even still, its a fantastic game and does offer everything a Tom Clancy fan will love.
Gamer's play Sam Fisher, a covert agent working for the American government, who is tasked to stopping terrorists and criminals looking to bring the world to its knees. Sam takes on stealth missions across the globe piecing together evidence and stopping the bad guys. The challenges do range and some missions are much tougher than others, however, there is always a host of weapons and gadgets at hand.
Fisher can pick locks with his special tool kits, used silence and suppressed hand and automatic guns; and there are even smoke bombs to use. However, one of the best features for attracting the enemies attention is the whistle. Sam Fisher can use this to bring an enemy close to him and knock them out without anyone else knowing he's there lurking in the shadows.
Fisher's equipment on each mission varies though the night vision goggles always remain with him. These can be particularly useful when it comes to sticking in the shadows and gamer's can use these to help sneak past heavy armed enemies in each level. The quality of the night vision is really impressive and sharp even for a PS2 game.
However, the difficulty of the game can be very tough at times. Enemies are sharp and if they think something is wrong, they will go in search for Fisher. Also, if you knock an enemy out of kill him but fail to hide the body sufficiently enough then an alarm will be raised putting the remaining enemies on high alert. Some levels cannot have any alarms raised otherwise the mission is over.
There is no guide either so gamer's really have to be wise and think carefully about which route to take in order to progress throughout the mission. Its easy to get lost and confused about the next move and be stuck on a mission for sometime as the surrounding environment needs to be looked at carefully and assessed. You really will get a workout on some of these missions because they are difficult to solve.
Fisher's movements are also very impressive and they aren't stiff or odd, they look very much authentic. The designers have done a fantastic job to recreate authentic human moves even when Fisher is maneuvering behind objects and crawling around tight angles too. You will have a tough task to think ahead and know the next movement so that you don't get caught.
I don't think there is any real down points or negative points to this game. The story is interesting to follow and the missions are fantastic. If there is any trouble with these games, it has to be the fact it's not an easy game to start off with. If there are gamer's out there who haven't played any other Splinter Cell games, they may struggle to get used to the controls and how they should approach the missions. However, once you learn, it does become a lot simpler.
For inexperienced gamer's, there is also the training round at the beginning where all gamer's must go through in order to learn the basics of the game. This can be a good stage to learn because it can be completed as many times as you like and it really gets you to grips with the movements and controlling Fisher too. Finding and using the weapons and gadgets can be hard especially since they aren't practiced much in the beginning but after a while and some retries on the missions, you will get to know them much better.
The game is actually quite long to play too. This isn't a short game and it can take a lot of time to complete which is always a good thing. There are plenty of characters along the way you'll meet and a lot of enemies to take down too, so its a good spy/espionage game to play.
Splinter Cell can still be purchased for those who want to give this game bash, though I think to buy it new, it will be maybe £20+, I'm not exactly sure as the prices on Amazon change quickly. However, you can buy this cheaper on eBay but it may be a used copy.
This review is also available to read on ciao under the same user name.
In Splinter Cell on the XBox you take on the role of Sam Fisher. He is top secret agent that works for an agency that combats terrorism around the globe and primarily in the United States. There is something strange and disturbing going on in Eastern Europe in Georgia. It seems that a couple of agents have gone missing and haven't been heard from in a bit. This is where your character comes in. He has to find the missing agents with the help of his crack team of trained specialists. Sounds tough!
The game itself is split up into different multiple missions. In each of these missions there are objectives that must be met. Alot of them centre on penetrating a specific location like a police station and you have to gather information and interrogate characters you run across. Or in some cases rescuing hostages comes into it too. Each level is filled with guards and cameras and many different means to capture you. I found it pretty hard to be honest with you. Your character is able to walk in a crouch position, hang off pipes and press against walls all to stop being seen. He lurks about and hides in shadows alot to avoid detection.
The game is very eery and I found a large part of it is played in the darkness of the shadows as you go from level to level. He creeps up on his enemies with great stealth, taking them by surprise. He also comes ready and equipped with a multitude of gadgets and weapons all at his disposal.
