Convicted Splinter Review
By Travis Granger on April 20th, 2010 (19 comments)
Welcome to awesomeness in its most pure form. What I meant to say is, prepare to feel like a complete bad ass. Before I say anything in depth or extraordinary, know this about SC: Conviction... You will feel like Clint Eastwood.
Splinter Cell used to define the stealth genre. In this sequel, Sam Fisher drops the stealth safety net, and attempts to be a stunning, million dollar man, ala Solid Snake.
Is this choice to become a third-person shooter for better or worse?
Splinter Cell: Conviction (PC, 360)
Developer : Ubisoft Montreal
Released: April 13, 2010
Sam Fisher, A serious man, A noble man, A disgruntled man. Sam has had it rough in the past 2-3 years since the events of Double Agent. His daughter is believed to be dead there are men who want Sam dead.
Things are not going so well for our beloved Sam Fisher, but luckily for us, his downfall is our uprising, at least in gameplay.
The previous installments of Splinter Cell present Sam as one stealthy son of a bitch. In most cases, if Sam were to attempt to turn his life into a third person shooter, his life would end fairly quickly. This would normally be due to the amount of enemies in his proximity, their weapons versus yours, and their god damned flashlights. This type of gameplay, while extremely appealing to me, would lack value in the eyes of those who don't have very large testicles. It's understandable though, the older Splinter Cells are definitely harder games due to the emphasis on the stealth aspect.
But to those with no testicles, say hello to Conviction.
The greatest difference between this Splinter Cell and the four others is the ginormous overall lack of traditional stealth.
Traditional stealth, in my mind, would be the ability to go through a whole level without being seen. The ultimate accomplishment, the grand idea behind all stealth games. Going into games such as Thief or the original Splinter Cells, you could feel the constant pressure of silence and shadows. The underworld is yours to control, its a great feeling.
In Conviction, it's a little different. Sure you are stealthy, and you could get by some enemies, but if you are going to try to complete this game without soiling your hands... Well good luck with that.
Conviction introduces a new type of stealth which was last seen, to my extensive knowledge, in MGS4. This stealth revolves around hiding until you can't, then kicking as much ass as possible before retreating back to the shadows.
Now, don't get me wrong, this is an awesome strategy and makes for some pretty heart pounding events. This type of game play is fairly simple and takes out any real hard work, such as planning routes, seeking all options via pipes, ventilation shafts, windows and such (will touch on this further on), and also the lack of creative maneuvers such as being suspended in a hallway using only the walls.
The execution of this style of gameplay is simple. It usually plays out like this: Sam marks two, or three, targets which are at a mid to long distance. After doing so it takes a simple push of the "B" button to take down an unsuspecting guard and gain the appropriate amount of execution points. Press "Y" and you just killed four people in about 1-2 seconds.
Holy shit, that's bad ass. But it is not true to the series.
The story makes up for his lack of stealth. He is a lone wolf, he is angry, he wants to kill some assholes. Understandable, but so uninspired. Give me a stealth sequence in which I have to lure a guard to his buddy by knocking on a wall. Afterwords, in a matter of seconds, I have to plan a route and follow through it, always hoping that it will lead me through the mass of guards safely and quietly. Because I moved one guard out of his path, I have the ability to slide unknown through a portion of the level like a sneaky mother fucker.
Holy shit, that's bad ass. And this IS true to the series.
Ubisoft wanted to make this game more playable for casual gamers. They noted that characters such as James Bond or Jason Bourne are stealthy in a sense that they are quick and lethal. In noticing that, the developers decided that this is the direction Sam should lean towards.
How about we just make another Bond or Bourne game? A good one anyways.
Now on to the level design.
Look closely at what Fisher is doing. He is hanging. He is not involved with any guard. He is the angel of death waiting for an opportunity. Why is he capable of this grapple in previous games rather than Conviction?
Poor level design.
One of the GREATEST things about previous installments is the ability to take multiple paths to reach your goal. Whether it be Sam follow a vent shaft system through most of the level, finding various wires to suspend yourself from and slide down, crawling through pipes, jumping through windows, or just sneaking through the damn level right in front of the guards, there were CHOICES.
In Conviction, it grants you the ability to go forward, forcing you into every guards path at any moment.
There is no option to stealth through levels, there is only the option to take on almost everyone.
And I blame the level design. The new feature of execution is great, but I don't want to use it. They could of easily implemented multiple paths to give me this option, but nay, the only other path option is always pipes. I hate pipes now.
So that's my only beef. The inability to be traditionally stealthy. The great game that is Splinter Cell: Conviction shouldn't be called Splinter Cell due to this stealth style change.
Think about it, if Splinter Cell: Conviction was a traditional stealth game, us fans would be happy. And if they released this very game, but called it James Bond: Conviction...
Holy Shit, I think i just created a god of a game in my mind.
But unfortunately its still Splinter Cell.
So here is my score...
7.5 out of 10
This game is good. It's great even. I refuse to give this game a bad score because Ubisoft didn't create exactly what I wanted.
But I will bitch about it.
This game has superb graphics, an engrossing story, easy to handle gameplay and controls, and a great amount of action.
It just could of been a real Splinter Cell game, so I'm keeping my 2.5 points for the perfect Splinter Cell.
P.S. While this review is a little negative, I assure the reader it is a worthy buy. Not only is the single player great, but the multiplayer adds not only a new storyline, but challenging scenarios which can be done via coop. This review is solely for the single player portion of the game.
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