A great game, A sub-par stealth game-
Splinter Cell and Metal Gear Solid have always been the two stealth game franchises that went head to head in each console generation. In MGS4 Kojima, went for a more action focused game rather than stealth, Ubisoft has followed suit with Splinter Cell Conviction.
The story sets Sam fisher as a rogue agent working against third echelon to find his daughter whom he believed dead. The story is actually fairly straightforward and lies somewhere between Jason Bourne and Classic Tom Clancy as far as the nature of the story goes.
The game has a very strong action blockbuster film feel to it, with big setpieces and a rather short campaign.
Despite Splinter Cell being a huge franchise built on stealth, the stealth takes a backseat for the action thanks to a new mechanic called "Mark and Execute".
The mark and execute system allows Sam to mark a number of enemies(Dependant on weapon) and then execute them all it one button press. Its quite stylish and fun but is an easy crutch to lean on and is a much easier option rather than stealth.
The stealth elements in the game have been heavily simplified from previous games, there is no noise meters, a very binary shadows system and in multiple cases throughout the game- "One mistake failure" Missions, these are missions wherin a single detection means automatic failure and are very badly designed stealth sections.
The game uses a cover system that is quite fidgety and takes a bit of getting used to. Also present in the game is a new feature called the "Last Known position" system in which is Fisher is spotted enemies will make their way to where they last saw him. This can too easily be exploited removing a lot of challenge from the game.
The game looks quite smooth and stylish and rarely suffers any frame rate issues. The game has a minimalistic interface which displays objectives on the enviroment with an effect similiar to those seen in TV shows like Fringe and Heroes.
This effect is quite cool at first but quickly becomes overused. The soundtrack and voice acting are fairly standard.
The game also features a prequel Co-Op campaign and a unique challenge mode called Deniable Ops.
Deniable Ops is very similar to Resident Evil 5's Mercenaries mode. Players(The mode can be played in Co-op) must make their way to the end of a level filled with 10 Enemies, If they are spotted another 10 enemies show up giving an incentive for stealth but not making failure to sneak a death penalty. This mode is very challenging and addictive and adds quite a bit of replay value to the game.
The key problem with Conviction is that its more of an action game, the action elements are more fun and offer the path of least resistance to completing the game in almost all cases, with the exception of the atrocious Iraq Flashback level.
Its Splinter Cell but not as we know it, Conviction is a stellar action game but a sub-par stealth game.