This is an amazing game and will put the XBox squarely on the map. The graphics deserve ten stars with only slight camera angle problems at selected points; the sound is superb, and effects brilliant and the whole atmosphere of the game stinks of professional development. The detail is amazing- from reflective windows and cupboards to the animation when you type on computer keyboards, right down to picking up things like tin cans and throwing them! There are gadgets galore- even a fibre optic camera you can pass under doors to view the room inside. Your view is excellent- using either infra-red heat sensitive view or night vision (or normal, but it gets dark and eery without NV).
Controls are fine with neither slugishness or delay. This is a really great game and shows the XBox off perfectly. Buy it!
on 21 September 2003
This is a game that utilises both power and game-play into one great game. Watching the cut scenes places a sense of realism into the game. The news clips are done wonderfully and sometimes leaves you thinking, “Am I watching Fox News?”
Once the game-play begins the first impressive impression are the graphics and movements of your character. The training level teaches you every move you will need to carry out. The movement of Sam Fisher is incredible, the way he climbs and moves his way along ledges, to the way he slides down poles and zip lines. Watching him rappel looks like a real undercover agent ready to make a stealthy entry into a building.
One great feature of the game is the use of shadow and lighting effects. You must use the darkness to your advantage. Once Sam Fisher is in the dark he can use stealth tactics to sneak up to an enemy, grab him and knock him out, or interrogate him to extract important information needed for your mission objectives, or force him to do certain actions that you are unable to do, for instance force the enemy to scan his eye, or enter a secured system within a computer.
Leaving a dead or unconscious person lying around can increase chances of another enemy patrol spotting the body. So, to prevent this from occurring you are able to lift up the body and deposit the body within a safe perimeter.
The weapons you are supplied with are incredible and very exciting to use. The Laser Microphone allows you to listen to conversation through certain surfaces. Distraction Camera (with zoom thermal and night vision) can be shot out from your M.A.W.S (Modular Assault Weapon System) and can be used to attract enemies with a sound, and then be used to release a cloud of incapacitating gas when the enemies are nearby. That is just a fraction of gadgets available.
With the limitation of ammo and health within a level you are encouraged to think stealthy. Within a few seconds an enemy can exterminate you within shooting distance. You must think strategically before taking on a group of enemies. Shoot out the lights to darken your area, sneak up poles to escape land troops, snipe out certain troops etc.
One problem arises though. Game-play really places you into a game of realism but the AI is not up to scratch. An enemy may here glass smash or notice the light shot out, and then after a few seconds of silence the troop will turn around and say “Maybe it was nothing!” And carry on with their business.
Another major headache is the fact that you cannot pick up the enemy weapon. Once your ammo is down to nothing you are left in a critical usually a life-threatening situation.
Music is very atmospheric and you eventually grow to need the music, since the music changes when you are in stealth mode, when an enemy senses danger, to when an enemy has spotted you.
All in all a very unique exciting game.
Excellent lighting effect and movement from your character. Realistic night and thermal image effects.
Atmospheric. Paying attention to the change in music is for sure a must for you to succeed in your mission.
A top quality game of distinction. Stealth, action and suspense all wrapped up into one game. Hours of play.
The good points:
· Lighting put to excellent use.
· Graphics are top notch.
· Interact with the environment.
· Excellent weapons and gadgets.
· Lovely news cut scenes.
· Excellent character movement and interaction.
· The ability to interrogate and force the enemy to carry out actions.
· Easy learning curve.
· Value for money.
The bad points:
· Unable to pick up enemy weapons.
· Sometimes the enemy AI is not up to scratch.
on 18 December 2002
Splinter Cell is a long awaited major Xbox title that I am delighted to say has lived up to the hype.
You play as sole NSA field operative, Sam Fisher, undertaking covert operations for the US government. The game is set a couple of years ahead and follows a story that is both believable and entertaining as it unfolds throughout the game.
The basic premise of the game is to execute the missions by the use of stealth tactics using the shadows to hide in whilst moving throughout scenarios, hiding dead bodies or ones that you have merely knocked out by sneaking up and grabbing them.
To describe the game a purely stealth would be misleading as the gameplay changes sufficiently to keep interest high. Certain missions require pure stealth in which killing anyone results in mission failure whilst others require the opposite. It's makes for a superbly paced game.
During the game Sam can utilise various gadgets combined with his versatile acrobatic moves with which to thwart enemies. The gadgets are great (though not all are available from the first mission), the best of which include 'sticky' cameras fired out of a rifle onto a wall allowing you to see what lies round the corner, a fibre optic cable to slip under a door and see what's on the other side before going through, to night and thermal vision goggles. The use of the night/thermal vision goggles is essential and the way the coders have graphically implemented their use is true genius at work.
