Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Review

Splinter Cell combines the real-world missions and technology of today's special forces and combines it with the best stealth-based gameplay available on the GameCube.  The result is a must-have game for any GameCube player who likes action gaming with a challenge.


In the game you are Sam Fisher, an elite operative known as a Splinter Cell.  You are equipped with the latest in high-tech stealth gadgetry, and are given the complete freedom to infiltrate, interrogate, or kill the enemies of America even deep in within their homeland.  Your missions are so outside the realm of accepted diplomacy that are ever captured or killed the government will disavow all knowledge of your existence.  How's that for thanks for giving your life for your country?

The game opens in 2004, after the CIA has lost two operatives investigating communications shortages plaguing the former Soviet Republic of Georgia.  You are sent in to locate the agents and report back on what they uncovered in Georgia.  This is the opening chapter of the first of nine missions that will also take you to an oil rig out at sea, Myanmar, and even CIA headquarters in Langley.  The mission objectives are all based on stealth.  If you do your job right, then no one will ever know that you were there - except for the people that you were sent to kill, but they will never know what hit them.

To aid Sam in his missions, the government has equipped him with the latest in high-tech equipment.  These include thermal and infrared goggles, a camera that can be used to look under doors, and a camera jammer to knock out surveillance cameras.  If you have Splinter Cell for GBA and a cable, you can use your GBA as a radar screen to tip you off on the location of nearby enemies.

You also carry a weapon in the form of a silenced pistol, but it's not there to help you shoot your way through the game.  Your ammo is very limited and is best used to knock out lights and cameras to help you stay out of sight.  You should really only use it on an enemy in the most dire of circumstances, because once you start killing people your presence becomes a lot more obvious.  The key to the game is to stay out of sight, and you have several tools at your disposal to help you do this.  The first is a photo meter that reveals the level of surrounding light.  You'll need to refer to it often to ensure that you are sticking to the shadows.  You're also armed with a plethora of moves and abilities that will let you get yourself into and out of the most secure installations.  You can climb pipes, slide down zip lines, shimmy along ledges, and kick off walls to jump higher.  you can also do something called a split jump.  If you're in a narrow corridor you can kick your legs out and hold yourself near the ceiling.  If an enemy comes down the hall, you can either shoot him or drop down on him from above.