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Lets set the scene. Metal gear solid has a tight hold on the stealth game market. Other companies see it's popularity, and want to cash in on it. Many average stealth games are released. All of them fail.
Enter ubisoft with their attempt at a mgs beater, in the form of splinter cell.
You play as third echelon agent Sam Fisher, where you are sent on a variety of missions on some spectacular locations to stop terrorists with minimal disturbance.
Graphically this game is astounding. The lighting effects really make the game stand out from everything else. This is the games main appeal and it has been implemented with perfection here.
You use the advantage of darkness to sneak around unseen and accomplish your goals. If you want to get past a guard unseen, shoot out the lights and walk right by him. How is this possible you ask? Sam is equipped with some neat night vision goggles.
There are 10 levels in the game, each of which will take a fair while to beat, and there are also 3 levels available for download on xbox live, so more value there.
The sound effects are also spot on. Footsteps let you know when someone is just around the corner, and the music kicks in when you've been spotted and need to lie low for a while.
There are only two downsides to the game that i can find:
1. The levels are linear. There is little exploration throughout the whole game, which means there is little incentive to go back after you're done. Although as i've said. The game does take quite a while to beat anyway.
2. The story is dull. Sure i wasn't expecting some overblown sci-fi plot, but it could have been more interesting, and presented much better as well.
Excluding these minor points though, this is a great game, and imo streets ahead of it's rivals. Yes even mgs.