By Sam Coles:
The Splinter Cell series has been up and down with the fantastic first entry to the average sequel Pandora Tomorrow and then it went up in quality again with the excellent Chaos Theory. Conviction was a bit of a downgrade from the superb Double Agent and here me out it’s not a completely terrible game but it misses the point the of the series and throws stealth out the window in some parts.
Splinter Cell Conviction takes place a few years after Double Agent and Sam Fisher has gone into hiding after the stuff he did as an undercover agent in the last game as he killed his best friend and commanding officer. He then found by terrorist and his old agency where then finds out there was more to his daughter’s death and goes on the run with support from his old co-worker Grimm. The game’s story feels like a video game adaptation of the film Taken as Sam is a retired government agent who is looking for his daughter and he’ll do anything to get his way whether it be torturing people who good or bad. That is my biggest problem with this game Sam Fisher comes across as a complete psychopath compared to the usual calm and charismatic persona from prior games.
Gameplay is what you expect from any Splinter Cell game you sneak around with your silenced pistol and gun down enemies without others noticing, however the stealth seems to take a backseat in this game and relies on action set pieces to excite the player but it misses the point of the series. We don’t need action set pieces to excite us sneaking around and having a guard brush past as you hold your breath and hope he doesn’t see you is exciting enough.
You have various weapons you can use but there is no point as your starting silenced pistol is accurate enough and it has infinite ammo, which sucks all tension and planning out of a mission as you can run around like a mad man and gun down everything that moves. There is none of the unique gadgets from the other games and I know what people are going to say that he is no longer working for NSA, but it would have been cool if he had access to some sort of black market. This game has been stripped back in terms of features.
There is a new feature and to be honest it is a bit pointless they should have made them cutscenes and this is the interrogations scenes where you can get information in many creative ways by slamming their head into a toilet etc. Again this is pointless this should have been a cinematic and you do get the option to kill them or not but this has no impact on the story, it gives you the illusion of choice.
The controls are very clunky it took me a while to get use to them as I have been playing Blacklist which has a standard third person control scheme. Instead of pressing the left trigger you have to press forward on the left analogue stick to peek out of cover and shoot, this feels incredibly stiff and it is very annoying. Fisher’s movement in generally feels a bit stilted and stiff he doesn’t feel natural to control when he is moving around and it’s bizarre a game that came out a generation before has better controls compared to this game.
Graphically the game looks good character models have great animation when it comes to facial animation with decent details on clothing. The environments look great with decent lighting. What I don’t like about the visuals is the black in white effect when you’re in the shadows as they wanted to make the HUD minimalistic, but I would have rather had a bar to show how visible I am.
Splinter Cell Conviction is not a very good game and is probably the worst game in the series; it’s available on Xbox 360 and PC. It’s really cheap for a reason, pick it up if you’re curious but I do not recommend it.