Splinter Cell: Double Agent Reviews and Impressions

Man oh man, I wish I could join in with you guys tonight. However, money is a bit tight right now and I didn't manage the old Gamefly juggle properly, so I won't have the game until sometime next week at the earliest. Hopefully you all won't mind an utter newb joining in with you all a week or two late, eh?

Gamespot's review is up. I don't know which sites are dependable and which aren't, but this review seems more honest/informative than the IGN one. I'd have it but my local game store is apparently incapable of selling goods, so they're more of a game gallery now. Awesome.

Even better, a gametrailers review.

I got it. Let's MP if anyone else has it. Send me an invite, I'll drop singleplay in a heartbeat for some multiplay.

I just got home with it..

Also just got home with it, fiddling with Live now.

For soem reason I can't connect to live.

Lovely.

Same here. "Xbox Live Signup is currently unavailable."

Yeah this has been my status with live since tuesday. Oh well, there's always single player.

The live issues seem to be focused on certain areas and have been occuring since the update yesterday, I also cannot get on live at the moment.

As for DA, looks like it isn't hitting Canada until tomorrow at the earliest so I won't be joining tonights festivities (live issues aside).

Just finished the first mission. Lots of darkness, strong variations of light, huge spaces with lots of enemies. Also, the level is surprisingly confusing, but not hugely so. I'm not so turned on by the story so far. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that Fisher's daughter dies and he enters prison undercover to help a terrorist escape and gain his trust. Ubi hasn't kept that part a secret. Well, they did not set it up very well for me. Graphics are nice but not stunning. For some reason, meh so far. But I'm told the best missions are coming up.

I almost bought it but since all they had left was the CE for $74.89 I freaked and bought Madden '97 for the PSOne for $2.

TrashiDawa wrote:

What version (360 or pc ) do you folks plan to buy? I am leaning toward the 360 version but will go with the majority for multiplayer purposes.

I love the idea of the 360 version, but probably will end up with the PC version. I just suck at shooters on consoles.

Just a tip for those looking to get the game on the cheap. You can pick it up from Buy.com, after which use Google Checkout to pay for it and you get an automatic $10 off. I just did it and scored the CE for little under $60 shipped. I know, I moaned about the forced combat, bright locales and everything but then I completely caved. In my defense Sam Fisher was holding a knife to my neck. Not to mention that the next Splinter Cell was a big reason I jumped and bought a 360 to begin with.

Well I'm through the first two or three missions (does hanging out in a terrorist compound count as a mission, hope not) and so far these are the worst levels of the entire series. I can't even really decide which one of the first two I dislike more. The trust system is retarded, somebody should be fired. It would appear that all my fears regarding the multiplayer were unfounded but were sadly spot on with the singleplayer. Dear Spaghetti Monster, please let the rest of the game be good.

Hmm, awesome new multiplayer with crappy singleplayer, where have I seen you before? It's like Pandora Tomorrow 2. I guess the Splinter Cell series works like Star Trek movies.

Play Asia has it on sale for $45.

Say it ain't so! I really want to buy it but I may wait for more impressions.

I didn't mind the PT single player but then again I never played part one.

I'm kinda scared of being negative after that huge Gameguru thread, but I'm a bit disappointed by this game so far. Why? Its a good game, but Chaos Theory was a great game. To me Sam Fisher *IS* the Xbox, but this game so far feels like a 3rd tier game. It needed another 6 months, should have been released in March.

Lots of times Sam Fisher's 3d model looks ass ugly. However, I just finished the artic tanker level with the most beautiful use of shaders I've ever seen. The level blows away GRAW, and then I finished it and went to the Shanghai level and cr*pped my pants! The light play is crazy in this game, lots of sharp contrasts and very rarely can you shoot out a light.

Danjo is right, the gameplay is merely good instead of brilliant. The camera is close in for that cinematic, claustrophic feeling. I can't decide if the story is a brilliant fumble or just bad, but Ubi didn't bring it together for me.

Still, I don't want to scare people awat from the game. The terrorist headquarters level is just as cool as they described it.

It's Ubisoft Shanghai, the Jerry's kids of the SC franchise. I expected as much, but it'll provide some cheap thrills while the multiplayer rocks my socks.

The game wrote:

To prevent loosing JBA trust you should exit the restricted area

Yes, "loosing". Jesus.

Why do so many struggle with 2nd grade spelling? There's no excuse for a localization team to screw that up.

Hey! Started the first mission myself to see what Danjo was complaining about and, well, didn't finish it. I died four times. On the first mission. I'm not going to pass judgement just yet but so far the single player isn't up to par of CT standards.

Looks like we've been Shangaied again.

I'm not impressed with the new HUD (or lack thereof), especially the now binary visible/not visible mechanic. There's no way to tell when you're approaching a yellow area or moving towards a green area from the interface, and it's not easy to infer where the safe areas are just by looking at the environment.

