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

Disappointing Single Player saved by Deniable Ops


Tweet: Deniable Ops and CO-OP shine whereas Single Player is a huge disappointment!!!

Recommendation: BUY @ $30 (discounted)

Pros:
. Deniable Ops makes up for Single Player
. CO-OP a good addition
. Still in some ways a unique experience
. Michael Ironside voicing Sam

Cons:
. Destroyed unique gameplay that is key to the series
. Missions that force you to run and gun
. Cheap gimmicks that ruin the game such as Mark & Execute
. Weak story with poor mission design
. Iraq mission?! OMG
. Sales people should not make design decisions PERIOD

A few words (rant?):
As a huge fan of the Splinter Cell series, I had really high expectations especially for the Single Player mode. Unfortunately, Ubisoft decided to take the sales/marketing rep's advice rather than a designer's perspective. The result is an utterly disjointed single player campaign that destroys what made Splinter Cell this outstanding unique experience that we (better known as the Darksiders) were waiting for.

For the record, the pinnacle of the series, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was one of the most successful and most played game on the original Xbox so why destroy it is beyond comprehension?! Pure incompetence is the only answer... So they decided to go for the Modern Warfare / Gears of War trigger-happy crowd and seemed to have failed if we look at the numbers. Worth mentioning they brought on one of the Ghost Recon designers "Beland" to the series which probably didn't help in any way shape or form.

Simply put, I start my mission and expect to stealthily go around enemies/AI like the good old days, I soon find out that in most missions that's just impossible!!! So I have to run and gun and since the odds are stacked up against me they introduced a mark-execute mechanism that (depending on the weapon) can auto-kill up to 4 enemies with just a tap, how entertaining!?! Absolutely horrible!

Ok enough ranting.

Deniable Ops makes up (sort of) for the Single Player since you can play through the missions the old stealth way but there's no story at all, still it keeps you busy and has a few different modes; Last stand is a Gears Horde-mode clone but not as entertaining and very un-Splinter Cell. For the hardcore, there's an infiltration mode that can be played on Realistic so you have to remain undetected, they added this mode to make up for us Series fans but without the story element it's quite boring. CO-OP is similar to Deniable Ops plus a mini-story, it's rather entertaining and some additional missions are available via DLC. There are multiple costumes and weapons with an ok upgrade system as well as an internal list of achievements that could keep you busy if you're into completing everything.

The next game is in the works, hopefully they learned their lesson and listened to the feedback, you can visit the official forums to see some of the reaction if you're interested, it ain't pretty!    
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