Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction Reviews

  • Richard BastionRichard Bastion139,911
    15 Apr 2010 28 Dec 2010
    87 12 40
    What do you get when you take the world's greatest spy, kill his daughter, and then try to kill him? You get one very angry, very badass spy. And the madness that ensues, well, great balls of fire, it makes a great game!

    The Story(Spoiler free) :

    As the story begins, Sam is enjoying a nice cup of tea, when he's suddenly contacted by an old friend. This old friend tell hims that he's going to die unless he does everything she says. So he does, and sure enough he lives to tell the tale. As time goes by, he finds that his past is catching with him, and he's back to his old ways. This time, however, he's not limited to non-lethal means, or "Laws." And yes, to answer your question, you'll have to fight other splinter cells.

    The story line will take you about nine hours to complete on realistic, perhaps more like six or seven on the easier difficulties.

    The Gameplay:

    Conviction's gameplay is surrounded in a bit of controversy, because it so drastically changes that ol' Splinter Cell formula that we've come to know and love. All things considered, it works pretty well. There are a few downsides, but let's skip those for now, and talk about the good. The stealth action is still there, it's just a little faster paced. You'll stalk your enemies(Slightly faster than before) and dispose of them in all manors of different ways. From grabbing them and smashing them through a door or throwing them off a balcony, to sneaking up behind them and performing any one of the hundred different kill animations. Bit of an exaggeration, but there's a ton of 'em! Sam's pissed, and he doesn't care who knows. It shows in the gameplay.

    One of the new additions is the interrogation feature. Every now and then Sam will be required to beat information out of someone who's about to have an EXTREMELY bad day. When you're interrogating someone, you'll move around the environment, and smash their head and/or other body parts into various objects. It's a lot of fun. Very satisfying.

    Another new addition to the gameplay is the Mark & Execute system. It's also a lot of fun. When you kill an enemy with hand to hand combat, you'll gain a mark. You can mark an enemy, or any number of different environmental objects, and press Y to execute, at which point Sam will go into badass overdrive, and shoot everything you've marked in a matter of super-badass seconds.

    Another new addition is the P.E.C. system, and P.E.C. challenges. If you've played Rainbow Six Vegas, you'll be familiar with the P.E.C.(Persistent Elite Creation) system. It's had a few changes, though. In singleplayer or multiplayer, you can earn P.E.C. points by completing various challenges. These challenges range from killing three enemies with a single frag grenade, to completing an entire level without firing a shot. With the P.E.C. points, you can purchase upgrades for weapons, uniforms to use online, and camouflage and upgrades for said uniforms.

    The enemy AI is sort of hit or miss. Sometimes they're quite smart, but other times they're a bit dull. They scream "You think I'm stupid?! I'm not moving!" Yes. Yes, I think you are stupid. Because you just told me exactly what your entire plan is. When they actually attempt to hunt you down, however, they're quite smart about it. They search in a fan pattern, and move fast. The same goes for when you're in a firefight, they're quite smart. They'll pin you down with fire as one or two attempt to flank you, or they'll toss a grenade at you and rush you. Needless to say, it often requires thought. Assuming of course, they have decided not to be idiots and scream what their plan of attack is at you. Or, their plan of inaction, as the case may be.

    The series' old faithful multiplayer mode Spies Vs. Mercs has been shot down like Goose, but there's still very much a multiplayer, and it's very good. There's an entire co-op campaign, which will take you about six hours to complete. You and a friend play as Archer and Kestrel, two Splinter Cells from Third Echelon and Voron, the Russian counterpart to Third Echelon (Translate: Raven.). They're both interesting characters. The co-op campaign takes place two months prior to the events of the singleplayer campaign, although, you won't miss out on any key details if you play the singleplayer first!

    Archer and Kestrel are tasked with tracking down four stolen EMP bombs. This search takes them all over the place, and requires them to.. Extract.. Information from unfortunate targets. They don't trust each other at first, but as time goes by, they warm up to each other.

