Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell review
Stealth action brought to your own home.
After hearing about the rave reviews for the Xbox version of Splinter Cell, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the PS2 version. After buying it, I started playing it and I fully understood why it is called "Stealth Action Redefined." When compared to its rival, Metal Gear Solid, this game is how stealth is meant to be. By focusing on lights and shadows to enhance the experience, it is something fresh and original to the gaming world. The voice of Sam Fisher by Michael Ironside was a perfect casting job by Ubi Soft and I hope that he is in all future installments which will be numerous hopefully. The graphics in this game are amongst the five best that you can find on the PS2. With the heavy emphasis on lighting and shadows like I said above, graphics were crucial to make the experience enjoyable and although they weren't as good as the Xbox version due to system restrictions, they were still great for a PS2 game. The mouth movements came through clear and crisp and the cutscene inbetween missions are amazing pieces of visual digital technology. The nightvision goggles added another element to this game by itself along with the heat vision. With such a cool feature, you will probably miss out on Splinter Cell's visual beauty because Night Vision goggles kick so much ass to use. It adds a huge trick to Sam's bad and then switch it to thermal mode where you see the guards in yellow, green and blue colors, you kill the guards without them even realizing what was about to happen with both thermal and nightvision. The SC Pistol is the weapon that you will live and die by until you get the SC-20K. It is a handgun with a silencer attached to it for obvious reasons. I felt that many weapons were unnecessary such as the disposable pick, chemical flare, frag grenade, gun grenade, and other weapons that I never had to use because I mainly used the SC Pistol, SC-20K, the lock pick, optic cable, and the ring airfoil round and camera jammer occasionally. The actual missions in this game were all well done but in my case, the AI was very tame and I was dissapointed after hearing that the PS2 version would have dumbed down AI so I played and completed this game only on hard and didn't bother with normal. I felt that the full training that takes places at the start of the game didn't start becoming necessary until level 8 and later by forcing you to utilize everything you had learned while in earlier missions, you only need to know the basic wall jumps and climb ladders. The AI that I did find difficult were the dogs in the later missions because they killed you very quickly and it took me several tries and near death to kill them. Apart from that, I felt that the real hard part was figuring out what to do exactly as opposed to knowing what to do but still unable to do it. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is a unique experience for any gamers owning any of the 3 current systems but for the PS2 and Gamecube versions, the AI not being that difficult was the main drawback for me. I also would have liked a more climatic ending like you would have in Metal Gear Solid because it seemed like any other mission and didn't feel like it was done. I first played the first four levels months ago and then stopped playing because I got bored of the AI but I started playing again a week ago and I beat the game tonight. It is a great game to own but you may be somewhat dissapointed with the difficulty level and hopefully they will step it up a notch for Splinter Cell: Pandora Tommorow, a game that I will be getting.
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