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Platform

Wii

 

Genre

Stealth Action

 

Publisher

UbiSoft

 

Developer

UbiSoft Montreal

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2006

 

 

- Workable and enjoyable (though you do have to work for it)

- Great animation

- Typical Splinter Cell stuff

 

 

- Controls that you have to fight with for most of the game

- Hands-down the worst looking version

 

 

Review: Splinter Cell (GC)

Review: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (XB)

Review: Red Steel (Wii)

 

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Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Score: 6.5 / 10

 

In many ways I was thrilled that Sam Fisher managed to lug himself over to the Wii.  It wasn't so thrilling to see the kind of visual downgrade he brought with him though.  Hands-down, this is the worst looking version of Splinter Cell: Double Agent, even though much of the animation is first-rate.  Now, that the obvious has been stated...

 

splinter cell double agent          splinter cell double agent

 

Told in flashback, Double Agent opens with a mission that ends abruptly when Sam Fisher (again voiced by Michael Ironside) gets word that his daughter has been killed.  This turn of events unhinges Sam somewhat -- he starts taking all the extremely dangerous mission.  It's during this downward spiral that Sam takes on his toughest assignment -- to infiltrate and gain the trust of a terrorist group,.  Starting by breaking out of a high security prison.  Without his night vision goggles!  (It feels like Sam is naked for this early part of the game.)  The story unfolds in a somewhat predictable manner but it was still gripping enough for me to see the game through to the end, fighting the controls for at least half the game.

 

As many gamers are finding out, the Wii is forcing a lot of us to re-learn controls.  Using the nunchuk, you move Sam around the environments.  The nunchuk is also

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used to jump.  By quickly snapping the controller up, Sam will jump and if he's in a location where he can split-jump he'll do it.  Snapping it to the side will make Sam hug nearby objects or walls.  Aiming is, predictably, handled with the wiimote.  It's an accurate way to shoot (though you'll do precious little shooting) but it also adds some frustration to just getting around -- if your

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hand isn't steady it's easy to start the camera going in continual circles.  ( I must say that using the Wiimote to pick locks just feel right.)  Cycling through goggle modes and weapons also takes a lot of getting used to.  About half-way through Double Agent I started to feel comfortable with the controls -- it took a lot of practice and some twiddling with the control sensitivity to make everything feel almost right.

 

And not helping anything are the in-game tutorials for the controls, which are generic at the best of times.  It's easier to read the manual.  The Splinter Cell has never been "pick-up and play" friendly, and this goes double for Double Agent on Wii.

 

splinter cell double agent          splinter cell double agent

 

Double Agent sticks close to the Splinter Cell formula of sticking to the shadows, and attacking/interrogating when necessary.  This basic underlying gameplay has served the series well, so why change it?

 

The only real change is that there are moral choices.  Do you shoot a hostage to convey loyalty to the terrorist group you're infiltrating? Or do you pause?  Let him go? Shoot but miss on purpose?

 

If you subscribed to the "Wii60" thinking -- you own an Xbox 360 and a Wii because a PS3 just costs too much -- you'd be better off grabbing the 360 version as the visuals are far better and the controls are more akin to previous installments of the series.  Splinter Cell: Double Agent on Wii is definitely workable and even enjoyable, but you've got to work for it and and that may turn a lot of people off.

 

- Omni

(February 2, 2007)

 

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