For most of summer I was in a video game lull. This isn’t exactly atypical; time not spent in front of the computer generally ends up being spent outside or doing basically nothing. The exception was Forza 3, which I finally finished; but even that had become more of a task that I gave myself versus something I did for recreation.
As fall approached I felt like I wanted to play something, but I wasn’t sure what. I wasn’t quite ready to jump into a game that I knew would eat up weeks of my time (nor did such a game even exist that I wanted to play). Usually when this happens I find myself delving into the back burner for “games I kinda sorta was intrigued by or
enjoyed tolerated the demo of”, and that’s how I ended up renting Splinter Cell: Conviction.
I had played the Conviction demo when it first hit Xbox Live and found it rather… fun. At the time I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to force myself through a game that required any sort of stealth, and I also didn’t feel like committing another control scheme to memory. On the other hand, the graphics and presentation seemed top notch, and the story… well, I haven’t played any of the other games in the Splinter Cell franchise so I couldn’t really follow anything with the limited objectives provided by the demo.
It took me an hour or two of playing the full title to re-engage my light-stealth-third-person-shooter mindset, but after doing so and getting a handle on the controls, I began to enjoy the game immensely. It sounds like this newest iteration is a departure of sorts from the traditional Splinter Cell manifesto; being detected is no longer the game-ending circumstance that it would’ve been in previous episodes. Instead the game feels somewhat like a modern-day Assassin’s Creed — stealth is certainly the best way to accomplish the task at hand, but it’s generally not the only way.
Honestly I can’t really say much about the story; it’s interesting enough but I assume it would’ve been more meaningful if I had a relationship with the characters that would’ve been achieved via the earlier games. Suffice it to say that it gets the job done and doesn’t leave me much room for complaint. And really that can be applied to Splinter Cell: Conviction as a whole. It got the job done (admirably, I might add) when I just needed something to occupy me for a couple of days.