In a stealth game, providing information like this to the player is vital. The "HUD-less" concept just doesn't work well.

Door codes are hard to read, and there's no health meter that I can see. Am I missing something? I didn't like this mechanic in The Getaway and it's not any better here.

So... Should I buy Chaos Theory for the Xbox? Will people be playing it?

I want to read impressions, but I don't want to get spoilers.

If the SP is as good as PT I will get it. CT was better, but I had fun with PT.

I'm going 360 BTW.

Also, it sound like the MP is very good, huh? So we didn't loose anything there.

One more thing, don't think you can go rogue right off the bat. If there's a point where you make that choice, I haven't seen it yet. Losing all your trust for either the NSA or JBA means game over.

I knew I couldn't trust Shanghai! From what everyone has said, it sounds like they basically changed a bunch of stuff for no apparent reason. Nothings improved, and will more than likely be axed and replaced with better features in the next one (being done by Montreal I hope.) Yet, the multiplayer is fantastic. Its exactly like what was done with PT.

So....MP tonight then?

If only we could get Montreal to do singleplayer and Shanghai to do multiplayer.

I've got an AQ raid with my WoW guild tonight, but other people will probably be on for MP.

I wanted to say something about the touted trust system. It works pretty well in the terrorist HQ, not so great in other instances. Basically, you have missions from both the NSA and the JBA ("John Brown's Army", who comes up with this sh*t?) So far they don't really overlap, and I haven't run into situations where you need creative solutions to please the terrorists. Sometimes losing trust is as simple as triggering an alarm, which feels kinda cheap to me.

What is nice is the terrorist HQ - you walk around with these deadly people who don't yet trust you and could kill you in an instant. You need to accomplish NSA objectives which means sneaking past these people in broad daylight, very cool. Not only must you sneak into restricted areas, you need to sneak out as well. It's a whole new approach to stealth games and very refreshing.

SocialChameleon wrote:

I'm not impressed with the new HUD (or lack thereof), especially the now binary visible/not visible mechanic. There's no way to tell when you're approaching a yellow area or moving towards a green area from the interface, and it's not easy to infer where the safe areas are just by looking at the environment.

In a stealth game, providing information like this to the player is vital. The "HUD-less" concept just doesn't work well.

Door codes are hard to read, and there's no health meter that I can see. Am I missing something? I didn't like this mechanic in The Getaway and it's not any better here.

These are my feeling for the most part. I don't mind a minimal interface, but they took the wrong parts away and left the most useless part. I wouldn't be missing the light meter if they left the lighting mechanic the same. I never really looked at the light meter in CT because I could just look at Sam and judge whether he was lit or not, and look at a position and judge whether it would give cover. The sound indicator was what I looked at. I'm missing it a lot. Why the hell do I need my vague objectives on the screen constantly? That's what I look at the least. They should have removed the entire interface, put the sound meter on his back, and left the lighting/recognition system the same.

The text is hard to read all around. I can see forgiving an earlier 360 game for this issue as an accidental oversight, but by now developers should be paying attention to how little the HD revolution has taken hold so far.

SwampYankee wrote:

I want to read impressions, but I don't want to get spoilers.

If the SP is as good as PT I will get it. CT was better, but I had fun with PT.

Also, it sound like the MP is very good, huh? So we didn't loose anything there.

I'm trying to avoid spoilers. DA is not even as good as PT so far. My opinion of the multiplayer is based off the demo since Live was all finicky last night. We did lose a lot with the multiplayer, but the loss is more than made up for with positive additions and changes.

SocialChameleon wrote:

One more thing, don't think you can go rogue right off the bat. If there's a point where you make that choice, I haven't seen it yet. Losing all your trust for either the NSA or JBA means game over.

So far as I can tell the trust meter is just another form of PT's "three alarms and you're out" system, the very same stupidity that Lambert makes fun of in CT on the ship level. At least in PT I knew why I was getting into trouble. Now half the time trust is lost I find myself asking, "Why? Why would the NSA care that I grabbed a prisoner? Why would they care that I finished a stupid obstacle course?"

Between the rarity of shadows and the ability to hide in lockers (for no apparent reason) I find myself thinking I'm playing Metal Gear Sam Fisher.

EDIT: I'm not feeling the same love for the JBA HQ mission at all. I wish there was an option to just fast forward through the 30 minutes. I would have had more trust with both frikkin sides had I done absolutely nothing. The vulture looking guy is the main JBA leader, right? Why don't I just kill him? Mission over. It hasn't exactly been setup like in PT where there was a reason to let the Che's clone live.

Between the rarity of shadows and the ability to hide in lockers (for no apparent reason) I find myself thinking I'm playing Metal Gear Sam Fisher.

Sounds awesome.