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Splinter Cell Review - PS2

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When it was announced that Splinter Cell, the ultra realistic stealth action title released at the end of 2002 on Xbox, was going to be released on PS2 and GC quite a few eyebrows were raised. How would both machines cope with the brilliant visuals and stunning lighting techniques without affecting the performance of the game?? Well, I can safely say that the PS2 Splinter Cell experience, while a little rough around the edges and not quite as polished as it's Xbox cousin, is still an A class action outing which proves that gameplay does matter.


Splinter Cell is based around a branch of the highly secretive National Security Agency (NSA), the Third Echelon. Working as a lone operative, with only a remote team providing support, Sam Fisher must gather intelligence using a variety of hi-tech equipment, hack into computers for sensitive information, eaves drop on conversations, infiltrate high-security strongholds, seize critical intelligence, destroy threatening data, meet agents, extract prisoners, interrogate people and neutralize the enemy - all without leaving a trace. You have the freedom to do whatever it takes to safeguard America.

The storyline begins with the NSA being contacted by the CIA; they have lost all communications with their contact Agent Alison Madison, who they fear has been compromised. Agent Blaustein was inserted into the Georgian capital T'bilisi, to locate Agent Madison. Seven days later the CIA lost all contact with Agent Blaustein. Fearing for both agents safety, the CIA contacts the NSA, who in turn activates the Third Echelon.

Here's a crash course review for those of you who have been hiding under a rock for the past year and have had no exposure to Splinter Cell. As Sam Fisher you must sneak, hide and blend your way through the various levels. You must take advantage of shadows and hidden spots, work out sentry path routines, dispose of enemies without creating a commotion and hide all bodies. You must knock out video surveillance and listen in on conversations for information. A crash course in controls and moves is given through the stages opening level, the training course. It is here that you begin to sense the type of tactics required to succeed in the game.

Sam has ample amounts of moves at his disposal and after a couple of goes you'll be well and truly versed in the art of stealth. Some of the moves available include: the ability to "tip toe" in order to create the least amount of sound while walking, grappling down walls and kicking in windows Die Hard style, shooting around corners, jump-kick up walls with a double jump and do the splits across a passageway! The way you dispose of an enemy seems endless, from sneaking up behind someone and forcing them to a retinal-scanning machine to using them as a human shield, the possibilities are endless.

Being a covert spy, Sam has plenty of weapons and gadgets at his disposal. ... (continued next page)