Splinter Cell: Double Agent Reviews and Impressions

So, how is SP overall so far"… Worth it?

souldaddy wrote:

Sometimes losing trust is as simple as triggering an alarm, which feels kinda cheap to me.

How lenient is the game when it comes to alarms? Comparing it to previous games... like PT or CT?

-edit-

Hmm... looks like this been already answered. Nevermind.

Edwin wrote:

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

Actually Shanghai didn't do the multiplayer on any of the SC's. The multiplayer component is handled by Ubisoft Annecy.

OK, help me out here guys. I loved CT. I liked PT a lot. I hate the idea of a spy game with no hiding in shadows and super-MGSS-Ninja fights.

DA: Buy or no buy for me?

Rent. Just rent it Swamp. Then see how you like it. At this point I think it's going to be a crap shoot for people.

FWiiW, IGN gave it a 9 and an editor's choice thingie.

Looks like SC:DA supports 1080p.

souldaddy wrote:

Looks like SC:DA supports 1080p.

That was already debunked, some folks called Ubisoft up and they denied it saying it only supports 1080i.

Nei wrote:

So, how is SP overall so far"… Worth it?

souldaddy wrote:

Sometimes losing trust is as simple as triggering an alarm, which feels kinda cheap to me.

How lenient is the game when it comes to alarms? Comparing it to previous games... like PT or CT?

If you're familiar with the guards in PT touching the communicators over their hearts just as they die, alerting others and sounding an alarm, then you'll be right at home here. This time there doesn't seem to be a three alarm limit, just a trust penalty, but it is the exact same stupid mechanic.

To paint another muddy picture: PT was a good game with bad parts and DA seems to be a bad game with good parts.

And just so I'm not completely negative, the new hacking, safe-cracking, and gunsight systems are cool. Anyone else having a problem hacking from a distance, though?

Tom Chick gives it 4 out of 5 stars.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

If you're familiar with the guards in PT touching the communicators over their hearts just as they die, alerting others and sounding an alarm, then you'll be right at home here. This time there doesn't seem to be a three alarm limit, just a trust penalty, but it is the exact same stupid mechanic.

Well, it does not sound that bad... although, how damaging is the penalty on the trust? I mean does it get in the way of gameplay... because 3 alarm rule was a bit too much.

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

To paint another muddy picture: PT was a good game with bad parts and DA seems to be a bad game with good parts.

That bad...

Nei wrote:

Well, it does not sound that bad... although, how damaging is the penalty on the trust? I mean does it get in the way of gameplay... because 3 alarm rule was a bit too much.

I was under the impression that if either of the trust bars hits zero the game is over. This is more lenient that PT in that it would take more than three offenses usually to hit bottom and also I think that there is a limit to how many times you can be penalized for being spotted per level. Not sure on that one, though.

I hit the tanker with the run'n'gun mentality that is usually Chiggie's course of action and had more fun with it. I'm not sure if it was the level or my different strategy. Also I unlocked hair for the Versus Spies and a helmet for the Mercs. All around a more pleasant experience today.

New term for the day: John Brown Drawl.

You can unlock stuff for the multiplayer? Tell me the stun gun is unlockable and I may just go buy it.

Edwin wrote:

You can unlock stuff for the multiplayer? Tell me the stun gun is unlockable and I may just go buy it.

Thank the heavens no.

The next two missions were pretty damn cool. Thank you, Spaghetti Monster. I promise to eat pasta tomorrow -- or stop someone else from doing so, whichever. Their claim that Shanghai couldn't be done on an oldgen system is Grade A balogney, sir. Strip down the skyline and it's the U.N. from Chaos Theory.

EDIT: I take back what I said about it being a bad game with good parts.

I went and bought this last night and ran through the first two missions with a different mentality. Not so much a sneaky batman route as a get the @#$% out of my way or I'll kill you route. I decided to play through it just how I decided to play through PT. More like a third person rainbow six with a field of bodies left at the end of the level. It isn't really in the complete spirit of SC but I haven't set off an alarm yet, ever, so I think I'm still being pretty damn sneaky.

Basically, I'm having a Muh'fuhin blast with this game now.

A few more things I noticed last night:

When you try to place a body against the wall, it often caroms off in a random direction.

In the Shanghai level, I tried placing a body against a closed door, and it seems that clipping just gave up, as the body fell through the door and lay there, half in and half out, leaving me unable to move the body or the door.

It may just be me, but the level design is confusing. I spend most of my time figuring out where I need to go to move on through the level. So far the biggest offender is your second trip to the JBA base. The 3D map is no help either. It's almost as if Emil's office is in some alternate dimension.

At this point, the multiplayer better cook dinner and pleasure me while I play.

SocialChameleon wrote:

In the Shanghai level, I tried placing a body against a closed door, and it seems that clipping just gave up, as the body fell through the door and lay there, half in and half out, leaving me unable to move the body or the door.

It may just be me, but the level design is confusing. I spend most of my time figuring out where I need to go to move on through the level. So far the biggest offender is your second trip to the JBA base. The 3D map is no help either. It's almost as if Emil's office is in some alternate dimension.

I know the door and the body you are talking about. This is an indicator to me of too little playtesting. I had the same thought on the tanker where there's a few red pipes that look exactly like the climbable ones that aren't and a lot of visible crawlspaces that aren't.

I don't know how to explain the second JBA base without spoiling. Think of it as normal level, ignore the 3D map, and go from there. Also I've noticed you can hit 'A' on the vague objectives to get a more descriptive version. That helps a lot. Especially since there are no sound options that I can find, so I usually can't hear what the hell people are saying over the usual helicopter/snowstorm/firefight.

