Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell – The ‘Retro-view’
Yep, this is another part of the site’s Splinter Cell Week. It’s time to turn back the clock and have a videogame ‘retro-view’. On this edition, we’ll be tackling the Splinter Cell series…starting with the first one.
Title: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell
Platform: Playstation 2
Other Platform/s: X-Box, PC, GameCube, PS3 (HD collection), and other platforms I forgot
Where it all began…
It was 2002 when this game was released in the X-Box. A year later, it was ported to the Playstation 2, and I got my fat hands on this. Long story short, this game got me hooked on the Splinter Cell Series.
Splinter Cell introduces us to a man named Sam Fisher, a former Persian Gulf vet AND a retired Navy SEAL officer. He is called back to action by the NSA to join the Splinter Cell program run by the covert ops team known as ‘Third Echelon’. His mission, if he chooses to accept it (and he did), is to find two missing CIA officers somewhere in Tbilisi….which is somewhere in Georgia. And that’s…the backstory. Go check a Wikipedia article about this if you wanna know more.
Sam is equipped with all sorts of high-tech gadgets and gear in his sneaking missions, and it’s up to the player to use them to their advantage. Splinter Cell equips your character with two types of goggles, night vision and thermal. Both of these goggles are very useful in terms of reaching your goal. Need more? Well, he’s also equipped with a handgun, and an assault rifle with a variety of attachments (air ring foil, sticky shocker and gas grenades) that are capable to let you in and out of the most secured places. All in all, Mr. Fisher is pretty much equipped to be the man for your stealth missions. Sam aint no slouch though. He himself is the ultimate weapon in Splinter Cell. He can sneak up and grab someone. He has awesome ‘interrogation’ techniques, he can do a split jump in a very narrow corridor, and other stuff.
Stealth = Key
But with all the high-tech machinery that you’re equipped, Splinter Cell gives the gamer one key strategy to win the game: Stealth. 95-99% of the game doesn’t have the player locked in a gun fight with the opponent, rather, they are forced to use their surroundings to progress in the mission. Most of the time, you have to creep into the shadows to take out your opponents. Thankfully, the ‘light meter’ helps to show where you can/cannot go to avoid detection. Furthermore, you have to try to avoid detection, or risk a security level alert. Higher security level, higher alertness of the guards, higher risk of mission failure. However, you also have to take note of the ‘dead bodies’ you have left along your trail…because if they spot one, they’ll automatically raise a security level. The only mission in the game that allows you to ‘let loose’ and kill as much as you like would be ‘Return to the Chinese Embassy’…and as a gamer in his first Splinter Cell playthrough, man I had fun in that one. Then 2-3 more playthroughs, it didn’t matter if Sam got the 5th
The core gameplay is what really hooked me and a number of gamers out there upon Splinter Cell’s release. For a fact, I felt that the mechanics was a step up from other stealth based games I’ve played in the past. The character of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell is pretty much awesome. Here’s this no-nonsense person going all ‘stealthy’ to prevent a possible World War III scenario if all things go awry. That, plus I really do like how the casting was done with Michael Ironside doing the voice of Sam Fisher. There’s just something about his rough voice texture that adds to Sam Fisher’s character.
The slightly bad…
The game does have its flaws, especially the one I used (the PS2 port). There are times in the PS2 version of Splinter Cell wherein the player goes to a ‘dark’ spot, but the ‘light meter’ claims it’s well lit. Hence, the enemy can spot you, even though it’s a very dim area (according to your TV screen). Another issue the game can have is the chance of ‘repeating’ a sequence. You see, if you’re still new tot eh game mechanics, there will be COUNTLESS times where you’ll be stuck in one mission since you cannot successfully move your way out of the situation. So you have to do it again, and again….and again… …and that causes a lot of frustrations for a gamer as lazy as me.
This was the game that started it all for me, the Splinter Cell addiction. It really made me think, as a gamer, that every movement counts. Each step, how fast/slow I’m going into a room so as to avoid detection, how to be ‘stealthy’ in general. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell was a very good game during its time.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell – The ‘Retro-view’