Splinter Cell: Conviction

Splinter Cell: Conviction Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PC

Latest in the acclaimed espionage series.

Review Verdict Read Review
9Out of 10
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Splinter Cell: Conviction screenshot
Splinter Cell: Conviction screenshot

It's hard to put it into words, which is a rather big flaw for a review, but somehow Ubisoft has managed to make Splinter Cell Conviction both new and familiar at the same time. By making leading man Sam Fisher a broken mess who will do anything to seek justice, Conviction is more action oriented than previous games in the series, yet stealth and careful surveying of your environment is still absolutely essential. This is an evolution of the stealth genre, making it altogether more appealing to the masses without compromising that which made it so popular in the first place.

Without spoiling the entire plot, it's safe to say that Sam Fisher no longer works for top secret agency Third Echelon. He's going alone, on the hunt for some answers about who killed his daughter and in turn revenge. He's a man quite clearly on the edge, willing to go beyond protocol to get what he needs. He's not entirely without support, with some good friends standing by him, but he'll have to delve into the heart of the corporation to find the answers he seeks. All this essentially means you're on a man hunt, moving from informant to informant in an attempt to get closer and closer to the truth and stop a terrorist attack in the process.

Conviction is unquestionably still a stealth game, with Fisher spending much of the game skulking around in the shadows, in turn making the game completely monochrome for much of the time. When the screen turns grey you're hidden from enemies, and a useful on-screen display lets you know if you're in line of sight to a roaming guard. A white arrow indicates you could be seen, while red means you've been spotted and it's time to make a run for it. Although, as I'll explain later, being seen isn't always a bad thing.

A key weapon in your arsenal is being able to sneak up behind an oblivious enemy and take him out silently. Not only does this help your chances of making it through a level, but also grants you a Take Down, one of Sam's new moves. A Take Down lets you instantly kill any marked enemies, assuming they are within range of your selected weapon. Certain weapons provide you with more marks, but at the cost of distance, while all the mark and executes within a Take Down are used up even if you only tag a single enemy. You might feel like using a Take Down on one enemy is worth it, but it's often a bad idea in the long run.

Splinter Cell: Conviction screenshot

All forms of kills that aren't weapon-based grant you a Take Down, meaning you can use the ability in a variety of ways. If three enemies are in a room and one is patrolling the outside corridor there's a very easy solution. Sneak up behind the single guy, take him out silently with a melee attack and then tag the three enemies inside the adjacent room. Wait until their markers appear red on your display and hit Y to instantly take them out. The room has been cleared and no one heard a thing – as long as you've used a silenced weapon.

Other situations are less straight forward, and the enemies are smart enough to make life harder than you might think. You often need to lure them to a different location to give yourself a better chance of taking them out. To do this you can use the game's other new system, Last Known Position. The last position you were before the enemy lost sight of you is marked by a see-through model of Fisher, and all nearby goons will actively head to that location to try and kill you. You can use this to manoeuvre enemies where you want them, as long as they don't think they're walking into a death-trap, in which case they'll refuse to move, forcing you to come to them.

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12 Comments

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Wido's Avatar

Wido

Nice review Tom.

Always liked the Splinter Cell games and I think taking a new approach is beneficial to the game. All the sneaking around is the highlight of Splinter Cell and Conviction is going to offer modern day action. I'm interested in these goggles that able you to tag enemies through walls. I hope the trademark goggles are also in the game.
Posted 11:08 on 14 April 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993@ chelskiboy247

Its a 15 in england :)
Posted 00:19 on 14 April 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247

What age rating is this game? I've seen both 15 and 18 on box covers, and now I'm all confuzzled. :s
Posted 00:15 on 14 April 2010
p0rtalthinker's Avatar

p0rtalthinker

Thanks for the great review! Co-Op looks beast.
Posted 19:28 on 13 April 2010
wyp100's Avatar

wyp100

As I've said before, this is the first Splinter Cell game I've been interested in. It looks the business and has some really cool ideas. Co-op is also right up my street.
Posted 18:52 on 13 April 2010
chelskiboy247's Avatar

chelskiboy247

I loved the demo but was waiting to see how it reviewed before deciding on purchasing it. I guess I'll be getting it now then, BF:BC2 will have to wait. Especially as Red Dead: Redemption is coming out next month.
Posted 13:18 on 13 April 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams

I've been looking forward to this review so much!
I'm definitely buying this the day it comes out.
I've preordered the collector's edition :D
Such a thorough review Tom, thank you so much :)
Posted 11:44 on 13 April 2010
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie@ TomO

Cool. To hear that you played with randoms and sill enjoyed it makes me want this even more.
Posted 10:27 on 13 April 2010
TomO's Avatar

TomO

I played with some randoms on Xbox LIVE, which I thought would be a nightmare, but on the whole was very good. We'll be doing a video of some sort, hopefully for late this week.
Posted 10:26 on 13 April 2010
dazzadavie's Avatar

dazzadavie

Great review! Hope to get a Game voucher for my birthday next month so will be picking this up, wanted it this Friday but beggars cant be choosers.

Tom, who did you play the co-op campaign with? and will Seb be doing a video review?
Posted 08:43 on 13 April 2010
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Well I can't get this till the end of the month but it looks like it's something I need to get. Cheers Tom for another great review!!
Posted 08:05 on 13 April 2010
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993

Great review Tom,

Cant wait for this to come, seems like a bit of a one play through game though dosnt it?
Posted 08:04 on 13 April 2010

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Splinter Cell: Conviction
9
Out of 10
Splinter Cell: Conviction
  • Thrilling stealth action
  • Superbly stylish presentation
  • Extra co-op campaign
  • Single-player campaign is short
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 16/04/2010
Platforms: Xbox 360 , PC
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Stealth
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 2,805 791
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