The graphics in the game are quite simply amazing. Aside from a couple of minor and forgivable flaws (heads of body's disappearing into a wall when hidden in a corner) the graphics demonstrate what Xbox is capable of. Splinter Cell is the kind of game you show to your mates to prove that Xbox was a worthy buy!
A couple of minor negatives (all games seem to have them), is that there are certain frustrating moments when trial and error is needed to progress. Also the game is quite linear. I would personally have preferred to have more freedom to choose my route through the levels. Having said that such linearity does have its advantages as it allows you concentrate on what stealth tactics to adopt to get through each of the levels.
In any event neither of these niggles detract from what is a supremely engrossing and enjoyable game. You can pass two or three hours in a playing session without even realising it and the desire to repeat missions time and time again to try different tactics gives the game longevity. Also there is a downloadable option on the menu in readiness I presume for new content via Xbox Live. No review can give this game justice, this is not one to rent this a one to buy and I thoroughly recommend doing so.
on 7 November 2002
In Splinter Cell you play Sam Fisher, an NSA agent sent to investigate some troubles in Georgia and because he is in the NSA he must be sneaky. Like the MGS games stealth is a big part of the game. You must use the darkness to hide, or do a split jump in a narrow corridor. Since this is a Tom Calncy game there are lots of gadgets, one of the best is a fibre optic probe that can go under doors to see what is behind. The graphics in this game are amazing and really show of the power of the Xbox, this has to be the most graphicaly impresive game on the console. So if you liked Metal Gear Solid you will love this.
on 9 January 2003
Warning: This game is life destroying!
Where to start! I guess I'll start with, and this will make sense as you read this review, the night vision goggles. Anyone whose played the game will know that these are Sam Fisher's (the character you play) trademark, with the three green glowing lights that shine and look so damn cool. And this is why I mention this rather specific part of the game first: the game looks and feels amazing. The style is just spot on. The makers of the game have put huge amounts of effort into getting the environment to be totally engrossing, with truly stunning use of lighting throughout the levels. Ok, I'm going to try and calm down a little and give a bit more of a analytical review. Here goes...
Your character is an American super-spy, Sam Fisher, working under the NSA. I won't bore you with a lengthy outline of the plot, but I will assure you that it is not too far fetched (it certainly isn't like Metal Gear Solid 2! (MGS2)), and it gets you well into the game and you soon feel 'involved'. Sam Fisher is one hell of an acrobat, and can pull off lots of cool moves which you will use a lot in the game. Although his most famous one, the split jump, I didn't use at all! But the rest I have. He also has one of the coolest gadget armouries a game has ever seen. You don't get all the gadgets from the beginning, so you won't get confused on how to use each one; you'll get broken in gently. Examples are a fibre optic cable to peek under doors, explosive lock-picks, miniture cameras equiped with night and thermal vision and zoom... the list goes on, believe me! And these gadgets are all genuinely useful too.
As I have said, the game looks amazing. Sam Fisher has been created artistically, as opposed to based on an 'actor' (not sure of the technical term!). Therefore, and this is very real and not just a false claim of the makers, the game has an incredible artistic feel that really does absorb you.
The gameplay is, again, amazing. There are all the gadgets for a start. Also, the makers were very keen to use the light not just to look good, but also for strategic purposes. Basically, shadow is safe and well lit areas are dangerous. And with a very interactive enovironment, this leads to some great bits of gameplay. You shoot lights out to create 'safe' shadow areas to hide in, choose darker routes even if it calls for some of Sam's acrobatics, and throw small objects to distract a guard from his post. And just when you've learnt how to deal with the basic defenses, such as cameras and patrolling guards, you'll face new ones like guard dogs and search lights.
The sound is also very good, however it is hard to get excited about the sound of a game, especially when one looks and plays so good as this. But that doesn't mean it isn't important, and there has been plenty of effort put into it here.
It is hard to do this game justice in a short review, so I'm simply going to conclude with telling you to go and buy it! But if you really are not sure if this is your sort of game, then get a demo of it first. Then you'll see.....
Note: People (including me earlier!) have compared this game to MGS2. Personally, I think they are too different to compare. I much prefer this game but that's because of the realistic plot which I much prefer over the fantasy of MGS2. But I have a friend who prefers MGS2 for precisely the opposite reason. So it's down to personal taste which you'll prefer. MGS2 for fantasy, Splinter Cell for realism. And regarding the question of 'who is the coolest, Sam Fisher or Snake', well, this is something that would require a whole review in itself.
on 24 January 2003
Splinter cell is a great game, I would defiantly recommend buying it, and the graphics are superb with no glitches and all in gloriously detailed environments. All the environments are fully interactive in that you can shoot things up, and there are usually objects that you can move scattered around the areas.
The sound is fully atmospheric and the music can give you a good idea of what's going to happen, i.e. danger coming up, when it's safe and so on. The gameplay scores highly as well keeping you hooked throughout the life of the game.
