Most helpful positive review
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Weak mission design takes away from a perfect game
on June 22, 2005
First off, I must say that Splinter Cell is the leader of stealth action games. It's fun, thoughtful, and intuitive. This game took many of the flaws of it's predecessors - "Pandora Tomorrow" and improved upon it. The three main improvements are the ability to save at any time, co-op, and a slightly better close up killing method.
All in all, if you played the other Splinter Cell's, it's pretty much the same. Which is good. You still can shoot lights, you still need to stick to the shadows, walk softly, kill quietly, and hack your way in. It continues the most thought provoking action series around, even though the latter levels are pretty annoying. The game mechanics have yet to be matched by any other game around.
The level designs are fun, unique, and varied. There 10 levels, with levels 3 to 8 being equally the best.
Unfortunately, this is not a perfect game. While there have been improvements from the previous game, there have been some drawbacks. In my opinion, some strategy and thinking have been removed from this game. Pandora Tomorrow (at least the first half), was really a thinking man's game. This chapter in the series sort of eliminates it. It's more of, "how many guys are there I need to kill". I found less reliance on shooting lights, taking out cameras, sneaking around and avoiding enemies, and more concentration on just plain shooting. Kind of dull and annoying (especially the last two horrid levels). Also, hand to hand combat is still not good enough. The newly added knife is excellent, but it still attracts attention, and grabbing guards is still to finicky. With more enemies in smaller spaces in this game, this flaw really stands out.
The co-op is interesting. Not as great as I'd hoped, but still not too shabby. It's definitely better than nothing, so I will give them credit for that. Since there are two people, it would have been interesting if there were more enemies, as both can handle the enemies simultaneously, but alas, the majority of the co-op is running really fast to avoid autoguns or figuring out where I can use the special co-op moves. The whole team aspect isn't really utilized in a manner befitting this series. It sort of feels tacked on. They have unique co-op missions that are really short, and the whole co-op only lasts a few hours, but there is no mid mission save for some reason. Oh well.
There is online as well. I can't comment on it because I would just be fodder for Splinter Cell nerds living in their mom's basement, so I didn't try.
Still the same great Splinter Cell gameplay
Knife kills are quick and fun
Can save anytime
Too much action, not enough stealth
Close combat still not perfect
Time to Complete (on normal): 15 hours
Difficulty (on normal): Medium
Frustration Level (on normal): Medium