Splinter Cell: Conviction – There’s Only One Problem…

… It’s too short! That’s all! This is one of the better games I have played this year! Better than Mass Effect 2 and better than Bad Company’s single payer. I haven’t played the co-op yet, but that’s because I have no friends πŸ™ The co-op is a separate storyline, a prologue actually leading up to the events in the main story. I’ve heard from reviews that it’s good but a little buggy.

I like the Splinter Cell series but I wouldnt really call myself a fan. I finished the first game and played the others but regrettably never finished them. I don’t think there is any other game series that compares and don’t even think about mentioning Metal Gear Solid! It’s nowhere near as good as the Splinter Cell series. The latest installment doesn’t really take the genre anywhere new, but it manages to appeal to both fans and newcomers to both the series and the genre. Very few games can claim that.

If you are new to the series and this is your first time then the storyline won’t make any sense at first, however the game makes good use of cutscenes, great voice acting and scripted scenes to unravel the story. Those familiar with the story will have some questions answered.

The gameplay is a little different from the previous games as it seems more streamlined than before. You don’t get as many fancy gadgets but you do get some pretty cool ones, like the sonar goggles which really help. What hasn’t changed from the previous games is that careful planning and patience are always rewarded.

One of the new features is the “execute” feature. After performing a special move like a melee attack, you get to “mark” targets or enemies. Each weapon has a different number of targets you can mark and some are upgradable to add more. Once you have targets marked, you can perform the execute move at any time. Sam (the character you play as) will then take down all the targets in range in a really cool slow motion way. At first I thought this was gimmicky as it seems unrealistic, but the more you use it, the more you feel like a badass. After all, you canΒ  clear an entire room full of enemies in one move. Which its quite an achievement for our main character, since he’s just an old man with no body armor and nothing but a silenced pistol! Targets aren’t limited to just enemies either, objects like explosive barrels can also be used to cause death and destruction.

The cover system is also pretty well done too. Just look at a wall or sandbag or whatever and hold the cover button. You can also move from cover to cover and peek out to take a shot at enemies. The control system is really intuitive too. When hiding behind cover you can wait for an enemy to walk by and them press a button to silently take him out. You can also use the same button to say, pull an enemy out a window when hanging from a ledge.

Hiding behind objects aren’t the only way to be sneaky. Like in the previous games the darkness and shadows are your friends. When you are in the cover of darkness the screen turns black and white. It returns to full color when you get back in the light. This ends up bring incredibly intuitive yet a very simple way of making the player aware of their surroundings.

If you are about to be seen by an enemy an indicator on screen points to the enemy that spotted you. If you are actually discovered the indicator turns from white to red and all of a sudden everyone knows where you are. Most of the time this isn’t preferable but sometimes you can use it to your advantage. For example, if you manage to get away after being spotted a silhouette of your last known position appears and enemies will close in on this position. You could then use it as bait to take them all out. How you do this is up to you.

Sometimes the AI can be a little stupid, walking right by you when they should have seen you, but they are still smart enough to keep you on your toes. In the end it’s all about the experience, if you’re looking for a straight up action game, despite the epic gunfights you might be disappointed. Like I said earlier, the game rewards patience and planning. Even though the game is short, you’ll want to replay it just so you can try the different guns and gadgets or find other ways to get through a level.

This game is definetly worth the money, I’d score it a 9/10.

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