Home Editorial Top Ten Impressions: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Having played through just over half of Splinter Cell: Conviction, I thought I’d drop a quick list of my thoughts so far.

  1. The enemies curse a lot. And I mean, a lot. As if they think cursing at Sam Fisher will enrage him to the point of making a mistake. Surprisingly, they tend to curse less when you are beating them to death than when they have the upper hand on you.
  2. Mark and Execute doesn’t make the game a cakewalk, but it sure makes it more… execute-y. It didn’t occur to me until I got to a mission when I was charged with using nonlethal force that, until that point, I had only used lethal force.
  3. This game is incredibly cinematic, almost to a fault. While the swaying camera and out-of-focus zoom-ins look great, they’re often a distraction from the fact that you can’t do anything.
  4. If torture/brutality worked as well in real life as it does in SC: Conviction, I don’t think a single criminal would be left on the planet.
  5. Enemies are smart enough to avoid your traps, but dumb enough to tell you that they’re avoiding your traps. “Your sticky camera can’t fool me, Fisher, I’m gonna stand right here under this ledge and wait for you, asshole!”
  6. There is something immensely satisfying about decking Grim. She… she just… deserves it.
  7. It’s very cool to have the world turn black and white when you’re in the shadows, but it makes it a little hard to tell what parts of the world aren’t in the shadows. I wonder how people dealt with this problem in the 1940s, before color was invented.
  8. There’s actually a pretty interesting mechanic to explain how the enemies keep getting tougher. You see, instead of being anonymous thugs, it’s assumed that each enemy is a survivor of one of your previous rampages. They’ll let you know this constantly, shouting “I’m not gonna fall for that bullshit again, Fisher. I was at the warehouse when you killed my buddy, dickwad!” Of course, there’s always more enemies than the last engagement, which seems to imply they’re either being cloned or… (ugh) breeding.
  9. One of the absurd moments caused by having infinite (pistol) ammunition is the reload animation. You can be hanging from a pipe 3 feet above an enemy waiting in the shadows. You reload your pistol and drop the empty magazine on the enemy’s head. Of course, since you’re hidden, he won’t notice or react. Just keep dropping clips on his head all day… no response. Of course the minute a lightbulb goes on/off he’ll start firing randomly in its direction
  10. While I understand regenerating health is the new big fad, it takes a little too much pressure off in a game like Splinter Cell. After all, the whole “if you want to heal, you have to hide” mechanic isn’t that big of a tradeoff in a game in which you spend 90% of your time hiding.

Despite the joking criticism, Splinter Cell: Conviction has been an excellent thrill ride thus far. I suppose the most fair summary would be “A+ game overall, B- Splinter Cell experience.”

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