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Softonic review Cool Game for Espionage Fans Tom Clancy’S Splinter Cell is the latest instalment in the popular Splinter Cell series of games where players get the chance to take on the role of an experienced spy and take out the bad guys.

It has all those shadowy bits and gadgety things, and Mandrake. I mean Sam, has a few cool tricks up his sleeve too. Even if he does have a small wiener. It s a strange concept you must admit. Here you are, this elite undercover operative, invincible stealth assassin or whatever, conducting a mission of the utmost danger, and yet you spend your whole time sneaking around out of sight, hiding, waiting for an opening, and generally doing All those years of training in weapons, languages, martial arts, espionage, and here you are just hanging around in the shadows like some sort of froth-lipped, fidgeting pervert trying to steal a glimpse of pink flesh through your neighbour’s lace curtains.

And yet, strangely enough, pretending to do next to nothing is some of the best fun you’ve ever had in front of a computer screen. The atmosphere is palpably intense, the fear of discovery overwhelming; the sense of mastery felt as an enemy wanders past you, completely oblivious to your presence: impossibly satisfying. Thus is the power of invisibility. And eventually, of course, the moment strikes.

The moment when all your training comes to bear, when you spring into action and It’s not about just overcoming your opponent; it’s about doing it silently, undetected, unseen. Doing it with style. And this is what Ubi Soft’s imminent stealth-action blockbuster Splinter Cell is all about. Maximising your options -maximising the number of different, cool ways you can eliminate your foes. Or disable them. Or avoid them. As Gregoire Gobbi, producer on Splinter Cell, explains: We’ve designed the game so that in 90 per cent of cases you can choose exactly how to handle things.

We build the world, we simulate some rules that are simple and easy to understand, we give you some tools, and then you do whatever you want to reach your objective.

It’s this kind of freedom, coupled with the fact that the game looks absolutely gorgeous, that’s caused actual ripples of excitement whenever Splinter Cell has appeared in public. This time, however, we’ve played it, or at least a couple of levels of it, and have tasted some of that freedom first-hand. Of course when we say you can do whatever you want’, it doesn’t quite mean that hero Sam Fisher can spy on enemies with the old eyeholes in the newspaper’ trick, or overcome enemies with a swift Vinnie Jones-style plum squeeze.

There’s no doubt though that he’s a resourceful chap with more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Gregoire is eager to stress this as we approach the first door in our first level of the game. Before entering a room, you can do several things. You can shoot out the lights outside so you can’t be seen in the doorway. You can also use your snake cam, to give a sneak preview of what’s going on in the next room. A grainy fish-eye view of the next room appears: inside, a guard stands restlessly between cells of prisoners, his back to the door.

Gregoire continues: Once you get inside you can do many things. You can just look, trying to understand the pattern of the guards’ movements so that you can sneak through the area. You can shoot out all the lights with your silenced weapon, which will make a noise that the guard will investigate, but it will make things easier for you if you get away with it. Or you can just shoot the guards with your sniper scope, regulating your breath to get a steadier target.

At this point, the reticule hovering over the guard’s unwary form gets the better of me, and I unload half a clip into his back. I receive a disapproving glance, but it seems to do the trick. Anyone familiar with the exploits of Solid Snake will recognise the aim-steadying feature mentioned here as an idea cribbed from Metal Gear Solid.

But whereas in that game you popped a nice calming Diazepam to aid your sniping, Sam Fisher simply holds his breath. Not as cool perhaps, but certainly more believable. This is a Tom Clancy game after all, and hence set in a rigorously almost-real, day-after-tomorrow universe.

All the gadgets, weapons, technology – even the political situation that frames the plot – either exist today or very easily could within the next five years. In fact, most of the gadgets can be bought at Spymaster. Whether or not this realism is a good thing or not is probably a matter of taste. In any case. Grdgoire quickly regains his train of thought. You could also have shocked him with your sticky shocker, putting him out of commission for a couple of hours.

Or waited until he wandered away, used your split-jump thing to straddle the corridor and shoot out one of the lights so that he came to investigate. Then once he walked underneath you, you would just have needed to drop down on his head and knock him out. Maybe next time, eh? By this stage it’s becoming clear that there are three main ways to tackle any given situation.

You can be stealthy, remaining in the safety of the shadows at all times and avoiding confrontation. Your light meter tells you how visible you are, and if no shadow exists, you simply create one by knocking out the lights when no one’s looking. You can use your gadgetry, such as your sticky shocker and snake cam, overcoming enemies with your superior equipment budget.

