Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thoughts on Splinter Cell Conviction at E3

It looked good but felt like more of a Bourne game. The cinematics on the walls, roaming around a populated city like in Assassin's Creed, that was all really great. But I've got two big complaints. First off, mark and execute doesn't seem very fun. I mean yea, seeing Sam instantly take out two guys with headshots is cool, but the noninteractive nature puts me off. I like aiming and shooting, not just pressing a button and having the game do it automatically. Make it slow motion or whatever, but just let me control the gun.

And then there's that part where Sam kicked in the door and went guns a blazing. That felt completely un-Splinter Cell to me. There's no way you'd be able to do that in real life and survive, there were about 3 or 4 guys with guns trained on the damn door.

If those four guys had had their backs to him and were caught unaware, I'd buy it. Or if he'd blown up the door with some sort of door charge and then thrown in flashbangs. That would've been fine. But what he did in that video was foolhardy and silly. In real life, you give SWAT teams shields and full body armor to do room clearings. And even then, sometimes they'll suffer deaths.

The thing is, Splinter Cell always struck this great balance of making you feel really powerful while also reminding you that you were very vulnerable. It's what made it tense and exciting and realistic. Sure, you could sneak around and shoot guys in the head silently and feel like some sort of stealth god, but if you slipped up and they did catch you, they'd drop you in 2 shots easy. Well, 2 shots on hard difficulty.

Also, I didn't see any sign of night vision mode or the knife, which is worrying... since those are two big aspects of Splinter Cell I really enjoy. When you're hiding in the dark shadows, it's hard to see anything unless you've got night vision.

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