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Posted by Dr_Zombie_PHD

     I remember reading about this game in the OXM's of the day and how amazed I was with how good it looked.  This was a day one purchase for me.  Right from the start I realized that this game and I were going to be at odds with each other.  My run and gun, kill everything that moved play style was not going to get me very far.  True enough I had made it to the CIA Headquarters mission, 4 levels in before this game was put on the shelf never to be touched again.  Until a few days ago.
    A friend of mine (Jelloboy25) picked up Splinter Cell: Conviction and convinced me to play the Co-op Terrorist Hunt with him (actually little convincing was required as the Terrorist Hunt mode in the Rainbow Six: Vegas series is one of our favorite things to do together).  I really liked what I was playing and decided I really should break Splinter Cell back out and finish it.  My OCD Completionist gaming complex would not allow me to just jump right into the 5th game in the series, so Splinter Cell it was.
   The graphics in this game still hold up pretty well.  The story is pretty good compared to some recent day Tom Clancy games I've played (RS: Vegas 2 I'm looking at you). And the gameplay for the most part is pretty good.  Nothing makes you feel more like a bad ass ninja super spy than hiding in the shadows 3 ft. from a guards face and taking him out without his nearby friends being alerted. It was unfortunately a few game play aspects that  caused enough Checkpoint reloads that had me screaming profanities at the tv (the tv, being the true trooper that it was took it all in stride and never once cried).  It was when I would screw something up and be spotted by some guard across the area and no matter where I would seek refuge in the darkness he would always somehow know where I was.  The Abattoir meat packing plant level had an area in the meat locker where the rooms were filled with fog which required the use of Thermal goggles to see.  The guards in the area did not suffer my imperfections as they were gifted with natural thermal sight and x-ray vision. My biggest "Screw You Ubisoft!" came during the second to last mission, the return to Chinese Embassy.  Throughout the entire game when you came across a keypad, the code sequence would always be found in a data stick a nearby guard would have on him.  Not so for this mission.  This mission introduced the timed - use your thermal goggles to figure out the sequence or game over.  I cant think of how many times I had to reload a save because I either screwed up the sequence or just wasn't fast enough.  Missions end has you chasing a guard around the building using this trick on 3 consecutive keypad locked doors and doing so at speed before he either got to far ahead of you or his residue heat signature faded from the keypads.   Finally my last hang up was sadly and completely due to my own inability to wall jump correctly.  This was a skill I rarely if ever used in the game and the last mission required me to do quite a bit of it, right from the get go, in some attempt to make Sam Fisher the father of the Prince of Persia platformer.  Needless to say, I sucked and reloaded close to 40 times in the first 5 minutes of that last level.
    All in all I did enjoy alot of this game, but it will be awhile before I work up to the urge to get Pandora Tomorrow out of that backlog stack.