Splinter Cell: Conviction First Impressions

The Splinter Cell series gets a huge makeover as Sam Fisher is on the run in broad daylight, struggling to clear his name.

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After five generally excellent Splinter Cell games, the trademark stealth action gameplay of the series was getting a bit long in the tooth. Typically, elite agent Sam Fisher working for the National Security Agency, would have to sneak his way into various facilities to save the day from terrorists, dictators, and tyrants. Well, that formula is getting a major shakeup with Splinter Cell: Conviction. Now, instead of skulking around in the dark for his country, Sam is a fugitive on the run.

In Double Agent, the last chapter in the series, Sam goes undercover to infiltrate a terrorist organization. However, by the end of the game, Sam is on the run from the FBI, NSA, and law enforcement while a "to be continued" flashes across the screen. Conviction is set two years later, and Sam looks a lot different; he's almost unrecognizable, thanks to a thick shaggy mop of black hair and a full beard. The trademark, high-tech Splinter Cell suit is also gone because Sam is now clad in regular street clothes and a hoodie. This is important because this new Sam Fisher has to venture through the Washington D.C. area in search of evidence that will exonerate him.

Conviction still features stealth action, but it's differently paced than its predecessors. The idea is to blend into a crowd, not to hide from it. This will raise all sorts of comparisons to another Ubisoft game that also has you blending in a crowd: Assassin's Creed. Indeed, it's almost eerie to see how similar the scene we saw in Conviction is to the demo level of Assassin's Creed. Sam walks out into the Korean War Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. and literally rubs elbows with the crowd. His mission is to slip past a couple of security guards at one end of the memorial. We saw a couple of different approaches to this; the first had Sam almost get his cover blown by one of the guards after getting too close to the guard. That guard, having spotted Sam, follows him into a remote corner of the memorial, where Sam quickly incapacitates him. That's standard Splinter Cell. Another method is actually quite clever, where Sam causes a distraction by grabbing someone's laptop and walking away with it. The angered crowd begins to yell at him, and the guards on the other side of the memorial begin to come over to investigate. Sam can drop the laptop, slip through the crowd, and pass through a now unguarded entranceway. If you're feeling aggressive, you can also have Sam slip an MP-5 out from under his coat and gun down the guards, though that will cause lots of headaches because you'll blow your cover. And while it won't result in instant mission failure, it will count against you when it comes to evaluating your performance.

Another new feature in Conviction is the idea of active stealth, which is where you hide in crowds, as well as anywhere else logical. If you're in a room and someone is about to enter, you can try ducking under a table or a desk. You can also manipulate a lot more of the environment, thanks to a new grasping mechanic in the game. Basically, Sam can grasp almost anything that a person should be able to pick up and grasp. This ability should open up the gameplay. For instance, we saw Sam chased into a building, where he closed the door behind him and barricaded it by knocking over a bookcase. He then picked up various objects and piled them against the door.

Because this was the very first glimpse of Conviction, Ubisoft didn't give us much more to explore. However, the game looks great, and we can't wait to try out this new approach to the franchise. The good news is that it's due out this Christmas. The bad news for PlayStation 3 fans is that it's an Xbox 360 exclusive. Ubisoft will undoubtedly release more information about Conviction during the coming months, and we'll keep you updated on the game.

Discussion

256 comments
Frozt20
Frozt20

Seems awesome, just hope the gameplay it is not too much like Assassin's Creed!!

Strigidae
Strigidae

Finally PS3 fanboys can get a minute taste of what it felt like when I heard that MGS4 is a PS3 exclusive (LOL). They shouldn't worry though, since the pain does subside through time ;D.

bigdawg8670
bigdawg8670

cool i got ps3 and xbox so im getting this

Zepher_Shine
Zepher_Shine

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Zepher_Shine
Zepher_Shine

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

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I dont really think its fair to compare MGS with SC as they are completely different types of games, whereby MGS's are very story orientated with set piece waypoints that must be met before progressing through the game via various FMV sequences, dont get me wrong i loved MGS1 on my PS2 and though it was very unique in terms of ideas (knocking on walls to distract enemies etc) i did feel it was quite a linear experience as you did'nt have the freedom of movement i wanted (not being able to step over a knee high obstacles for example), the same can be said of MGS4, although a great 'Cinematic' gaming experience it is still a different experience non-theless to that of SC: Chaos Theory, which in my opinion is a much more playable game (Split Jumps, Hanging from pipes then strangling enemies below, etc). As i have stated, this is my opinion. I respect Kojima for the technical brilliance that is MGS4, however its simply not my thing, whereas SC is and therefore simply cant wait for 'Conviction'.

bryjoered2007
bryjoered2007

hahaha this better than metal gear def not but i do like splinter cell games. But you cant really compare a series like splinter cell to metal gear splinter cell is good but not classic metal gears all classics. metal gear invented stealth gameplay as we know it today. and yes i might pirate this piece of poop when it comes out.

midgiemelendez
midgiemelendez

im a HUGE fan of Fisher and i know hes a badass that can take on anything, good thing ive got a 360, hope this'll be better than mgs4, ps network! ( and Vlad211, ur just jealous cuz u know u dont have a pair and was hoping to get some action )

Vlad211
Vlad211

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

darklight4
darklight4

its a good job i own both a PS3 and an XBOX360 so ill be getting this game for sure. i dont know why its an exclusive though if it was on all platforms more sales = more revenue basically

