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Splinter Cell Conviction (X360)

Splinter Cell Conviction (X360)

Splinter Cell Conviction
What a difference a beard makes… Seriously. The promotional material for Splinter Cell: Conviction saw pictures of a bedraggled Sam Fisher plastered everywhere just to let us know that things had changed. It’s the classic movie convention – clean cut equals a by the book good guy, stubble equals either a bad guy or a good guy with a tendency to make up the rules as he goes along but the full beard is the uniform of a broken man. And so it is for our protagonist Sam Fisher. A dead daughter, forced to murder his best friend and now slap bang in a directionless funk as he leaves the agency that trained him and decides to bum around Europe like a student on a gap year. One thing is for certain, as with any long standing hero, if the beard is out then be sure that the gloves are off.
In many ways that cosmetic decision is a good indication of the direction that Conviction has gone in. The latest outing in the Splinter Cell series, which took the Stealth genre staples to unparalleled heights of patience, is very different to what has gone before. No more skulking in the shadows waiting for that one opportunity to catch the prey, the “new stealth” is more about moving so fast that your confused opponent can’t keep track. No more of that over cautious “no fatalities” rule either, something that marred some of the early games. Here Fisher can feel free to kill whoever is in his way and not have to worry about clean-up duties. It has more in common with the TV series 24 than it does with anything Splinter Cell has attempted before.

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While previous incarnations have all too often struggled with a cluttered control system, which can lead to hurled controllers as Fisher decides to go into a barrel roll out into the open rather than nestle nicely behind a wall, this is a stripped down affair. Using repeat functionality on buttons depending on the situation makes it a lot easier to focus on what is happening on the screen and it takes no time at all to be dashing and darting from cover to cover, delivering brutal neck breaks and long distance pistol head-shots en route.

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Graphics
The vividness of the visuals is immediate from the opening scene. With fully interactive environments, sweeping camera movements and impressive lighting effects it is clear that they wanted the game to look and feel like a film and it does. The in game objects and people have a real weight to them, something that is hammered home – no pun intended – in the interactive cut scenes, such as an early interrogation that allows the player to smash a villains head into anything at hand in a bid to make him talk. Still, it must be said, that this seems to come at a cost, with the animators seeming to have skimped on a few frames with movements seeming to blur across the screen with little alteration between the start and finishing point. Whether this “overcranking” effect was deliberate or not is hard to say, yet it seems to be a little misjudged, a cinematic device too far.

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It is a shame then that after employing an award winning director, cinematographer and special effects team, they then decided to cut corners when it came to the script. While the voice acting of Michael Ironside is acceptable the same cant be said of the horde of one dimensional characters he encounters. Some of the voice acting is so ropey here its almost as if Ed Wood has turned up to the picnic and hes brought enough ham for everyone. A lot of the time any tension the game builds with a careful set piece is immediately shattered by some goon running around hurling abuse that is more the preserve of school children than international criminals.

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Multiplayer & Extras
Let’s keep the film metaphors flying and talk about the raft of “extras” on the disc. There is a co-op mode that can be played in split-screen in a nod to versions past – it even adopts some of the graphical similarities for extra authenticity – that also doubles up as a prequel to the single player game. Added to this is the one or two player “Deniable Ops” missions, which are, in a way, extremely violent puzzles. To complete each map the player has to execute a variety of silent kills and swift execution kills to progress. Each map requires a lot more forethought and timing than anything in the single player campaign, making it a lot closer an experience to the earlier games.

Best of all is the head-to-head mode, destined to become a sure-fire hit online. A modern take on the home computer classic “Spy vs Spy”, and certainly better than the woeful remake of that game, it puts players against each other while surrounded by enemies who don’t care who they shoot at. Smart play is the name of the game, providing options to lure the opponent into dangerous areas while safely hidden away, or to draw attention to their position. There are a lot of tactics that can be employed and if in doubt it can simply be reduced to a good old fashioned dust-up. Top notch entertainment.

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Summary
A game that wants to be a film and delivers on nearly all fronts. Stylistic, engaging, visually stunning and innovative, it is a shame that what could have been flawless is instead let down by some of the fundamentals. The single player campaign is more TV episode in length than feature film and were it not for so many of the extras the package would feel more than a little light. However therein lies the redemption. With so many ways to experience the world of Sam Fisher the game demands and holds a players attention. The inclusion of the P.E.C. points system is another masterstroke that brings the series out of the past and into the present and rewards the time invested.

Overall Conviction couldnt be called a sequel, more of a reboot. The new Sam Fisher is so far removed from the character we first were introduced to it barely feels as if there is any continuity at all. Then again, that is what makes it so exciting; at last the rules can be broken and it feels great. Sure, it takes itself a bit too seriously at times, flashbacks within flashbacks are never a good idea and muddy the narrative slightly however as a piece of pure entertainment this game is already streets ahead of many of the pretenders. It might not be perfect but we can guarantee that gamers will want to see the sequel.

Gameplay http://cantat.amu.edu.pl/?essay-paper-in-civil-services Essay Paper In Civil Services 86/100 A simple control system, an innovative interface and lots of mayhem make for a pick up and play experience that is easy to grasp and difficult to put down.
Graphics Dissertation Funding For Public Health 90/100 Some real quality on display here, beautiful attention to detail and a true appreciation of what it takes to bring big screen magic to home entertainment.
Sound Write My Dissertation Uk Help 76/100 Some genuinely laughable voice acting real spoils the atmosphere at key moments and sadly it is a real weak link in the cinematic chain.
Value Assignment Help Manchester 88/100 A short singe player campaign is redeemed by the P.E.C point system and the multiplayer and co-op focused extras bolster a package that really does keep the player coming back for more.
Overall
(Not an Average)
http://www.topdownproteomics.org/?cory-newman-psychology-phd-thesis Cory Newman Psychology Phd Thesis 86/100 As close to a cinematic experience as we have seen in gaming. It is a great addition to the franchise and a welcome change to the by the number stealth and action games, existing somewhere in between the two genres and doing so with absolute confidence.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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