Stealth-action games have followed the same formula for many years. With the same sneaking, trial and error gameplay only changes so much between games. Splinter Cell: Conviction is still trial and error game, but it has changed the basic formula drastically. For the most part this is a good thing, Splinter Cell: Conviction is a very satisfying, and very fun stealth-action game, with a bigger focus on action this time around. While it may not follow the traditional stealth-action formula, Splinter Cell: Conviction is a worthwhile game.
Splinter Cell: Conviction follows series star Sam Fisher. Sam is looking for details on the death of his daughter. While doing this Sam unravels a conspiracy that he needs to stop. Some interesting moments do lie in the story, but this isn’t exactly a novel, or too entirely interesting story. It’s not a bad one, but you don’t want to play this game for its story.
But what Splinter Cell: Conviction does do well is its storytelling. Besides the cut scenes the story is also told through text which appears on the wall. These words appear as if it were Sam Fisher’s thoughts. It does a good job of not only reminding you what you need to do, but of the state of mind Sam is in, which makes you feel more involved in the story.
For the hard core Splinter Cell fans worried that they changed the formula too much, I can assure you that this is still a stealth game at heart. But if you’re looking for the kind of challenge the previous games had, you might be severally disappointed. This is because it is a lot easier to play multiple sections of Conviction as an action game. This doesn’t mean the game is easy, just that it’s easier than previous games in the series.
The way Conviction’s story mode is played is split in half. There are parts of the story where stealth is absolutely necessary, and then there are parts of the story where you’ll need to play like it’s a third person cover shooter. Both are fun to play, but the action sections are less fun to play. While its fine that the stealth sections depend on trial and error game play, it’s frustrating that this also applies to the action bits. You’ll probably find yourself restarting quite a bit, when all you can do when you restart is take cover in a different spot. This can lead to frustration which diminishes a lot of the fun you could be having.
It’s fortunate then that the stealth sections, while stripped down from previous games, are a ton of fun. You no longer can do things like move bodies around, pick locks, or use night vision goggles. But the reason the stealth is so much fun is because it’s much faster paced. One of the ways is speeds things up is the new Mark and Execute feature. Once you take someone down using a melee attack, you then have the ability to mark multiple enemies, and then with the click of the bumper take all of them out at once using your gun. This feature is incredibly fun, and one of the best new features in Conviction.
Another new feature in Conviction is to interrogate enemies. These are scripted events in which you grab an enemy and use items around the environment to hurt them to get information you need to continue. While interrogating your enemies can be really fun, they sometimes feel a bit too scripted. Not all the items around you work as an interrogation weapon, to which at some point it comes down to you wondering around looking for what you can and can’t use.
Splinter Cell: Conviction also features some multiplayer modes. Conviction does feature some competitive modes witch have you fighting against other spies. But the best multiplayer mode is the cooperative game mode which is a co-op campaign. All you need to know about the story in the co-op campaign is that it takes place before the main story.
This campaign has you working together with another spy to get through different areas. But the way the game has you working with your partner is incredibly fun. There are scenarios where one player can distract enemies, while the other marks them. Then when you execute the enemies both player can execute them at the same time. Or one player can mark and the other can execute. Then there are instances where one player is being grabbed by an enemy and the other player has to kill him without shooting your partner. The co-op campaign also features interrogation, but this isn’t much different than it is in the single player story. The co-op campaign is easily the best part of Splinter Cell: Conviction.
While Splinter Cell: Conviction may not be groundbreaking, it is still really fun. There is little to complain about, and even those are easy to forget once you continue to play. While it still may be challenging, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t reach the level of difficulty of previous games. But even if you’re a fan of the kind of challenge of the previous games, you shouldn’t write this game off. Splinter Cell: Conviction is truly a great game that anyone with an itching for action should check out.