Sam Fisher butchered by console teenagers
First off, this is NOT Splinter Cell and this is NOT Sam Fisher, well, Michael Ironstone still does the voice-over, but that is as far as it goes. No more night vision, heat vision or that third kind of vision. Why would you need those? You take cover, just like in 90% of console shooters nowadays and magically see everything that goes on in the vicinity. No more extra slow-slow-medium-fast movement, you just either walk or slightly run. The enemies either hear you when you jog or they don't hear you when you jog while crawling.
No more hiding of the bodies, because the level design compels you to keep moving and blasting.
Sam is now climbing buildings and pipes like he is a 15 year old Maugli. But hold on a second, if he is older now how come he does the climbing faster now than when he was younger? in the old SC games? but whatever
No more whistling, I'm guessing Sam's early Alzheimer has kicked in so he forgot how to do that
The mark and execute option has probably been invented to make the game easier for our even younger brethren gamers, you can't really quickly take out 5 people without auto-aim and mark-n-execute assistance on a controller now can you? awww
Now we have upgrades and weapon purchases. Seriously? The initial pistol is all you need to beat the game. The game is amazingly easy, even on the hard mode.
No more healing and looking for health packs. Just like in 95% of console games, if you are shot, just wait a few seconds and you will be just fine. A few seconds' patience is all that the console companies are asking of you.
No more map, that's right who needs a map if the levels are THAT small? there is no way for you to get lost anymore unlike in the previous SC games. To make it worse, now we actually have waypoints that we can see through the walls! YAY! they take us for total idiots?
No more darkness, that's right. You can still make out pretty much everything in the game, even if you lower your brightness. In the previous SC games, the only way to fight the pitch-black darkness was to use the night-vision, not anymore.
No more specialized pistol that temporarily disables the lights, NO, we have to SHOOT the lights now, waste ammo and... oh wait, you do not waste ammo, that's right, Sam has REALLY deep pockets, he can literally pull out an infinite amount of pistol magazines out of his pocket, no wonder his pants are so baggy.
I also like it how Sam gets his first make-shift "gadget" - which is a piece of a car mirror to use and look under doors. When you see that message : "new gadget acquired" - you think to yourself, "oh yeah, awesome, that is my first gadget, I wonder what they will give me next". Well, the news is, they don't. And your next and last "gadget" is an improved digitalized mirror that you get maybe 20 minutes after you get your first one. Well, the portable EMP might count as a "gadget" but its not for the infinite use, so whatever. haha, very funny Ubisoft, "new gadget acquired"...
In the old-school Splinter Cell games, the enemies could easily hear you if you weren't careful, but not anymore. There is no more sound or the darkness meter. Just like everyone else mentioned, your screen turns black and white when you are in hiding, but for some reason, the blue uniform of the enemies as well as some other things remain colored, what the heck? A better half of the game is spent in the black and white environment. I personally never got used to that.
Let's have a little history lesson:
We can sort of see this trend nowadays. It was a different era back when we had old school gaming, when we had old-school Splinter Cell games, you know the ones that actually earned to bear the title "Splinter Cell"; the ones that were played by mostly mature and patient audiences? There was no Xbox 360 with its present few million members back then; not every 14 or 15 or 16 year old guy had a PC as well as the brainpower to patiently go through a single Splinter Cell mission. Now all of that is changed. There is a new generation of gamers. The consoles have crept up behind the desktop games and did a naughty thing on them. Now all of those awful immature Xbox (the original) and PS-2 type of games are recycled with the new graphics (that pretty much remain unchanged for the past 2 years by the way) and now they dominate the gaming market, and we, loyal old-school desktop gamers, suffer as a result. So we can see what the capitalist machine is aiming at, its aiming at the quantity and not the quality, unlike before. It's aiming at the minds of the teenagers who spend $ 50-60 of their parents money to buy a game, beat it in a few hours, and then throw the CD into the pile. Very rarely do we see a game with a big replay value. Every Splinter Cell Veteran beat The Chaos Theory at least 2 if not 3 times. And now, for every 10 crappy games, we might actually get a good one that is not a PORT. And yeah, this game IS a port by the way. Sometimes the mouse does whatever it wants, it wanders off with a half a second delay - the mouse KNOWS that it was violated when it was being ported from the controller.
Overall, what we have here is 11, yes, that's right 11 single player missions, 5-6 hours of single player campaign, a few more hours of multiplayer campaign - after that you are pretty much done with the game for the next year or so, all for the price of the hard-earned $ 60.00 - well, hard-earned $ for some. And they have been developing this game for how long? at least 3 years? give me a break. What we also have is a slightly innovative USUAL run-take cover-shoot-move system - but it's more of the same, let's all thank Gears of War for that. Remember the good old days of "Medal of Honor:Allied Assault" when you didn't need any cover system? When you truly had to rely on your reflexes and the speed of your mouse?
The good is, well, the graphics are stunningly polished. The texture of the furniture is amazing. the PC Anti-aliasing (which is not available to consoles, ha-ha) does a good smoothing job. Next, if you want to avoid realizing just how dumb the AI is, I suggest playing this game on the all out run and shoot rampage, the most satisfying rampage is with an, hmm-hmm "upgraded" shotgun in my opinion. That way, you truly own yourself if you still think that this is in any way a "stealth game".
More so, this game is a port - moreso than any other "port". The FPS is capped at 30, however to this day I experience drops to 25 FPS - the same as in a console. Also, there's no support for resolution higher than 1280x720. Even Chaos Theory has support for 1920 x 1080. Also, you can still hear music in certain segments of the game even IF you turn the music off. I don't like music in games, its distracting and it ruins immersion. Also, when you aim, the mouse aims at the victim's head immediately and follows him for a few microseconds. Basically you are playing an xbox exclusive with a keyboard and mouse. What's more is that this game is not even on PS3. So you are basically playing an Xbox exclusive - approved by the greedy Microsoft. Also, you cannot aim and move, your aim disappears as soon as you move.
The gamespot review is a bit outdated however. The latest update now allows a voice chat during the co-op play. The co-op play is tolerable by the way. It's fun playing with a buddy but everything else about the game sucks.
Overall, I give it 3.5, good job Ubisoft. You-be-soft, for now.
1.0 for the graphics
1.0 for trying
1.0 for everything else
0.5 for my personal charitable donation to the user score rating