After finishing the game I'd rate it as equivalent to Pandora Tomorrow. About three good levels out of ten, four of which are all in the same place. Kinshasa, Prison, and that first power plant level are way below par.

In Kinshasa I got a -124%. What can I say? Put me in a warzone and I'll kill everybody.

Multiplayer continues to be the bee's knees.

Spoiler wrote:

[color=white]Anybody kill Lambert?[/color]

I half liked the double agent aspect to the story, but they didn't push it far enough. I was let down that they didn't delve further into the JBA's purpose. Even the JBA mission statement email was generic. What's their problem with this country? Is it an overbearing government that breaks its own rules behind a veil of secrecy.

A person like Sam can hardly call such a greivance as an irrational conspiracy theory, not when he's been breaking international law for years, sniping dictators and snapping National Guardsmen for the good of the country. In reality Sam has always been very similiar to a terrorist, though a government backed one. I thought they were going to get Sam questioning his own allegiance, here. The game keeps asking the player to kill a few people to save thousands, but from the JBA's perspective they're just killing a million to save hundreds of millions. Where do we draw the line? What side of that line is the Fifth Freedom on? Potentially amazing ethical questions for a videogame to ask -- that this one could have been asking easily -- but didn't.

I'm on the Supertanker mission. I'm like some sort of cross between an Alien and a shark, pulling guys through the ice, luring their buddies to the new hole and pulling them in too. Man, it's kind of creepy how I enjoyed that so much!

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

After finishing the game I'd rate it as equivalent to Pandora Tomorrow. About three good levels out of ten, four of which are all in the same place. Kinshasa, Prison, and that first power plant level are way below par.

So, would you say that it's a... good buy? good rental? ...or don't bother over all?

Better question... given with few major negatives in the game, is this game fun to play? ...as in fun to play the game in general?

I think Double Agent's value depends a lot on if you're going to play it online.

Nei wrote:

So, would you say that it's a... good buy? good rental? ...or don't bother over all?

Better question... given with few major negatives in the game, is this game fun to play? ...as in fun to play the game in general?

Like Legion said it's partly dependant upon how much you would play the Versus mode, not all of which is online since they've added merc bots. I can see myself going through it a second time, but probably not a sevent or eighth time like Chaos Theory. That's what, twenty hours singleplayer? Depends on if that is worth it to you. If you're not interested in the multiplayer I'd say rent it.

As to whether the game is fun to play in general, I can not say. It just alternates with the inconsistant levels from really badass to frustrating.

I just want to say, again, that since Danjo is hitting every level before I do and telling the parts that kind of frustrate him, I've been going through the levels with relative ease (aside from a few trial an error spots) and having a really fantastic time. This game is not as good as Chaos Theory, but, in my opinion it is still in a different league of fun from Pandora Tomorrow. Double Agent just shakes its finger at you when you do something wrong. Pandora Tomorrow would whip you with a belt.

I find that if I try to hold myself to a personal level of operations (I voluntarily load my last save or checkpoint if I set off an alarm or miss an objective) then I have a much better time with the game in general.

The multiplayer in Double Agent is really really good. You don't need to know the levels as much, the 2 sides are evenly balanced,and there is a sense of urgency that isn't there in PT or CT multiplay. Some reviews have suggested that multiplayer doesn't have lasting quality - maybe that is true. I can understand the criticism. I also suspect that a regular GWJ group could find all kinds of crazy tactics. I also suspect that Gears of War will get old quick, but I'm not shying away from buying that game.

But as positive as Chiggie is being, I don't think the single player will impress to many people. The developers don't seem to understand Sam Fisher the way Ubisoft Montreal do. The levels are very constricted with little freedom of choice. There is a lot of instant death, lots of loading from save, and you constantly check your map, worse than hopping in and out of night vision every 5 mintes. In parts, they try to make Splinter Cell into a wild shooter, which it never will be.

I'd say, if you get it, you'll probably have a lot of fun with goodjers until R6 or GoW comes out. After that, we'll probably play it once every 2 months.

souldaddy wrote:

The levels are very constricted with little freedom of choice.

After watching Chiggie hit a few levels and then going back and trying some others a second time, I'm finding that this is not the case. Well, at least not as much as I had previously thought. It's still not as open ended as Chaos Theory but there are many alternate paths I discounted initially just because I hadn't seen them.

I finally nabbed a copy of this. Has anyone set up a gamers with jobs squad yet? I tried and the name wouldn't fit, so we'd need a new name for it (it was 1 letter short, so was Gamers With Job) so something like Spies with Jobs or something?

I don't get the Pandora Tomorrow hate. I loved Pandora Tomorrow's single player. It had some of the highest highs of the whole series - like the moment Lambert orders you to shoot the woman who had just escorted you through the streets of Jerusalem.

It also helped that it had the best dialogue of the series as well.

FISHER: Mossad?
LAMBERT: Even better, Shin Bet.
FISHER: Spooky. Who are we torturing?
LAMBERT: Just you.

One thing I don't like is so far 2 timed missions. I do not do well nor do I like timed missions.

That said, having fun. I have been walkiing around the house grabbing the family from behind and either knifing them or breaking their necks, always a sign that I am into another Splinter Cell binge.

And, in all honesty, being able to pull guards into the frozen Arctic Ocean and offing them like some sort of frozen 'gator is worth the cash up front!

Rental it is.