Hands-on: Splinter Cell PS2 demo

We sneak through a late-game level from the PS2 version of Splinter Cell and are here with impressions and new media.

Already available for the Xbox and PC, Ubi Soft's hit stealth game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is also coming to the PlayStation 2 this April. The game puts players in the role of top-secret operative Sam Fisher, who is sent in alone to complete numerous high-risk missions. Because the fate of the free world is in the balance, Fisher must use discretion and remain hidden at all times. His military training and high-tech gadgets and weaponry enable him to do this.

We recently received a demo of the PS2 version of Splinter Cell that features a level set in and around a Chinese embassy, and we were eager to run through it and see how this version of the game stacks up to the others. Predictably enough, the PS2 version doesn't look as sharp or run as smoothly as the Xbox and PC versions of the game. However, it still looks very good, given the relative limitations of the PS2 hardware. Almost all the other versions' visual effects, from the blurred and static-filled night-vision mode, to the excellent and realistic atmospheric lighting, to the lifelike fog effects, are all intact here. The environments are also heavily detailed, though this makes the game's frame rate skip a beat every now and then.

The controls are more or less identical to those of the Xbox version. Fisher has an impressive array of abilities, and the left analog stick is not just used to move him around, but also to determine how quickly he does so. To make Fisher sneak up on someone, players will have to apply gentle pressure to the left stick to get him to inch forward silently.

The brief demo contains only a portion of the Chinese embassy level but suggests that the PS2 version of Splinter Cell is shaping up to be comparable to the already released versions of the game. Have a look at our new media to see for yourself.

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