    The gameplay in the co-op campaign is similar to the singleplayer campaign, but with more enemies, more teamwork, and more badassery. There isn't as much teamwork this time around as there was in Chaos Theory. There's no ledge boosting to be had, no disabling cameras or lights for your partner(With that special device), no speaking quietly into the mic so as not to alert nearby enemies,\ and no hiding of the bodies(Obviously.) Make no mistake, it's still a lot of fun.

    The other online game modes include Hunter, in which you - and optionally, a friend - are tasked with killing all the enemies in a map. Each map consists of several zones, with several enemies. Kill all them enemies, move on to next zone, repeat until end. It's quite a bit more fun than it sounds. Last Stand is where you and a friend are tasked with defending an EMP bomb for 20 waves of attacks. This might sound like fun, but unfortunately, it just goes on way too long. There's not much stealth involved, and you're stuck in the same area the entire time. The amount of enemies per wave gradually increases as you progress. Another game mode is Face Off. This is a 1vs1 spy vs. spy death match, but with a twist: Enemy AI is present on the map. They're just as likely to kill you as the other spy is, so you've gotta watch out. Last but not least is Infiltration. This mode has to be unlocked VIA spending 40 Uplay points. Uplay is a free service from Ubisoft, and you earn Uplay points by unlocking various achievements in Ubisoft games. It won't take you long to earn 40 points. Anyway.. In Infiltration, you and a friend are tasked with killing all the enemies on a given map without being detected. It's a mode that reward thought and patience over brute force and accuracy. A return to the old Splinter Cell formula.

    The Sound:

    The sound quality is there. Sam's voice actor(A Mr. Michael Ironside) is brilliant, as always, and the rest of the voice cast is quite good, as well. The original music fits the game nicely, and there's one licensed song in the game "Building Steam With A Grain of Salt" by DJ Shadow, that actually, believe it or not, works very well with the situation in which it's played. The gunfire all sounds realistic and satisfying.

    The Graphics:

    Are nothing to write home about, but they're still good. Explosions look particularly bad, but the environments, character and weapon details and animations are all great. There's no texture popping to speak of, and the lighting quality is great, as it should be in a game like this. Although, it would be better if at least one character was voiced by Tom Cruise.

    The Bad Stuff: cry

    Now then, that's all the goods.. I know, I know, I didn't want this review to come to this, either, but it's time we discuss the bads. Sad face.

    Unfortunately, there are bads. One of them is a major component of the game. When Sam(Or Archer/Kestrel) is hidden in the shadows, the screen turns black and white to signify that you're invisible. This is a fun gimmick at first, but it quickly becomes an annoyance. Playing your game in constant black and white is just irritating. There's not even that brownish color palette that Gears of War uses, it's just colorless(Actually black and white). I know it's supposed to look stylized, but it doesn't. Blood is red, and enemies are colored, but everything else is black and white. It honestly took me awhile to realize how depressing it was that basically the entire game is presented in black and white. It's more vibrant and alive, and easier to see in color. It's a vexing decision to make; go out there guns blazing, and enjoy a beautiful colorful fight, or enjoy that Splinter Cell stealth action, with the most bland color scheme ever. I would absolutely kill for that little gadget with the lights that goes on Sam's back, and tells you how hidden you are.

    You remember that old staple of the Splinter Cell franchise? Yeah, the night vision goggles - They're gone. You get sonar goggles this time. I wish I could say the sonar goggles were as cool as the night vision goggles, but they just aren't. In fact, you could go far as to say they're a bit cheap. When you flip them on, enemies and electronics within quite a large radius are revealed to you. Moving around with sonar goggles on will make your vision blurry, I suppose this is to make it so you can't always know where everything is, but unfortunately, it doesn't work. Why? Because you can mark enemies while using your sonar goggles. You can mark them through walls, too. This makes it so it's basically impossible for the enemies to surprise you in any way, shape or form. You will always know where they are, because when they don't appear as giant white blocks while using sonar goggles, if you've marked them, they'll have giant arrows over their heads.

