Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Review

I can remember back when the ColecoVision and Mattel Intellivision were both battling each other that there was always a debate which one was better. Who had the better game, which one had better graphics, etc… Obliviously these types of console debates still rage and many a friendship had been strained over the issue. Today the arguments can be even more heated when a game is released on all the different systems. You naturally want your systems version to be the best and often times no amount of reasoning will convince you otherwise. Well, here we are now with Splinter Cell. Originally released for the Xbox and then the PC, it is now sneaking (although not very quietly) onto the PS2 and many PS2 owners ask two questions, first is the game any good to start with? Then, is it better than or at least as good as the XBox version? The answers are: Yes and No. I will now try and explain why both of my answers are correct…

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As you should know, since you are a gamer, Splinter Cell has been one of the biggest games to hit the XBox. It may very well be the second best game for that system after Halo. At first it seemed that only Xboxers would ever get to enjoy this masterpiece. Yet, Ubi Soft did everyone right by finally bringing the game to not only the PS2 but also the GameCube. And just to throw a little spice to the mix they even included some spiffy new levels, cutscenes and other extras for the PS2. One of the extras is an interview with Michael Ironside, the man behind the voice of Agent Sam Fisher. While another is a pretty funny interview with Sam Fisher, the super agent you play from the National Security Agency, himself at the studios of Ubi Soft. In addition to these there are 4 exclusive levels for this PS2 version and exactly 30 minutes of new cutscenes. The new introduction is especially nice.

For those that have successfully avoided all contact with reality for the past 6 months or so, Splinter Cell is a third-person action/stealth game along the lines of Metal Gear Solid. What separates it from the growing crowd of stealth games is a couple of things. First the very realistic storyline that almost seems ripped from the headlines. For those that may have been put off by the bizarre story twists found in some other games, you will be happy that everything in Splinter Cell seems plausible. Secondly, a major part of this game relies on hiding in the shadows and being very, very sneaky. While other games certainly have some of this, they are not in the same league as Splinter Cell with its ability to realistically handle the lighting and shadows effects. Only once you see how well it’s done do you realize how far behind other games in this genre are, and how much it adds to the intensity of the gameplay.