When you get to the fifth instalment of your game in less than a decade, itâ€™s a pretty good idea to mix things up a bit. This is exactly what Ubisoft have done with Splinter Cell: Conviction. This is not the Splinter Cell you know. Taking place a couple of years after Double Agent, Sam Fisher no longer works for the government and is indeed now seen as a fugitive.
The game takes place in open urban environments (similar to those found in Ubisoftâ€™s Assassinâ€™s Creed), and Sam now blends in using the crowd for cover rather than fancy high-tech gadgets. However, if any member of the crowd thinks that you are suspicious, they might end up following you or calling for help. Itâ€™s a refreshing change from the light-and-dark sneaking.
Additionally, Sam is able to interact with nearly every object in the game. Offering true interactivity, whatever Sam feels he needs to do to get the job done, he can do. He can pick up anything, including pieces of paper, and players will need to think more down to earth in terms of solving problems â€“ blocking a door with a cabinet, for example.
Although Sam doesnâ€™t have access to his old government equipment, he makes up for it by having a sixth sense that allows him to detect things around him. Additionally, he will carry a submachine gun under his top â€“ although using it will be an obvious give-away to his identity and location.
The game will appear on the Xbox 360 and Windows, and it will offer cross-platform play between Live users on both systems.
The series seems to be taking a direction that is a little more Jack Bauer than Solid Snake, and it looks like it is going to be all the better for it. Ubisoft looks set to breathe fresh air into the genre with Assassinâ€™s Creed and Splinter Cell: Conviction, and the world will be a better place for it. Stay tuned to NZGamer for more on Splinter Cell: Conviction as we get it.
The Good: Mixing it up, Jack Bauer style!
The Bad: Will the changes annoy current fans?
The Ugly: The game has now been delayed until 2008.