Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow – The ‘Retro-view’
Title: Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Platform: Playstation 2
Other Platform/s: X-Box, PC, PS3 (HD collection)
Welcome Back, Mr. Fisher…
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow follows Sam Fisher in yet another perilous mission. Set in the year 2006, Sam Fisher is sent by the Third Echelon to East Timor for a rescue mission. His objective is to retrieve a handful of US military and diplomatic personnel who were captured by the ‘Darah Dan Doa’, led by a man named Suhadi Sadono.
New Tricks, New Toys, Same Bad Ass Fisher
There are some ‘new tricks’ up in Sam’s sleeve in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. For the first (and sadly, the ONLY time) in the game series’ history, Sam can perform a ‘SWAT turn’ when he enters a room. It’s a very useful move to enter a room while still being ‘hidden’ from enemy view. Another new ‘trick’ Sam has is a half split jump when he’s in a narrow corridor/hallway. Trust me, this move is very useful in most of the missions. The final ‘trick’ is the ‘whistle’ feature. Yes, Sam can whistle now…you know…to attract the enemy and stuff like that.
As for new ‘toys’, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is not short on that. Sam’s pistol is now equipped with laser sight, perfect for aiming (and treating the opponents like cats when they see a stray red dot on the walls). Sam also is equipped with ‘binoculars’ this time around so he can ‘scope’ the playing field. Another upgrade of sorts is the interaction ‘option’ to choose either a lock pick or optic scope when you’re in front of a locked door (rather than going to your inventory). However, this IS Splinter Cell and who needs new toys when you have the ass kicking, bad ass himself, Sam Fisher? I didn’t think so!
While Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow has ‘certain’ improvements over its predecessor, the gameplay mechanics are still the same. In other words, nothing has been drastically changed. The aforementioned ‘lockpick/optic scope’ feature is a welcomed addition as much as the other ‘upgrades’, but that’s the only thing that made the gameplay easier this time.
Good Story with a Crappy Ending
The story of this game starts off strong with the awesome ‘rescue’ by Sam Fisher. The best moment of the first part of the game was when he met up with Douglas Shetland, his former colleagues. At that moment, you wouldn’t expect this guy would be a big piece in the next game…so it was a little subtle look into the next Splinter Cell game. The last level was also a nice game of ‘can you spot the bad guy inside the airport’. Imagine you have to enter LAX and take out people who are disguised as airport personnel…before they nuke the place with a deadly virus. The last level of this game was pretty intense…but…(Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t played or watched the playthroughs on youtube and you don’t WANT to be spoiled…look away now!) the ending of this game was rather sub-par. It was an ingenious move by Sam Fisher but…really? That was it?!
Obvious thing that I liked about Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow would be the improvement of the lighting effects of the game. If you compare the old one, it’s ‘darker’ in terms of its default view and…that hurts my eyes. Sam’s gear improvement is also a welcomed thing I liked. Storywise…Pandora Tomorrow really gives a big setup to the next game (Chaos Theory) and the player won’t know it until they get their hands on the next Splinter Cell game. Disregard the ‘ending’ of this game and make the story flow through Chaos theory…and it’s all good.
Disclaimer: My Ps2 version of Pandora Tomorrow doesn’t support online play so it lacks the review for this game’s multiplayer mode. Sorry guys 😦