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Xbox 360



Action / Stealth






Ubisoft Montreal



M (Mature)



April 13, 2010



- Refined movement and shooting controls give gamers a solid arsenal of stealth combat options to take out any and all that stand in Fisher’s path
- Excellent multiplayer co-op – both offline and online – provides plenty of challenging and entertaining stealthy gameplay that goes beyond the short single-player experience



- Too much of a soap opera twist in the otherwise solid Tom Clancy-inspired story
- All kinds of high-powered weaponry is at Fisher’s disposal, but stealth gameplay requirements really give gamers little choice other than to use the standard pistol with silencer

- Moving from cover-to-cover can be unpredictable
- After all the difficult and demanding fights leading up to it, the finale battle in the Oval Office is ridiculously easy



Review: Splinter Cell (XB)

Review: Splinter Cell: Double Agent (360)

Review: Just Cause 2 (360)



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Splinter Cell: Conviction

Score: 8.5 / 10


splinter cell conviction          splinter cell conviction


Cold. Calculated. The perfect killing machine with the deadly precision of a ninja. Sam Fisher has been the ultimate heartless weapon in his service to the US of A as an operative for the secretive Third Echelon agency.

The only element in his life that humanized him was his daughter Sarah. But that human aspect of Sam Fisher died the night his daughter was so cruelly taken from him – the night she was killed by a drunk driver.

Consumed with rage, Sam Fisher is obsessed with finding his daughter’s killer for some extreme retribution. As Splinter Cell Conviction opens, Fisher has gone deep, deep underground –- leaving behind his career in Washington, D.C., as a Third Echelon operative. He has traced the supposed killer to the island of Malta. But just




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as Sam Fisher is planning his revenge, the Third Echelon comes calling again. Only it’s not asking nicely for Sam to come back and resume his past life. Fisher’s being blackmailed with the one thing that Third Echelon knows will bring him back into the fold –- his daughter.

In a story twist that gamers might only expect on a soap opera, it turns out Sarah Fisher


wasn’t killed at all, only made to look like she was. The apparent thinking was with her out of the way, Sam Fisher would become an even better killer. Kind of fills some of the story with large bullet holes, but fortunately the rest of the Tom Clancy-inspired story, which takes Sam from Malta back to his stomping grounds of Washington, D.C., and directly into the Oval Office, is really good.

But it’s not that story that makes Splinter Cell Conviction such a solid game. It’s the excellent and refined third-person stealth-action gameplay that gamers with really enjoy in the (short-lived) single-player aspect, along with stellar co-op multiplayer, both online and offline.

Splinter Cell Conviction is a third-person shooter, but with not much focus on the “shooter” aspect. The Splinter Cell franchise has perfected the stealth game, where gamers need to rely more on their ninja-style sneakiness than pure, unadulterated firepower to defeat their foes. There’s gunplay in Splinter Cell though, as this game puts much more emphasis on using weaponry than previous Splinter Cell titles, opening up more combat opportunities than before. But Splinter Cell Conviction still is all about the creeping-in-the-dark silent killing.

And with stellar controls, both the stealth and action of Splinter Cell Conviction portions of the gameplay are equally excellent. Above all else, the stealth abilities of Sam Fisher will get gamers past plenty of enemies. Using shadows and the dark is the easiest strategy for gamers to employ. If there’s not enough darkness to shroud Fisher as he creeps up on unsuspecting enemies, gamers can simply create their own “lights out” environment by shooting and destroying any light sources around. Gamers will know when they’ve been sufficiently cloaked by darkness, too, because everything will be shown in black & white. If Fisher is in a lighted area, the visuals are in full color.

Then, once the blackout takes effect, gamers can just mosey on up quietly to bad guys and kill them. However, if Fisher is discovered, it’s time for the weaponry and spirited gunplay.

splinter cell conviction          splinter cell conviction

The A.I. is not generally very bright in one-on-one situations, where gamers can literally be right next to an enemy without him even realizing Sam Fisher is there until it’s too late and they’ve been dispatched by a broken neck or gun-butt to the face. In action battles, the A.I. gives gamers a much more formidable fight.

That fight can be won by the gamer using the last known position “ghosting” strategy. If Sam Fisher is detected by an enemy, his position is “ghosted” with an outline of Fisher in that particular position he was discovered in and that’s the spot where the A.I. enemies will converge. But if a gamer moves away from that “ghost” and finds a convenient replacement hiding spot, Fisher can pick off those enemies that gather rather easily and quickly.

Although it’s just as easy to sneak up and break an enemy’s neck silently, Fisher has his usual assortment of techie weaponry and gadgets at his disposal. From pistols and small machineguns to shotguns for close-range combat, all types of varied light weaponry are around for Fisher to unleash bullet mayhem with. Along the way, weapons can be upgraded (with points gamers collect for special kills and other achievements) with sights, scopes, suppressors, hollow-point ammo and more. Gadgets, including sonar goggles and EMP devices, give Fisher an almost unfair advantage.

Unfortunately, gamers won’t get to have fun playing with all these toys of destruction much because it almost always comes down to Fisher sticking with his tried and true silencer-quiet pistol to not only dispatch enemies but dispatch them without making any noise to alert any and all other enemies.

There is once more a co-op mode, both online or split-screen offline, which extends the Splinter Cell gameplay beyond the brief single-player story mode. Offline or online, one thing is clear: gamers must work together to complete any co-op missions. If one gamer decides to go into the fray without cooperating with his fellow Splinter Cell teammate, missions will end rather quickly, even with the ability to “heal” fallen comrades. Well-planned mission goals really establish Splinter Cell Conviction’s co-op gameplay as a very entertaining endeavor, particularly online.

Backstabbed and blackmailed, Sam Fisher provides plenty of well-deserved comeuppance to the Third Echelon turncoats that were dumb enough to try and cross him. Fisher never wanted to come back to Washington, D.C., and resume his Splinter Cell lifestyle, but with a very good (although short-lived) and very good-looking single-player story along with another strong co-op mode (both offline and online) gamers will be more than pleased with Fisher’s stealthy combat return.

- Lee Cieniawa

(May 19, 2010)


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