Despite it being quite hard the progression of difficulty is at least quite balanced throughout the game. The first few levels I tried are fairly simple and just get you used to the controls and moves and then as you go along things get harder and harder.
The graphics are fantastic and alot of time and effort must have gone into them and it shows. The light and shadow effects are very realistic. The sound on offer too increases the suspense you feel in this game.
This game is unlike alot of action games as you have to be patient and not just go in all guns blazing which I like as I think there is more skill involved in that. You really have to think about things. Overall, this is a great game that's worth playing time and time again.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell was the first prominent game to be released under Clancy's banner since the brilliant Rainbow Six games. It was noted for its superb graphics, and remains a classic of its generation that has spawned numerous sequels, and continues to today.
You play Sam Fisher (voiced by the brilliant character actor Michael Ironside), an NSA operative who investigates numerous political intrigue-esque curiosities, resulting in you concluding that it may well be an inside job. Sneaking through enemy fortresses and creeping through the corridors of power, you willl have to cross the line to get to the truth.
The gameplay has a supreme reliance on stealth, and steamrolls Metal Gear Solid's fairly simplistic notion of stealth (given how dumb the AI is). Here, the baddies are smart, and if you're not quiet and sneaky, they WILL catch you, resulting in a game over most of the time. What makes the game so fun is its sheer invention, given that there are numerous ways to make it through the levels, and you're not stuck to one rigid path of completion. For instance, to get past a bad guy, you can quickly cap him with a silenced tranquiliser and drag him into a nearby office, or you can brace against the wall when he's not looking, and then slickly drop down on him, knocking him out. There are so many things you can do, and it makes for an entertaining game that can get frustrating at times due to the low probability of success once you've been caught.
Visually, it was immaculate for its time: the lighting effects in particular garnered a lot of acclaim, but the character models are also sublime and still hold up well today. There are some jagged areas here and there, but the environments look superb, and the night vision effect in particular is quite revolutionary.
Though it is quite challenging, it is a lot of fun and manages to avoid repetition due to story-driven gameplay that even has you turning the tablles and stealthily sneaking through the NSA's own offices to hunt down the rat. It is a great game and one of the most influential of its generation.
Enter the life of a Splinter Cell; Sam Fisher.
You are an agent of the NSA and you are a ghost. You will enter and leave buildings undetected, collect secret information, assassinate certain threats and try and keep the USA in one piece.
If ever I've heard an inviting storyline, it's that. In Splinter Cell, there are 14 missions to progress through which are all stealth-based. Breaking necks, using numerous gadgets and slowly making your way through high threat areas is always an aspect of the game and it's done perfectly by Ubisoft, as is expected from them.
The main idea of the game is to use an indicator which tells you how well hidden you are when creeping through enemy territory. Sticking to dark places and hiding in clever places will give you great success. The AI is well developed, so if you try to shoot someone and miss, don't expect it to go unnoticed and more than likely the alarm will be sounded off. If this happens to much, Third Echelon will pull you out and it's mission failed. For this reason, Splinter Cell is no easy game and is challenging throughout especially on harder difficulties.
However, if you use your large array of weapons and gadgets properly, you will succeed as the number one NSA agent.
First of all, my opinion is that his game is simply incredible. I can only say it makes Metal Gear Solid look very ordinary - which is quite a feat. As Sam Fisher, a "Spinter Cell" of the NSA, you can use an amazing selection of gadgets and moves to take out an enemy. The graphics are sounds are probably the best I've ever seen on a game of this genre and the attention to detail is awe inspiring. However, if you're into super-fast, first person shooters then this is probably not for you. The essence of Splinter Cell is to use stealth and Sam Fisher knows a thing or two about that. Rather than relying on the "line of sight" technique, as used by many stealth games, Splinter Cell takes advantage of the amazing lighting effects so that Sam can hide from an enemy simply by staying still in the dark. Equipped with night-vision and infra red goggles, staying in the shadows is the only way you can neutralise the numerous enemies effectively. Finally, I must say that Splinter Cell is probably one of the hardest games I've ever played. Sometimes it gets very frustrating trying to complete a level as many levels are a simple case of trial and error. But the pure satisfaction of sneaking into CIA headquarters and coming out the other side without setting any alarms off is very rewarding indeed.
