Let’s start out with this: It’s a great game. What do you expect? These Splinter Cell games have been out for years, but they were mostly geared towards complete stealth, and those hard core fans in that demographic. This one though? Blows it out of the water. There have been many comparisons of how it is the video game version of 24.
Wrong. The thing about Conviction (furthermore referred to as SCC in this article) is that it almost makes Jack Bauer admit someone is as good, if not better, then himself. SCC is nothing like it’s prequels. There are a few new additions that compliment the new game play. Such features include:
*A new marking system, where you can mark and execute single/multiple opponents with the press of a button. This is especially useful in hostage situations where you must take out more than one enemy before the civilians are harmed.
*A new feature entitled Last Known Position, in which a silhouette shows what the new and improved A.I. believes is where you were last. They’ll continue shooting at that area, and even move positions to flank you. So watch out for those flashlights. This also gives you the opportunity to get away without being seen, and taking out multiple opponents as they search your last position.
*A separate co-op campaign that puts you and a buddy in the prequel to the SCC story, which sheds more light on said story, and gives you more opportunities that we will go into later.
*An all new cover system. This is honestly one of the best cover systems that I have ever seen in a game. The buttons are simple, and you rush and slide into the next cover without much effort at all. It even has arrow signals on the screen showing where you will end up, and what direction you will be facing.
*Weapon Stashes in single or co-op. Throughout the levels the game will auto save (a wonderful feature) and you will run into weapon stashes where one or both players can buy new weapons, and upgrade any weapon to their max. This includes guns and any grenades, and adds a little more re-playability by going back and unlocking more of them.
*Wondering what you have to do next? The creators of SCC came up with an ingenious way of showing what’s next by highlighting your objectives clearly on the walls as you pass by, or during one of the interrogations and/or cut scene moments it will show Sam and his child in old home movie style views which explains some more of the back story. Awesome.
*Finally, on some of the new features, is the screen color aspect. What we mean by this, is that when you are hidden silently in the shadows, the screen will become a black and white, and when you’re back in view, color will return. I felt that this added a lot of depth to the game, and pulled the player in more. It was also one of the more simplistic signals I have seen in recent games that showed whether you could be seen or not.
Now, let’s get back to the story. Someone killed Sam Fisher’s daughter, and he’s angry. In fact, he’s being forced back into a business that he tried to retire. Some of the complaints about the game have been it’s lack of length. Hard core Splinter Cell fanatics will love the game no matter how short the story, but both co-op and single player campaigns do have rather short stories. That’s not to say that they were not put together most excellently.
A few other quirks, the marking system. You build it up to perform executions by performing hand-to-hand combat to enemies, and that’s fine and dandy. Where people get nit-picky is that, while in cover, sometimes marking and executing opponents will happen through boxes, walls, or other materialistic items. This didn’t bother me much, but I admit that it does take away from pulling the player into the game a bit.
The co-op campaign, while short like the single player, is also put together fantastically. You can play online or split screen, and they are completely separate levels than the single player campaign. This shows the love put into the game, as these levels are not any less in depth than solo, and it includes more features. The Mark-and-Execute feature can be used by both players at the same time, if one mark is out of site of one player, the other player can tap the execute button, and both players will go into a slow motion action packed spree. You can also grab a wounded team mate and drag him to safety before healing him, which saves on failed missions. On top of all of that, if one of the players is grabbed by an opponent, then the other player is the only one that can release him. The grabbed player continually loses health until he is rescued, but does have a single opportunity at getting his buddy a clear shot at the guy. If you press the correct button, the grabbed player will move out of the way, and if timed correctly, your partner will plant one between the enemies eyes. If this fails, however, the captured player will continually lose health at an excelled rate.
Aside from the co-op campaign, SCC does have a full online multi player (including co-op), which I wasn’t able to get much play into. You also have system link, and Xbox live besides just the same console co-op. These include a Deniable Ops mode, which from Wikipedia:
“Deniable Ops mode involves 4 multi player modes that pit the players against AI in game modes such as Hunter, Infiltration, Last Stand, and Face-Off. Face-Off is the game’s only actual competitive multi player mode, as it features the ability to kill the opposing spy. Hunter, Infiltration, and Last Stand are also single player and do not always have to be played with a human partner. The game does not contain the critically-acclaimed “Spies Vs Mercenaries” mode featured in the previous games of the series.”
One of the last complaints about the game, was the inability to fight human players. Hey, that goes either way for people, just like this game may sway towards good or bad for all of the fanatic Splinter Cell fans out there.
On an overall I give the game a 9 out of 10. The sounds are amazing (especially on surround sound), the graphics are superb, and aside from some small glitches the controllers work great.
Splinter Cell Conviction came out in April of 2010, and is available anywhere from $30 used to $60 brand new, and that’s just searching around online. I do suggest a rent, if not a purchase.
You can find more information on the product at the Wikipedia page!