tom clancy's splinter cell
Splinter Cell, the smash XBox hit from last holiday, finally arrives
on the PC. The PC version offers a few tweaks here and there,
but it is essentially the same great game that graced XBox consoles
last year. The game offers exciting gameplay, fantastic sound,
and incredible graphics that no serious PC gamer should miss.
Splinter Cell follows the exploits of Sam Fisher, an experienced
NSA agent who gets called in to investigate the disappearance
of two CIA agents in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. As
more of the mystery surrounding these agents is uncovered, more
questions surface. And as Fisher tries to prevent World War III,
things get a little personal...
Sam Fisher is a Splinter Cell. These are the most covert of agents
on the field. Operating alone (with only a remote team in support),
these agents must slip in unnoticed, survey a situation, deal
with it by whatever means necessary, and leave without a trace.
In the game, this sense of stealth and espionage is extremely
important. You can't run into a situation with your guns
flailing about; if the enemy is alerted to your presence, they
will find you and kill you as quickly as possible. Often, a single
alarm or alerted guard will lead your team leader to pull the
plug on the mission. Therefore, the game commands more strategy
than twitchy fingers.
The weapons and tools at your disposal are authentic, state-of-the-art,
and very cool. You can use such devices as lock picks, camera
jammers, laser microphones, and many other cool toys to help you
on your mission. In terms of weapons, you start out with a standard
SC Pistol with a silencer, but eventually you'll get your
hands on the SC-20K M.A.W.S., a rifle complete with multipurpose
launcher and sniper scope.
The controls work for the game, but they are pretty hard to get
used to. You use the W, A, S, D keys for movement and the mouse
to look around, which is easy enough. However, the mouse wheel
is used to control your character's speed. While this seems
the only logical solution, it feels very clumsy.
The graphics are incredible. Splinter Cell boasts some of the
best lighting effects seen on any platform. Every object and character
in the game casts a shadow, and these shadows interact off both
characters and environments seamlessly. The animations are also
very lifelike, and the character models look great. The game is
very demanding in terms of hardware, but if your system can run
it, this game looks spectacular.
The sound is also quite notable. The music is low and ambient,
perfectly suiting the game's sneaky stealth elements. The
music also picks up and gets faster and louder whenever a guard
discovers Fisher, which is a nice touch. The sound effects are
functional; the guns sound like guns and the alarms sound like
alarms. The voice effects are probably the highlight in the sound
department. Michael Ironside (of Starship Troopers and Scanners)
superbly voices Sam Fisher, bringing to the character his trademark
gruff and wizened attitude.
Splinter Cell is an amazing game that will wow you both in terms
of graphics and gameplay. While some computers won't be
able to handle the fantastic graphics engine without dropping
substantial frames, Splinter Cell will make you want to upgrade
more video games...