Although this game comes sugar-coated in great graphics and plenty of animated movie sequences, the game on a whole, much like the book, is quite boring and at times tedious. The training level, which one must complete to progress is utterly dire, with a fun factor of almost zero. Quite why people believe this to be such a great game I have no idea, personally I would rather wipe my arse with sandpaper than play this game for an extended period of time. Although, to give it some credit, it can be fun at times to aimlessly kill civillians. Like similar such games, the game follows a pattern of level upon level of pointless missions, which result in some minor intrique which I guess is supposed to keep you playing. I am sure many people find this fun, however I do not, so therewe go.
Splinter Cell is certainly one of the top games that I have ever played. Having purchased an Xbox when it was released, I have always kept up to date with new releases, and when Splinter Cell came out, I rushed out and bought it, expecting a real treat, and I wasn't let down. The game features a realistic, believable storyline about a genocidal president from Georgia who plans to link with a mercenary from China to dominate the globe. You play the part of Sam Fisher, a black ops splinter cell agent from the National Security Agency in the USA. You must stand on the enemy line and penetrate the defences to obtain vital information that takes the world to the brink of war and back. With skill and precision, you must take out targets, steal data, capture suspects, rescue hostages and wreak havoc inside the enemy bases, armed with a range of gadgets, including night vision and thermal goggles, fibre optics, lock picks and a range of weaponry. The graphics on the Xbox version of the game are certainly a great advert for the power of the console. Smooth, precise and expertly created. The game also features a new design engine, where you are able to hide in shadows. The game includes a dynamic light/shadow engine, the sort that has never been used before, but it definately adds an edge to the game that puts it in front of others of the same genre. Having now completed the game, I will say that it is certainly well worth buying. It has a difficult edge to it, so that you cannot simply whizz through all of the levels in a day, a factor I like in a game. I rate the game 10/10!
Tom Clancys' Splinter Cell on X-Box has really got to be the best game currently available on the X-Box. The game is based around Sam Fisher, who is trying to find a terrorist organisation run by 'Nikoladze'. on X-Box there are 8 levels, each increasing in difficulty but getting better and better. With features such as being able to interrogate people and climbing up walls the graphics for the game are truly amazing. The game is mainly based around stealth with a number of missions not letting you kill anybody at all, or the mission will be over. This is a game for the patient game players, but is a truly fantastic game. 10/10.
Naturally, before playing on Splinter Cell, due to all the rumours about it being an exact copy of Metal Gear, I was sceptical. However, after just a few minutes of playing as Sam Fisher; the third echelon special forces operative, I soon realised how brilliant this game is. Now, admittedly the name Sam Fisher doesn’t have quite the same ring to it as Solid Snake but he is certainly a far better stealth operative with more gadgets, moves and grey hair than Snake could ever muster. The game starts with two agents lying in the cold spying on an enemy force. They creep into a vent and make their way down to a bunker of sorts. They discover a huge army ready to mobilise and immediately transmit to HQ. Unfortunately before they manage to communicate what they’re seeing in more detail they’re seen by a guard and fired upon. After a bit of running around, or more like sliding around, they manage to navigate their way out of the base only to be met by a couple of helicopters and forced to surrender. After all of this excitement the scene changes and, instead of being faced with members of a secret army intent on ripping you to pieces, you are met with a friendly face in the form of the main character; Sam Fisher. Not the typical agent; instead of running around in a suit and tie shooting people with a small black pistol, he’s out diving with his daughter. After a minute of piece and calm we soon see the darker side of Sam’s life come into play when the NSA (National Security Agency) activate him and give him the task of finding the two CIA agents who were captured. After a brief session of training, which helps to familiarise you with the controls more than anything, you are transported to Georgia where you’ll get information about the two missing agents. From here you’ll be sent right into the thick of it fighting the Georgian army, the Chinese, the CIA and whoever else who’s stupid eno
