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Splinter Cell: Conviction - Ruin's Thoughts


Ruin
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I beat Conviction on Normal mode a couple days ago. Normally I would have gone for a harder setting, but being drugged up from surgery, I only saw frustration and not entertainment in my future.

Anyway, I thought I'd give a brief and semi-review of the game for those of you who are on the fence. There's no real organization here, just my thoughts.

First, this is a great game. It's a whole lot of fun and I really enjoyed playing it. It's not the Splinter Cell you're used to. It's still fairly linear, but your options in gadgetry and how to handle a situation is what allows for a more diverse game-play. Unlike the old SC games, with few exceptions, in Conviction you can choose to be all sleek and stealthy 3rd Echelon Sam Fisher, or you can be "You Killed My Daughter and Now You Will Pay!" Sam Fisher. The choice is yours. There's a great variety of weapons. Using one that is unsuppressed will unleash platoons of men bound and hell bent on your death and doom.

The controls are simple and easy to get used to. Sam can interact with his environment a bit more than in other games, and it is a bit more fool proof. You can peek under doors, bash them open (busting a baddy's head against a door you just kicked in on him is cool and highly amusing), or just open them. You can jump over things, climb things (pipes, walls etc), and you can blow things up. You interact with less electronics. No more hacking e-mails and learning security codes etc.

The hiding system (as I'll call it) is very much a pro and a con in the game. Since you're a rogue agent, you no longer have access to 3rd Echelon's high speed suits with light detectors etc. The way the game lets you know if you're hidden from enemies or not is by making everything black and white. If you view life in color, you're exposed. It's a simple and easy system with a catch. I'm the kind of player that loves to destroy lights. The shadows tend to be fairly obvious, but I like to plan my movement based on the shadows available or the ones that I have created. The problem I found was that I had a hard time determining how the lights that I blew out effected the lighting in the environment. My biggest, and really only, complaint with the game is the lack of night-vision.

Instead of night vision Sam gets Sonar goggles. These are super cool. Basically anything you can interact with in the environment (bad guys, dropped weapons, drone turrets, explosive tanks etc) glow white, like you would expect to see in some kind of FLIR style optic. These are very handy, except when trying to navigate in the dark. When moving they shake and make the screen go fuzzy and you can only really navigate the darkness with them for a little while. They're an interesting tool, but I do miss just plain old night vision.

The weapon selection is pretty cool. As an 360 gamer who has NEVER played online, and have only hooked up my 360 to XBox Live to redeem my code for the suppressed SPAS-12 in the game, I was kinda upset to see that some of the weapons are restricted either for online play, or Uplay registration (not sure which). There's a variety of suppressed and unsuppressed weapons. You can add suppressors to a select few in the "upgrades" section of the weapon stash.

Weapon upgrades are bought. You earn money, or points, or whatever, by completing game challenges (think R6:Vegas 2). The challenges are fun, most happen naturally, and they help you upgrade your equipment - even your gadgets and projectiles. Sticky Mines are great, you can throw them at someone's feet, undetected. I just wish you could do simultaneous detonations (have 2 or 3 go off at once). Bad guys tend to see and run from grenades, so they're harder to land in the right spot. Oh, and apparently Sam was a pitcher for the Yankees or some pro team. He can hurl grenades and the like for an eternity. I was trying to arc a grenade and only ended up overshooting my target by 50 yards. Where the crosshair is aimed is where it will land.

The story line... I'm not going to hit on this much. You get the reappearance of Grimsdottir, and the overall theme is avenging Sarah's (Sam's daughter) death. I honestly didn't pay too much attention to the story line.

The missions. There's quite a variety. From breaking in to a mansion and maneuvering unnoticed, to fighting in Iraq during Desert Storm with an AK47 and unlimited ammunition, taking over the 3rd Echelon office, and fighting in the White House. There are times where you can go weapons free and just have a blast laying waste. There are times when stealth is your only weapon and you must shoot and move as quietly as possible. At points you'll need to dodge lasers that trigger drone security turrets on you. You'll fight 3rd Echelon and PSCs. All in all, it's a great mix and the missions will never bore you.

Overall, it's a great game. If you're looking to have fun, and choose between stealth and straight on aggression, this is it. I'll give in an 8.5/10 - taking points away only for the lack of night vision and for exclusive online content.

