Splinter Cell Conviction has been through many changes since it was originally slated to ship back in 2007. The Splinter Cell series has alway been about stealth/action play. Even though you may be privy to an armada of boisterous weaponry, the main objective is to get in and out of you missions as unnoticed as possible, but being stealthy isn’t what it used to be. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction is a certainly a different take on the challenging stealth that the series is know for. This is a more approachable kind of stealth, much less difficult than previous games yet filled with these incredible ‘gasp out moments’. Things are a little more striped down, but don’t go and assume that the stealth element of Conviction are insubstantial. Sam Fisher doesn’t pick locks anymore, he cant move bodies around and he doesn’t need to be as careful as in the previous series.
The new mark and execute feature opens up new possibilities and leads to all sorts of astonishing moments. Even though some certain facets of the game do not feel as complete as you would expect, Splinter Cell Conviction is still a great game thanks to incredible story telling and surprising good co-op modes.
If you were a big fan of the previous Splinter Cells, there is no need to worry. This is still a stealth game at heart, so you will spend most of the game creeping around, shifting from corner to corner and trying to take down enemies while avoiding detection. Interface cues make it easy to slip from one cover spot to another and even thought there is no mechanism for peaking around corners, the camera usually lets you see what you need to see. You will not need to be as careful as you may have been used to in previous games, but carelessly
making to much noise can be the kiss of death.There are some challenging moments in the game, especially in the the excellent multi-player mode, but they are rarely frustrating.
Overall the stealth is decent, but it feels like something was left out. No lock picking, no grappling down walls and no objects to throw at the enemies in order to distract them. You do get a selection of guns and gadgets but this is definitely a slimmer stealth experience.
The new ‘mark and execute’ feature does make up for some of these deficiencies. Every time you preform a hand to hand kill, you earn the right to mark a couple of enemies. As long as all the enemies are within range you can execute them all in one slick move. You get a bit of slow-mo, a zoom in camera view and a gush of blood for your efforts.
You get a nice variety of guns to use, as well as some flash bang grenades, and a remote camera you can use to lure your enemies to then detonate it. All these items can be used to upgrade your weapons as you perform different moves, so there is a reward system in place.
The single player campaign is about 6-7 hours and it sends you through a good variety of different environments. The multi-player campaign only supports 2 players, but it is surprisingly compelling, as adding a buddy to the mix opens up a variety of options. If you do not want to play via X-BOX live, you can have your buddy over and play split-screen, which is nice bonus. The soundtrack and animations are superb and there is good amount of environmental wide variety.
This is definitely a great game with a lot of exciting moments. Splinter Cell Conviction is another great addition to a series that has yet to have a low moment.
Aron Bryan, www.helablog.com. A Nefarious Look at Today’s Hottest Trends and Technologies