Splinter Cell: Conviction – First Impressions

Considering the freezing issue that people were experiencing yesterday due to a bad game update that was released, the game had already made a bad first impression on me. But that’s not to say I wasn’t still going to give it a shot. What did make a good impression on me right off the bat was the fact that I was able to pick up the game for essentially $25 after price matching, bonus reward points from best buy and reward zone coupons, so that was nice. But all of that stuff aside, let’s talk about the actual game and what I thought of the first hour or so.

I remember buying Splinter Cell: Double Agent and playing the single player for a while, but eventually I got hooked on the multiplayer and then dropped the game completely. I still don’t think I’ve gone back and played through to the end, but for some reason after watching videos and doing some reading (as well as talking to friends) I thought that this new one would be much better and worth picking up. I guess I could have downloaded the demo first to try it out, but I decided to just dive in head first and pick it up blindly. I have yet to get into the multiplayer aspect of the game, whether that’s co-op or versus or whatever modes they’ve thrown in, so this post is going to be about the single player only.

First of all, the game looks very good. I think it’s on par with games like Modern Warfare 2, but some of the areas have that glistening look to them like Marcus Fenix jizzed all over everything. I also noticed that Sam Fisher himself looks almost 10 years younger in this one than in Double Agent… I don’t know too much about the storylines, etc, so I have no idea if this is a prequel or what or maybe it’s just that new fancy hairstyle he’s got going on, but he definitely looks younger than bald Sam Fisher.

So the story starts out and Sam is just hanging out minding his own business when a waiter brings a cell phone over to him and Morpheus is on the other end telling him that agents are coming and that he needs to get out of there… Ok, not really, but basically the same idea. It starts off with a pretty simple run through the back alleys as you learn how to shoot things and analy rape bad guys from the shadows without them seeing you. It’s a nice way to go through a tutorial without the game straight up saying, “Hey, this is a tutorial… fuck around in here before you start the actual game”. It seems that most games are doing their tutorials this way these days which is very nice. So you go through that and learn the ropes as the new improved younger Sam Fisher and some of the stuff you can do is pretty cool.

The things I especially liked were the fact that you can now target enemies and then execute them automatically with the push of a button, but in order to gain this ability you have to sneak up behind someone and kill them with your bare hands. So that’s cool, but the real thing I was happy about is the subtle change between black and white and color when you’re in the shadows or out in the open. I always found it hard in the previous games to know when I was truly hidden and when I was just asking for a load to the face. I’m sure there are going to be hardcore fans of the SC games that won’t like this feature as they’ll see it as making the game easier for people, but I think it’s a nice addition.

The one thing I thought was a little strange and didn’t make sense was that Sam breaks off a car mirror before you enter this house looking for the dude that ran over his daughter like a Thanksgiving roadkill raccoon, and some how he manages to use said mirror to look under doors. How the fuck is there enough room under a door to shove a car mirror and tilt it around so you can see from the other side? Go ahead, try it, I’ll wait. . . It would be impossible unless I’m missing something here. Honestly that might be my only complaint after playing through the first hour of the game.

The gameplay itself is cool and the controls are tight, so hopefully I won’t get frustrated and quit this one early like the last one. After doing a lot of reading because of the update/freezing glitch yesterday it seems like people are split on their feelings for this one. It appears as though some of the cool multiplayer modes that made Double Agent cool, have been dropped… I can’t comment on the multiplayer stuff because I haven’t played it yet (due to the game freezing if you downloaded the update yesterday, so I avoided it), but after reading the manual the co-op stuff sounded interesting, so I’m sure I’ll be back later this week with a brief rundown of the multiplayer modes.

I’ll continue my quest through the elaborate land of Sam Fisher this week/weekend and I’ll update this post if I feel the need, but for now I’m pretty happy with my purchase and it gives me a nice break from Modern Warfare 2 and another excuse to never finish yet another Final Fantasy game… ugh.