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Splinter Cell: Conviction Review – Xbox 360

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Sam Fisher is back, but this time he has a stylish haircut, a few grey hairs and a really bad attitude.

Splinter Cell: Conviction ushers in a big change for the franchise, with Ubisoft opting to completely change the core gameplay systems to both refresh the series and also appeal to a new crowd. I was a big fan of the first games, but lost interest over time and so welcomed the idea of a change.

Are Splinter Cell fans going to be highly upset by the change? Will the new mechanics really appeal to a broader audience without pushing away the original fans?

Find out, in our full review after the jump.

Sam is pretty pissed. Yes, that’s how I am going to start my review.

Meet Jasam Bauerne

For spoiler reasons (even though it’s been a while) I am not going to give away certain core parts of the story as they continue from the previous games.

The only thing you need to know is that Sam Fisher went AWOL after finding out that his daughter was killed in a car accident, but in light of recent news that his daughter may still be alive, steps back into the ring. Conviction feeds off of many contemporary fan favorites and brings in elements that fans of The Jason Bourne series as well as Jack Bauer will really enjoy.

Splinter Cell has always been known for it’s magnificent contribution to the Stealth genre. With Conviction, things have changed, with the game falling under more of a Stealth Action genre.

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Hide n’ Slaughter

While you are given some pretty significant firepower, stealth is still the true name of the game in Conviction. Ubisoft have set out to still provide a satisfying stealth experience, but have added touches of action to make the overall feeling of the game that bit more exciting. Although it is not entirely accurate, I would say that it feels similar to Batman: Arkham Asylum in the way that it blends fun action with great stealth.

Fans of the original series will react differently to the new gameplay system, as the whole new system has not so much been dumbed down at all, but given a more natural, slick feel. The major difference is that while the originals were stealth all the way, Conviction gives you the option to take enemies on head first, but you won’t last very long if you don’t plan ahead, stay in the shadows and think quick on your feet.

Punishment for failure can be quite harsh in Conviction, as the developers have been incredibly stingy with checkpoints. It’s not uncommon that you will have to make your way through three major areas of enemies and objectives, only to fail at the very end and do it all over again. It can be very frustrating at times, and sometimes had me doing certain section over and over again for 45 mins.

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I’d Like You To Meet Sam, Mark and Execute

You still have some seriously cool gadgets available to you, such as sticky cams, EMP grenades, remote mines and the usual flash and frag grenades. You will also unlock weapons over the duration of the game, earning points to upgrade them by performing special tasks, such as getting a certain amount of headshots or killing enemies in specific ways.

The most advertised and indeed the most important feature of Splinter Cell: Conviction is the addition of a new system called Mark and Execute.

Mark and Execute is a new ability that allows Sam to mark enemies ahead of time, and then take them all out in flashy dance of gunplay, ending their lives quickly, quietly and efficiently. Sam Fisher’s new ability to pull off some crazy-awesome moves is gained by killing an enemy up-close using the grab option.

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  • http://www.gamerlobby.net koldFU5iON

    Nice review Nick, next time your my partner though we’re going to have to work on your sneakiness… less rabbit in the lights effects

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      Whatever Pipe-Boy

      • http://www.gamerlobby.net koldFU5iON

        My pipes saved your life! I’ve got the stats to prove it!

  • batman

    Can I ask a serious question? What would Megarom/Ubisoft do if you reviewed this game and gave it a 7 instead of an over inflated score?

    • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

      Probably the same thing Square/Nu Metro did when I gave final Fantasy XIII a less than perfect score.

      Not a damn thing.

      • Bobby Kotick phones Agent 47

        You’re a rebel Geoff! :o

        *Bobby Kotick phones an assassin*

        Unknown Caller: Good afternoon Mr Kotick.

        Bobby K: 47, I have a problem.

        Agent 47: Sir, you have to see a doctor about that itch.

        Bobby K: (Coughs) Uh.. yes.. uh.. anyway we have this game reviewer from Africa. He insists on not buying into the hype and he has the audacity of giving games less than perfect scores.

        Agent 47: I understand sir.

        Bobby K: This can not be allowed to continue. I want this taken care of Agent 47. As always, the usual fee, and please make it look like he slipped off the toilet seat.

        Agent 47: It will be done, sir.

    • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

      I haven’t played the game yet, so I’m not really able to support,
      or challenge Nick’s score – but it’s not out of line with the
      metacritic ranking, so you can’t really call it over inflated.

      http://bit.ly/dnqrKb

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      We review games, not companies. It is very important that we don’t allow external factors to affect our review scores and we take that very seriously.

      Take the Red Steel 2 review (also Ubi/Megarom) from this week for instance, it got a 7.5 because that’s what I felt it deserved. It’s a review and that’s that.

      If you want a real example of overinflated, I noticed that GamePro gave Conviction a perfect score, and while I think the game is really great, it is very clear that it’s not worthy of a 10/10.

  • krYtHan

    The storyline is decent but can get a little “week” at times…

    Weak, not week.

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      Whoops, thanks, it was 5am (excuses excuses I know) :P

  • uberutang

    I rate it a solid 7/10. Need to still try coop and MP.

    • http://www.mooooooooose.com MooseWrangler

      Please Janrik everyone knows that you pirate all you Xbox 360 games so keep your opinions to yourself you dont know what a games worth is when you DL everything you want always

  • Mannic

    Just wish all the other SA game blogs got their game when you did for review. As usual this is the only SA review up on release day!!! So this is the only review I can go on until next week :/

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      I think they did, I just played the living snot out of it to get it out on time.

      Why not just hit up some international sites for their reviews?

  • Mannic

    local cap at work no cap at home . the randomness of local support is bull !!

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      If im not mistaken we are hosted on overseas servers now?

      • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

        Are – and have been for a long, long time.

    • Fox1

      Watch the review on gametrailers.com. It works on local cap :smile:

  • Mannic

    cellphone :/ great side step okes ! my point is LOCAL support is random. We have to rely on the world for reviews? why can’t I stick with like mined LOCAL reviews. 1 review on release day is poor

    • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

      As Nick said, all the major SA sites tend to get the games at the same time – usually a day or two before release. It’s really up to other sites to get their reviews up in the really short times available to them.

      Nick and I have been known to stay up until the weeeeeeeeeeeee hours of the morning just to make sure we have our reviews out on time.

      • http://www.gamerlobby.net koldFU5iON

        awe have cookie :)

        • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

          No Milk?

          I WILL NOT PUT UP WITH THIS SHIT!

          • WitWolfyZA

            Now thats dedicated!!!

  • …squirrel

    you guys know when the pc version will be out?

    • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Geoff

      April 30th, I believe.

      • …squirrel

        ah, that would explain alot :pinch: thanks Geoff :biggrin:

  • Maxiviper

    I won this game on the Verge Show….ooh yes! :biggrin:

    • mitas

      verge ok , playR ok , game face = fail big time , i am sure we have enough local talent to make up that fake brit and her tramp stamp tat – peace

      • WitWolfyZA

        I never watch the Vurge.. why watch The Vurge if all your gaming needs are on this very site :biggrin:

  • http://www.dailymotion.com/video/21708604 xbox360games

    aha, i know what u mean. but when my pc get’s a blue screen i can reset it.. and there is no problem after all. Is that with the xbox the same. or do i have to get a new xbox?

  • Ryan

    Splinter Cell Convictions is an awesome game. My only complaint was the clipping problem with the Co-Op. If you mark someone then you can shoot through walls.

    • http://www.gamerlobby.net koldFU5iON

      nope Sam’s just that good ;) haha

  • T.L.Blade

    Kestrel is working for Voron (Raven) not for Third Echelon and thats point of coop – two rival groups (USA – Third Echelon X Russia – Voron) are working together.

    • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

      You are very correct, I just noticed this mistake recently, consider it fixed.

  • lans

    Excellent review
    I ended up getting splinter cell from an undisclosed source and ive had time to sample it, its ace, i like the music,i like the pace of the game and the variety, this seems to be an unfinished game though, i wish splintercell had more CQC, more ways of disarming and dispatching a target, and more sneeking, etc like sneeking under a truck then pulling someones feet and pulling him under the truck or other stuff. i wish splintercell had more gadgets like a tazer gun, or high tech traps you can set, ie using running holograms that look like sam etc.