ugh to get in your way. Holster your weapon, don your disguise and prepare to be amazed! Graphics I had high hopes for this game in terms of graphics. It looked great on the Xbox and even better on the PC so I wasn’t going to be content with anything less. Unfortunately, as usual, the PS2 just couldn’t hack it and the graphics have been lessened for the PS2 version; just a tad though, the difference is hardly noticeable. The first thing that’ll really hit you when you play on Splinter Cell is the lighting effects. They are absolutely superb. No other game has ever had lighting effects of this quality and they really do stand out. Everything, from the reflections on shiny surfaces to the beams of light gaping out of a closed vent, is jaw dropping stuff. The environments are also very impressive, ranging from city streets and embassy’s to icy compounds, nothing is out of place. Ubi Soft have got their environment designs on Splinter Cell down to a fine art. The characters are, perhaps, the only flaw in Splinter cell. They’re not particularly bad or even below average but compared with the rest of Splinter Cell’s graphical assets they do seem out of place. When you go into gun aiming mode Sam looks a bit boxy and some enemies to suffer from strange postures from time to time. All in all, with detailed environments, superb lighting effects and well designed levels, Splinter Cell is nothing short of amazing in this category. 19/20 Sound The sound effects in Splinter Cell are very impressive. The footsteps when Sam walks along different surfaces are fantastic. Of course this is partly to increase the Stealthy element of the game because you may get heard by an enemy when you walk on gravel or glass for example. The weapon sounds are good with realistic shots and loading noises. The music in Splinter Cell tries to add to the atmospher
e and it does this but only to a certain extent. When you are discovered by an enemy there is a musical reaction but it’s not particularly brilliant. The music that plays while you remain undiscovered is mellow and soft which is good as it doesn’t distract you from the game or the sound effects. A good effort on this front. 19/20 Gameplay Many people compare Splinter Cell to Metal Gear Solid 2 and they are right to do this. They are the only major stealth based games on the market at the moment (MGS2 in the form of Substance). The main difference between the two games is that in Metal Gear you can get away with running into a room full of guards all guns blazing and come out relatively unharmed while in Splinter Cell the guards would most probably rip you to pieces. It’s a matter of opinion whether this is a good thing or a bad thing but whatever you may think of it, it makes Splinter Cell an extremely, extremely hard game. In fact this is probably one of the hardest games I’ve ever played on. Stealth is essential in Splinter Cell and without it you’ll die straight away and that’s a guarantee. However, I’m not by any means saying that Splinter Cell doesn’t contain its fair share of action. On the contrary; there are lots of exciting new ways to attack your enemies. You can interrogate them, use them as human shields, knock them out or simply put a bullet in their head. There are also many new innovative new gadgets to choose from such as remote cameras, which you fire onto a wall via your grenade launcher, once on the wall they can be used to see what's going on, distract your enemy and knock him out using gas implanted in a canister inside the camera. Another example of Ubi Soft’s ingenuity is the optical wire which you place underneath a doorway and then look through it to see what’s going on behind the door. This tool could mean the differ
ence betwe en life and death since there could be a horde of guards on the other side. Something else which impressed us was the ability to pick locks. Now this has been done before but in Splinter Cell you don’t just press a button and watch Sam pick the lock you actually have to do it manually yourself. Don’t worry its not too tricky but it may require some patience from time to time. As you may of noticed Splinter Cell is a Tom Clancy game. However, there isn’t much evidence of this since you play as one character rather than a squad in other Clancy titles such as Ghost Recon. There’s no fiddling about before the mission; all the tactical stuff comes into play while you’re in the thick of it which means you’ll have to keep your wits about you at all times. Another thing which, thankfully, wasn’t included in Splinter Cell was the trademark Clancy; if you get shot you die. Not in Splinter Cell, if you get hit your health bar will only be depleted by roughly a sixth and if that’s still too tough there are plenty of med kits around. Splinter Cell relies heavily upon stealth. Much more so than Metal