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LONG BLOG

Carter's Quest 2013: Every Splinter Cell game ever

   0


[Read on for a description of every Splinter Cell game ever released in the US, and my completion of them all in 2013.]

2013 is going to be an exciting year. Now that I know you guys enjoy reading my Quests, I'm going to make an effort to do even more of them from here on out.

I hope that you guys have learned a bit about the franchises I've covered so far, as my plan is to inspire others to share their thoughts and feelings with the series of their choice as well (which many of you have done!).

In addition to Metroid, Mega Man Classic, The Elder Scrolls, Mega Man X, and the Mega Man Spinoffs, I also have another one ready to go for 2013: Splinter Cell.

Why Splinter Cell?

I was always intrigued by the Splinter cell series. Michael Ironside's incredible performance over the span of the entire franchise helped, but for the most part, it's the top notch gameplay and cutting edge aesthetics that put me over the edge.

My love of stealth games is incredibly obvious, having played every Tenchu and Metal Gear game ever (among many more), and Splinter Cell can easily be lumped into that group of quality stealth titles. Plus, with Blacklist coming out this year, now is as good a time as ever to take on Sam Fisher.

If you haven't joined me on my Quests before, the way they work is pretty simple. It's kind of like a retrospective, but rather than just give you an overview of a franchise, I'll generally let you know what I thought of the game when it was released, and what I think of it now.

If I didn't provide a complete vision of what the game is like before I replay it, I'll provide an "extended thoughts" section below each applicable entry. I'll update my progress in real time through my blog, and after I finish the entire Quest, I'll share it with you guys on the front page.



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3 (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD), PC, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance [Owned], Mac OSX, N-Gage

The original Splinter Cell was a pretty unassuming release. I was a big fan of Tom Clancy properties beforehand (Rainbow Six), so the "TC" name kind of piqued my interest a bit, admittedly, whereas I probably would have given the initial release a pass. But after diving in, I was hooked.

Like the Thief series, Splinter Cell brought "light and dark" elements to the forefront. With the insanely detailed lighting physics compliments of the Unreal Engine 2, it made gameplay that much more immersive, and there's nothing more badass than a stealth-fiend who lives in the shadows.

Protagonist Sam Fisher's signature tri-eyed goggles were also incredibly cool, and helped catapult the game ahead as more than just a "generic spy thriller" aesthetic.

Like the early Resident Evil series, combat is not encouraged, and the lack of firearm utilization is the key to success. Non-lethal weapons such as ring airfoils and shockers were a large part of Sam's arsenal, which helped mix up gameplay a bit.

I've also never beaten the Game Boy Advance version of the game before, which I'll be playing here in addition to the original game.

EXTENDED THOUGHTS:



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3 (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD), PC, Xbox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance [Owned]

I was hooked in already after the first game, so naturally, I was there for Pandora Tomorrow day one. This time around the game was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, as Ubisoft Montreal was already working on the third game (which shows how successful the first game was).

Although gameplay wasn't really changed that much this time around outside of the adaptive AI (Sam can shoot upside down, and other small mechanics), it was still a great entry in the series, and one of the best reviewed stealth games of all time. An additional multiplayer mode would also be incorporated, but it wouldn't be fully realized until Chaos Theory.

As is the case with the first game, I will also be playing the 2D Game Boy Advance version of Pandora Tomorrow, which I've never beaten before in addition to the original.

EXTENDED THOUGHTS:



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3 (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD), PC, Xbox, GameCube, DS, 3DS [Owned]

The Splinter Cell series would once again get a bump in lightning and get some graphical upgrades that would make the experience much more aesthetically pleasing, but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Sam would now have to monitor not only the lighting of his surroundings, but his noise level as well. This would be extra imperative, because the AI was improved, but Sam had a few extra tricks up his sleeve to deal with them (such as a new combat knife, and enhanced weaponry options). The Optically Channeled Potentiator (OCP) was especially useful, as it allowed you to disable cameras and other electronics simply by pointing at them.

Also, that multiplayer mode I casually mentioned in Pandora Tomorrow? In Chaos Theory, it's fully fleshed out, and it's incredible. On top of the already solid seven mission long coop mode (featuring Agent One and Two), there's the vastly improved upon Spies vs. Mercenaries mode, which pits Shadownet against ARGUS, both of which feature two vastly different playstyles.