However there are a few problems, firstly I'd say the camera angles, the camera can be a little clumsy at times, getting you killed because from the camera view you seem concealed but your really in open view of the hostel's.
The second is that you can't save at any point, with a system such as the X-Box this is not a technical issue, and can be infuriating when you die and have to spend ten minutes redoing what you just did. Especially annoying as the game kills you for overcoming the obstacle, just because you didn't do it the way the designer intended.
Also laziness on the part of the level designers, some doors you cant open because there is a fire or a table on the other side of the door, now that's reasonable, and some you can't open because there's a shoebox in the way, like that would stop you being able to open the door.
There is a major trial and error element to this game, a lot of problems you just can't see until they've killed you. Not the way to complete a game.
Also just a tip, if you buy this gameplay it with the official S pad not the standard pad, it makes life a lot easier.
on 30 December 2002
XBox - the best thing M$ has done ever... and Ubi-Soft have given it a killer game. Splinter Cell is just fantastic. Getting through training ground was tough, level 1 was easier, then it gets seriously difficult. Choose whether to take on the bad guys one at a time, perhaps picking up a bottle or a coke can (might be too quiet) and throwing it down some stairs to lure one of them into the shadows; or take them all on by grabbing one as human shield and taking out the others with your silenced pistol. Need more shadows? Shoot out a light (if it's not armoured). Can't touch the floor? Slide along a water pipe, or rappel out the window... etc, etc. I used to hate games where you had to think a bit (Doom II was the best, shoot anything that moves), but Splinter Cell has totally changed my attitude. If you use all your bullets early, it's (very) difficult to complete the level, or you might be too scared to use them cos of the noise (it's possible, believe me), and you'll have to work out a different way of taking out the two guys and camera guarding each end of the corridor....
The atmosphere it creates is carefully crafted to draw you in. Calm while you're hidden, your heart gives a lurch when you realise someone has heard you, or worse, seen you, and you have to concentrate so you don't panic react with the adrenaline surge and make things worse. My Missus loves playing it too, and she's better at it than I am, it's not fair :( , but, my goodness gracious me, it's damn good fun.
Anyway, buy it, it's great.
on 30 December 2002
Crouched, i quickley skip to the other side of the room. I put my back against it and pray the guard turns a blind eye. Luckily he does. turning he carries on with his patrol. I take out my trusty pistol, silenced, as not to make a sound. I shoot the light above him. The room turns pitch black. The guard turns startled and comes near to where i am. I don't need to pray now. Sam fisher is king in the dark. I flick on my night vision. He walks straight past me. Should i kill him? Knock him out? Sneak round him?
Better not risk it. He turns around after evaluating the situation. I pick up a bottle. Throw it. He turns and hears the mighty crash. Facing away from me. I dash out grab him from behind.
The other guard come to see whats going on. I put the guard i'm holding, into a human shield. With my gun pointing over his shoulder the other guard is reluctant to shoot. His friend hostage. I make the decision for him by shooting him between the eyes. Instant death. Now to deal with the guy i'm holding. I'll knock him out.
I move on..........
Thats was a just one guard in the game and a thorough account of me actually playing Splinter Cell.
(Out of 10)
Interactive Environment: 9
Computer A.I: 8
I have put all i know i should look for in a game. and as you can see Splinter comes almost top in everything apart from the storyline still pretty high but a little to complicated. A halo beater!
on 8 May 2005
This is a true classic. You hide in the shadows and complete your mission without being detected. The lights in this game are beautifull, but they are your worst enemy. The graphics are far beyond what I expected from a game as old as this one.
There are negetive sides to the game as well. You have very few choises as to how to complete your mission. The doors you don't have to go through are only there for the looks. You cant even choose where to shoot someone to kill them. Only the headshot kills immediately. There is no point in trying to aim for the heart. Also the bodies you keep carrying around goes through walls if you put them to close.
Many reviewers put Metal Gear up against Splinter Cell. I think they are to different to compare against each other.
The story is good and the voicework is top notch. If you like stealth games and haven't tried it yet, go for it. But if you are looking for a shooter, I would recommend Doom instead.
on 31 December 2002
If you have an XBox but not this game...buy it. I honestly also think that this game is worth the price of the console too. If you liked Metal Gear Solid you will explode with joy when you play this. The graphics are jaw-droppingly realistic, with absolutely no slow down at all. The enemy intelligence is incredible, they will turn lights on, move around slowly and call for back up.
The range of moves you have is incredible. Climb along pipes on the celing, jump up between walls, climb up fences, jump, crawl, and probably anything else you can think of, right down to the finest detail of picking a bottle out of the bin and blowing up a flickering tv by chucking the bottle at it!!
There are many levels to complete with so many things to do, and things to play around with. Hold enemy's hostage, play with the curtains, shoot out the lights into total darkness....this game is, along with Halo, is the finest game on the planet...