The Splinter Cell series has always been about many things, but the core of that has always been sneaking up on people for a stealth kill. The news of a new Splinter Cell was cause for celebration since I had all but tired of the last in the series. This time around, Sam Fisher wasn’t going to be playing entirely by the rules. Sounded to me like a recipe for a little brutal revenge.
Finally getting to play as Sam Fisher again was a treat in itself, but seeing him actually show his age in his physical appearance just really helped you get a feel for how long it’s been. The controls felt familiar and the first level introduced, as it should, several key aspects of the game that you would have to use to your advantage. Well, you didn’t have to but Sam would likely end up looking like Swiss Cheese if you didn’t. Visually, the game delivers on realistic looking environments and clever lighting physics so take a moment to stop and enjoy the way things look before you rip that guy out of the window to his death.
Length. The campaign is about five hours on your first run. Less if you are really good at this style of game. To make amends for that though, there are challenges for you to complete while playing the campaign and there are Deniable Ops which are just extra little side missions. Of course the game also has online multiplayer to experience so while it has a short campaign, it does make up for it elsewhere.
Gotta say, one of my favorite things about this entire game is the Mark and Execute system. Take a guy down with a stealth kill and get the ability to Execute. Mark some of his buddies and tap the Execute button to deal out a swift death. There are some other interesting combinations of that same tactic that really helps clearing rooms out in the Realistic difficulty.
The game could have had a bit longer campaign, and they could have left in the improvised gadgets system they had planned on. With the Deniable Ops and the multiplayer, I think the game is reasonably priced. It’s kept me coming back to finish unlocking everything and teaming up with a friend to ambush the bad guys.
Conviction is a great addition to the S.C. series, and returning fans will appreciate the fact they finally tied up a loose end with the story. Some of the new avenues opened up by the story of this game will likely be used to great effect if they decide to ship out a new installment later down the road.
Platforms: Xbox 360, iPhone, PC
AMMIH Rating: 4
SMS (Sicky’s Motion Sickness) Rating: 3