by Chris Davis
reviewed on X360
United Under a Common Goal
The conspiracy present in Splinter Cell Conviction began some time before the events of the single-player campaign. Convictionís multiplayer segment explores this aspect of the gameís story. While the story isnít nearly as powerful as the singleplayer experience the cooperative mode is a must play.
Players are put in the shoes of Archer, a Third Echelon operative, and Kestrel, an operative on loan to Third Echelon from Russian rival agency Voron. Other than Malta there are no other levels that take place outside of the United States in the gameís single-player campaign. Archer and Kestrel are sent on a whirlwind tour of the former Soviet Union, beginning in Moscow.
Instead of having a small arsenal at your disposal like Fisher has in the main game, Archer and Kestrel are relegated to only two or three gadgets depending on the stats of their uniforms. Various camo patterns can be purchased for several uniforms in the Persistent Elite Creation system and your outfits can be augmented for extra gadget pockets, ammo or armor though you can only equip three of the nine choices available. These options are also only available in the multiplayer portion of the game.
The co-op stresses the use of coordinated attacks upon groups of enemies though it is forgiving should you find yourself in a position that is anything but to your advantage. The Mark and Execute system is also in use, so both the number of marks available is greatly increased and players can kill their partnerís marks. This is a great system to utilize when in a room filled with upwards of a dozen enemies and is almost a necessity when sneaking isnít an option.
In addition to the cooperative campaign, players also have the option of competitive and adversarial modes. These modes, called Deniable Ops, allow players to proceed through all four co-op maps as well as two additional maps exclusive to the mode. These modes are quite entertaining in themselves and are the perfect environment for speed runs and are perfect for those looking to get a little time into the game without having to play through the storyline for the 12th time.
A Man Stands By His Convictions
Splinter Cell Conviction is both a welcome entry in the series as well as a strong departure from the norm. Gone are the many strong lighting-based stealth mechanics, replaced with a simple can/cannot be seen lighting scheme that both works and detracts from core Splinter Cell gameplay. This has been replaced with several interesting and intuitive combat actions. While it may be a mixed bag for hardcore fans of the franchise, Conviction is by far one of the best action games of this generation and is definitely a major contender for Game of the Year 2010. If youíre a Tom Clancy fan then youíd be hard pressed not to sit down for Sam Fisherís latest and possibly final entry in the franchise.
We miss the old stealth gameplay
We welcome one of the best action titles of the year!