Splinter Cell: Conviction Co-Op Update

We check out one of the four Deniable Ops co-op modes that trade in story for a stealth playground.

Last month, we had our first look at Splinter Cell: Conviction's co-op offerings. It's a secondary feature to this stealth-driven action game that takes the various tools and techniques available to protagonist Sam Fisher in the main story campaign and adds an extra five to six hours of backstory that two players can explore together. Neither plays as Sam, but instead they are a pair of spies, each with a distinct background and personality. Developer Ubisoft Montreal refers to this co-op mode as Prologue, as a sort of nod to its story's place in the Conviction timeline. But as we mentioned last month, that's not the only co-op you'll find in this Splinter Cell reboot. There's another suite of co-op modes called Deniable Ops, which present four different ways to sneak through the darkness and take out enemies alongside a friend. We stepped away from the chaos of CES 2010 to spend some time with Deniable Ops.

Rather than focus on story like Prologue does, Deniable Ops is more of a co-op playground that tests your stealth skills under a variety of different circumstances. There are four modes to choose from. Hunter is the most straightforward of the bunch, and it gives you the simple task of trying to take out all the enemies within a given area as efficiently as you can. Last Stand asks you to protect a destructible object that your enemies are out to destroy. Infiltration is a sort of nod to Splinter Cell of old, which has you moving through an area only to find yourself at a game-over if you so much as get detected. And finally, there's Face Off, which puts the two players in a versus matchup in an area filled with enemy AI, allowing you to use enemies as a sort of pawn to lure out the rival player.

In our hands-on time with Conviction, we played a few rounds of Hunter. It's a simple task you face: move through the map and be sure to clear the entire area of enemies. Depending on the map you're playing--there are six total, all set in the former Soviet Union--you can easily be overwhelmed by the sheer number of ways to approach your targets. When the screen goes black and white, you know you're covered by the shadows, so you can sneak around and attempt to take out enemies from behind. Every time you take out an enemy with a melee stealth kill, you're rewarded with an opportunity to use the mark and execute feature. This lets you tag an enemy and hit the Y button for a quick, automated kill from a distance using your silenced pistol. This feature isn't quite the instant-win button a pessimist might see it as; it's genuinely challenging to sneak around and get those melee kills without being caught.

Thankfully, there are a number of gadgets at each player's disposal to make the process a bit easier. Hitting up on the directional pad enables sonar vision, which sends a sonar pulse throughout your immediate vicinity, rendering your vision murky except for the bright white enemy figures glowing onscreen even if they're standing behind two or three walls. This gives you a good idea of where an enemy is, but you definitely can't walk around with it on all the time unless you really like bumping into walls. Another useful gadget is the EMP blast that temporarily knocks out the power in the area (a good way to get a jump on enemies who patrol brightly lit areas).

The first map we played on provided a big, open setting that Ubisoft called a “black box” environment. That's the developer's way of saying that you essentially have a sandbox of shadows to play with, as you'll find a number of enemies all contained within a spacious area. Depending on your strategy of choice, you can slowly prowl through the darkness, using your silenced pistol to shoot out overhead lights and lure enemies into the darkness. Once you're done prowling, you can quickly pop out of the shadows to establish a last known position and then scurry off and toss a grenade at the group of enemies all examining where they thought they just saw you. If you want to further blow your cover, you can pick up the loud weapons (like shotguns) that your enemies drop or use the persistent points system to unlock new weapons such as submachine guns, automatic handguns, and others--many of which can be equipped with silencers.

Another map we played was more narrow and confined, and it had us creeping through a darkened office where the targets were much more spaced out than on the previous black box map. Our approach of choice in this area involved climbing over office walls, quietly dropping behind our target, and then leaving a splatter of blood on the wall in front of him after a silenced headshot. This wasn't really a luxury we had in the other level, since enemies weren't nearly as isolated there. We also enjoyed finding an enemy standing in a dimly lit room and using the EMP blast to cause him to freak out, ending his misery with a stealth melee kill. Since it was so dark in here, we could have also climbed up to the pipes on the ceiling and performed a “death from above” sort of takedown on the poor guy below. When you really get into the shadows like this, you can be pretty sadistic.

We actually played through Hunter solo, but for the full effect you'll want to go at it with a friend online or using local split-screen, which the game supports. No matter what, Hunter presents a lot of fun opportunity for you to paint a canvas using your own chosen style. With the absence of story or specific objectives, you can just lurk around and go after your targets as leisurely as you like. It's a fun sort of playground to work with all the game's various mechanics--of which there are many. You can expect to see Splinter Cell: Conviction released on the Xbox 360 and PC on February 23.

