Review | Splinter Cell: Conviction
The final version of Splinter Cell: Conviction is different from the one that they had in mind at first @ Ubisoft Montreal. At the last E3 where they show Conviction they got so many feedback (positive and negative) that they brought back the game towards the drawing board. They came up with the version you can buy now from your local game shop ! On one hand I am glad they did. One the other hand I am curious what the other version of Conviction could have brought us.
THE CHANGE: Splinter Cell has became even more accessible then the previous game in the series (double agent). Personally I hated the previous one it let you to much choice. So much that you didn't know where to go next. Now it's a bit more back to linearity. But you have more then one entry point to enter a building or end a mission. Because don't go bashing trough a door if you know that there are 3 people standing right behind it. Take your 'door-cam' and see what else is in that room. And soon you will find that there is a window you can use, to enter the room unseen.
But it's accessible because of the ease of controlling Sam Fisher this time. Opening door, jumping, picking up items, switching off lights, peaking under doors... It all take one button/key. Once in cover, point in the direction you want to go in cover next and hit that same button/key again (you use for lights off I mean). The fantastic move from a water-pipe onto an enemy same button/mouse-click as the one you use for dropping.
Second change in the game: no shadow-indicators or life-bars anymore. No sound-indicators either. It will take some time before you get used to these changes. Personally I can live with all of them accept the first: shadow-indicators. The screen goes now from color towards black and white if you are hiding. But once there is light you don't see an indicator that someone notices you hanging on the edge of a building. And that's where I miss the little indicator. You have one important indicator added to the game though. When the enemy notices you, you will see a moon-circle from the angle he is standing, and as soon you are getting noticed the moon-circle will get a angle, which can grow. If it than also turns red you are detected, and about to get killed. It doesn't happen many times but when it happens you better act fast.
ACTING FAST: Splinter Cell still is a stealth game. Don't let them believe you otherwise. As soon as you think you can force in like Silvester aka. Rambo, then you are wrong. The game will punish you for that. It's less stealth then the previous titles that's for sure. Personally I didn't have the problem with that. I liked the 'wait for the right moment' thing. But know when you are discovered it's nice that you can shoot at anytime without third-echelon reminds you off the fact that you may not use killin' force. The great thing is about Splinter Cell getting more accessible it doesn't loose any amount of ways to get the enemy knocked out nor killed. They even added a view more. They modified the hanging on a ledge and grab the person on the other side of the window, and throw them out. Now you can hold that same button/key and use them immediatly for cover. You have the exection option. But unlike I tought you must first do a hand to hand action before execution is available. So no mark and execute move for you if you only use gun. When you have grabbed them you can interogate or throw them while moving. Great fun is throwing them trough a closed-window. Execute comes in handy when you have two or more enemy's facing each other. Or 3 people walking at the same time trough a room. Then you can use execute very well. The weird thing is, when you don't decide to execute but to shoot. Then your executing move is gone (altough I had it a couple of times already). Thing is, the way you are acting can award you with points. For example: shoot 10 enemies with one clip from a pistol, without being noticed. gives you a notification that you completed a target. And it will reward you with points. These points can be used to upgrade your weapons. Which is a good thing to do, because if you do you can mark 3 or even more people with your pistol/machine gun. You will find a weapon stash a view times during a mission. Here you can switch weapons or as said upgrade them. But you can also still find a gun from the enemy, or take the one he was using before you shot him.
OTHER/WEIRD STUFF: The graphics did improve a bit. But you can still see that the same engine as before is used: Unreal Engine. Only now the game has a bit more color and that's a good thing. The action is just as good as you expect from a Splinter Cell. Stealthy but also with action moments. Like you can shoot lamps. But also can shoot the chain that keeps an art work on the roof. So it will drop upon the enemy. The enemy has still got flaws from time to time. As soon as they see a body they are yelling all the time before they get quite again. They don't know who is attacking them but they yell your name! Quite odd, if you didn't see the guy. Quite cool is the thing you see your objectives on the wall, cars, windows, etc. Another bad thing however: you can not hide your enemy's death body. Did they switched that with Assassins Creed 2 perhaps ?! Besides these flaws there lays a perfect game. Personally I go for the new Splinter Cell (instead of buying the PC release of Assassins Creed 2). It may be not as new as some expected, but the fact that you are not longer working for the agency. And the fact that you can use / do whatever is needed to succesfull end a mission is cool. The point system is perfectly balanced. Weird thing is, the game has some flaws where the studio should have made some decissions (Ubisoft that is). For example a desert eagle in a stealth game, what were they thinking ? Altough you can shoot more often it still remains a stealth-action game so a desert eagle is unwanted ! Period.
Out now: PC.X360 | Ubisoft, Ubisoft Montreal