warpzonegaming's Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction (Xbox 360) review

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Splint Cell: Conviciton Review- Warpzone Gaming

Splinter Cell: Conviction isn’t your normal Splinter Cell game. Sure, it still stars Sam Fisher. The spy organization Third Echelon is still here. And you can still jump out of the shadows to snap a neck or two. But for one thing that’s the same there are two things that they’ve changed. Movement and interactions with the environment are much smoother and streamlined. You’re fighting against Third Echelon, instead of working for it. But mostly, there is much less of an emphasis on using stealth. 

Except for just one or two moments in the story, it doesn’t matter if you just run into each room with guns blazing. For the most part, you need to impose the stealth on yourself. Being a big fan of past Splinter Cell games, I would almost never opt to just shoot my way through. There’s nothing I like better then taking out a room of seven people without one of them even knowing that I was there. But it’s still nice to be able to resort to an assault rifle and some grenades when I’m caught trying to sneak past a group. At some  points in the story, and even one entire level, stealth is thrown completely out the window, and the game turns into a strange mix of Call of Duty and Gears of War. These points are a nice break from the rest of the game, but for me, the stealth action is still the reason to play.

  Conviction is a much more linear than past games. The majority of the game only has one, maybe two ways you can tackle a situation. Throughout the different levels you get to some rooms that open up, allowing you to get creative with how you want to utilize your gadgets, and the environment, to take out the enemies. I also found that I was much more willing to use my gadgets in   Conviction   than I was in past games. For one, it’s much easier to actually select and utilize them, compared to older Splinter Cell games that would take a few menu options before you got to what you wanted. And two, you get restocked on them three or four times in each level. In the past i mostly I didn’t want to use gadgets just in case, later on, I got into a situation when I would really need them. Getting a resupply of EMPs, grenades and sticky cameras every fifteen minutes solved that problem.   
  The mark-and-execute, being able to highlight enemies before a fight then have Sam take them out in a Jason Bourne-esc fashion, is by far one of the best features. It always makes you look and feel like the bad-ass that Sam Fisher should be, even if obtaining the mark-and-execute is one of the more arbitrary game mechanics. Why do you need to take out a guy with a melee attack before you can use it? Well because the game would be far too easy if you could do it whenever you want, and it makes stealth useful.  It makes sense why this convention is put in place, it’s just a little silly when you think about it.

As far as the story goes, it’s what you might expect from a low budget spy movie. Nothing to write home about but it’s good enough to hold your attention for the duration of the campaign. The presentation on the other hand, projecting key story figures and objectives on the walls remained cool throughout. It’s not a game changer, or a revolution in storytelling, but it’s something that’s fun to look during the missions, and keeps your from checking back in the menu to remember what your goal is.

Co-op and multiplayer are a big part of Splinter Cell for me.  In Conviction, the co-op delivered what I wanted and the multiplayer is kind of lacking for me.  The co-op is a completely separate side story to the main one. Working together with a buddy, coming up with strategies that just aren’t possible alone, always makes the co-op in Splinter Cell something special.  Counting down to when you’ll jump out and take two guys out at once, or timing your mark-and-executes to clear out large groups of people at a time, nothing is better. I do wish some of the co-op mechanics from Chaos Theory were still present. No more boosting your buddy up to a ledge, then using his body as a ladder, or tossing him over some laser traps.  None of those mechanics remain, and I miss them, but there not a deal breaker. The multiplayer on the other hand just didn’t grab me. There are a number of modes that basically boil down to a spy vs. spy, terrorist hunt, and hoard mode. Nothing that I found as exciting as the old Spies vs. Mercenaries did in past games. But between the single player and co-op, there’s still plenty of game here to enjoy. 
  Splinter Cell: Conviction is a game that tries to please everyone. People that like sneaking around and people that just want to shoot things. And for the most part, it did a pretty good job. I’m someone that probably would of liked them to take it more down the old school stealth path (At least let me hide a body. Come on Ubisoft), but I can appreciate what they were trying to do.    
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