Splinter Cell: Double Agent heralds the epic return of stealth action hero Sam Fisher in the realm of international espionage.
The fourth of the popular Tom Clancy franchise Splinter Cell, this game promises more action, more ground-breaking graphics, and many other superlatives meant to whip hard core gamers, novices and curious Georges' into a frenzy.
The game is available in several platforms: PS2, PC, Xbox, GameCube, Wii, and Xbox 360. Single and multiplayer modes are available.
The core strength of the latest installment is its entertainment value. The game is given a generous dose of Hollywood magic: sharp direction from Andy Davis; credible voice characterization from Michael Ironside; and a soundtrack of cinematic proportions courtesy of Michael McCann. While gamers are treated to the usual pleasures of stealth games such as multiple explosions and flying scrap metals and body parts, Double Agent takes gaming to the next level by testing its players’ hierarchy of values.
The missions involve decision making processes that blur further the fine line between which is evil and which is the lesser evil; situations akin to whether or not to save the life of one person while risking thousands of others or to ensure the safety of the majority while sacrificing an innocent life or two in the process. The enemies are more challenging than their counterparts from the previous installments; the have better aim, they actually warn each other from possible danger and so on. The game has three possible endings, depending on the choices made by the player from each mission.
Design and Feel
The game does not stray far from the other Splinter Cell games; the design and feel is similar. The game is user friendly; from the pull down menus that provide the objectives of Sam’s dual missions, to the quaint light indicator located Fisher’s back - although this effectively conveys the message when he is in danger, majority of Splinter Cell fans claim they look like traffic lights.
The feedbacks of gamers who have sampled the Xbox platform have been overwhelmingly positive; for them, the game lives up to its hype. Although they admit the game is nowhere near being revolutionary, the graphics go beyond the usual fare of stealth game eye candies and the Hollywood treatment (and influence) ironically provides a more human touch to Fisher and the game with its morally challenging missions.
For PC users, the game has been nightmarish: numerous bugs, conflicts or errors in coding; poor frame rates, and hardware incompatibility. Discontent echoed throughout forums and message boards.
It appears Double Agent upholds a double standard; one platform seems to outperform another. It is then up to the prudent gamer to decide how to maximize his or her pleasure; choose the best platform available or wait for the bugs of another platform to be fixed.