I found myself and my group of friends favoring one group over the other, which would lead to a MAG-like favoritism of factions. Spies are more mobile, but must kill their prey through stealth. Mercs are more headstrong and aren't as limber, but they can kill Spies with reckless abandon, at both close and long range.

Multiplayer wise, Spies vs. Mercs was one of the most fun things I've ever experienced in all of gaming, and Chaos Theory is probably the series highlight for me.



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials - PSP [Owned]

I don't remember a whole lot about Essentials -- probably because it was a "here today gone tomorrow" PSP game that felt a bit broken at the time.

Given how great the first three games were, this is kind of a disappointment to see a "flashback" game given this little care by Ubisoft's development staff. In fact, it probably explains why there hasn't been a core portable Splinter Cell game in six years (Double Agent was ported to mobile platforms, and Conviction was ported to iOS and Android).

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing what this can bring to the table: good or bad.

EXTENDED THOUGHTS:



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent - PlayStation 2 [Owned], PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360 [Owned], GameCube, Wii

Double Agent was a vast departure for the Splinter Cell series, for better or worse. The "seventh generation" versions of the game featured a wholly new engine that didn't feel like the first three games, and the gritty "double agent" storyline was a vast departure from the shadowy feel of the series.

To go along with the nature of the title, Sam could opt to side with the NSA or the JBA, depending on how you want the game to progress. Choosing one side over the other would change your weapon loadout, and your ending.

This is also one of the most confusing releases of all time. Strangely enough, the 360/PS3/PC versions are different than the Xbox/PS2/Wii versions -- Splinter Cell Conviction confirms that the 360/PS3/PC versions are canon. The development between these games was split between Ubisoft Shanghai and Montreal, just like the first two games.

I wasn't a big fan of Double Agent when it was released, so lets see if a fresh playthrough changes my mind.

EXTENDED THOUGHTS:



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction - Xbox 360 [Owned], PC, Mac OSX, iOS

After becoming a bit jaded by Double Agent, I was cautious of Conviction -- thankfully, my caution was unfounded, and I ended up loving the game. Although a fair amount of people weren't happy with the more action-oriented gameplay, I found the changes welcome, and a great way to introduce people to the Splinter Cell series.

The "Mark & Execute" mechanic, which allowed players to tag enemies or objects and pew pew them in rapid succession may have made the game a bit easier, but it was a ton of fun to actually utilize.

The "Last Known Position" mechanic creates a ghost of Sam, and shows players where the AI thinks they were located last. Again, this makes the game easier, but the mechanic itself is very well done, and very cool to watch in action. Visually, Conviction is also very impressive to look at, and is a more significant upgrade than Double Agent was (given that DA was essentially an upscaled Xbox/PS2 game for the 360 and PS3).

Multiplayer was also incredibly rewarding, as it focused almost entirely on coop -- even if the Spies vs. Mercenaries mode was nowhere to be found.

In an odd turn of events, Conviction is not available on the PS3 in any form, despite the fact that every other game in the entire franchise (including 2013's Blacklist) is available on a Sony platform.



Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist - Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

I honestly have no idea what to expect from Blacklist, especially given the fact that Ironside is not returning to voice Sam (the reason given is because Ironside is unable to perform motion capture stunts), and the addition of possibly meaningless Kinect integration.

Still, I'm eager to see how the franchise can evolve, and the "Spy Vs. Mercs" mode will return, which could shake the multiplayer scene up in a big way if it succeeds.

EXTENDED THOUGHTS:

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About Chris Carterone of us since 3:56 PM on 01.05.2009



Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!

-------------------

Twitter - @DtoidChris

I'm married, and I've been playing games since I was 4. I still remember buying my own NES system at Sears and going home and playing Mario/Duck Hunt. Fast forward to the present, my wife and I now own a PS4, Xbox One, and Wii U.

If I had to choose a system I had the "best times" with, it would be a two way tie between the Sega Dreamcast and Sony Playstation 2. My favorite game series is Mega Man Classic, but I own every Metal Gear, Devil May Cry, Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, Wario, Tony Hawk, main series Final Fantasy, and Resident Evil game ever released in the US (and a lot more), so it's a close call!

There are too many good games out to count now, but I'm always itching to play my backlog of old PS2 action titles. I'll play anything and everything action-adventure, so if you have a game in mind, drop me a line! I have strong opinions regarding the financial decisions of many publishers, but at the end of the day, I'm willing to give anything a chance; especially if it comes recommended by a community member.

