Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory were two of the best Splinter Cell games in the series. They were great fun, had many replay-ability factors and the feeling you get while sneaking around right under people’s noses is one to be remembered. The game however I am reviewing is the newest Splinter Cell in the series: Conviction.
Before I begin I’ve pasted a YouTube video of some nice Splinter Cell Conviction music at the bottom so press the play button and continue reading. It’s ten minutes long so you should finish reading at about half way through.
Now it’s fairly hard to review this game and keep the plot secret, so i’ll leave out anything that may give away the story. Firstly upon loading the game, I really liked the feel of the menu screen which shows you a battle frozen in time and depending on what you click on the scene will shift to a different angle of the fight. The multiplayer side of the game features replay-able variants of “king of the hill” and “search and kill” game modes which is what I call them. In both of the games you have the option to play alone or with a friend. I personally like the “search and kill” mode where you seek out and kill all the enemies on the level any way you like, however if you make too much noise more hostiles come to their aid who you must also deal with.
Overall the single player aspect of the game is fairly short, you could finish the game in three to five hours playing at a moderate pace, it all depends on how fast you solve the “puzzles” given to you. By “puzzles” I mean how fast you deal with the enemies on each level. Surprisingly I found the game to not feel repetitive at all, as there are multiple objectives thrown in the mix as well as chases you take place in against hostiles. A few of these objectives are really difficult as well, an example being: you must run and jump into a window as the building goes into lock-down while a man stands there shooting you. It took me almost 30 minutes to actually get inside and kill the man, and that’s only the beginning. I think the most annoying part in retrying that part over and over is the fact i’d have to watch the cut scene over many times, without that, it wouldn’t have been as bad. The single player also can only really be played through once, before you know the whole story line and how to solve the various obstacles, but this is true of most games today. The multiplayer side of the game however makes up for this by being able to use a variety of different guns, objects and techniques to take down the enemies.
I felt the previous Splinter Cell games have had many more “cool” gadgets to use than Conviction, throughout the single player I was waiting for the thermal goggles and sticky grenades to be unlocked, however all I eventually got was sonar goggles that “ping”. If you’ve played Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory you’ll know what i’m talking about here, we all loved the thermal goggles, tracking the enemies through walls and watching the heat fade from their bodies when they died. The feeling I got from the sonar’s wasn’t the same as the earlier games. While on the topic of gadgets the game seemed to lack different weapons and gadgets, as I was using the same pistol most of the game and rarely used the machine guns and shotguns. This was mainly due to the fact that the game promotes stealth, and nothing’s more quiet and deadly than a silenced pistol, especially since it kills any enemy with one shot to the head.
Torturing is a brilliant part of this game where, in certain sections you are able to extract information from people by smashing them against various objects in the room. These objects range from mirrors, pictured left, to piano’s, computers, toilets, electronic devices and much more. These scenes are also pretty graphic, leaving shards of glass etc in the victims face, so I highly recommend younger children don’t play through these parts.
The AI in the game I felt was a bit un-realistic, mainly due to their reactions to my presence. If for example I’ve thrown a sticky camera at the wall and played music from it, the enemies walk near it and talk among themselves. However in reality they would have either shot the camera, pulled it down for analyzing or noticed it and searched around the area, guns drawn for the owner of it. There are a few more examples I have noticed of this but i’ll leave it there for now. While on the topic of AI the voice acting I thought was brilliant, and I enjoyed the variance in what they say when different situations occur. This was a great improvement from the first Splinter Cell, where the AI basically only said one thing in each situation, and all you heard was “Who’s There” over and over.
One other thing I really loved was the lush detailed graphics, noting especially the “Objective Projection” which if you didn’t know allowed you to press “Tab” and project the text of your current objective onto any surface bending and turning as it does. They put a lot of detail into the environment and scenery probably due to the game being fairly short, and wanting the immersion to be high for the players which i’d like to say worked well. At times I found myself looking at the landscape, watching the trees sway and loving how much detail and effort that has gone into it. The animations were another plus to the game, as they looked almost life-life and the movements were just as if you were watching a real person doing it. Being able to model and animate, I really appreciated this as I realise how extremely hard and frustrating it is to get a model moving fluidly.
Well that’s about it for Conviction, To sum up it’s is a well developed game but is fairly short and could have been a bit more fun, with the addition of more weapons and gadgets. The environment and animations however are brilliant and make this a visually appealing game. You may not get as much fun out of it as the first few games in the series however mainly due to the difficulty of the tasks you must complete.
Here’s the final score out of 100%:
Fun Rating: 70%
0% – 24% = Hopeless Game, Definitely not worth buying! if you have it sell it now while its worth something!
25% – 49% = Terrible Game, This game will not prove to be very enjoyable, and may only be played once and forgotten.
50% – 59% = Average Game, A very mediocre game that you may play occasionally to pass time but doesn’t prove to be very enjoyable.
60% – 69% = Nice Game, A game you would play once or twice to see how it is, but ultimately lacks replay-ability and immersion.
70% – 79% = Brilliant Game, This game would satisfy your gaming needs for a very long time but would eventually be forgotten over time.
80% – 89% = Fantastic Game, A very fun game that proves time and time again to be enjoyable and addictive.
90% – 99% = Amazing Game, Extremely Enjoyable and has lots of replay-ability content, as well aspushing the boundaries for future games.
100% = Epic Game, Go and buy 20 copies right now! (In-case there’s a nuclear war and they get destroyed)