    other rants, sam speaks too much, and enemies bitch too much and do the same lame repitions over and over again AND WHY CAN I ONLY ROLE FORWARDS WTH! sure you can role sideways, but the animation always orients the character to the direction you want to roll then does a foward roll which takes forever, i think the game would be soo much more hectic if you could sideays rolls, really quickly, you could roll behind a wall when they close you role to the same poition and take em out, currently you have to only do a forwards roll which takes time and you do not end up in the same position you usually end up behind the enemy thenn you got turn quickly and grab him, which is messy coz u dont know whats happening really, someimes you roll badly forwards and get suffocated in co-op, and by that time, someone would have shot you with a shotgun wtf!

    and why are the graphics physics so bad in co-op, they so many guns stuck in walls when you kill people, and sometimes the wall goes into the characters at a load and we get stuck, or the game freezes. the game world is so bad sometimes you can shoot someone through 5 solid walls if you mark and execute, but the worst part is the enemy does the same to you, the enemy is able to shoot through many walls as if they’re not walls, this leads to many cheap deaths.!

    Splinter cell 7/10 the game is not polished, so if it was 8.5 out of 10 but i dont beleive in review scores anyway

    • Potty391

      LOL! “…Undisclosed source…”. I can disclose it for you, it’s called the Pirate Bay :D

      • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

        Yeah lol what’s with that? Unless the place you buy your games from also sells meth, I don’t see any reason for you to withhold it’s name.

        • mitas

          meth ? really ? thought everyone was on coke – dam neede to switch – other wise yeah pircy is big not gana change anytime soon , sory dev’s we need the games —– cough * mw2 * cough

        • lans

          the source is undisclosed, period you not getting a peep from me ever!

  • mitas

    @lazy – really top nouch with the “news that didn make it ” its a nice touch and helps with reading more

    ps – wont you include some of the sites that you rate as ” tops ” as i am getting bord with ign , gamespot etc etc i wanna see more oppions – even if other ppl dont like it

    • http://www.lazygamer.co.za Gavin Mannion

      All the credit goes to Nick on that one to be honest and I had forgotten about those sites listed there…

      Off the top of my head I can’t think of many other big sites out there that are worth reading. I struggle to get through Gamespot and or read much on IGN to be honest.. I like Kotaku, Joystiq and Destructoid though… oh and VG247

      • mitas

        thanks

  • Alterboy-Preist’sToy

    This game was very underwhelming, I was so excited when my girlfriend bought this game that I broke my bed jumping for joy on it. The joy was short lived as I was presented with dated graphics, glitches, a mheh story, Binary AI and irritating music(that’s if you decide to just sneak past the guards and not kill them, the music just fucken irritates the bubbling shit out my arse). and the ‘action’ they promised, nowhere to be seen. Playing this game for action was as good as watching a softporn for cumshots.

    I rate it 5 out of 10.

    good review though, nick.

  • Grant Hinds

    Awesome review bro! Comprehensive :)

  • Con

    Should i buy this game? Anyone

  • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

    If you scroll up, you will notice that there is a rather large review that may help you out with that answer

  • Rdr rocks

    I dont have xbl so what iam really want to know does this game have replay value. And that review looks really long to read and has to many big words in it sorry nick you smartass

  • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

    The single player doesn’t have MASSIVE replay value, but many will want to go back to do it on the toughest setting.

    However, the multiplayer missions can be played alone or with a buddy, and even though you don’t have Xbox Live I would strongly suggest that you get a buddy over and play the co-op stuff in split-screen, it’s really awesome.

    They have a lot more replay value than the single player for sure

  • Rdr rocks con

    Well that does sound nice. Now i just need to pick up a cheap second hand copy. Cheers nick

  • Con

    Yo nick i was just wondering what country are you from. Because my friend thinks your from britain and i think your maybe american. I am from Ireland so please be american cause i have 5 euro on this!

  • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

    Sorry to disappoint the lot of you, I’m South African. Does that mean that I win the 5 Euros?

  • Con

    were both wrong, damn . Fair enough i will send that fiver in the post not sure about the currency rates though good luck

  • Conor

    I bought it Nick. This game better be good or i’ll well complain or something. Got it for only €9 SHAZAM

  • http://www.designwave.co.za Nick de Bruyne

    For that price, you can’t go wrong

  • Conor

    Yo Nick splitter cell is good so for. I havnt completed yet but really good fun . The only thing that annoys about the game is i always press x to reload (cod style xbox) my weapon then i end up throwing a gadget and that alerts my position. it drives me mad :-(. And also Sams voice sounds funny

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