Game Review: Splinter Cell Conviction
Thanks to Tom Clancy there’s a decent storyline to newly released Splinter Cell Conviction and while I love Ubisoft, the only great thing I can say about this game is the graphics are awesome. The designers have definitely stepped up their imagery up a notch with a nice, modern edge, however the online gaming part gets two big thumbs down.
First things first, about the game. It’s in third person and the movements are a cross between Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter and Rainbow Six. There’s a slight hesitation in movement but it’s better than GRAW, and you can lean up against walls, vehicles, bushes and barricades for better coverage like in Rainbow Six. You can slide into cover, climb pipes and crawl through windows. Also when you’re next to a closed door, you have the option to peek underneath with a gadget.
A neat feature is you can mark two enemies at a time and execute them using your firearm. When you’re close enough to someone, you can initiate an attack using hand to hand combat, then execute them silently without alarming other AI’s. When you’re spotted, a black and white clone image of your “last known position” appears. Supposedly this fools the bad guys into thinking that’s your current position, but your best bet is to stay away from your clone because the enemies will start launching grenades and shooting towards that direction.
There are two high-tech tools that come in handy: the “sonar goggles” and “sticky cam.” They’re pretty much what they sounds like—basically the sonar goggles are super night vision that show you where people are (even through walls). The sticky cam adheres to whatever it lands on and you can control the camera to observe that area.
The entire game is pretty much played in the dark, so the darkness becomes annoying at some point. The “mark and execute” feature makes it too easy to kill, with little to no skills required. You can be strategic if you like, but running up there kamikaze style isn’t really what this game is meant for. The AI guys are robotic and aren’t as smart as I expected, but then again you have people like that in real life too.
The single player in normal difficulty is easier than it should be, and the storyline is way too short—you can finish the game five hours. It’s best multi-player feature is co-op in split-screen or online; that’s where it gets one thumb down as you can only play with ONE other player. There’s also four game modes available online: hunter, face off, last stand and infiltration. This is where it gets the other thumb down—you’re both fighting AI guys in between the interest of annihilating each other. There are three rounds in each battle and your scores are based on player kills, enemy kills and deaths. Too bad there aren’t any details for head shots or kill/death ratio. If I could give it three thumbs down without borrowing someone else’s hand, I would.
Splinter Cell Conviction is a good game if you’re new to first person shooters but there are better games out there. This fall you should definitely be on the lookout for Ubisoft’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier, a bad ass game you shouldn’t overlook.