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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    First look at ‘Splinter Cell: Conviction’

    I got a firsthand taste of Ubisoft’s newest blockbuster, “”Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction,”” at Friday’s launch party in CODE, Park Student Union’s gaming center. And let me say, this game exceeded my expectations.

    “”Conviction”” is the newest addition to the Splinter Cell series — one of the most successful video game franchises of all time. The story follows Sam Fisher, who can best be described as a modern-day ninja. Sam’s use of his surroundings, shadows and fancy gadgets — a silenced pistol that also boasts a mini EMP transmitter, a portable camera that can stick to walls and detonate — has made him an icon throughout the gaming world. But “”Conviction”” attempts to push the series in a new direction.

    As a fan of the series since its inaugural game, I had high expectations for this installment. I knew what to expect — or so I thought. Sam Fisher is still the spy-assassin from the other games, sneaking around in the shadows and taking out guards with his trademark pistol skills. But there is another side to Sam this time around.

    Developer Ubisoft has given players two very different ways of playing “”Conviction.”” There is the familiar super stealthy route, and there is the newer, shotgun-toting Rambo-style. As a “”Splinter Cell”” purist, I chose stealth. But during the game, I was forced to grab a machine gun and fight fire with fire. And the system works. Both ways of playing are executed brilliantly, bringing balance and multiple options to any situation Sam may face. There are certain scenarios that may boast one way of playing over the other, but this transition is easily deciphered.

    At the launch party, I spent a majority of my time in the game’s stellar co-op mode, which serves as a prequel to Sam’s adventures. Co-op mode consists of two agents who must find four EMP transmitters before they are sold on the black market. The agents have the same abilities that Sam does, which makes this mode even more enjoyable. I got to play through the first two levels, which ranged from guarding an EMP transmitter from waves of enemies to infiltrating a building without being detected. Both levels played out extremely well and offered a challenge around every corner. Co-op mode takes a severe amount of teamwork, but the rewards of reaching the end are gratifying. And I cannot begin to describe the joy of seeing your partner in crime drop down from the rafters to take out an unsuspecting guard.

    Even though I had a limited time playing the game, I can safely say that “”Splinter Cell: Conviction”” is one of the best titles to come out so far, in a year that has already been riddled with amazing games. If you’re a fan of the series, it is worth picking up. If this is the first you’ve heard of Sam Fisher, you can download the demo through Xbox Live and see that, while Sam may be getting old, he is still the best around.

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