It seems as the years pass on a video game franchise, that there is always a tendency to begin to let inertia take over and for subsequent releases to merely rehash what was revolutionary years ago. While the Splinter Cell line never got to that point, Ubisoft has allowed the developers to take Sam Fisher’s story in a drastically different way. Where there was a decidedly stealth-heavy component in previous Splinter Cell titles, Conviction allows players to go balls to the wall in terms of getting some justice for Fisher. This does not mean that all stealth components of the game have been stripped away – the “Last Known Position” option is an amazing new addition to a player’s arsenal – but rather, players are given much more of an option how they would like to conduct themselves here.
It is really the stealth facets of Conviction where I feel the most effort has been placed. While a multiplayer ability, such as the ability to enter into a Deniable Ops level with a few friends against smart AI routines allows for an immersive experience, just blending into the shadows has been given a considerable upgrade for Conviction. This ninja-like ability is made all the more exciting with the execute combinations, which give players the ability to mark a number of baddies and knock them down like cordwood.
For those individuals that have felt that some of the Splinter Cell titles have been on the short side, Conviction keeps players interested through the sheer amount of activities and tactics that can be utilized to ensure different trajectories for Fisher and all those that ey is looking to rough up in the completion of eir goal (ensuring that Sarah can be saved). With significant increases in terms of graphics, single and multiplayer options, and ambient sound and lighting, Splinter Cell: Conviction may just be the best title so far in this line.
Tom Clancy Splinter Cell: Conviction (Xbox 360) / 2010 Ubisoft / http://splintercell.us.ubi.com / http://www.ubi.com