If you were on the fence and debating as whether or not to buy it... Get it! :) If you're not interested in the online play (which I'll be trying out here in the coming days) go ahead and wait for a bit of a price drop. But this is definitely a game to have in the collection.

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An Updated:

I've played some more Conviction over the past couple days, so I feel the need to update this a bit.

Uniforms: Uniforms are upgradeable. This is a neat little feature. Just like upgrading weapons, you can unlock better body armor and the ability to carry more ammunition and gadgets/gear. There's a great selection of uniforms for you to pick from. Some are kinda cheesy looking, only a couple are your "bad ass stealthy super soldier" style. But overall you're only going to encounter this in multiplayer.

Multiplayer: My favorite part of any game. I used my one month of XBox Live! Gold free on this game. The first thing I did was renew my code for the SPAS-12SD (what a fun little toy). Next step was to register for Uplay! so I can (hopefully, if I didn't mess it up) get my GR;FS Beta access. I noticed in the Uplay! menu the ability to unlock "Actions" and "Rewards." It seems these exist for many games. I'm new to the XBox scene, so forgive me if I leave out important details. Anyway, Uplay! will set up "Actions" that will earn you Uplay! points if you complete them in game. If I remember properly, one of them was upgrading all uniforms with all upgrades. Once you earn these points you can redeem them in the Uplay! menu for "Rewards." So I opened up the SCAR-H and a couple other little things as well - a new game mode: Infiltration. This is similar to Hunter, only now if you're detected, the game is over - there's no reinforcements like in Hunter. They also add cameras, more drone turrets, and lasers to the maps. This one is loads of fun too.

Moving on to actual MP gameplay. I only played one game-type that seemed the most interesting to me - Face-Off. Oh, good god. This is an amazing game-type. The object is to kill as many people as possible, while competing against an adversarial opponent, for as many points as possible. First one to win three rounds wins the match. Scoring is simple: Kill the other player - 5 points, kill a bad guy - 1 point, every time you die - lose 3 points. The great part about this is your number of options again. You can take a more slow and sneaky approach, kill a few, but stay alive longer (so you're not losing points) or you can just go nuts and run around guns blazing. I enjoyed a bit of both. I didn't really have a choice in my first match because I wanted to try the SCAR-H, somehow not noticing that it's an unsuppressed weapons.

I have not tried any co-op play yet. Since I'm new to this, I don't have a clue where my headset is, and since communication is key to a successful co-op game, I'm going to wait. My connections with the other players were strong (I am running 20Meg cable internet) so I don't foresee a problem playing campaign style with someone, so long as they have the attention span to do it right with you.

So, after this short update, I hope I can convince more of you to give this game a try at some point. I'm really enjoying this game and love the number of options I have for how I want to play. The only thing I'm still trying to figure out is how to unlock some of these other weapons, my guess is that they come through the in-game challenges. I'm also a little upset that you can't suppress every weapon in the game. I'm not sure about the decision on this one, but still, it's not a detriment.

That's all for now. I might add some more later, or try and clean this up, who knows. But I'm enjoying my time off so I'm about to play some more. :) Hope you all enjoyed reading!

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Thanks Day, I appreciate it.

SC:C catches a lot of flack for not being just like the old SCs, but I don't think you can take away from the game individually because it doesn't completely mesh with the group. It is different, but different is good for a game series that's been around for close to a decade (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell was the first game released Nov. 2002).

It breathes some new life in to the game, takes a new and I'd say "grittier" approach, but is still an outstanding game.

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Flashback stuff sounds interesting, and I agree on mission objective text - I thought it looked pretty cool in the videos.

As for being different, it looks similar enough from the gameplay I've seen so far. None of the other SC games have been just like the original either, least of all Double Agent thanks to every other mission being an "infiltration mission" (lack of a better term). Which I didn't really enjoy too much to be honest :P

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Glad you guys are enjoying the game :)

Also have to agree with Alienshogun, when you get chance play through on realistic its certainly worth the extra play through. I found it even more fun for having learned most of my lessons playing on normal and was (for the most part) able to play through more seemlessly :)

Started on the co-op now, playing through the hunter modes, and waiting on a friend to sort their gold account to get some games going this weekend.....:)