Gear. If you get caught then you may fail he mission in certain cases and if a guard sees you, it doesn’t matter how far away they are, you’ll be seen. That’s why you must lurk in the shadows, creep past guards, shoot lights out and use your night vision goggles to navigate your way around, of course if you don’t want to waste ammunition then you can always switch the light off using the button usually found near the doorway. Of course you can still use your weapons, after all that’s what they’re for. However, if you use them too much and you find yourself capping guards in every situation rather than creeping past them then you’re doing something wrong. You’ll soon run out of ammo and that could leave you in a tight spot if you’re discove
red; with no am munition to protect yourself with there’s no way of escaping guards if the alarm is sounded. It’s a matter of trying to find the right balance in most situations. Usually stealth is more affective but requires more skill. Unfortunately, for the most part, there’s no other alternative. If you prefer basic shooters such as Medal of Honour to stealth games such as Metal Gear then this isn’t the game for you. This is a fantastic game, nobody’s debating that, but it may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, if you like traversing walls, creeping through secure compounds, interrogating enemies, bringing down plans for terrorist campaigns and lurking in the shadows before swiftly taking out the enemy then you’re guaranteed to love this. Xbox owners never should have let this go! 25/25 Lifespan With a whole new level added to the PS2 version Splinter Cell should leave you on the edge of your seat for at least two weeks. During the actual game there’s plenty to do with many exciting missions to complete. Unfortunately once the game is completed there’s little replay factor. You may want to replay a few levels to recapture some of Splinter Cell’s old charm but after a while you’ll soon get bored. Ubi Soft should have added a few extra features, perhaps some side missions for example. The actual game itself is quite long which makes up for the lack of a replay factor. They had to make a mistake somewhere and this is where it was. Still very good though. 22/25 Originality Splinter Cell is a Clancy game by name and, in some ways, by nature. It has some common traits of a Clancy game, its stealthy, its hard and its deadly. However, unlike other Clancy titles where a lot of pre mission planning is involved and you control a team of commandos, splinter Cell sees you controlling a lone operative. Although there is
a lot of thinking i nvolved during the mission there is no pre mission setup. This isn’t a tactical shooter, this is a stealth based masterpiece. In many ways Splinter Cell is similar to Metal Gear Solid 2. However, despite the fact that a few basic ideas may of come from MGS2, it is more than obvious that Splinter Cell surpasses Metal Gear in every way possible. Splinter Cell has taken some basic ideas from Metal Gear and improved upon them while, at the same time, employing lots of new, innovative features. 8/10 Overall This game will leave you in a state of shock. If you suffer from heart problems then it’s probably not a good idea to get Splinter Cell as it may leave you in Cardiac arrest. This game is innovative, atmospheric and incredibly exciting. It was a huge success on the Xbox and if you are an Xbox owner and you haven’t already got it then you should see your GP. We still say it was better on the Xbox though but this is no reason not to get it for the PS2. Get this game, do anything, get it off a dodgy internet site if its not in the shops, sell a family member if you don’t have the money! Whatever you do make getting Splinter Cell a priority! 93%
To be honest, I wasn't all that interested in Splinter Cell until a few months back when I played it on a demo. After spending a few minutes on the demo, I was blown away. Splinter Cell seemed to be the game that I thought Metal Gear Solid 2 should have been. Not to say that MGS 2 was a bad game, its just that I thought it had far too many flaws holding it back from greatness. Such flaws included a poor camera system, and a clueless and lame main character. Not only did Splinter Cell have a far better camera system, but your character was much cooler and more believable as well. Your character is none other then Sam Fisher. Sam is what is known as a Splinter Cell. He is a special covert operative, who works alone. It is his job to help protect American freedoms from scum like terrorist. Like I said, Sam is a much more believable character then MGS 2's Raiden. Raiden was a clueless boy, Sam on the other hand, is a seasoned vet who knows exactly what he's doing. To add believability to things, Sam even has graying hair, to show that he's been around for a while, and isn't some fresh recruit.
