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Splinter Cell: Conviction Review

Conviction changes the stealth gameplay of its predecessors with mixed results.

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Perhaps it’s telling that Conviction, with so many comparisons to a third person shooter, actually contains a full action level. This action sequence is not only a poor third person shooting sequence but exaggerates the flaws in level design, pacing and even the AI system. On the PC you can easily zoom in on soldiers who are far away and take them down quickly, making this direct action sequence the easiest part of the entire game. One brief section even plays out in a similar fashion to a foot chase sequence in Call of Duty 4 but naturally it’s not as impressive even from a story perspective.
 

This full action sequence is more boring than it looks
 
It’s not fair to talk about the lapses in presentation or pacing and not directly link that back into the story telling or premise of the entire game. Unfortunately I found the story exceedingly dull and in many cases predictable. Opening scenes actually feature some pretty contrived dialogue, especially with Sam talking to his daughter. Sam is no longer part of Third Echelon and he is in a pretty bad mood since his daughter Sarah was killed in a car crash. Events catch up with Sam and he’s quickly back on the aggressive to try to find out more about this supposed accident. There are some in game cut scenes and also some interactive segments with Sam as he breaks various bad guys by slamming them into objects carefully placed around interrogations.
 
These interrogations seem to be nothing more than basic interactive cut scenes that see Sam continue to release more aggression as he slams the face of some poor villain into a piano or mirror. They certainly make Sam look like a real tough guy, but for me they also make him out to be a real jerk. A non-interactive interrogation would convey the same aggression and be far more seamless. Perhaps this added aggression helps Sam perform the impressive Mark and Execute manoeuvres.  
 

Oh look, a conveniently placed piano to smash your head against

Mark and Execute emphasizes the amount of direct action in the game by allowing Sam to quickly eliminate a group of up to four enemies. To unlock the ability to execute you must first perform a close quarter’s kill on a target. During the campaign there are some blatantly placed close quarters targets for easy recharge. They become less obvious or include bigger groups of enemies in positions that require more thought than in the opening levels. You can use a simple silenced headshot so you aren’t dealing with more enemies than your weapon will allow to Mark.
 
The Mark feature itself adds quite a bit to the planning phase, since it enables a very basic way to track foes through walls. The game will put a grey arrow above enemies which will turn red when you can execute that guard. Being able to Mark helps avoid situations where you walk out in front of a patrolling guard and also lets you time executions when you can’t directly see those you have marked. It’s nice to be able to track movements of enemies and work out where multiple patrols are going to cross paths.
 
Mark and Execute gets even more use during the later part of the game, and it requires some quick thinking to use it efficiently. The last few levels have guards that move aggressively toward your location and require quick movement behind shadows or in between strategically placed cover. It also requires careful positioning in order to maximize the takedown angles. You may need to whittle away larger groups before executing the remaining targets. Mark and Execute is actually one of the better ideas placed in Conviction although it seems to rely on it too heavily and makes stalking your AI prey seem less important.

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#3 Nov 9, 2010 10:29:58 (Nov 9, 2010 10:29)

kamikaziechameleon
The game looks good considering its running the same engine as the first game.  I still think it could have looked better though.  some character models are horrible, and some AI is just plain stupid.  With all the action sam still controls way to akwardly.  I also feel like your move set is decreased from the previous games.  I like the cover mechanic but it is not evenly implimented, often times not letting you manauver large enough distances.  or appropriate angles on surfaces.  Enemy AI is also dumber I think some times than in previous iterations.  the levels feel less like puzzels since you can frequently run around and kill everyone with a high wanted level.  The co-op is sweet though.  I guess my issue is that the game doesn't feel as thoughtfully pace and composed as chaos theory, or appropriately responsive for a action title, I would have liked melee to be more than one button KO's that you use only to unlock the Instant kill ability.  I would have enjoyed a Uncharted level of melee, cinematic but still involving and not to difficult but not to easy.  That and better all around handling could have smoothed the game out alot.
 
 
Good review.
#2 May 30, 2010 01:27:53 (May 30, 2010 01:27)

SpectralShock
It is unfortunate, but the PC version has been getting bad feedback from fans across the board.
#1 May 29, 2010 22:06:53 (May 29, 2010 22:06)

sirdesmond
I'd really be interested to play this after my time with the console version which I enjoyed a lot and found the multiplayer to be much stronger than what was described in this review. It always seems like games like this (third-person actiony stuff), PC gets the shaft.
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Splinter Cell: Conviction box art Platform:
PC
Our Review of Splinter Cell: Conviction
70%
Good
The Verdict:
Game Ranking
Splinter Cell: Conviction is ranked #1042 out of 1659 total reviewed games. It is ranked #87 out of 107 games reviewed in 2010.
1041. Filament
Switch
1042. Splinter Cell: Conviction
1043. Fable 3
Xbox 360
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Splinter Cell: Conviction
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