    And that's pretty much the extent of the bads.

    The Achievements:
    *Keep in mind, this has NO bearing on the score of the game.. At least, in my review it doesn't.*

    The achievements are, unfortunately, pretty grindy. 320 can be earned by playing through the campaign on Realistic. Pretty much all the rest can be earned offline, either in splitscreen co-op, or with a second controller. The only one that truly requires another person is Quality Time, which requires you to invite someone from your friend list into your game.
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionQuality TimeThe Quality Time achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 36 pointsInvite a friend to join and participate in a CO-OP Story or game mode session

    By the time you finish story mode, there will be a lot of challenges left for you to complete. Not because they're super difficult, but because you have to do each challenge a ridiculous number of times before it's considered completed. The challenges are broken into 3 categories: Stealth, Vanish and Prepare & Execute. There's an achievement for completing every challenge in a category, as well as an achievement for completing all challenges, which you'll obviously get if you get the other 3 achievements related to challenges.
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionWell RoundedThe Well Rounded achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 166 pointsComplete all challenges

    You'll be spending most of your time doing those challenge achievements, but there are others that will take some time, too. Namely, the last stand achievements:
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionLast Stand MasterThe Last Stand Master achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 206 pointsComplete all maps in "Last Stand" game mode on Realistic difficulty

    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionLast Man StandingThe Last Man Standing achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 178 pointsIn "Last Stand", survive all enemy waves of any map in one session without failing on any difficulty

    In my opinion, Last Stand is a very boring game mode. It's just too much of the same to be fun. Fighting the same enemies, with the same weapons, in the same area(Probably in black & white) for far too much time.

    If you're not too good at stealth games, Perfect Hunter may take you some time to complete, as well. I'm great at stealth games and it took me some time, too.
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionPerfect HunterThe Perfect Hunter achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 64 pointsComplete any map in "Hunter" without ever having been detected on Realistic difficulty

    Realistic difficulty can also prove.. difficult. That is, if you're not too great at stealth games. It's certainly not Call of Duty Veteran difficult, but it's rough at times. Luckily, there is an excellent solution with some excellent tips courtesy of a magnificent hunk of a man:
    Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConvictionRealistic DifficultyThe Realistic Difficulty achievement in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction worth 96 pointsComplete Single Player Story on Realistic difficulty

    *Excellency of tips and hunkiness of man not guaranteed. Based solely on one extremely hunky and excellent man's opinion.*

    The Final Verdict:

    To sum it all up, Splinter Cell Conviction is an excellent re-visioning of the franchise, and I highly recommend it. The one thing that holds it back is a very huge gameplay mechanic, and even if it had no impact on gameplay, playing your game in black and white is simply less fun than playing it in color. The game is still good enough to earn five stars, though. Albeit just barely. If you enjoy stealth action, do yourself a favor and at least rent it.

    I hope you've enjoyed this review, and I hope it makes your "To buy or not to buy" decision that much easier.

    Good day.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    SpiffertGood review, get yourself a better TV though. Played the game on a 50" 1080p plasma, and did not even think about the black and white issue.
    Posted by Spiffert on 01 Jul 11 at 07:39
    KanjiKokaI thought this game was gorgeous graphically. The amount of detail put into this game was over the top. Instead of following the agents in the level during the fair, take a look at everything. Shoot a basketball even and it will go flat. I mean, come on.

