Splinter Cell: Conviction infiltrates April 13

Ubisoft uses conventional announcement tactic to announce fifth--and apparently final--release revision for the Xbox 360 and PC Tom Clancy stealth-actioner.

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Once again, it appears Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction has been given a release date--although in a uniquely unconventional way. This week, Ubisoft quietly sent out engraved rocks with the logo for the game on the front and the numbers "4.13.10" on the back. Ubisoft have confirmed the mailing's obvious message: Splinter Cell: Conviction has an April 13, 2010 release date, and it's now set in stone (literally).

After five delays, Ubisoft has now set Conviction's release date in stone--literally.
After five delays, Ubisoft has now set Conviction's release date in stone--literally.

If the words "Splinter Cell: Conviction" and "dated" inspire a sense of deja vu, it's not just because the game is coming from French publisher Ubisoft and Quebecois developer Ubisoft Montreal. First revealed in September 2006, the stealth-action game was set to be released in October 2007 until its development was suddenly halted in July 2007. The game then missed its planned May 2008 launch and largely disappeared from public view.

After undergoing a drastic overhaul, the Xbox 360 and PC title* resurfaced, was shown off at Microsoft's Electronic Entertainment Expo press briefing, and slated for a holiday 2009 release. But the following month, Ubisoft pushed back Splinter Cell: Conviction into the first quarter of 2010, finally assigning it with a hard launch date of February 23 in September. Finally, in mid-January, the game was delayed yet again to April 2010, when it is now set to ship.

Sam Fisher's latest adventure hasn't exactly sprinted to the factory.
Sam Fisher's latest adventure hasn't exactly sprinted to the factory.

Conviction is set two years after Splinter Cell: Double Agent, which saw series hero Sam Fisher become a fugitive from the FBI, NSA, and an alphabet soup of other agencies. In the course of investigating his daughter's death, the now-grizzled Fisher discovered that his former employer, the covert organization Third Echelon, has double-crossed him. Avoiding capture, he travels to Washington, DC, to uncover the conspiracy that led to his undeserved disgrace.

Luckily, being on the run doesn't stop Fisher from employing his stealth and combat skills to foil a mysterious--and potentially catastrophic--terrorist threat. It also frees up the former commando from nonlethal rules of engagement, allowing him to kill foes with a variety of ranged and melee methods.

To see several minutes of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction live gameplay, check out GameSpot's Now Playing feature below.

*= a DS version of Conviction is also planned, but it was not mentioned in the most recent announcements regarding the game.

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