Splinter Cell is another in the long line of games endorsed by Tom Clancy, developed and published by Ubisoft Shanghai, and Ubisoft Montreal.
The series began with the release of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, which released on November 18, 2002. The game's main protagonist is a National Security Agency agent named Sam Fisher. Since the series' premiere, Sam has starred in all six games.
The gameplay in Splinter Cell has always been based on stealth. Sam is given objectives by his superior officers, some of which are illegal and could result in major political backlash, so he must do his job as covertly as possible. The guards in the facilities Sam has to infiltrate would sound the alarm and search for him if they found a body, an unconscious man, or Sam himself. For the first two games, the mission was aborted when a set number of alarms were triggered. The third game on the other hand would have guards fortify important points around the level if an alarm was sounded.
Pandora Tomorrow introduced a multiplayer mode where two agents go against two terrorists, each side having their own unique equipment. In Chaos Theory, a co-operative story mode was developed where a new set of moves could be performed by both players acting as a team.
In the fifth game of the series, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, a moral aspect was added. Since Sam Fisher was undercover he needed to balance keeping his cover with the terrorists, a group called the JBA, by obeying the orders of the terrorist leaders, with assisting the NSA who he was actually working for, which could blow his cover with the JBA.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has series mainstay Sam Fisher being brought into the covert branch of the NSA know as Third Echelon. He is deployed to T'bilibi, Georgia to find out the whereabouts of two lost agents. There he discovers that the Georgian President Kombayn Nikoladze has been mass murdering Muslims in Azerbaijan to gain control of its oil reserves. When NATO becomes aware of this, Nikoladze goes underground and activates a program that wreaks havoc on America's electronic infrastructure. Fisher must find and stop him, but along the way he discovers that he has placed a nuclear suitcase bomb somewhere in the United States. Nikoladze is hunted back to his presidential palace where Fisher kills him, ending the threat.
The rest of the games in the series have revolved around terrorist threats against the United States with various means. In Pandora Tomorrow, the plot involved Indonesian guerrilla leader Suhadi Sadono planning to bring about a Smallpox epidemic in Los Angeles.
The plot of Chaos Theory sees a return to the original Splinter Cell's theme of information warfare, with Sam on the trail of the Masse Kernels used by Georgian President Kombayn Nikoladze to attack America's infrastructure. The main focus in this game is Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.
On discovering the death of his daughter Sarah Fisher, Sam falls into a deep depression. This causes him to fall out active duty due to an inability to focus on work. Lambert offers Sam a deep undercover position as a Non-offical Cover Operative (NOC). NOC operatives are used to infiltrate terrorist organizations which the government denies all connection to. Sam Fisher accepts and is sent to Ellsworth Prison in Kansas to get close to Jamie Washington and help him escape prison. Sam's intent is to infiltrate the John Brown's Army (JBA) and gather intelligence on the JBA to find out what sort of terrorist events they are planning and if need be, stop them. The plot can at times go in different directions, as you can choose decisions Sam is forced to make, and these decisions affect your relationship with both the NSA and the JBA.
Splinter Cell: Conviction takes place two years after the events of Double Agent. Sam comes out of hiding to help his friend Anna Grimsdottir from danger, but when he returns he finds Third Echelon is tearing itself apart with internal struggles and bureaucratic red tape. After seeing that Third Echelon is in shambles, he decides to do the mission on his own. The gameplay in this game involves Sam interacting more with civilians and blending into the crowds in Washington D.C.