    47" LED showed me just how beautiful this game is.
    Posted by KanjiKoka on 26 Mar 12 at 06:46
    Tan110688loved the game and an excellent review, pretty much agree on everything. fortunately i had a friend to help me with this so last stand isnt that tedious yet
    Posted by Tan110688 on 10 Apr 12 at 20:19
  • BrasshandeBrasshande858,100
    26 Feb 2011
    12 3 0
    A short-ish but sweet review from me, i was into the Splinter Cell franchise from day one, the original game convinced me to buy an Xbox in the first place, so i do have plenty of previous experience with the series. And this newest installment is another great release, though as something of a reboot of the series it is somewhat of a departure from what has gone before. Whereas in the previous games, it was all about being as stealthy as possible, in SC: Conviction, the protagonist Sam Fisher is pretty much a pissed-off killing machine, and he doesn't care who knows it. So the gameplay has changed accordingly, from hiding in the shadows and striking when an enemy least expects it, to what is to all intents and purposes a third-person shooter with occasional stealth elements. That is not to disparage the game in any way, it is excellent, but it bares very little resemblance to its predecessors. The plot, for what it's worth, has Fisher on the trail of the men who killed his daughter. This is pretty much just a flimsy pretense for some spectacular set piece shoot-outs, most of them showing off the game's newest feature, Mark & Execute. After performing a hand-to-hand kill to allow its usage, M&A allows Fisher to target up to 4 separate enemies and shoot them dead in one fluid movement. As well as being very effective in clearing an area, it also look extremely cool in its execution. The rest of the game is also very well presented, with such excellent touches as mission objectives being projected on to walls in the players surroundings, as if by an unseen overhead projector. The graphics are generally as top-notch as you'd expect, though the stealth aspect is very toned down from the previous games in the series, as i alluded to earlier. You can hide in the shadows, and when you do so the graphical display dissolves into a moody black-and-white, but in all honesty, you're as well going in head to head with the villains and mowing them down, rather than trying the cerebral approach which served the player so well in previous installments.
    There is also an all-new multiplayer aspect introduced in SC: Conviction, called Deniable Ops. Deniable Ops mode involves four multiplayer modes that pit the players against AI enemies in game modes called Hunter, Infiltration, Last Stand, and Face-Off. These involve either killing terrorists in co-operation with your partner, or in the case of Face-Off, going head to head with them. All apart from Face-Off can be played solo, should you wish to do so.
    Achievement-wise, SC: Conviction is not massively difficult to get a good score on, provided you can find a proficient multiplayer partner, as almost half of the score is attained in multiplayer mode. Some of the single player stealth challenges need a bit of grinding too, such as escaping so many times using the portable EMP device or killing x enemies with a grenade, etc. That said, it's not too bad, and most players will be able to get a reasonable score with not too much grief.
    In conclusion, i really enjoyed the game, it's not much like any Splinter Cell game that has gone before it, but it still stands strong on its own merits. It isn't a pure arcade third person shooter a la Gears Of War, but the stealth of the earlier games has taken somewhat of a back seat on this one. Go into it with an open mind rather than expecting a direct continuation of the franchise though, and you're bound to enjoy it.
  • 14 5 2
    Written for ( on Metacritic)

    Splinter Cell: Conviction

    Developer – Ubisoft, Montreal
    Publisher – Ubisoft


    Single player story mode, cooperative and versus, multiplayer.
    HDTV - 720p native resolution
    In-game Dolby Digital Audio
    Downloadable Content


    I feel compelled upfront to state that I am a huge Splinter Cell fan; I have played all of Sam Fisher’s previous outings on multiple platforms many times and loved every minute of it. I pre-ordered the game back in 2007 after it was originally announced. So, if my take on Ubisoft Montreal’s exclusive release to the Xbox 360 seems a bit biased, please forgive me.

    I waited a long time for this game to be released and it was my fear that Splinter Cell: Conviction would let me down. I did not play the demo of the game when it was offered. I wanted my Conviction experience to be “fresh”. Needless to say, I had high expectations for Conviction and I am not disappointed.


