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

Feel like a badass and look like one while doing it.

  One of like 3 Splinter Cell games I've actually played to completion and imo, the best of the bunch.

+'s
The game empowers you and gives you a great feeling of being in control even in the most dangerous of situations The closest thing I can compare this to is the last Batman game. You really feel like you're hunting the enemies rather than hiding from them and waiting. In previous Splinter Cell games, it was a game of patience as much as anything else since you'd have to find a dark spot and hide until someone walked by or someone left or some other thing but in this game, you're making movements constantly and I don't think I found myself waiting in any one spot longer than it took for me to decide how I wanted to kill everyone.
Every gadget you have has a level of usefulness that's been absent in previous games I used grenades, flash bangs, remote mines, sticky cameras and EMPs like candy. You seem to be able to re-up on your supply frequent enough that it feels like the developers wanted you to use whatever methods and combinations you felt like in dispatching your enemies. The balance between having a limited amount while knowing that they will be restocked really let me go wild with my inventory and not worry about maybe needing to save something for later.
The new GUI and the way the game handles stealth is sweet There are no meters, or bars or anything like that anymore. When you're in shadows and hidden, the game will turn black and white and you know you're not going to be seen unless a guy stumbles on you with a flashlight. Also, there's a cool trick the game uses to let you know if someone is about to see you. Pretty much it works the way most FPS games show you what direction you're taking damage from. A white indicator will appear when there's someone within range of detecting your location and from this indicator you know there's someone there and what direction they are in relative to you. In addition to this, when they actually DO see you, it turns red so you know immediately that someone is onto you. All the stuff on the Heads up display are non intrusive and display all the info you need.
The last known position system the game uses to indicate where enemies think you are is fun to play with Whenever an enemy sees you and warns their buddies about your location, it leaves a white shadow outline of where they think you are. When you go back into hiding, the shadow will stay and you can see the enemy all work towards that location firing away and tossing grenades. This indicator will remain there until either they visually confirm that you are no longer there or they detect you elsewhere in which case, the outline will move to your new last known location. You can use this to lure enemies to one area while you work your way around to flank them or whatever other thing you decide to do. . . including leaving a remote mine at your last know location and blowing it up when they check the spot out. It seems like this sort of makes the enemy seem a bit stupid since they all just believe you're there but it makes for some fun gameplay so it's forgivable imo.
The mark and kill system turns Sam Fisher into some kind of action movie star badass reminiscent of the boat scene where Rambo kills everyone Whenever you kill someone with a melee attack, you get to mark and kill enemies. You can mark up to 2 or 3 enemies at any time and once you hit the Y button, Sam will just blow those people away with a quick series of single shot kills. This is pretty badass and though it may seem a bit cheap, you need to have a melee kill to have this ability available to you. Also, the enemies that are marked must be within your weapon's range and also within line of sight of Fisher for it to go down properly. An incredible example of this working is as follows. I marked 3 guys in the next room over by looking under the door and then snagged a guy in the room I was in using him as a human shield. I then lined him up with the door, and kicked him into it, smashing the thing to smitherenes. I followed through the busted door then capped the 3 marked dudes with a series of headshots. Man, that was fun.
The context sensitive actions all feel very intuitive and I never had a problem with any of the controls No more tedious menus to scroll through when you want to grab a guy from behind, or kill him, or flip a lightswitch or anything. Pretty much you point at it, and hit the action button and whatever you think should happen, happens. If I want to snake a cam through the bottom of the door, just look at the bottom of the door and voila. If I want to climb up to a ledge or jump out a window or whatever, just point and click. Easy peasy.
The best cover system I've seen in a 3rd person game yet Going in and out of cover is as easy as holding down the left trigger and going from one cover spot to another is as easy as looking at the spot and hitting the action button. Sam will slide, roll and whatever action he needs to take to get to the next cover you assigned him to. It all works great and I've never had a single issue with sticking to things I didn't want to or not being able to get to a piece of cover. An excellent system that should be copied.
Main story is a sweet action packed 5 to 6 hours I love these short fun games.

='s
There's a stage that takes away most of your Sam Fisher powers There's one mission you play as someone other than Sam and it's just a run and gun shooter. Luckily, the shooting in the game is good enough that this isn't a bad level, just once you get used to being able to do awesome things, only being able to do great things is kinda weird. Good stuff, but not as great as the rest of the game.
The story is good enough to keep you entertained and actually pretty cool if you've been following Sam Fisher's story through the series There's a lot of twists and whatnot but I think if you've been following the series from it's beginning, there's some heavy stuff in here. Some of the twists are pretty obvious but some of the stuff isn't and it's pretty cool. A whole lotta conspiracy stuff that I didn't follow but Sam's personal story was good enough that I didn't really need to care about the whole government blah blah blah stuff.
Solid visuals but nothing stand out The game looks great, but that's expected at this point. The game looks real good, but not spectacular.
The sound is good and the music is solid Same goes for the sound. It's good stuff, but not excellent. I don't know if it's how I have my speakers set up now or what but the 5.1 didn't sound as separated as I would have liked.

-'s
There's a good amount of weapons you can choose from but I found myself sticking to mainly my silenced pistol and a silenced sub machine gun You've got a whole weapon chest full of gear and I never really strayed from my favorite two silenced weapons. I just don't see the purpose in using a lot of the weapons you're allowed to use and especially any of the unsilenced weapons. Maybe I was missing out, iono, but there's no incentive to stray from your basics.

All in all, I had a great deal of fun with this game and I'm looking forward to doing the co-op stuff with Kev once he gets it. Hell, if that stuff is as fun as the main single player stuff, I might have to bump up the score. As a single player experience, I give it a solid 4/5. Of course, if I had purchased the game instead of renting it, it might be a little bit of a value concern seeing as how short the game is but as a rental or just a fun experience, I stick to my score. Go try this game if u got a few spare hours.

Steve 

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