Point and Shoot?

A week or so ago, I was alerted (via Major Nelson’s blog on my RSS feed) that there was now a demo for Splinter Cell: Conviction available on the Xbox 360 marketplace. Now, this got me very excited. In fact, the only thing I like more than dressing up in a full neoprene suit and skulking about with night vision goggles on, is sitting at home controlling Sam Fisher as he does the same.

One emergency 9mm tracheotomy coming right up...
One emergency 9mm tracheotomy coming right up…

I massively enjoyed all of the recent games, particularly the excellent co-operative mode on Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. The way the enemies would hear your characters communicating if you spoke into your headset too loudly was genius.

I downloaded the new demo. I played it. I scratched my head. I headed to the Ready Up forums all ready to vent my spleen, and was surprised at the reaction to the demo in the thread there. People liked it? Eh?

When I said earlier that I enjoyed controlling Sam Fisher, that was what I meant. What I was doing in the new demo wasn’t exactly controlling Sam Fisher. Aim at cover, press a button, and off he trots. I don’t even get to move the character now? And after I walked up behind an enemy who truly must have been the blindest man alive, it was just a single button press to kill him? What happened to the old school method of grabbing him, then being able to either drag him away, interrogate him, knock him out OR kill him?

And, once I’d killed him with a brutal tap of the red button, I was now granted the special ability… to control my character even less. Hide behind some cover (that is marked with an arrow in case you are dense), mark two more goons, and then press Y to execute them both. Bang, bang. Smooth. Look at the silky smooth gaming skills I displayed there, with a masterful touch of the Y button. I’m surprised I didn’t get an Achievement pop up saying “Executioner: Pressed Y ALL BY YOURSELF”

Too hard for you? Buy a Wii.
Too hard for you? Buy a Wii.

Now, of course, people will be saying to me, but it’s only a demo, cut it some slack. And I would, if I was moaning about the textures being a bit ropy or the clipping being off, but this is the core gameplay mechanic. This isn’t going to change before the game comes out.

To reuse a pun I used on the forum, this is (Sam) Fisher Price gaming. It’s My First Stealther. It’s Early Learning Espionage. As a gamer who knows his way around a control pad, this isn’t what I wanted from a new Splinter Cell, and you can colour me extremely disappointed.

But you know the worst thing, the thing that gets to me the most about this whole damned thing, the one thing that irritates me more than sand in a G-string?

I’m still going to end up buying it.







7 responses to “Point and Shoot?”

  1. markB0SS avatar

    Hey Tony,

    Firstly your not on your own, I actually feel like ive heard more people say this then positive things bout the game.

    However I actually like the demo. But see where your coming from. It does feel ALOT easier to play then it should be, but for me the enjoyment in the demo was how and when I executed kills/moves rather then the usual ‘if’ I could survive/complete. Im not saying thats a valid excuse but just where Im enjoying it from.

    My solution to your problem? When you ‘still’ purchase the game, rank up the difficulty to the highest setting. I think I’ll be doing the same.

  2. Darach avatar

    Yeah, I hear you brother. Seems to me like a step back in time.
    Almost like something from the bad old days of QTE’s (I’m thinking Mega-CD bad here) when the right button presses resulted in the game taking control right out of the players hands in order to show some pre-canned footage, and then setting you up to do another QTE.
    I’ve always loved the feeling of accomplishment that comes from overcoming a challenge. Hard to see me getting that here. ๐Ÿ™ And it’s such a great series too!

    Also; LOL at Executioner Achievement ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Simon avatar

    God damn it I hadn’t bothered with the demo as I’d assumed I was going to love it.

  4. Jonny/demon avatar

    I played the demo and I enjoyed it. I think SC as a franchise has to reinvent itself for the “new” generation of gamers who weren’t around to remember the original xbox’s first Killer app. So from a business perspective Ubi are doing the right thing as the old boys will buy the game regardless but it will also appeal to the new gamers who need to be roped in by these quick “thrills” you talk of. I still think there’s enough if a “game” in their to deliver a solid experience.

  5. Darach avatar

    Xbox’s “first” killer app? O.o
    Wasn’t there that Mister Chief thingy? ‘Hula Hoop’ or wotever it was called?
    But I’m def gonna wait for reviews on this one.

  6. wcd45 avatar

    Couldn’t agree with you more Tony, they seemed to have massively dumbed the game down. Also i agree with Darach both on the LOL for the achievement and for that first killer xbox app Hula Hoop =)

  7. Morkotonsky avatar

    Baby Gear Solid. ๐Ÿ˜€

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