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Discussion

232 comments
dodow1234
dodow1234

It would be better if they put the guard location randomly, so each time we play it will always different experience. Just like l4d2 randomize infected. I think every game from now on should have randomize opponent, it will add the replay value emmensely.

Spectre77
Spectre77

@Darth2124 - "...you'll want to go at it with a friend online or using local split-screen, which the game supports."

mclaren542
mclaren542

I've recently played the demo for this game. Just the taste of the demo is giving me the feeling of best game of the year in my opinion. You can go in hot and be lit up like a dutch brothel or you can stay frosty and be a ghosts shadow. And yes I did steal the dutch brothel bit off Lambert from the earlier games.. original one i think it was:P

advanracer
advanracer

"horde" mode's gona be fun hehehe =]

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

Damn, I'm gonna have a great time playing this hehehe

Darth2124
Darth2124

can u do split screen for this?

KFrog
KFrog

This game really looks good, looks fun too. Might have to pick it ups sooner rather than later.

GRIMxULQUIORRA
GRIMxULQUIORRA

in previous previews of the game they announced multiplayer ..is that co-op or versus multiplayer?

godofdod
godofdod

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Xx619MysterioxX
Xx619MysterioxX

They Programed it on the 360 obviously Its Way easier to work with. Later on it will be ported, but probably a crappy one like double agent. I'm still gonna buy it. -.-

bqra
bqra

yeaa. i like splinter cell. i cant wait anymore

Vitario
Vitario

I will get it for PC fer sure shoting games should be only for PC =F

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@thedevil2000, As far as i am aware the first and currently only game currently utilising DX10 tech on the 360 is Metro 2033, which (according to the dev interview) is supposed to be extremely impressive. I would therefore assume that Conviction would be a 'port', but it would depend on which platform is the 'lead' PC or 360. Either way, it will be very good.

Kenrocc
Kenrocc

@Jonny-Two-Delta lol no my friend independent developers have swamped you with multiplats microsoft haven't given you anything besides forza and a 60 dollar dlc lol the ps3 has been getting more games year after year and it was only a matter of time lol and Mass Effect will be good but GOD of War will be better :)

sahelsoosoo
sahelsoosoo

ooooooooooooooo i like splinter!!!!!!!!!!!

Jonny-Two-Delta
Jonny-Two-Delta

@Kenrocc : You own a sony device and think the 360 is starved for games?! Don't make me lol incessantly at you sir! The last three months have had me swamped with amazing titles on 360. Not that the PS3 hasn't had some good ones lately, but the fact is most of them have been overdue by a year or more. I'm about to pwn you all, with the power of the following three words: Mass Effect Two.

thedevil2000
thedevil2000

is this a DX9 crappy console port? or is it dx10 or above? if its dx9 outdated gfx am not buying this game... am not here to help developers make alot console games with dx9 and then port it to PC! lazy developers!!! lazy!

shadow551991
shadow551991

i'll play it on pc 'cus i dont have other consoles. sometimes i like to play games that are exclusive to other consoles but i cant and i dont have any regrets 'cus pc has its own exclusives. its just a matter of interest. i like playin with mouse and keyboard simply u can buy a x360 controller for your windows. get over it and stop the senseless fight over ther consoles

Lithos_
Lithos_

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

MastaP110
MastaP110

I dont understand why there needs to be a fight every single time gamespot allows users to post comments at the bottom. People need to stop trashing each system. If you like a system buy it if you dont you dont need to trash it. Its why they made chocolate and vanilla. As far as this game goes it looks awesome and im looking forward to playing the co-op. Im happy it was pushed back. If it was released when it was supposed to be released I would have to spend almost 200 dollars in a 4 weeks to get Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, and this.

Marcusraitor
Marcusraitor

We have to support both consoles xbox 360 and ps3, thats the only way we can destroy the nintendo wii, The games that wii make are crap lets destroy the nintendo wii.

Kosyong
Kosyong

I have an XBOX 360, a PlayStation3, and the Wii. I wish this game was exclusive to the PlayStation3 just because I feel like you can do more on that than you can with the XBOX 360. I love both systems but if there is a game that is for both systems, I'm going to buy the game for PS3 just because I don't want my XBOX 360 dying on me again and having to get a 7th one. So main reason why I prefer PlayStation3 over HOTBOX360. It's a great system I tell you to play in the Winter Time in a cold house I tell you. It holds up for hours. In the Summer, you are done. Anyway, can't wait to get this game.

wooooode
wooooode

Plan to get this on PC, just wish Chaos Theory was compatable with Windows 7 (64 bit).

Wardog0080
Wardog0080

@Steffl3r: which is why I stopped paying any attention to fanboys...and Eddie Murphy.