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

The great thing about Splinter Cell is it is a lot cleaner than MSG, well sexually that is, the language is quite.......... Loose. This will probably be ten times better than MSG4.

alfa18
alfa18

I'm glad I have a 360 but I really don't agree with this being exclusive, it's never been and shouldn't start being one... but AC was believed to be exclusive for ps3, maybe this will come out for ps3 users too. (At least I hope they get it)

AlphaTrojan
AlphaTrojan

how long has this game been in the works, it better be good with how much time has been spent on it

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

I reckon its fairly safe to say that this will be exellent when its released. I also think that Ubi have incorporated similar elements to AC e.g. climb anything, total freedom of movement etc. Cant Wait! I'd take SC over MGS anyday.

Grovilis
Grovilis

So, PS3 has MGS and Xbox 360 now has SC.

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

It's a shame, now that I have a 360, I might have to sell it. If I still have my 360 when this game comes out I'll at least rent it, because it looks amazing.

ARC-02020
ARC-02020

This looks like it's goin to be awesome! Then again what else would you expect from Sam?

mazza223
mazza223

best day of my life just found out its on ds my lifes complete just kidding lololololol

mazza223
mazza223

hey guys u obviously got pc it also on pc lolol

bullsfan769
bullsfan769

haha yeeees modern game like assasins creed?

DrumahBoy
DrumahBoy

Oh my god, I am so regretting I bought a PS3. F**k, we don't get anything! *startscrying*

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

The are a few reasons that made me regret getting a Wii instead of a 360... This is one of them. (Please don't be rated mature!)

Akatsuki398
Akatsuki398

This hands-on sounds cool. The game has that sort of Assassin's Creed element to it, which is a great idea.

sludgehammer456
sludgehammer456

Xbox 360 exclusive! Oh well its the developers choice at least ps3 owners get killzone 2.

Xx619MysterioxX
Xx619MysterioxX

Aw man too Bad i wanted to try it for all the Systems xD it Would just be kool if they made it for all systems :O Well either Way its a Good Exclusive And im waiting for it =D

PUREPL7YA
PUREPL7YA

Seriously, Gamespot, PLEASE GIVE US ANOTHER UPDATE !!!! Anything will do....this is getting ridiculous

JB2B
JB2B

I already expected that Splinter Cell would be more like Assasin's Creed. When I played AC I was thinking about how cool this engine would be for a new SC. Very happy that they changed the concept a bit; it was getting a bit dull.

JB2B
JB2B

I already expected that Splinter Cell would be more like Assasin's Creed. When I played AC I was thinking about how cool this engine would be for a new SC. Very happy that they changed the concept a bit; it was getting a bit dull.

Strigidae
Strigidae

Nice one Ubisoft. Hope Sam doesn't break a hip or something :).

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Its good to see they've taken a lot of the dynamics from assasins creed (blend in with crowd, grasp onto anything, etc). I hope they have similar combat dynamics, counters etc. Cant wait for this.

pspeck_1
pspeck_1

I hope the crowd doesn't walk around aimlessly...i want some interaction!

NoseWeed619
NoseWeed619

Sounds awesome. I like the new twist that they are adding to the series...

bobbyjoe321
bobbyjoe321

If it's done by Ubisoft, I'm not worried about having a good game; I just hope it won't be as repetitive as Assassin's Creed.

Vasot
Vasot

Yea another XBOX360 exclusive !! Hoorrey !!! I am happy to be a Xbox360 owner and will be enjoying this game !! MGS4 and PS3 = PWNED :D Eat that Sony !! hehehe !!!

Peaches1347
Peaches1347

lol they said this would be coming out in 2007 ahahahha just goes to show you how much a game can be delayed *Cough* GTA VI *Cough*

gordanfreeman53
gordanfreeman53

splinter cell: conviction is NO. 3 on my best-looking games of 2008.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

batosaims this game wont be on the ps3 microsoft paid ubisoft to keep it an exclusive No they did'nt, they just didnt want to spend another 6/12 months tottaly remaking it for the ps3!

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

well as the PC & 360 are basically Windows devices it seems a no brainer to me, as they just make 1 format and tweak it for the other, a no brainer really.

HolteEnder4Life
HolteEnder4Life

not heard much about it rescently, though it was gonna be released later in the year, not april first, im really excited!!!!!!!

TMontana1004
TMontana1004

This sounds pretty sweet. Can't wait for it.

RakinR
RakinR

now they're making it like assassin's creed lmao where you gotta kill and blend xD

athenian29
athenian29

I agree. The only games that should be made exclusive to a single system (or at least not on one specific system) are first-party titles. Publisher antics notwithstanding, I absolutely love it. I first heard about this in late summer of '07, and from what I've heard, it's just exciting now as it was then. This looks like a great reason to own (or buy, come to think of it) an Xbox 360. 'Course, it's also a good reason to upgrade your PC, or get a DS, or whatever...

sykonfc
sykonfc

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sykonfc
sykonfc

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

breakdown84
breakdown84

This seems like a nice change of pace for the series(read: the usual stealth action), although I do really feel bad for PS3 owners, but this is just one more reason why you should own a 360.

The_Decapitated
The_Decapitated

I hope Ubisoft doesnt screw this up! Fingers crossed...!