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games > tom clancy's splinter cell

tom clancy's splinter cell

Splinter Cell, the smash XBox hit from last holiday, finally arrives on the PC. The PC version offers a few tweaks here and there, but it is essentially the same great game that graced XBox consoles last year. The game offers exciting gameplay, fantastic sound, and incredible graphics that no serious PC gamer should miss.

Splinter Cell follows the exploits of Sam Fisher, an experienced NSA agent who gets called in to investigate the disappearance of two CIA agents in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. As more of the mystery surrounding these agents is uncovered, more questions surface. And as Fisher tries to prevent World War III, things get a little personal...

Sam Fisher is a Splinter Cell. These are the most covert of agents on the field. Operating alone (with only a remote team in support), these agents must slip in unnoticed, survey a situation, deal with it by whatever means necessary, and leave without a trace. In the game, this sense of stealth and espionage is extremely important. You can't run into a situation with your guns flailing about; if the enemy is alerted to your presence, they will find you and kill you as quickly as possible. Often, a single alarm or alerted guard will lead your team leader to pull the plug on the mission. Therefore, the game commands more strategy than twitchy fingers.

The weapons and tools at your disposal are authentic, state-of-the-art, and very cool. You can use such devices as lock picks, camera jammers, laser microphones, and many other cool toys to help you on your mission. In terms of weapons, you start out with a standard SC Pistol with a silencer, but eventually you'll get your hands on the SC-20K M.A.W.S., a rifle complete with multipurpose launcher and sniper scope.

The controls work for the game, but they are pretty hard to get used to. You use the W, A, S, D keys for movement and the mouse to look around, which is easy enough. However, the mouse wheel is used to control your character's speed. While this seems the only logical solution, it feels very clumsy.

The graphics are incredible. Splinter Cell boasts some of the best lighting effects seen on any platform. Every object and character in the game casts a shadow, and these shadows interact off both characters and environments seamlessly. The animations are also very lifelike, and the character models look great. The game is very demanding in terms of hardware, but if your system can run it, this game looks spectacular.

The sound is also quite notable. The music is low and ambient, perfectly suiting the game's sneaky stealth elements. The music also picks up and gets faster and louder whenever a guard discovers Fisher, which is a nice touch. The sound effects are functional; the guns sound like guns and the alarms sound like alarms. The voice effects are probably the highlight in the sound department. Michael Ironside (of Starship Troopers and Scanners) superbly voices Sam Fisher, bringing to the character his trademark gruff and wizened attitude.

Splinter Cell is an amazing game that will wow you both in terms of graphics and gameplay. While some computers won't be able to handle the fantastic graphics engine without dropping substantial frames, Splinter Cell will make you want to upgrade your system

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