jg4xchamp / Member

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A Conviction I Want to Share.

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One of the definitions of the word 'Conviction" is a strong persuasion, or a belief. It's also the title for the upcoming, and continuously delayed SplinterCell Sequel that's been 4-5 years in the making. In what is going to be a landmark year filled with a surplus of great titles, I too am willing to share with you my Convictions. One of them is that SplinterCell: Conviction completely bastardizes the SplinterCell Series.

As of March 18th a demo for the upcoming, continuously delayed, and overly bastardized Splintercell: Conviction was released over Xbox Live. Now Conviction on paper, sounds like a great concept. It's an action/stealth game. A game that takes the stealth elements the series is so revered for and blends it with combat mechanics that make Sam Fisher feel like the ultimate agent. Againg great concept, but this is Ubisoft. The grand masters of "great concept, horrible execution". Sam Fisher and the Splintercell series has always been grounded and subtle. Conviction on the other hand completely misses the point of the series.

The demo starts off with an interrogation of a random thug, that gives off details on the true killer of Sam's daughter Sarah. Next is the real meat of the game, and when the real disappointment sinks in. The next level is a warehouse environment. Here you are tasked with trying to infiltrate the area, and defuse an EMP bomb. Now the old splintercell true joy came from the challenge presented, and the creativity one could use to accomplish his/her goals without every being detected. Sneak in and out without ever being noticed. Conviction is not that splintercell.

Most of the demo's design was inherently designed so you would be forced to kill, and the game only ever really gives you the option to kill. You can no longer go close quarters to knock people out, drag their bodies into hidden locations, cause some kind of disturbance that makes the AI go in a completely different direction so you can sneak by. Hell there isn't even a jump up and do a leg split.

*What happened, did he become too stupid to remember how to do this?*

Conviction's game mechanics center around it's action and shooting. Which work better than the other splintercell games; that much can't be denied. There is a mark and execute mechanic where you can mark up two targets, and then press the Y button to automatically eliminate them. To make sure this element in the game isn't overpowered; The game throws in one of the most contrived elements to a game ever. You have to do some form of melee encounter with an enemy, before you can be given the option to use the mark and execute. That's fine and dandy that it keeps mark and execute from breaking the game, but you have a contrived element that not only kills some of the "immersion" the game is aiming for, but completely killing the whole realistic tone of the game.

What ultimately kills the SplinterCell experience, and what really makes you notice the stealth being as idiot friendly as possible. Is how dumb the AI is. You can be not 7 or 8 feet away from them, and they won't notice that Sam Fisher has come out of hiding in plain sight to beat the snot out of their boys. Thus giving you enough time to mark and execute them. You can literally walk around them, because of instead of giving chase to you, they hold their spot and hold that ground. Thus giving you a chance to just flank them in the simplest ways. You can be within breathing room of them and they won't notice you until you do some kind of harm to them, or are DIRECTLY in front of them.

The final section of this demo is strictly linear. Your options in this scenario is really simple, take out certain targets while hanging from the top pipes on the ceiling. Then flash bang, frag grenade, or whatever to finish off the rest of the guards and shoot if you have to. It not only continues to show the idiocy of the AI in the game, it shows how restricted the game design is. Oh and if you think the answer is going to realistic mode(aka the hardest difficulty). Yeah Conviction on realistic mode still gives you infinite pistol ammo. Let me repeat that for you. A SPLINTERCELL GAME, on REALISTIC gives you INFINITE AMMO.

Sure in story context this may make some sense. This is a more angry Sam Fisher, a more violent Sam Fisher. However, that's not what SplinterCell was ever about. This game bastardizes everything the fans have loved about the series in place for a more accessible and action friendly game. I will concede that because this is a demo one can't read too much into it. What I do know is that I have been disappointed by many games/demos before. However, this demo has left me seriously dejected at what Splintercell has now become. This may end up being a respectable game in its own right, but it's not the Splintercell it's fans deserve. It's not the Splintercell I want to spend money on, it's not the SplinterCell I love.