Sam Fisher is back, and he is not in a good mood. Of all the smart decisions made in crafting a new Splinter Cell title, this might be the best one developer Ubisoft Montreal made. Sam's angry and you hear it in every grunted line of dialogue, can see it in the brutal takedowns and interrogation moves and feel it pulsating through Sam with every step. That anger, that aggressiveness is built not only into the story but the gameplay changes as well. It was a huge risk deviating from the trial-and-error style that made the series famous, but it paid off. Splinter Cell: Conviction is awesome...The story takes place a few years after the end of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Don't worry, if you never finished that game, you'll get caught up quickly as to what's going on. Sam's daughter was killed, he murdered his best friend Lambert, and he split from Third Echelon, the government agency he'd called home for years. With new evidence leading to his daughter's killer, a tormented and semi-retired Sam Fisher is called back into action. Turns out the people responsible for his daughter's fate are planning a major terrorist attack on Washington D.C...Conviction is a Splinter Cell game in name more than anything else. You could easily swap Sam Fisher for Jack Bauer or create an all new character and no one would give it a second thought. The gameplay is fast, and Sam has been transformed into the ultimate killer. It's an amazing game, but so different from its predecessors you might not recognize it...Despite a few questionable level design choices, Splinter Cell Conviction is a great addition to the series. There's no way I could go back to a stealth game as it used to be; I've been converted. The only reason to hesitate and pick this up is if you only care about the single-player story and want nothing to do with anything else Conviction has to offer. If that's the case, then there's not a lot of game to be had. And also, you're nuts. The best parts of Conviction are the experiences you have long after you've left Sam Fisher behind.
I owe my love of video gaming almost exclusively to Ubisoft and Tom Clancy starting with Rainbow Six (back when you had to use a dial-up modem for multiplayer) then moving on to Ghost Recon and especially Splinter Cell. As an ex-military sniper, Sam Fisher and I share more than a few similarities in attitude, combat styles, and even wardrobe. While previous Splinter Cell games have always told their own unique stories, there has always been a central arc; and underlying plot that came to some earth shattering revelations in Double Agent...Splinter Cell: Conviction takes place a few years after those events; events that have left Sam bruised and bitter, but certainly not broken. The loss of his daughter, his best friend, and even his career with Third Echelon have taken their toll on Sam, but when the call comes in from his old handler, Anna Grimsdottir, that might reveal some new details on his daughter's murder, Sam is more than ready to spring back into action...The co-op mode rivals the spec-ops mode in the last Modern Warfare game in that if either of you die it's game over, but you both have the ability to assist and heal each other. You also have the added ability of being able to mark each other's targets for shared takedowns. For the first time in Splinter Cell history, the game is at its best when you share the experience, which also includes some exciting modes like Hunter, Infiltration, and Last Stand. Plus, the robust in-game challenge system and Ubisoft's new Uplay game hub destination service enhance the experience even further...To date I have played the story mode twice and the co-op mode twice (starting my third) and am still having a great time playing the various other modes. I continually look forward to when one of my friends picks up the title and asks me to join him for a co-op session. For me this game has near infinite replayability despite (or perhaps thanks to) its relative shortness and fast-paced approach to stealth gaming ? a design that has redefined the genre as far as I am concerned. In the real world I might spend days waiting to take a single shot...In Splinter Cell: Conviction I can save the world in just a few hours and then do it all over again with a friend. This might not be the biggest Splinter Cell in the franchise but is by far the best and gets my vote for most innovative action game of the year.
All New Improvisation-Based Game Play: Discover a new breed of game play where every object is available to use. Inventory is actually the world around you, for you to decide how you want to use it.
Black Market: Use your underground connections to gain access to black market gadgets and weapons, or use consumer grade gear in ways they were not intended to complete your objectives.
Crowd in Multiplayer: Play with, or against, your friends in the middle of a civilian crowd. But know that they will look like any other person, so your sense of observation and ability to act unnoticed are as important as reacting instantly to an unexpected threat.
Enemies Will Actively Search for You: As a fugitive, quick thinking and adaptation are essential to turn the situation to your advantage. However, enemies can also use the environment and resources to track you down.
Use the Living Crowd: Blend in with a realistic crowd and navigate within a civilian environment, mimic them to go undetected, or instigate panic as a divisive way to become untraceable as you escape danger. Active stealth will force you to think and act quickly. However, you will have to weigh the risk of heavy force is always the other option.
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
All new improvisation-based game play: Discover a new breed of game play where every object is available to use. Inventory is actually the world around you, for you to decide how you want to use it. Enemies will actively search for you: As a fugitive, quick thinking and adaptation are essential to turn the situation to your advantage. However, enemies can also use the environment and resources to track you down. Use the living crowd: Blend in with a realistic crowd and navigate within a civilian environment, mimic them to go undetected, or instigate panic as a divisive way to become untraceable as you escape danger. Active stealth will force you to think and act quickly. Black Market: Use your underground connections to gain access to black market gadgets and weapons, or use consumer grade gear in ways they were not intended to complete your objectives. Crowd in Multiplayer: Play with, or against, your friends in the middle of a civilian crowd. But know that they will look like any other person, so your sense of observation and ability to act unnoticed are as important as reacting instantly to an unexpected threat.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
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All of the narrative and story-driven dialogue is beautifully pitched throughout, making the plot meld seamlessly with the gameplay.
Simply put, Sam Fisher has in Conviction its best iteration since the first entry of the series.
Russ Pitts, TheEscapist.com
Conviction is the best installment in the series.
Daniel Matschijewsky, GameStar
faster, harder and offers more action than the predecessors, but it's still a Splinter Cell game at heart.
Steven McGehee, DigitalChumps
Impressive on a technical and design level, visuals and audio alike.