STAFF REVIEW of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (Xbox)

Wednesday, December 4, 2002.
by Stephen Cameron

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Box art Now I don?t hand out perfect 5?s like it was candy, when we saw a private showing of Ubisoft?s Splinter Cell with my fellow staffers at the Microsoft booth at E3, our jaws dropped. Kevin, Chris and I immediately freaked, we said ?This game better not be just a pretty face! Otherwise it will be a huge letdown!? Well folks, it?s WASN?T. Although the game does have its small drawbacks (what game doesn?t), you can easily overlook them. Before I started writing this review I wanted to get pretty far in the game before telling you guys about it. I did complete the Abattoir level (that one was a doozy), and now I?m at the second part of the Chinese Embassy, the game has a nice steady climb of difficulty. This game will be a console seller this holiday season and you don?t need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out. Tell your friends, ?If you own an Xbox, you SHOULD own two titles Halo and Splinter Cell?. NO question. If they ask questions, slap them on the head (lighly). Finally, if you see any bad reviews on this page, simply ignore them (trust your fellow xboxaddict staffers), because the only reason that someone would not enjoy this game either they have a huge complex of military practices or just plain stupid.

Now, the game for the most part the game is jam packed full of beautiful kodak moments, and it also has its ?Why the f*** did it do that for?? moments. The controls are very intuitive and I believe it was custom tailored for the Xbox controller. I None the less the game does have a few little pet peeves, on some levels, when you are crouched in front a crate sometimes (only sometimes) you can?t get back up. Weird. Anyways?the weapon switching system in the game has been really well planned out, when you are in the heat of battle?the game doesn?t fall short. I really can?t wait to see what Ubisoft has in store for us with the Xbox Live content. Aside from its very few quirks, Splinter Cell is a fantastic game bar none, and you don?t need to be a military expert to work these weapons or understand them. The big thing that puts SC at the top of my rankings is that you have the choice to complete mission as you please. If you want to go in and shoot all the enemies, you can or just ?tip-toe? your way thru the level you can. Bottom line is?if you run out of bullets you can still finish the mission, without having magical ammo boxes appear out of nowhere. Two thumbs up!

If Leonardo DaVinci were alive today this game would bring tears to his eyes! Splinter Cell simply IS the best looking game on the Xbox. This aspect of the game is what EVERYONE was talking about at E3, you don?t need to be a brainwashed PS2 or Gamecube user to see that Splinter Cell is the bomb. It makes extremely great use of the Unreal engine and Xbox hardware and the attention to every detail in SC is staggering. You use the dark as your friend, you can have an enemies walk right up to you (within reason) and he won?t even see you. The character animation is beautiful, I?m not sure if Ubisoft used motion capture or not, that split jump looks painful. Eeck. When you move Sam Fisher near a light source that?s moving, the cast shadow moves along with it. Those hi-tech military grade night vision and thermal goggles makes you feel important and stuff! Simple nice. Without being bias Splinter Cell is the best looking game on any console. Well-done guys!

The developers of SC have successfully set an excellent overall mood throughout the game. You have times when a soldiers get spooked a little bit, the music changes. When you are being ?Mr. Hero?; you get nice ?hero? music. The musical score in SC is your run of mill Tom Clancy orchestrated set of tunes. Nothing like listen like listening to patriotic music before you head off to save the day. It really sets things nicely. Just like the movies! Excellent work, loved it.

Besides having a near perfect game on your hands. If you guys are thinking porting this title to the other console, this will only sell more Xboxes. The only version I can see living up the sheer beauty of this game, is the Windows PC machine running fairly highend hardware.

Overall: 10.0 / 10
Gameplay: 10.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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