Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Be a Spy, Tough Guy

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Be a Spy, Tough Guy

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT McGINTY

If a game is inspired by Tom Clancy, you can count on a couple of things: super sneaky but lethal characters, and a twisting tale of political intrigue. In other words, it's on the other end of the spectrum from "Wii Party."

Thank goodness for that.

What they're selling: From Ubisoft - " 'Splinter Cell: Conviction' arms you to the teeth with all the high-tech weaponry and lethal skills of an elite operative and invites you to enter a dangerous world where justice means making your own rules."

What we're telling: That's not surprising ... lead character Sam Fisher is one of gaming's all-time tough guys.

The nut graph: Like a fat ninja, "Conviction" puts more of an emphasis on action than stealth: While there are still a few sneaky sequences, there are more gun battles and grenade tossing than you might expect from previous "Splinter Cell" games. The end result is a satisfying game with a great story and a number of fun ways to play.

It unfolds across 11 chapters and fairly pushes you along the main path. That's not bad, since the story is more interesting than the environments you play in - they're well-designed but fairly uninteresting to explore. It has a great cover system, and you can move invisibly when in shadows (if you step back in the shadows after you are spotted, your enemies will move toward the last spot where you were seen).

And there is a decent mix of gadgets and weapons, but not too many. It's a fairly Spartan game in that it only gives you what you need to get the job done.

It won't take you long to finish the single-player game, just a few hours on the easier settings or a bit longer on the "realistic" setting. But there is a fantastic co-op mode that is a completely different story from the single-player game, and a number of different ways to battle online. It's definitely a more robust package if you plan on playing through Xbox Live. …

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