Why 'Conviction' failed to get 5 stars
Note: This is not a comprehensive review. It is meant to point out the difference between this game and its predecessors. I felt this necessary as it is the only aspect of the GiantBomb review that remained unclear.
Truth be told, 5 stars was well in reach for Ubisoft Montreal.
Though the gameplay takes a decidedly different approach from its predecessors, it is still a satisfying experience for both newcomers and fans of the series. The story and events draw the player in immediately. A father desperately searching for the truth about his daughter's fate, Sam Fisher undertakes a journey so exciting and fast paced, you will have a hard time leaving your seat. The experience is comparable to the movie "Taken", except rather than observe, you are Liam Neeson.
With that analogy, one would think it impossible that this game not be declared a "must-have" for 2010. Yet its the absence of the series own tried and true game mechanics that are this near-masterpieces undoing. While new additions such as "mark and execute" help reinforce the notion that the player is a highly trained
rouge rogue agent, the following is what counters that immersion::
- Inability to move bodies - Hiding corpses is both unwise and pointless during many of the scenes in this action-adventure. But for those moments where it is sensible, the inability to do so seems all the more strange.
- Inability to distract - While available in the form of sticky cams later on, the game does away with classic maneuvers such as tossing an object to distract and escape. Soda cans, pebbles, even a faint whistle from the shadows...none are available now despite the many times they would prove useful.
- No split jump - One of the most iconic maneuvers of the franchise, Sam is no longer able to hide in the heights of a narrow hallway. This ninja maneuver allowed Sam to employ unparalleled stealth for both a sneaky escape and unforseen attack.
Having these "classic" elements (and I mentioned only a few) remain in this latest installation of the franchise would have complimented the game well. The diversity in tactics available would have presented a game with a surprising amount of re-playability. **
Their absence does not take away the fun to be had in this game, but it does compromise some of the core elements that make this franchise what it is. And it is for this reason that the game manages to seem so foreign despite being the fifth installation.
In Conviction, you play as Sam Fisher, a
rouge rogue agent that employs stealth. That description is a far cry though from the ninja you once were.
**For further insight, read my comment below. The one with a quote from Ubisoft Montreal regarding this game.