Oh; and in 2012 I started contributing to Destructoid.

Currently backed upcoming crowdfunding projects:

Hover

Yooka-Laylee

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

Shenmue III

I also backed the Tiny Cartridge Patreon in 2014 but no longer back any Patreon campaigns currently

-------------------

Here is my story, from my humble beginnings as a c-blogger.

-------------------
Carter's Quests (previously Magnalon's Quest):

2011 - Zelda
2012 - Resident Evil
2012 - Tony Hawk
2012 - Kingdom Hearts
2012 - Wario
2013 - Mega Man Classic
2013 - Devil May Cry
2013 - Mega Man X
2013 - God of War
2013 - Metroid
2014 - Diablo
2015 - Batman: Arkham

Future - Pokemon
Future - Splinter Cell
Future - Mega Man Spinoffs
Future - Elder Scrolls
Future - Mario
Future - Platinum Games
Future - Kirby
Future - Clover
Future - Castlevania
Future - Metal Gear
Future - Tenchu
Future - Ninja Gaiden
Future - Onimusha
Future - Ape Escape
Future - Disgaea
Future - Twisted Metal
Future - Deception

-------------------

Promoted (before I was staff):

Playing with Others: Phantasy Star Offline

Magnalon's quest to beat every Zelda in 2011

Tips for Securing Your Xbox Live Account

-------------------

My top 20 games (in no particular order):

Resident Evil 5
Fallout: New Vegas
Dragon Age: Origins
Dark Souls
Demon's Souls
Skies of Arcadia
Lunar 1 and 2
World of Warcraft: All Expansions
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3
Tenchu 2
Devil May Cry 3
Phantasy Star Online
Ape Escape 1
Rockman & Forte (Mega Man & Bass)
God Hand
Jet Set Radio Future
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
Final Fantasy Tactics

Bonus:

Bayonetta 2
Shovel Knight
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die
Bloodborne
Yo-Kai Watch
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Ori and the Blind Forest
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Dark Souls II
Deception IV: Blood Ties
South Park: The Stick of Truth
Strider (2014)
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy
The Wolf Among Us
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Super Mario 3D World
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
Dead Rising 3
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD
Guacamelee
Pokemon X & Y
Super Mario 3D World
Grand Theft Auto V
Dragon's Crown
Gravity Rush
Dragon's Dogma
Persona 4 Golden
Pokemon Silver
Tomb Raider (2013)
Brave Fencer Musashi
Shenmue II
Dark Cloud
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Ikaruga
Asura's Wrath
Mutant Mudds
Far Cry 3
Bayonetta
Binding of Isaac
Kingdoms Of Amalur: Reckoning
Fez
Zone of the Enders 2
Kid Icarus: Uprising
Batman: Arkham City
Kingdom Hearts II
Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance
Diablo
Diablo II
Diablo III
Amplitude
Dust: An Elysian Tail
Tomb Raider II
Metal Gear Solid 4
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
Bastion
Zombies At My Neighbors
Super Bomberman 2
Mass Effect
Mass Effect 2
Mass Effect 3
Spelunky
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Onimusha 3
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Ninja Gaiden Black (Xbox)
Power Stone 2
No More Heroes 2
Ultima Online
Aladdin SNES
Super Punch-Out!!
Demon's Crest
Disgaea
Secret of Mana
Sparkster
Borderlands 2
Final Fantasy IV
Final Fantasy X
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario 64
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario 3D Land
Mega Man 8
Okami
The Lost Vikings
Actraiser
Bujingai: The Forsaken City
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Odin Sphere
Donkey Kong Country
Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Call of Duty: World at War
Chrono Trigger
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Half Minute Hero
Kirby Super Star
Super Meat Boy
Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
L.A. Noire
VVVVVV
Outland (XBLA/PSN)
Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Mighty Flip Champs
Child of Eden
Kirby's Dream Course
Shadows of the Damned
Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR)
Rayman: Origins

-------------------

The following are a few of my favorite fictional characters, compliments of SuitcoatAvenger

-My favorite video game character of all time: Magic Emperor Ghaleon.

-Legato Bluesummers from Trigun: classic villain.

-Although obscure, Zero Beat is among my favorites.

-My original avatar.
 



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