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Splinter Cell Preview

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| Action in Gaming | Posted: Jul 26, 2003 4:00 am

If there is one thing the PC gaming market is lacking, it is variation in blockbuster titles. Sure, there are few exceptions, but as it usually occurs, again and again we see the big hype being produced by titles belonging to the first person shooter genre. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, usually the opposite, however repetitiveness plays a significant role in the fate of many 'must have' FPS's.

Perhaps the main reason behind why FPS genre games are so popular is because they involve the combination weaponry and blood (Ed - Wow, you think?), and as it happens, being based around the first person perspective allows for greater implementation of these. As true as this is, however, the first person perspective has its limits, particularly when going beyond the depths of shooting. Ubi Soft have identified this, and are looking towards the old school 3rd person setup to showcase the complex nature that is Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.

The third person perspective was, perhaps, made famous during the onslaught of adventure titles from the early days of modernised 3d console gaming. Such a title is Tomb Raider, where the third person perspective was used to generally do exactly what the first person perspective does best, shooting and killing. Of course, putting aside that only the third person perspective could allow for Lara Croft's digital 'beauty' to be showcased (which ended up selling the series practically), the use of this perspective allowed for new dimensions, like jumping and environmental puzzles, to be fully implemented. With Splinter Cell, Ubi Soft will be doing similar in which, although shooting will be a significant role in the game, the player must use the unique perspective to their advantage.

Splinter Cell is essentially the PC gamer's answer to the Metal Gear Solid series, which featured exclusively on the PS2, and will perhaps be one of the most innovative PC titles to hit the retail sector for a long time. The PC gamer has always been restricted when concerning the amount of 'brain over brawn' combat titles, which makes Splinter Cell somewhat niche focused. Not only will it be almost a one of a kind PC title, it is touted to surpass Metal Gear Solid 2 in almost every aspect.

Splinter Cell will be featuring cyber-terrorism, shadow agencies, and covert operations, and is set in the realistic, highly detailed geopolitical universe as portrayed by Tom Clancy. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell will grant players access to the highest echelons of national security, where shadowy operatives have the freedom to do whatever it takes to safeguard America. In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, the player controls Sam Fisher, a field operative of a secretive "black-ops" NSA sub-agency called Third Echelon. Sam Fisher is geared up to infiltrate high-security strongholds, seize critical intelligence, destroy threatening data and neutralise the enemy - all without leaving a trace. One of the problems many console gamers found in MGS2 was the fact it was almost more movie than game. The Ubi Soft team are aware that the gamers want action, along with an indepth story line, and that is exactly what you should expect.

Almost straight away you begin asking yourself if the screenshots from Splinter Cell are actual in-game shots - which they are. Ubi Soft has shown some serious interest in the way of Unreal technology, and will be implementing the new Unreal Warfare engine in Splinter Cell. This will allow for, potentially, unsurpassed graphics to be shown with extreme life like animations and environments. The Unreal Warfare engine is certainly far superior quality wise than anything seen in console gaming at present, so one can safely say the visuals in Splinter Cell will exceed those of Metal Gear Solid 2.

As far as tasks go, the player will be confronted with a total of 14 tension filled levels, guaranteed to prove as great challenges. To aid in the completion of these tasks, the player will be given an arsenal of 13 ultra modern weapons along with some high tech gear such as thermo vision/night vision goggles, laser mikes and gas grenades. Splinter Cell is certainly one for the gadget lover.

One gremlin that almost always seems to possess third person shooters is the camera control, and general player movement. Splinter Cell will be give full control to the player camera wise, so if a task requires a certain camera view then you have the power to manipulate it. Not only will that aid in better player movement, but you will also be presented with a massive amount of special moves to fit almost any situation. And if that wasn't enough to submerse you into the scene, you will be given the ability to interact with almost every environment object, with such items as Retinal Scanners, Finger Print Key Pads and more. Talk about flexibility.

Splinter Cell should be out for Christmas, and is already seeing interest from the bulk of the gaming community. If the third person genre were to come back, which is somewhat unheard of these days in PC gaming, then titles like Splinter Cell will be sure to spark the trend. Get ready for superior realism and total immersion, because as with most Tom Clancy branded media, it doesn't get much deadlier than this.

 

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