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Another great thing comes in the "Deniable Ops" game type that I knew little of at the time I wrote this. So for those of you still following this, you get a little treat. ;)

Deniable Ops lets you play one of six (I think) maps on one of three game types: Hunter, Infiltration (if you unlock it through Uplay) and a Defense type game that I've not tried yet (you defend an EMP from waves of attackers). For Hunter and Infiltrate mode the map is divided into five zones, each with ten bad guys for you to eliminate. Each zone starts with someone in your earpiece telling you they want the zone "sterilized." Makes killing people in the dark sound so clinical. The goal is simple, eliminate everyone without being detected. In Hunter, detection means 10 more enemies aware of your presence who are actively searching. In Infiltrate, it means the end of the mission. Each stage gets progressively harder. Your enemies have more equipment to search you out with and their armament and level of skill increase as well. So by the time you reach the 5th stage, you're practically fighting 3rd Echelon. To keep gameplay balanced, unlike in the campaign, they do not have Sonar goggles also.

So there's a little tid-bit on that.

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I really like how they broadcast the flashback cutscenes live into the current scene in the background, that's very cool.

The neat thing about it is, if you don't like it you can turn it off...I liked it though.

I just finished it myself...and actually went on record as saying that if GRFS is like SC: Conviction, I might be disappointed at first but would get over it heh heh. It's a great game.

I loved the Mark and Execute feature and found myself trying to be as creative as I could with it. If you're quick enough, you can use your portable EMP, take a guy down with a melee attack, tag two bad guys and hit the execute button. If you pull it off...it's very slick.

I also liked the mission where you are chasing after this guy to question him - it's pretty tense.

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That's a good point too.

The Mark and Execute. If you watch patrols enough, or are just quick enough, guards tend to do what most bored soldiers do... gather in groups and shoot the breeze. With the right weapon setup (I use the FiveSeven), you can mark four targets and drop them fast. Loads of fun. I don't remember if I mentioned this in the first post or not...

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

It's been a while for this thread, but maybe some-one can shed some light on this: I'm playing through the Deniable Ops maps on Rookie first to get a feel for the maps, before going through them on Realistic. So anyway, I'm doing this one map, I got this one room with two guys in. They weren't yet aware of my presence - I try to take out the majority of enemies with primarily melee attacks, in fact, I hardly use the weapons at all. Unless I shoot out like - which if you're not careful can draw attaent and alert nearby enemies, then they come looking for you with flash lights on etc. But that's not why I'm posting.

As I said, I got this very large office type room 3-4 metres wide maybe, over 75% of the room was in complete darkness. I like to observe enemies paths and figure out at what point along their path would be safest to grab the enemy (and throw them out of a window etc, or funny as hell, on the first Deniable Ops map, on the very last section, throw an enemy onto the car in the garage....) - melee killing them outright can attract other enemies, where their paths cross. So I like to grab them as a human shield then 'dispose' of them nearby away from other enemies' paths.

So this big room. There's one guy at the far end in the light NOT FACING MY DIRECTION. There's one directly to left - 90 degrees from the other other guy) inside several metres of dark. So I grab him as a human shield. Screen's black & white. Next thing, the guy across the other side of the room, STILL not facing my direction, somehow automatically sees me, shouts abuse (leads me to think the voice actor for the badguys had tourettes :D ) as they do, and legs it for cover to get a better firing position on me. In doing so, he was firing an AK47 FROM THE HIP WHILE RUNNING and somehow managed to headshot me, bearing in mind I was by this point facing his direction with the human shield.

So, some-one explain the mechanics of that to me.

On a side not, I've now completed half of the Deniable Ops maps on Realistic, even got through the first one completely un-noticed. The DLC maps are harder and the enemies seem to deal an insane amount of damage despite your level of armoUr even on lower difficulties - I had one enemy melee attack me (I took no other damage prior to this) and I was dead in one hit,on Normal. And, he hit me with his gun, not a sledgehammer, so I can't understand this either.

Also, anyone able to confirm the AK47, AK74SU and the SR-2 CANNOT be unlocked in Deniable Ops mode, only in co-op? Apparently you take this weapons to a weapon stash in cop to unlock them. This is not the case in Deniable Ops - retrieving this weapons from enemies and bringing them to a weapon stash/completing a map with them in Deniable Ops does nothing.

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