previews\ Feb 15, 2010 at 7:00 pm

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell ConViction - 360 - Preview 2

Splinter Cell: Conviction made its presence known at X10 and not in the manner that I thought it would. Gearing up for a more accessible third-person stealth-action game, Splinter Cell: Conviction may turn off old-school Splinter Cell fans as it is less about hiding in the shadows and more about straightforward action.

Allowing us to take full control of the demo that was first seen at E3 2009, we were able to get a firm grip of how Splinter Cell: Conviction felt in the hands of the player – the end result: decisively smooth, even if it does make Fisher as speedy as a cheetah.

While the play style may be more attributed to the player than the game itself, it’s easy to see that the game lends itself to newcomers with the new black and white camera tricks. If players take Fisher into the shadows, the camera turns white and black. If players are in the light, the screen if full of color making it aware to the player that they could be seen by anyone. If you ask me, this is a slap in the face to the intelligence of the gamer, but who knows, maybe it’ll appeal to a whole new demographic who found the genre inaccessible in the past.

Speeding through our session, Fisher was able to take a good amount of damage before reaching his death. Only falling prey to gunfire once, we were able scale the walls, jump out the window of a building and play hide and go seek with the enemy on more than one occasion. We’d be lying if we didn’t say we were entertained from the get-go; the action had a non-stop pace and the enemies had a good level of intelligence to them to continue to try and flank Fisher.

Although it must be said that Fisher’s new looks were jarring. The public relations representative presiding over the demonstrations of the title at X10 stated, “take Sam from Splinter Cell: Double Agent and give him hair and that’s what you get in Conviction.” Here at GameZone don’t share that sentiment as the new Fisher is nowhere near the character model that debuted in the original Splinter Cell, much less the one in Double Agent. But don’t let that disturb you as the new look isn’t technically a bad one; Fisher looks grizzled and more rough than ever. So if you are into a former spy that has a wealth of history to show for on his face, then the new Sam Fisher may be right up your alley. Oh, and did we mention Fisher has great hair?

By the end of our session with Splinter Cell: Conviction, it was clear to see that we were torn by our expectations and what was reality. Having a false sense of familiarity with the franchise, it’s obvious that Ubisoft has a new direction for Splinter Cell that longtime fans may not like. But if fans are open for changes and are willing to accept the fresh outlook at where Ubisoft is taking Sam Fisher, then Splinter Cell: Conviction should rocket up their must buy list.

With a recent delay for extra polishing and final touch-ups, Splinter Cell: Conviction is set for a April 13 release in the US and European release date of April 15 for the Xbox 360 and PC.

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