There are 9 missions in Splinter Cell. These missions take place all around the world in places such as the Soviet Republic of Georgia, a Chinese Embassy, and even the CIA Headquarters. Mission objectives range from kidnapping individuals, to surveillance. Unlike most games, you cannot enter Splinter Cell with all guns blazing. In fact, gunplay plays a small factor in the game, since most of it relies on stealth. In fact, in some missions, you're not even allowed to kill anyone. If you do, its mission over. To help Sam get around unseen, he has a variety of different things he can do. You can crouch to help move more silently, climb ladders and pipes, rappel down walls, and use zip lines to quickly slide down wires. You can grab enemies from behind and either drag them to a dark corner to knock them out, or use them as a human shield if things get too heavy. One of Sam's coolest abilities is his wall split. In narrow corridors, you can hop up and do a split between walls. This is very helpful in helping to avoid patrolling guards. Once up there, you can either let the guard pass, plant a bullet in his head, or drop down and knock
him unconscious. Sam also has a nice variety of toys he can use as well. Like I said, gunplay is a small factor in the game, so Sam doesn't exactly have a huge cache of weapons. His main weapons consist of a silenced pistol and a special assault rifle. The rifle is especially cool. Not only does it have a sniper scope, but there's all sorts of goodies you can shoot from it. Some of these include things to help stun enemies such as air foils, shockers, smoke grenades, surveillance cameras which stick to walls, and the coolest of all, the distraction camera. After you shoot a distraction camera out, you can make it do a whistle sound to help attract a bad guy. Once the bad guy is close enough, you can release a gas which will cause your enemy to go for a little nap. One of Sam's coolest and most used gadgets is his trademark visor. With it, you can turn on night vision, or inferred. The night vision function is what you'll be using most of the time. You'll find that in most parts of the game, its best if you either shoot the lights out, or switch them off, then turn your night vision on. Your enemies will b
e blind, but you can see them as clear as day. Just be careful though, some enemies in later missions will be equipped with lights, so you won't exactly be completely invisible to everyone. Enemy AI in Splinter Cell is a little flaky. Guards usually follow their preset routes, so you'll often find yourself hiding in the shadows and studying their patters before moving in. Enemies also seem to be rather blind at time. Sometimes when you're hiding in a low light area, a guard will come within a few feet of you, looking right at you, but not seeing you. Also, enemies seem to be blind to the light on Sam's Visor, and back. While this really doesn't hurt the game any, it does remove a little of the sense of realism that the game tries to portray. There's nothing really much as far as different modes go. You simply get your main single player game and that's it. There are a few extras including, such as some interviews with the games creators, and Sam's voice actor. And although nothing has been released as of now, there is some downloadable content such as extra levels planned. Graphics 10:
The graphics in Splinter Cell are simply amazing. Textures are well varied and very sharp and clean. The frame rate is high and rarely dips. And when it does, its barely noticeable and doesn't take away from the action in any way at all. The animation was also very realistic and nice to look at. The biggest standout about the graphics however, is the spectacular lighting effects. From the light emitted from neon signs, to the light coming in through windows, you will be amazed. Finally, there's the camera. Unlike the camera in MGS 2, this one is actually good. Its fully adjustable and can be moved in any way you like. I never once had a problem with the camera in the game. If only more games had a camera that actually worked this good. Sound 9: From the cracking of glass, to the mood setting and movie feeling soundtrack by Crystal Method, the sound in Splinter Cell is amazing. However, I did have one minor gripe about the sound. Most notably some of the voice acting. While Michael Ironside does an amazing job of voicing Sam, some of the other actors could have been abit better. Its nothing horrible or anything, it
just could have been abit better. Control 9: Like everything else, the control in Splinter Cell does not disappoint. While there is abit of a learning curve, after an hour or so of play, you should be fully used to things. Aiming can seem a little inaccurate at times, but its not too bad once you get used to it. The trick is to give your targeting a second or 2 to adjust to where your aiming it. After that, things work pretty well. It just may frustrate you a little at first. Overall, I would highly recommend Splinter Cell to anyone that was a fan of Metal Gear Solid. Even if you weren't a fan of that, or never played it, then I still urge you to do yourself a favor and try this one. And while this game is going to the PS2 shortly, your best bet would be to get the XBox version instead if you own both consoles. Not that the PS2 will be bad or anything, but the XBox version is the better looking of the 2, and has downloadable content which the PS2 versions doesn't. Either way though, you'll be getting an amazing game. Great job UBI Soft.