    I think a 720p native resolution is a let down from the traditional 1080p I expect from an Xbox 360 exclusive game. I don’t know if 1080p would make much of a difference, because, being a stealth/action game, much of it is played in shadowy greyscale. Ubisoft Shaghai’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent (released in 2006) set the bar for graphic presentation on an Xbox 360, and Conviction meets that standard, but doesn’t exceed it. The scenes are drawn with the expected crispness but there is really nothing new here. **Spoiler Alert** The first time we see anything closely resembling a panoramic vista is in the Iraq level of the single player campaign. With such recent battle campaign shooter releases as Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 with such clarity, the depiction of a war torn Middle Eastern environment is adequate at best, and serves the purpose for which it was intended, nothing more, nothing less.

    The environments are rich and drawn with purpose of detail that suit a stealth/action shooter. It could be said that if you are playing the stealth aspect of Conviction “right” most of what is presented is in black and white and the graphics service that side of the game. The graphic representation of the characters are depicted in a fashion we would expect, Sam looks like Sam. To say that the graphics of Conviction are serviceable for game play is, in my view, a fair statement and that is all I expect. They work and do not distract from what a Splinter Cell game is meant to be.


    The sound of Splinter Cell: Conviction meets the standard of the series. Michael Ironside’s voicing of Sam Fisher is what I, a fan of the series, demands. Mr Ironside offers an emotional side to Sam that we have not seen before. This is a betrayed, vengeful and distraught Sam Fisher who Ironside voices and he does so with a subtly that only an actor who has come to know the character inside and out could portray. Ironside conveys the pain that Sam is enduring in a way that is credible and supports the story of Fisher’s need to seek revenge on those who have betrayed him.

    The sound effects support the stealthy game play, and are crafted in such a way that a simple misplaced foot step could spell the end for the gamer or the bad guy. Due to the stealth nature of the Splinter Cell series listening to what is happening in an environment is as, if not more, important as what we see in an environment. We are compelled to see with our ears, and Conviction manages that aspect of our auditory function with an ease that appears almost simplistic. I think that because Ubisoft has travelled down the sound supporting stealth road on four previous occasions the know how to make it work and do so exceptionally well.

    The orchestral sound track also enhances the stealth side of game play. The timbre of the notes of the soundtrack enhance the action like no other Splinter Cell title has before.


    Ubisoft Montreal latest offering of Splinter Cell: Conviction, the latest in the series and second Splinter Cell game to be developed by the highly regarded studio, is really four games in one. Ubisoft offers the player four game modes: Single Player Story as Sam fisher which is the continuation of the Splinter Cell series, a two player co-operative story mode and a two player versus mode that can be played via system link, split screen or online and a single player deniable ops mode.

    Splinter Cell: Conviction offers a few new gameplay features, "Mark and Execute" which allows the player to mark a target and shoot them when the player is in cover or busts through a door or window. The player can choose to prioritize these targets, so that, for example, he could distract one guard by shooting out a light in his vicinity and then take out another guard. The other new feature is the "Last Known Position"; it happens when the player looses an alerted bad guy. The character leaves a silhouette of where the guard thinks the player is, giving the ability to flank the bad guys. The features are available in all gameplay modes.

    Single Player Story - I have often wondered, because Conviction is a sequel to Splinter Cell: Double Agent (the fourth game in the Splinter Cell Series), where was the story going to go. There were two distinctly different endings to two distinct versions of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The Xbox 360/PS3 version offered a the player a very different game than the Game Cube/PS2 version. The story arced in a very different way and were very diverse in the manner in which Sam Fisher was betrayed by Third Echelon, prompting his “going rogue” in this fifth and latest instalment of the series. As it happens Ubisoft chose to write this story without overt references to the previous trials and tribulations of our hero Sam Fisher. To my surprise the minimal scattered references to Sam’s back story work for me. The reasons for Fisher “rouge” actions in his revenge against Third Echelon are presented in a very credible way; I buy it.

