Games come in many forms. Some are awesome, some are garbage. Some are cute, others grotesque. Then there is a category of games that simply feel good. I don’t mean fuzzy slippers and hot cocoa feel good, I mean the way your grizzled silenced pistol fits perfectly in your hand feels good. The Splinter Cell series started out as a stealth action game, but SCC has given the franchise a little less stealth and a little more action. I find this to be a killer new direction (pun intended).
I am not sure if this is good or bad, but one of the most interesting and note worthy parts of the game is the opening scene/credits. Sam is taking some much needed rest in Europe, when suddenly a phone call interrupts his tea time. Seriously, I think he was drinking tea. This call tells him that someone in the city leaked his whereabouts to the Feds, and they are basically around the corner and about to arrest him. 1 tutorial and 25 dead cops later, you catch up with the guy that told the feds about you in an empty, down trodden bathroom. The credits roll while you take part in your first interrogation scene, and when I say interrogation, I mean use someone’s face to destroy an entire room. Every time you want to “press” the guy for information, Sam smashes him through whatever happens to be nearby, be it a toilet, mirror, wall, sink, door, or anything else that is in sight. As you are dragging him across the floor to put is face through a window, you see credits and other things that help refresh your memory of the story so far. Once you are done demolishing the mole, you’ll be hooked, or at least I was.
The biggest problem with the Splinter Cell franchise was that whilst sneaking around doing whatever it is you do, there was really no effective way to initiate a fight. You know how in WoW or LoL there is someone on your team who is the “initiator”. Malphite has his ult that bashes people into the air stunning them, just like warriors have their charge in and taunt stuff. These abilities get you in. I think we all know what I mean when I say “in”. Sam never really had an in, until he met Mark and Execute. Mark and Execute lets you mark X number of targets after performing a close quarters kill on someone, allowing you to execute and unleash X headshots before the targets even know what happened. Bam! Quick, precise, and sexy, mark and execute is just what the handler ordered. I remember when the game was first coming out, and people kept thinking that mark and execute looked like an I win button. I can tell you now, once you start using it, you will understand. I’m sure they did. In the first level, you can only mark like 3 targets. When there are 12 people in a room that you have to clear, it doesn’t take a decorated CIA agent to figure out that 12 – 3 = still a fuck ton of people. Above all else, mark and execute feels bad ass. It makes you feel like you are ripping into a room, cracking skulls, and taking out the trash. Awesome.
The graphics are not necessarily the best. The game looks good, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t look great. Even with my system which can definitely handle the games graphical loads, it still looked a little choppy for some reason . . . .
Maybe this one is just me, but in every Splinter Cell game, the story is utterly lost on me. I try, (I really do) to follow along and comprehend what is going on but after the first hour or two, I couldn’t tell you what the hell I have been doing other than killing things. It was the same with Chaos Theory. Only in Double Agent did I really have any grasp on what was really going on. *embarrassed*
The new upgrading system is pretty slick. There are these weapon caches in the levels that you go to and pull out whatever weapons you want for the tasks ahead. It makes the idea of upgrading a little less ridiculous and off topic, if you know what I mean.
There is a level where you play through a war time scenario in Afghanistan or something. I still don’t know why I ran through and killed a bunch of Afghanis; I guess it was to show a relationship with someone? Anyway, this level was more or less pointless, please try to ignore it.
Overall, I thought SCC was a great addition to the Splinter Cell franchise. I definitely recommend it to anyone that was a fan of the previous games. A few quirks and things here and there, but the new features and awesome style makes it all well worth it.