Splinter Cell: Conviction
Splinter Cell: Conviction is an action game developed and released by Ubisoft in 2010. It is the fifth game in the Splinter Cell series, following Splinter Cell: Double Agent and preceding Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
The game features Sam Fisher searching for the truth about the death of his daughter. During this quest, he is contacted by an old acquaintance who'll ask his help in repelling a threat to the United States coming from within its own borders. The gameplay offers little stealth and a lot more action than the previous titles.
- The plot is unconvincing. Sam Fisher is assaulted in Malta while he was minding his own business by mobsters who believed he was hunting them down. The story also depicts Sam as being angrier and more violent due to the death of his daughter even after he finds out she's alive during the Price Airfield mission, the third level of the game.
- An overall forgettable soundtrack, with the exception of the first musical score heard during the White Box Lab mission.
- Extremely poor enemy AI. The enemies always shoot at the last location you were even if they should clearly "see" that there is no one there. Enemies only have two type of approach in fight, they often rush at you making killing them a piece of cake or they stand still to prevent being ambushed by Fisher allowing him to easily kill them in melee; when adopting the second method they often face the opposite way or other ways instead of facing the spot where Sam Fisher was. If they spot you while you're hanging from a window they will also come at you, allowing them to be easily grabbed and thrown out, one at a time. Finally, you can easily kill an enemy in close combat and use the corpse to lure enemies near you and quickly dispose of them one at a time until the room is emptied.
- Excessive use of swearing, especially from the enemies, that becomes annoying in no time. The enemies shout profanities every single time you shoot a light, for example.
- Despite the fact that the game features multiple weapons, most of them are useless if you want to play it stealthy because they are not silenced. The weapons system is also characterized by an upgrade system that makes this game feel more like a cheap flash game then a console game from a major publisher.
- Lack of challenge. the game is very easy to beat even on the "realistic" difficulty due to the poor enemy A.I. (see point three), the fact that you can kill enemies from any angle with a single tap of a button, pistols having infinite ammo, regenerating health which means you can disregard stealth and play the game like a normal third-person shooter, and most notably the use of an aimbot called "Mark & Execute" that allows the player to automatically shoot enemies after he makes a melee kill. Specific reasons are: an impossible to lose chase sequence where the enemy always waits for you, a sequence of the game with unlimited "Mark & Execute" ability and an helicopter which conveniently places itself in front of you and stands at a low height to allow you to take cover, while it would make more sense for it to fly directly over Fisher to shoot him.
- The endgame consists in a zero effort boss battle where all you have to do is mark & execute every enemy in the oval office before the big bad kills you; you can only lose on purpose during this part.
- Flawed controls: Sam can't jump on his own anymore, instead he can only perform actions (like climbing a pole, hanging from a window, grab a ledge and open a door) if the A button is on screen when Sam is near an interaction point like an open window. This often leads to Sam performing a random action instead of the one wanted (you often end up jumping out of a window when you want to open a door, even if the window is far away). This also drastically reduces your freedom of movement a lot because even if you just want to drop down from a ledge you can't simply walk down, you must press the A button when you are near its border.
- Lack of content and functions. Basically all you have to do is use two buttons: B for killing enemies up close and the right trigger to shoot (this also makes the gameplay feel repetitive), there are no special objectives or actions required to complete a level and the technical equipment which the series was famous for has been extremely reduced to a few standard grenades and an explosive microcamera. The developers removed useful meters (such as the sound meter and the stealth meter), and the objectives interface which used to present detailed infos about the mission also of historical nature. All this demonstrates the developers' laziness and their will to make the game overly-simplified in order to attract casual gamers to the franchise.
- Weird design choices: "ghost" writings informing you about your objective and the feelings of Sam, along with characters' names, appear on the walls and on the objects in the game's environments like they were hallucinations. The same thing must be said for odd "cutscenes" appearing on the walls that show you the main enemies of the story or past events of the game.
- The dialogues are very cliched and make the game feel like a cheap action movie with a standard "badass character".
- The game is quite edgy and overly dramatic, with blood that spurts with extreme ease from the slightest of wounds, an enemy that catches on fire, Sam impaling a Black Arrow officer's hand with a knife, Black Arrow mercs executing scientists and havoc in the city, defeating the original purpose of the series to be fairly bloodless and non-violent -a trend that started in the final cutscene of Splinter Cell: Double Agent for PS2 and Xbox-. These moments feel unneeded, especially the interrogatories where all you do is bashing the enemy's head on surrounding objects at random.
- The game doesn't even follow the regular story of Double Agent (the prequel). At the end of Double Agent the best ending was the only one hinting at having a sequel (with a "To Be Continued" screen), instead the developers chose the worst one (Lambert getting executed by an unwilling Sam Fisher) as a starting point for this one.
- Some unintentionally laughable moments like Sam Fisher arguing with Grimsdottir about the fact he doesn't want to be a spy anymore while being imprisoned in Price Airport (an enemy base), and Sam Fisher kicking Andry Kobin from a balcony, prompting him to scream while in slow-motion for more time than it would take to fall to the floor if the speed of the cutscene was normal.
- Artificial Difficulty: Even if you manage to play the game stealthily, the developers made it so that the enemies can still spot you even if you are hiding. It is also impossible to figure out if someone is coming at you if you are not looking at the direction they are coming from.
- It is really hard to tell if you are about to move to a dark place or in the light due to the game's graphics changing to black and white when in the shadows.
- Every character of the series is out of character: Sam Fisher has been changed from a gruff and sarcastic spy to a relentless Rambo-like killer and Anna Grimsdottir is depicted like she's always been a manipulative government officer instead of her characteristic computer scientist/engineer persona. These two characters also suffer from ugly character design, especially Sam Fisher during the loading screen. Lambert deserves a special mention (since he's not a character in the game due to his death in the prequel) because he was a character famous for hating violence and torture even if terrorists were the victims of those; instead it is discovered he requested a body to replace Fisher's daughter in order to fake her death.
- It only came out on the PC and Xbox 360 with no PS3 version despite the other Splinter Cell games being on PlayStation. There was not even a different watered down Wii, or Nintendo DS and PSP version companion game to go along as well!'
- The campaign is really short, which can be finished in about 3 hours. Most of the missions can be beaten within 15 minutes or less.
- The Android/iOS port is even worse than the Xbox 360/Microsoft Windows port.
- The "Infiltration" mode has a rather classic Splinter Cell feeling to it, but it is a DLC. This is in fact a bad choice made by the developers because less people are able to play one of the better contents of the game.
- The game offers the option to change the difficulty while playing, without having to quit from the game.
- The co-op story mode, while suffering from the same flaws of the single player campaign, features more functions like reviving your teammate, freeing your teammate from an enemy's grab and trying to get up after being wounded to defend yourself while waiting to be healed.
- The scene where Sam finds out that his daughter is alive feels pretty real and the level can make you feel like a badass.
- While the soundtrack is still forgettable, it's pretty good.