I'll start with my expectations. Aside from hand held or mobile versions, I have beaten every Splinter Cell game. I beat them all on Xbox/360 except this last one. I'm a big fan of the series. I love Splinter Cell. I beat two other games in different genres so far in 2011. They were a little disappointing. I decided my next game to start and beat would be Splinter Cell: Conviction. I chose it because I wanted something I wouldn't be disappointed with. I was right in my choosing.
The first hour, I was already stoked. I loved the game. I knew I was going to enjoy the rest of it. There was a twist mission that is from Sam's past that was good for the story, but it didn't feel like Splinter Cell as much as the rest of the game. It's from before Sam was a spy, though, so it makes sense.
I like the cover system. Ever since Gears of War, lots of games have implemented their own adaptations. I think the one in Conviction fits. Execution is pretty sweet. It adds an action movie feel that makes you feel like Sam is that really cool spy hero from your imagination that you sometimes wish you could be but don't truly want to be. I like the lighting system. Instead of a meter, the game goes black and white when you're out of sight. It's effective, and you don't have to keep an eye on a meter off to the side. And when you think about reality, our vision in the dark mainly goes black and white too.
This iteration of the franchise livens up the game. It feels like Sam has his own rules this time. I found head shots with a silenced pistol to be the best way to terminate my enemies. There are several moments where you have the opportunity to sneak from behind and take out your enemy. But this is still a lethal action. Sam is a killer in this game. In fact, there were a few times the game cornered me and sent a bunch of baddies. My best friend in those times was my shotgun. No way! My take on this was a welcoming to a fresh story and gameplay. Still, my favorite mission was the one where you were not allowed to be detected even once or the mission was forfeit.
What would I like the next Splinter Cell game to be like? Well, I hope they keep all the new skills, I suppose you'd say, from this game. I also hope they keep the presentation style. I was really impressed with the way Conviction presented the objectives and the story. But the action should be toned down next time around. I'd like to go back to stealth being critical. For example, I find it intense and challenging when there are levels you can only use non-lethal force. Or, you cannot be detected even once. Or, you don't have any weapons for a portion of a mission or an entire mission.
I've loved the Splinter Cell games since the first one, and I still do. I hope the studios continue to make more. Conviction was fresh, and a good, fun game. The developers did an excellent job with it. I didn't even notice any bugs. Let's hope the next one places the standard of stealth where it used to be.