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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Preview By: Nick Arvites
Developer:  Ubi Soft
Publisher:  Ubi Soft
Genre:  Stealth
Est. Release:  March 2003
Posted:  1-23-03

Splinter Cell’s limited Xbox exclusive stay is almost over. PS2 fans can expect to see their version hit shelves in March, with GBA and GameCube versions to follow sometime thereafter.

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Splinter Cell is the espionage game designed by Ubi Soft. You play as Sam Fisher, a NSA operative, who has to infiltrate enemy territory and perform operations with stealth and efficiency. You can use lethal force, though sometimes it may be better to hide in the shadows. If you do kill, you must hide bodies or the guards will sound alarms. You have to sneak around much more and avoid detection for missions to flow smoothly.

This type of game should appeal to the massive amounts of Metal Gear Solid fans. Because of this, comparisons between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Splinter Cell is expected. I have had the opportunity to play both, and I can say I prefer Splinter Cell. The emphasis is more on espionage and less on slaughtering the guards.

One of the top graphical features in the Xbox version is the advanced lighting and shadowing effects. Judging by the screens we’ve seen, the PS2 should feature these effects to some extent. However, it can be said that the overall graphical quality would naturally be less than the Xbox version due to the older and different hardware. While the Xbox version also features downloadable content, one would assume the PS2 version could not due to no central online plan or an integrated hard disk.

Even though the graphics are slightly worse than the Xbox version and there is no downloadable content, Splinter Cell should still make a splash on the PS2 because the game is an excellent single player espionage thrill-fest.

Look for this game in March.

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