Or you can use your athletic moves – dive rolling, split-jumping, abseiling and pole-climbing your way past any given threat. Usually, of course, it’s a combination of all three. In fact, the only thing you can’t do is go in all guns blazing. I tried this a couple of times, and apart from being swamped with guards every time and running out of ammo, I also failed the mission simply by virtue of breaking my orders to keep a low profile.

This seemed like a bit of a cheap way to enforce stealthy behaviour, as the game should make you want to stay hidden for fear of your life rather than your boss, but we’re assured this will be properly balanced by release day. All the NPCs have an alert state signifying their state of vigilance, explains Gregoire. Every time a security breach is detected, the alert state in the whole level will go up a notch -permanently, making progress that much harder.

Security breaches don’t just mean getting spotted by a surveillance camera either – all dead bodies must be extremely well hidden if they are not to be found and reported. Getting back to the mission at hand, we soon find ourselves at the next threat -a geek in a laboratory with a keyboard round his neck.

This time, on Gregoire’s advice, I spare his life. If you sneak up behind him and use the action key, you’ll get him in a submission hold. Once again I oblige, and Sam grabs the lard-ass round the neck and puts a gun to his head. Now you can either interrogate him, use him as a human shield or discard him. Soon enough the tubby egghead is lying on the ground, unconscious. Another mission objective appears on my interface, but by then I am enjoying the spray of glass and shrapnel as I shoot every breakable item in the room, laughing maniacally as I go.

Gregoire looks on, frowning. So far I’ve eliminated only two foes, but if you’re talking stealth and style, it doesn’t come much better than this. Stuffy academic types are always quick to tell us that videogames are about exercising power. Well, if shooting a bunch of witless, scuttling Nazis in the head with a machine gun gives you a kick, how much more satisfying is it going to be to lure your opponent into a shadowy trap, put him in a submission hold and pump him for information, only to pistolwhip him and dump his lifeless body in the nearest stairwell?

It’s going to be brilliant, of course. In the meantime. I’m getting impatient, and I push Gregoire about some other aspects of the game.

What about the ends of levels – are there bosses to contend with? No we don’t have boss characters,” clarifies Gregoire. To pace the game, we have special sequences, using special gadgetry such as a laser mic that you have to use to intercept a conversation. The gameplay involves keeping a target centred on the windows of a moving car, or a lift.

In another one, you have to enter a locked security door. To do this, you fire a sticky camera onto a wall near the door, then hide while a guard comes and taps in the code. You have to switch to heat vision in order to see what keys he touched, by watching the residual heat signature on the buttons, to retrieve the combination and open the door.

Well, that certainly shut me up. Bosses seem like a silly idea now. I could go on and on about all sorts of other cool aspects of Splinter Cell, even though I only played through a handful of levels before outstaying my welcome.

And I haven’t even mentioned the plot yet terrorist cells, information warfare, yadda yadda. However, the game is just weeks away from completion, and chances are I’ll be reviewing it for you next issue, so I’d better not shoot my load prematurely. Needless to say, it’s looking superb, and it’ll be a calamity if it proves to be anything less than the landmark of stealth gaming it appears to be. For this reason, we’ve made sure that we’ll be the first ones to see it and review it when it’s finished and we’ll be bringing you the world exclusive review very soon.

What’s more, readers will be the first ones to play it well, apart from us when the exclusive playable demo arrives on our cover discs. Because we care. Gone are the days of vision cones, arbitrary dark zones and myopic guards -Splinter Cell’s lighting system makes hiding in the shadows about as real as it gets.

With one single source of light we can illuminate a whole scene, and everything casts a shadow on everything. The light shines through the fence and casts a shadow on Sam, who casts a shadow on himself. This gives a very realistic look to the game, and it’s also consistent with the kind of gameplay we have in the game, because it’s all about playing with light.

One of the small revolutions going on in games at the moment is the addition of advanced real-world physics’, which calculates the movement and interaction of objects and characters in real time such as a bullet and a crate, or a corpse and a flight of stairs. It’s set to become standard issue in shooters over the next couple of years, but at the moment it’s all a bit new and exciting.

Unreal-powered games such as Devastation and UT are amongst the first to show it off, but Splinter Cell has a heavily modified Unreal-based system of its own.

