Home Literature Stories Movies Games Comics News Discussion Forum
  Science Fiction and Fantasy News
Esslemont's Stonewielder Prologue and Cover (07-26)
Deals and Deliveries (9!!!) (09-12)
Indiana Jones and the Army of the Dead by Steve Pe (09-12)
Iron Man: Femmes Fatales by Robert Greenberger (09-12)

Official sffworld Reviews
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber (05-29 - Book)
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent (05-25 - Book)
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig (05-21 - Book)
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith (05-17 - Book)

Site Index

Official sffworld Game Review    Bookmark and Share

Splinter Cell


Splinter Cell – X-Box

Along with Halo, Splinter Cell was the predominant reason to have purchased an X-Box. Whilst recently improved upon by both Pandora Tomorrow and the imminent Chaos Theory, the original remains the match that lit Microsofts fuse.

In establishing a franchise based on the premise of stealth, Splinter Cell placed itself in direct competition with the massively successful Metal Gear Solid on rival platform Sony. Splinter Cell was a display of superior graphical ability by the upstart newcomer and touted as an evolution in the stealth genre. Putting aside the question of how a man with three green lights on his forehead could be considered an evolution in inconspicousness, lets take a look at Splinter Cell.

Splinter Cell places you in the part of Sam Fisher, a retired black ops veteran pulled back for a dangerous assignment that involves multiple globe-trotting trips to the most volatile, far-flung places on the Earth. Tooled up with state-of-the-art gadgets, night sight/infrared goggles that wouldn’t look out of place in a Bond movie, Fisher has to use the shadows to sneak, creep and when necessary kill to reach his goal.

The shadows become the main focus of the game and takes Splinter Cell one step beyond the original Metal Gear Solid. Comparisons as mentioned are inevitable, so why avoid them? Snake’s proximity detection system based on the enemy’s field of vision and line of sight has been improved to encompass the darkness of the shadows. An exposure/visibility meter demonstrates the level of cover Fisher receives from the surrounding environment. The more exposed and in the light, the greater chance of being caught. Being exposed introduces the secondary element in Splinter Cell – confrontation and some good old fashioned shooting. The controls are relatively simple and easy to use, the triggers on the X-Box pads are natural and won’t see you mistakenly reaching for one of the fascia buttons.  Aiming however isn’t so easy, moving and aiming even more so. Though it never reaches the stage of rage-inducing, the aiming system does cause some frustration.

Environmentally Splinter Cell gives the impression of openness, with several ways to negotiate each section. That said the interaction with the environments isn’t so free, choices are limited which leads to a fairly rigid structure. It looks great but is merely aesthetics. Missions are multi-phased, most requiring the retrieval of data or an object that then links to the next phase and through to the end of the mission. Early goals are easy as you adapt to the control system and to the possibilities the environment offers/requires.

Again comparisons with MGS are perhaps unfair but unavoidable. As good technically as Splinter Cell is, there is a distinct lack of innovation in the gameplay and storyline. The storyline in particular is a turgid affair that is anything but compelling and pales beside MGS. Whilst there is an argument that Cell is aiming for realism, which is viable, it also remains uninspiring and tepid. So does the ‘action’, after grabbing the thousandth guard, dragging him into a shadowed corner and braining him, all you want to do is go on a rampage with something more fun. Certainly stealth is an exciting genre but a little variation and depth is required to make it involving and entertaining, Splinter Cell missed the boat in that respect.

So in conclusion:
Passable, definitely. Good, certainly. MGS, afraid not.

Reviewed by Owen Jones © 2005

Sponsor ads



The Terry Pratchett Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now First Novel Prize!
05-31 - News
Stephen King's Joyland UK Promotion
05-30 - News
UK Publisher of Stephen King’s New Novel Unusual Promotion
05-30 - News
Big Time, The by Fritz Leiber
05-29 - Book Review
Rogue Clone by Steven L. Kent
05-25 - Book Review
The Blue Blazes by Chuck Wendig
05-21 - Book Review
The Wisdom of the Shire by Noble Smith
05-17 - Book Review

05-10 - News
The Tyrant's Law by Daniel Abraham
05-04 - Book Review
Galaxy's Edge 1 by Mike Resnick
04-28 - Book Review
Poison by Sarah Pinborough
04-21 - Book Review
Bullington, Beukes and Bacigalupi event
04-19 - News
The City by Stella Gemmell
04-17 - Book Review
Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan
04-15 - Book Review
Tarnished Knight by Jack Campbell
04-09 - Book Review
Frank Hampson: Tomorrow Revisited by Alastair Crompton
04-07 - Book Review
The Forever Knight by John Marco
04-01 - Book Review
Book of Sith - Secrets from the Dark Side by Daniel Wallace
03-31 - Book Review
NOS4R2 by Joe Hill
03-25 - Book Review
Fade to Black by Francis Knight
03-13 - Book Review
The Clone Republic by Steven L. Kent
03-12 - Book Review
The Burn Zone by James K. Decker
03-06 - Book Review
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
03-04 - Book Review
Blood's Pride by Evie Manieri
02-28 - Book Review
Excerpt: River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay
02-27 - Article
Tales of Majipoor by Robert Silverberg
02-24 - Book Review
American Elsewhere by Robert Jackson Bennett
02-20 - Book Review
Evie Manieri Guest Post
02-19 - Article
The Grim Company by Luke Scull
02-17 - Book Review
Red Planet by Robert A. Heinlein
02-11 - Book Review

New Forum Posts

About - Advertising - Contact us - RSS - For Authors & Publishers - Contribute / Submit - Privacy Policy - Community Login
Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use. The contents of this webpage are copyright © 1997-2011 sffworld.com. All Rights Reserved.