Steffl3r
Steffl3r

Fanboys are doing to games what Eddie Murphy did to Comedy movies..

Weisser
Weisser

WTF its not for ps3!? That makes me kinda angry even tho i have a 360 too.

VengfulOne
VengfulOne

I'd like to play this on PC as long as it's not a lazy port. Please don't be a lazy port!

Xx619MysterioxX
Xx619MysterioxX

I Agree with Kenshin_Himora, Those Days i'm Afraid are over, it's the new Generation probably why people like to bash things. We're all Gamers, We like to try Any game Even it's on one System you don't like you still play it, and in the end you end up liking the game.

L10nH3ArT86
L10nH3ArT86

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

dukre115
dukre115

I do agree with you Kenshin_Himora. I own almost all of the systems except the PS3. I just favor the Xbox 360 because of the gaming style of the controler. Besides, it is basically all of what these coopoations want is for us to pick their product.

Kenshin_Himora
Kenshin_Himora

How is there a war going on?? I am so confused. I have always tried to own, money permitting, every console released to enjoy the games I want to play on them...never have I argued with myself on which one is better. If you like one console more than the other...that is a personal preference; it does not make it a better console because your opinion is higher of it. I'm....I am at a loss....what happened to gamers being united, being the underdogs and having to band together. I thought this console war crap was something that started and ended years ago. We play games to play GAMES. This is NOT football, we are not here to shout at which team (console) is the best. We are here to play GAMES. For those that pick sides, and specifically to those that pick sides just for the sake of picking sides, get lost. Maybe this is just MY personally opinion, but you are not a gamer when you start picking sides on a "console war." It is just ridiculous. Play the game, escape this horrible life with apparently horrible, idiotic people in it, and have fun. Cut all the other BS out please....

bottaboomstick
bottaboomstick

Not gonna lie...i'm a ps3 man all the way...but with THIS game..i may be buying a 360.

Islandbeats
Islandbeats

LOL @ the console wars comments. Be a real gamer and get all three systems.

cornisfunny1218
cornisfunny1218

splinta cell!!!! ive been playin this series forever. cant wait to play this one

wubeikk
wubeikk

I don't know what the problem is with console wars and fanboys?! Console = games, so I would buy both of them for different game or game series. Both of them have some pros and cons. But the idea of them is to play and fulfill expectations of gamers. For both companies it works pretty well so far. How they do it or what content do they bring to consoles or games is their business, their politics. We can complain about it but not to get on each other because of that. That's my opinion. There are no "ultimate" gaming platform, each of them, including also PC, Wii, and handhelds, are greatest but in different specific areas. Try to understand that it should be fun, not warfare between each other.

solbadguyxx
solbadguyxx

Oh God... It's so fun to see fanboys fighting for nothing... They act like fools and you laugh at their faces. But hey! At least someone's having fun,right? In this case,me! :D

Stewart884422
Stewart884422

@Metman787 to be honest mate, i couldnt give a toss about the social networking on consoles. Consoles are for gaming. Whether mass effect will be the best exclusive of the year is yet to be seen. And to everybody who thinks the console wars are a waste of time - your all wrong because I can't stand to hear a load of idiots calling others emos for crying on the internet. What a load of rubbish. PS3 is more expensive for a reason. Its like having a Ferrari and a Ford. The Ferrari is more expensive because its the better car. simple as. If you can't afford a PS3, then stop wasting your time playing your xbox and earn some money to get a PS3.

lambo196
lambo196

I really wish there were no console exclusives....

bombereli
bombereli

LOL, console wars. They have the same Processor. They have the same BRAAAAAINNNNN... :P

gedbyz
gedbyz

Instead of pushing along the debate all I will say is this game will be a day one buy for me.

bad_ass12
bad_ass12

i dont think it really matters what system you have.....i love my 360 in my opinion i get more out of it that i would a ps3.....sure we pay to play on live but you get what you pay for.......ive tried ps3 and to no avail it still hasnt surprised me....blu ray is nice but if thats all you have to offer than id rather stay with the 360.........but all in all this game looks bad a$$$....im definately going to try and get it

cocoabutta145
cocoabutta145

@flux505 & Xx619MysterioxX.... Cry...cry and cry somemore..... Just deal with the fact that the 360 has the overall upperhand....... and don't cry when the winners talk smack to you

flux505
flux505

@ metman787 O.M.G. Reading ur post was like part of my soul dying. Ur like so much of an xbox fanboy its frightening... O.O Really, no one cares. Im a PS3 guy myself, but i admit the 360 is better online. But one of the things that scares me is u took the take to actually write all the junk.... lol