We’re not talking rag-doll deaths here – that feature is not in Splinter Cell – but we are talking advanced object interaction. So, if you see a can on the ground and you’re clever, you’ll pick it up and throw it to distract a guard. If you’re not so clever, you’ll kick it over and alert the same guard to your presence. You can also shoot out lights, knock boxes off shelves, blow up computers, that sort of thing. Of course not every item in the game can be thrown or destroyed, and there is a risk that once we get used to interacting with the environment at such a high level we’ll be that much more disappointed when we can’t.

It’s something that Ubi Soft needs to manage carefully, but if done right, the rewards for gameplay could be immense. Sam Fisher: wily secret agent and deep-cover operative for the Lightbulb Retailers Association of America the only reasonable explanation for all the light fixtures he destroys, ostensibly in the interest of efficient skulking. He’ll sneak right into your heart.

Then blow it up. Ultimate moment: Near the end of the game, five guards surround you and it looks like your espionage days are over. But one momentary power failure later, you take out your would-be captors in a few seconds of night-vision mayhem. Stay low. Stick to the shadows. Neutralize enemies and leave no trace of your passing. You are Sam Fisher and this is Splinter Cell , a game that not only redefines the stealth game genre, but a game that is destined to live on as a milestone in the evolution of gaming.

What Doom did for the world of gaming in the early 90’s; Splinter Cell has done for the 00’s. The game starts innocuously with a basic training course, which teaches you the basic game moves and you sense that this is not your average game.

The controls are intuitive, which is amazing given the number of different actions you can take. Don’t get me wrong. The PS2 version is beautiful in it’s handling of shadows from multiple light sources and heat waves from open flames. While there isn’t much in the way of background music, the ambient noise is subtle and realistic.

Sound is an integral part of this game, as you frequently hear your enemies long before you see them. Overall, the graphics and audio combine to submerge you in the world of Splinter Cell , in such a way that you actually feel the fear of being discovered, reminiscent of playing Silent Hill 2 at 2am. Levels that in other games might be completed in minutes by racing through them can take you 30 minutes in Splinter Cell , as you slowly infiltrate unknown areas, sneak through the shadows, distract guards with thrown bottles, peering under each door before opening it and by methodically casing areas.

Don’t worry; Ubi Soft spares you the frustration of having to replay each level over and over again by auto saving at predefined checkpoints. Ubi Soft did a solid job of porting the game to the PS2. For incentive they included four new levels, changed some existing levels and added several cut sequences that shed a bit more light on Sam’s background. One new level lets Sam show off his snow camouflage outfit and another is a very cool nuclear power plant level. These are awesome and will have your XBOX friends green with envy.

A great compliment you can give a game is the recognition of how much time you spend thinking about a game while you are not playing it. Splinter Cell is so immersive that it actually begins to change your thinking in everyday life. Things I never consciously thought of, now draw my attention: security cameras, shadows, light sources, etc.

I find myself thinking how I can get to my office without being spotted by security cameras. That’s how engaging and addictive this game is.

Whether or not you’ve played the XBOX version, there’s enough here to make it worth taking another excursion into Sam’s world. For PS2 owners, this game is a definite must have. Splinter Cell does one thing, and does it well: It makes you feel like a badass secret agent, with all the stealth action you know and love sneaking around, ganking enemies from behind, knocking out security cameras , plus a few ingenious twists an optical cable to peek under doors, special bullets to divert and gas guards, etc.

Whether you’re blasting through a terrorist compound with guns blazing or taking to the shadows at CIA headquarters without ever firing a shot, excellent level design and a Tom Clancy-style story line which evolves during missions as well as in between will keep you playing even after dying 10 times in a row. And, especially for a title with this much gameplay variety, the interface and controls always feel natural on the GC pad.

Jumping, climbing, weapons, gadgets–everything is quickly and easily accessible including noticeable improvements over the Xbox setup once you adjust. Graphically, however, the transition wasn’t so smooth. It never looks bad, but many of the special lighting effects and big levels that made Splinter Cell shine on Xbox have been muted here, sometimes affecting gameplay–for example, shadows never really look dark, and the night vision goggles are all messed up.

The GameCube is capable of better, and it’s a shame Splinter Cell doesn’t take advantage of it. But uneven graphics and the occasional A. Play it. I don’t agree with Mark’s nitpicky assessment of the graphics. Sure, the Xbox version looks better, but you won’t find a graphically slicker Cube game than Splinter Cell.

Everything else he says is right on, though. The stealthy gameplay is incredible.



Download splinter cell 1 pc ita

This game is all about the military world that is full of curiosity. Search icon An illustration of a magnifying glass. Hide from government services so as not to reveal the secret mission with which you arrived.


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