This is a somewhat difficult review to write - Splinter Cell (SC) has taken me through moments of pure gaming heaven, and of deepest joypad-smashing hell. Possibly conceived by Ubi Soft as an answer to Metal Gear Solid, SC is set in the Tom Clancey universe. This has a number of implications - firstly, the engine shares a number of traits with former Clancey titles such as Rainbow Six (ie. twitchy controls and faux-realistic physics). Secondly, the plot is penned by Clancey himself - although, as a basic cautionary tale of nuclear paranoia and sinister middle-eastern alliances, he could have knocked it up in twenty minutes on the back of a cocktail napkin. However unsophisticated, the storyline is fairly effective - surely due, in part, to its relevance to current events, but also to the excellent mock-CNN newsflashes which pop up between stages. Visually, SC is an absolute treat. Special mention must go to the wonderful lighting effects throughout, which even manage to lend an 'Ooh!' factor to the mind-numbingly tedious training level at the outset. The orange haze of sunset filtering into the dusty warehouse where the game begins is the first of many atmospheric touches you'll encounter. Realistic shadows, gorgeous flames and explosions, and jaw-dropping image filters for night and thermal vision all contribute to a sumptuous and immersive gameworld. Not forgetting the sound, of course, which also does its bit. Music (sparse and broody), voice acting and weapons fire are each acceptable, but the subtle spot effects really shine - the rustle of clothing, the sound of an empty shell dropping to the floor, and the sickening crunch of debris underfoot as you creep towards an unsuspecting enemy. Crucially, these elements are more than just eye (and ear) candy - sound and vision form the basis of the gameplay. You'll spend much of your time ensuring that the enemy cannot see or hear you, whilst you can see them - p
robably in order to neatly lodge a bullet between their ears. It's essential to consider how much sound you make while walking, and how to cover yourself in shadow. Whether this means sneaking by whilst the enemy's back is turned, or resorting to taking out light bulbs with your silenced 9mm, is up to you. And in most of these situations, either solution will work to some extent - it's up to you to choose the safest or most efficient solution. This 'sandbox' approach to level design extends to other elements of the game - either catch that guard in a chokehold and pull him into a dark corner to 'dispose' of him, or just try your hand at sidling by (even if that means missing out on some essential data held in his satchel). Alternatively, why not try an all out fire fight? If only such noble principles applied to your routes and goals. Your method of traversing a level may be your own choice, the path you take is certainly not. Progression is often a case of finding the correct 'type' of door which allows you to pass. This rigid A to B framework shatters the illusion of a living, breathing environment, one which the developers have obviously strived very hard to create in other ways. And niggles dog the gameplay from start to finish. Intense combat is nigh impossible due to the precision controls. Errant enemy AI can promote a 'kill all and move on' approach, undermining the multiple solutions offered. The user-controlled camera often becomes oddly restrictive. And the 'checkpoint' based save system is simply inappropriate - you'll find yourself sitting through the same cutscenes repeatedly (reciting them word-for-word) to reach difficult sections. It would be easy to take these flaws with a pinch of salt, however its not the case. The game can and will be a frustrating experience, and depending on your nature those moments make finishing a level 10 time better than before. It would
be easy to draw comparison's with Metal Gear: Solid, however, for me Splinter Cell is a better game, more fuild, realistic and enjoyable.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell introduces a new type of game to the line-up: a 3rd person stealth action game with cyber-terrorism, shadow agencies and covert operations on the menu. The player controls Sam Fisher, a field operative of a secretive "black-ops" NSA sub-agency called THIRD ECHELON. Alone, yet armed with some of the best hi-tech weapons on the market, Sam Fisher is geared up to infiltrate and neutralize the enemy - all without leaving a trace. Sam is sent into action when two CIA agents mysteriously disappear in Azerbaijan...