    The one area that I feel Ubisoft has let me, a fan of the series, down is the omission of the voice characterization of Sam’s friend and handler ‘Lambert’ as voiced by Denis Haysbert. Thought the omission of the ‘Lambert’ character reinforces the Lone Wolf Mission of the story in this rendition of the series, it would have been nice if the moral choices made in Double Agent carried over to Conviction as Bioware did with the Shepard character in the Mass Effect 2. If I chose to spare Lambert in Double Agent I should have had him as an ally in Conviction.

    The story is well written and finely crafted. The main thing I found in the story was the days of Sam sneaking around being super stealthy are gone. This is a far more accessible game than past editions of the game. Those players who were frustrated by the trial and error, stealthy nature of past games will find they can run and gun in this latest rendition. Stealth is now a choice rather than an essential part of game play. I like the stealth side of the game and found myself replaying the first mission repeatedly to find the most stealthy route to the objective, but it was my choice to do so. That being said there are some moments in the both the story and co-op story where the player will have to be stealthy to complete the mission.

    Multiplayer – Multiplayer introduces two new characters the the Splinter Cell series; Archer and Kestrel. The player in the single player mode can choose either character. Splinter Cell: Conviction multi-player involves split screen, system link (Xbox 360) and online cooperative mode, plus a Deniable Ops mode. Deniable Ops mode involves 4 multiplayer modes that pit the players against AI in game modes such as Hunter, Infiltration, Last Stand, and Face-Off, that can be played as single player or co-op matches.
    The co-op story is a prequel to the Sam Fisher story and like the Sam Fisher story, the players seek out objectives. Players have the ability to revive team-mates in all co-op modes with the exception of Face-Off which pits each player against each other and the games AI in a death-match setting. Last stand is a hoard type game where players can individually or co-operatively fight off up to twenty waves of bad guys while protecting an EMP device. While the player has a host of weapons and gadgets in there arsenal to stave off wave after wave of baddies, this is a very intense game play mode that will prove to challenge to many players.
    Hunter and Infiltration modes are based on the more stealthy side of the series. Hunter’s objective is eliminating all the bad guys as quietly as the player chooses. The incentive for remaining quiet is there are fewer chance that back-up will be called in requiring the player to fight off a higher number of baddies. Infiltration is a one alarm, game over mode. It is the one aspect to Conviction that is a truly stealth mode. This side of the game will appeal to Splinter Cell purists.


    Just as with past versions of the Splinter Cell franchise; I know I will play Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction over and over. The development of the story and the game provide not only die-hard fans of the series with a new and refreshing take on the Sam Fisher story, but provide new players to the series, a rich and extremely satisfying gameplay experience. The fact that the player can, with a touch of the ‘Y’ button turn any environment in to a killing field, will appeal to a wide audience of shooter games.

    In short, for me, Splinter Cell: Conviction was well worth the wait! Long Live Sam Fisher.


    Graphics - 4
    Sound – 4
    Game play – 4.5
    Tilt – 4.5

    Overall score – 4
  • Bizarro13Bizarro13394,927
    30 Sep 2010
    8 4 0
    Better Late Than Never Review: Splinter Cell: Conviction

    You've probably read the other reviews or heard from someone else. This game is short. The single player is short. The Co-Op campaign is short. This review may not be that short...

    I read a comparison of SC: Conviction to 24. I'm a little torn on that idea. I like 24. I generally like a good action/spy/thriller movie. Conviction is pretty much your standard plot twisting spy thriller. You never really know who's on your side, but they all need you to do what you are good at, killing. It doesn’t make for a bad story, it just doesn’t stand out.

    Sam Fisher is called into action again as he has been in hiding three years after the death of his daughter. Anna Grimsdottir, Sam's former colleague in Third Echelon, manages to warn him of an impending hit against him. This, of course, is where you jump into the game. One of the first things you'll notice is the use of the in game directions throughout the stages, as illustrated in the image. It is an interesting technique used throughout the game and the graphic designer in me likes it.

