In previous Splinter Cell games, they relied heavily on stealth, hiding in shadows and carefully taking down enemies in a manner as quietly as possible. The protagonist Sam Fisher was given high tech gadgets and weapons by the company that he worked for to help in in his missions. However, Ubisoft have taken a new direction with this new release and have utilized new features and engine capabilities to make the experience more realistic and also move the story in a new direction. Once again you take the role of Sam, a secret agent trained to be essentially invisible in any envoirnment he finds himself in. Only this time Sam is being hunted. You are one of the most wanted men in the country and are being targetted by the organisation you previously worked for. This means no more fancy gadgets, no more help of information to make you life easier.
What Ubisoft have done now is made Sam little more than a civilian and virtually unarmed. The stealth mechanic to the game has been made more advanced and thanks to advancements in game development in recent years, have made the gameplay more varied. The game was in fact due to be released in late 2007, but the developers called it back and redesigned it to incorporate better physics, rendering and AI. This means that the main weapon you have is now the envoirnment you are in. Objects can be picked up and used as weapons, cover and barracades to doors. There are shill shadows to hide in, enemies to target and keep out of their sight. You are constantly being hunted so every step you take must be done to draw the least amount of attention to yourself. This doesn’t stop with just enemies as civilians can also spot suspicious behavour, tell it to nearby police etc… This adds a whole new dimention to the stealth of the gameplay. As well as that there’s also a new feature to what happens if you are spotted. You can fight back. Sam can engange in hand to hand combat to attack and stun his adverseries. Graphically it’s quite a game to see, not just for the sharp detail but also the realistic movements on all characters and objects which were carefully studied by the developers. Add all these features together and it makes the game extremely realistic.
Despite the more colourful gameplay features, Splinter Cell: Conviction is still about stealth. You can’t shoot everything in sight and progress like that. You still need to move cautiously as the consequences are still high. If you liked the previous games then you should enjoy this one just as much and for those that thought there was something missing from the Splinter Cell series, this latest sequel is a step in the right direction.