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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Member Review for the Xbox360

damo_rox619 By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Ubisoft Montreal 
M Contains Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language

What do these ratings mean?

To be perfectly honest, it took me almost a year and a half to play this game. I was such a big fan of the first four Splinter Cell's that I refused to play this game after seeing the gameplay videos. I feel that in a small way, I have grown up since then. Thanks to a few of my friends who appear to be very intolerant of things they don't like, i decided i wouldn't criticize peoples decisions because, quite frankly, it makes you look like a snob. That's why I decided to stop caring about how or why Ubisoft changed the formula of their acclaimed series so radically, and instead I just played the game because, in all honesty, I always thought it looked very fun.
Conviction doesn't necessarily pick up where Double Agent left off, but then again, it didn't really need to. Sam Fisher travels to Malta after hearing a name that may be useful to him to finding out who killed his daughter and why. The name of this person is Andriy Kobin, and once Andriy finds out that Sam is coming for him, he sends squads of armed men after him to put a stop to his search. It all starts out with Sam trying to find his daughter, and although his motivation stays the same, the story grows to something much larger. Honestly, it doesn't have a lot in the way of originality, but it's exactly what you would expect from a Tom Clancy game and, personally, that's what I like about it. The story isn't overly complicated or genius like Metal Gear Solid, but it is enjoyable.
The biggest change to this iteration in the series is, quite clearly, the gameplay. Rather than hiding from the enemy and trying to slip past without using lethal force, this time Sam is killing enemies at will and he couldn't care less. For me, this was the main reason I chose not to play Conviction for so long. I'm a big fan of stealth games and the first Splinter Cell was the most technical stealth game around, and I absolutely loved it for that. And while I was opposed to the new gameplay before, I must admit it was a good decision. Double Agent was a clear sign that the formula was starting to age, and while i don't agree that Conviction needs to be about all out killing, it was a smart decision and the game is insanely fun as a result.
What I don't agree with, however, is the idea to put in secondary weapons (the likes of which you would see in Call Of Duty). They are assault rifles that are never necessary to progress through the game and, on top of that, they are almost useless. They have horrible accuracy and aren't fun to use, and having a whole arsenal of them at your disposal just seems like a waste of effort from Ubisoft, especially since they are upgrade able and you will never feel the need to upgrade them unless you are playing for achievements.
Although the campaign is fun and and enjoyable to play through, it's far from perfect. Firstly, it is quite possibly the shortest game I have ever played. Even on Realistic difficulty, it only takes 4-6 hours. This is a big problem, because I personally believe that Ubisoft got the gameplay nearly perfect, but there are not enough things to do in the game, not even close. Secondly, it is far too easy. The most difficult setting is barely indistinguishable from the other settings, and is still a breeze to play through. Casual gamers will enjoy it, but hardcore stealth fans will have a big problem with this.
But it's not as if the Campaign is the best part of the game. The "Hunter" challenge mode is possibly the most addictive piece of added content I've ever played on my 360. It puts you in an area or base to quietly take out several enemies while having plenty of weapons and gadgets at your disposal. However it's the extra options that make it fun and, dare I say, challenging for the hardcore stealth fans. You can turn off secondary weapons and gadgets, which means no portable EMP, no Sonar goggles and no useless assault rifles. But to make things even more fun, I set my pistol to the USP; the only handgun in the game without a suppresser, meaning you must play only using hand to hand kills . I have played this mode day after day without earning any unlock ables, it is just incredibly addictive.
There are other modes that I'm not a fan of however, last stand has you protecting an EMP from waves of enemies and is more about shoot-outs than stealth. And there is face off which has you facing a second player and taking out his AI controlled team-mates. These modes aren't exactly bad, but I would never choose them over the Hunter mode. There is also the co-op campaign which is great if you have someone to play with. My experience of this story mode was fairly under whelming, I was playing  with a previously mentioned friend who felt it necessary to listen to Queens Of The Stoneage the entire time we played, which meant there was no real communication between us as to how to get through certain situations and I couldn't hear any dialog. I'm sure that if I played through this mode properly, I would have loved it, so I will give it a positive mention as it would be unfair to say otherwise.
Splinter Cell Conviction is one hell of a game, it's fast, fun, and is great for casual and hardcore gamers alike. The only thing stopping it from greatness is the unfinished feeling it has across all areas, even the hunter mode feels unfinished with it's small portion of maps. My only suggestion for Splinter Cell 6 is to keep the gameplay from Conviction and expand the hell out of it. If Ubisoft only went as far as to make Conviction 2.0, i would be very happy with their choice. Conviction is merely a starting point in what is hopefully a new era of stealth gaming.
+ Incredibly fun
+ Hunter mode is beyond addictive
+/- Good yet unoriginal story
- Barely satisfactory last stand and face off modes
- Short, feels unfinished
- Too Easy
- Useless weapon additions

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