    I have never been the biggest fan of Splinter Cell, not so much because I dislike the series, but maybe more because I had never gotten into stealth gameplay too much. I like to run in guns a blazing. Ubisoft Montreal, makers of previous Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed games seem to have honed their skills on the stealth genre. I've played Assassin's Creed 1 and 2 and enjoyed both. There were times where Splinter Cell felt like Assassin's Creed, but it plays slower and more methodical (if you are being stealthy.) This is not a third person run and gun slaughterfest. You must use shadows and cover to your advantage, especially on Realistic (hardest) difficulty.

    The graphics are quite good for the most part, but I mentioned this in other reviews, you spend most of your time hiding in monochrome while you hide in the shadows. Some areas get so dark you literally get lost. I got so disoriented on one level of coop; I literally stumbled against walls and around corners trying to use my partner's outline as a guide to get out of the room I was in. If I remember correctly, the first few games used an icon that changed color to tell you how hidden you were, kind of like Hitman. I would've preferred that. The screen changing shades is a nice concept, but I found it to be a hindrance at times and I enjoy taking in the scenery and level design.

    Again, stealth is the name of the game. If you use the shadows right, you can take out a room full of enemies and they'll never even know you were there. You mark enemies to track their movements. If you manage to sneak up on an enemy and melee him without being detected, you earn the ability to execute. The Mark and Execute concept is new to Splinter Cell and it works great in tough situations. You can even Dual Execute in Co-Op. It allows you to quietly remove enemies up to the maximum allowed marks for your weapon automatically. No muss, no fuss. The game has a variety of weapons and gadgets that unlock as you play through the campaign, but I don't really understand why most of them are in the game. If I was playing on easy and simply running through the levels, I could see using an AK47 to cut through the enemy. On Realistic difficulty, you can't do that.

    You need to use your environment, silenced weapons, and gadgets to your advantage. There can definitely be some strategy to how you go at a certain area. The enemies’ locations and pathing can be critical if you screw up and are discovered. If you are discovered, you can dash away into shadow or use your gadgets to evade the enemy. EMP grenades and flash bangs stun the enemy. Remote mines and grenades are pretty self explanatory. One of my favorite gadgets has to be the sticky camera. You place it, use it to mark targets, use it to make noise to attract enemies, and trigger them to explode if you want. As you progress through the game, I guarantee you’ll find yourself using your silenced pistols for the headshot accuracy and quiet takedowns. There simply is no reason to use shotguns and machine guns that will alert the monster closet on your position.

    You don’t get the signature night vision goggles until close to the end of the game. Again, not having put much time into the other games, I don’t know how these goggles worked. In Conviction, I hated using them. This was the worst part of the game for me. There are areas with lasers that you need the goggles to see. They go from floor to ceiling and wall to wall, and some lasers move up and down or side to side. In most cases, you have a slim margin of error in getting past the lasers without being detected and destroyed by machine gun turrets. You have no depth perception. You literally have to look straight at the ground to see how far you are from a laser in front of you. It also scrambles as you move, so you have to take it slow. It is nice for really dark areas since you can see the outline of your surroundings and if enemies are close enough, it will highlight them for you which you can then mark them.

    Another new concept to Splinter Cell is the interrogation aspect. This could’ve been a fantastic part of the storytelling, but it falls flat. You hit a button and Sam beats a guy up. If you do it near something in the environment, he uses that to aid in said beating. Smash a guy’s head into the wall or mirror. Slam him into a desk or urinal. Eventually, he’ll tell you what you want to know. No risks of killing him before you get what you need. No pass or fail. It could’ve been a more interactive experience that something like The Punisher on Xbox got right. Some men were harder to torture and you had fewer margins for error. Push a little too hard and you kill them before you’re done with them.

    The Co-Op “campaign” is a short jaunt through the prologue of the SC: Conviction story. You play as Agents Kestrel and Archer through similar levels to single player. I was surprised to find a willing coop partner to run through the whole story on Realistic difficulty. It took roughly two hours. You only play four levels. Being able to play through the single player campaign Co-Op would’ve been fantastic.

