Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials is a third-person stealth action game developed by Ubisoft Montreal for the PlayStation Portable and released in 2006. The game is part of the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series of games.
Why It Sucks
- Terrible controls that are awful in so many unimaginable ways. For example you cannot move and turn the camera at the same time as the PSP lacks a second analog stick, to turn the camera you must stop moving and hold circle and move the stick to turn the camera.
- Horrid graphics even for PSP standards, Sam has no eyes, the limbs of models look like tree branches and some terrain textures are comparable to those from Half-Life which came out in 1998!
- Levels made for this game specifically are pretty barebones and bland with no environments or levels really sticking out.
- The story is pretty poorly written with most of it just being flashbacks to levels from previous entries with extremely forced cutscenes that lead into them.
- Speaking of those levels from past entries, those levels are based on the PS2 versions of the games which means they are missing many rooms and details that the PS2 versions did.
- The animations for killing an enemy in your grasp non-lethally and lethally have been swapped, so breaking someone's spine is considered a knockout while choking them out is now considered a kill which can be really confusing for those familiar with the series.
- The game has an inconsistency with voice actors in the Penthouse level from Chaos Theory, where you hear the voices of Lambert and Grim from Pandora Tomorrow which are different to those in the main game. This is because Chaos Theory removed alert limits and Essentials added them back in for this level and as such there is no dialogue for the 3 alert phases so they reuse lines from Pandora Tomorrow ignoring the jarring inconsistency.
- The game also doesn't run very well, dropping frames when things get too intense.
- Nothing in the story matters as the game's events are forgotten by the next entry in the timeline: Splinter Cell Conviction, making the whole game pointless.
- There was a preview for Double Agent featured as this game released before Double Agent (despite that the main game takes place after Double Agent), however the preview you were given wasn't at all what you did in either version of Double Agent, making it somewhat false advertising.
- The game features three bonus missions from Pandora Tomorrow which are separate from the main story, however like the other levels from past entries in this game, the levels are compromised with objectives ripped out and levels having sections removed or streamlined.
- Two of the nine levels in the Main Campaign are extremely brief with one being essentially a sixty-second tutorial and the other being a dialogue Tree cutscene.
- The Spy Vs Spy Multiplayer only features four maps and suffers from the control issues mentioned above, night vision and thermal vision that need to be recharged after thirty seconds and the frame rate dropping to near unplayable numbers as well as Dark maps that make it hard to find the other player.
- The music is mostly pretty good as it is lifted from Pandora Tomorrow which had great music.
- Michael Ironside and the rest of the cast still deliver solid performances and give new lines exclusive to this game.
- The concept was a good one, taking past levels from old games and some new ones and putting it on a handheld was a neat concept.
- For the most part the gameplay features of the main Splinter Cell titles are retained without any real sacrifices made.
- The game still feels like Splinter Cell at least despite it's many flaws.