I’ve been meaning to write this for a long time, but until now, it has simply been in the back of my mind. First off, gameplay wise, Splinter Cell Conviction is fine. Fantastic, a great reboot for stealth gaming.
As a (aspiring) writer, I hold story as the key element of choosing my games (with a few exceptions), and Splinter Cell failed marvellously. If the story doesn’t hold me, if I have a major problem with the story, I’ll quit and that’s what I did. It’s simply a sad fact. Coming into Splinter Cell, I was eager for some espionage revenge. I was going to be Sam Fisher taking down the people who made the big mistake of killing his daughter.
But like most spy stories, there has to be a catch, a plot twist that captures you. And guess what? Sarah Fisher was alive. And I stopped playing soon afterwards. I felt cheated from my good story. We had been told that this was about Sam Fisher finding those responsible for his daughter’s death, dealing with his inner emotions as he went on and presumably coming to terms in the end. It wasn’t even that his daughter was alive that threw me off; it was that it was so poorly executed, like a slap to the face.
It was the third mission you find out about this plot twist and it felt as if the writers wanted to avoid any character development for Sam Fisher, once his daughter was alive, he didn’t need to change, didn’t need to come to any sort of terms. To me, it felt like a major cop-out from some actual character development, from an actual story. So I stopped playing, I had a lot of homework to do.