    Other Co-Op modes included Hunter, Face-Off, Last Stand, and Infiltration if you had the DLC code.

    Hunter can be quite interesting with the right partner. It really is simple. Get through each map by killing the designated number of enemy. If you alert them, reinforcements will come. The key is to work together and take them down quietly. That means don’t use unsilenced weapons noobs…

    Face-Off had to be the worst mode and maybe it was my unfamiliarity with the levels. I managed to find one person to play against. Essentially, you are taking down enemies for points. If you manage to kill the other player (this is the only pvp mode) you set his score to zero. Clearly the guy I was playing knew the level. He went straight to a point where the idiotic AI would try to come at him from both sides of a large room out of doorways on each side. As it happens, it was also one of the only ways for me to get in, so I’m left dealing with him camping the stupid AI and myself. Found this mode to be absolutely terrible compared to the others.

    Last Stand is the obligatory “Horde” mode. This multiplayer idea is getting stale. Infiltration is a mode where you must clear a map and not be detected. If you are detected, game over. As I didn’t have this content, I didn’t get a chance to try it.

    My final complaint is about the AI. As mentioned earlier, the enemy will focus on your last known position if you are detected. What I can’t stand in games is when the AI will talk shit to you or go out of their way to give away their position, making them easy targets for you. It’s like a bad 80’s action movie where they just keep coming and they do everything they can to let you know where they are. Why doesn’t the AI employ some stealth too? Make it a little more challenging.

    Okay completionists, this is for you. Throughout all of the gameplay modes, you can accomplish challenges. The Persistent Elite Creation system (P.E.C.) allows you to earn points by completing challenges. You use those points to unlock upgrades for weapons, gadgets, and even clothing. Obviously, completing challenges leads to achievements. Challenges range from getting stealthy headshots, to taking down enemies by dropping on them, to mark and executing four enemies at once. There’s a variety of challenges to complete, and while I don’t look forward to completing all of the challenges because of my completionist OCD, it is nice to have something to do while going through the game in any mode.

    Does the length of the game spoil the entertainment and value? Well, I guess that depends on whether you'll enjoy the other modes of play, and if you have partners to play them with. The game can provide a challenge and offer up some scenarios that require a bit of strategy, but it’s just over too quick. As with many games of late, the matchmaking may take a bit if you are searching for random partners to do any of the Co-Op modes. With the game going on sale periodically, I would imagine there are spikes of new players wanting multiplayer achievements.

    Splinter Cell: Conviction is a solid, good looking game, well above average, but it just wasn’t enough to sustain me. It seems caught in the middle of a single player and multiplayer game needing more. Focus on one more than the other, and the quality might stray. The storytelling and voice acting is solid. There are some fantastic concepts that should be smoothed out in the inevitable sequel. I’m not asking for an epic experience in a sequel, just something with a little more oomph. If they can do it with Assassin’s Creed, no reason they can’t do it with their original stealth franchise.

    I can't give a 3.5 I have given on my blog, so I will actually round up since I feel it is closer to a 4 than a 3.
  • XxGin RummyxXXxGin RummyxX22,169
    20 Apr 2010
    2 9 0
    Splinter Cell: Conviction; not just for fans anymore!

    After the disappointment of Double Agent, it would appear that ubisoft tried to take on a whole new leaf with this game. It reminds me of if you were to take rainbow six, mix it with a lil Army of Two (for the coop,) and then some stealth action, you get Conviction.

    You can seriously do the game however you want. Take people out one by one, or go in like a highly trained SWAT officer. Some of the AR's you get are BADASS, even if they aren't silenced. They made the game harder, in the sense that when it's dark for you, you can't just flick on those NVG's and see perfectly in the dark. instead, you gain the use of Sonar Goggles, which are an incredibly useful tool.

    The story is compelling, and both fans and new comers to the series alike will love the game. It is a bit short, however, but what game nowadays isn't?