July 27, 2010

Stop taking cover and dodging our gunfire, Fischer!

At some point I took a break from Dragon Quest IX (I’ve put over 30 hours into that game so far. Man, it’s got me hooked!) to play through Splinter Cell: Conviction. I had heard a lot about the game at this point, and most of it was positive, though not like… life-changing. Just a fairly good experience. My experience was both good and bad, but overall positive, certainly.

Brer had some big problems with the game because of the plot. He really liked the character of Sam Fischer and disliked what they did to him. I didn’t have this problem because I didn’t pay attention to the plot at all, but if you like Mr. Fischer then maybe that’s an issue. From what I did catch of it, it was pretty ridiculous.

But no, what I enjoyed was shooting dudes in the head, and this game does lots of dude-head-shooting. The game is basically trying to be a combination of the stealth sections in Arkham Asylum and Gears of War, and honestly it works pretty well. For the most part, you feel like a total badass sneaking around and killing dudes without detection. Even when you are seen, there’s often good options to have some fun. One thing I figured out late in the game is how much fun remote mines are. When scene, there’s a little shadow of you where the enemy thinks you are. Throwing a remote mine there is tons of fun. And when you blow up the first guy who comes to check? You can mine his body, and his buddy will probably come to check on him and you can blow him up too. It never got old for me.

There were some issues, though. I put the game on “Rookie,” because I didn’t want to have to replay sections over and over. Even on Rookie, though, I found the game pretty hard. Granted, I’ve never been very good at stealth stuff. I tend to be too Kamikaze. But if more than one guy saw me, I’d basically die immediately, and have to replay sections. What made it so bad was that the checkpoints in this game are all over the map. Sometimes it’ll have checkpoints exactly where it should, and sometimes you’ll go three encounters without it doing a checkpoint save. It’s frustrating having to re-fight the first two of three combats over again and again just because you have trouble getting to the third. It wasn’t enough to get me to stop me from finishing, as the game is pretty short, but it was the source of much annoyance.

The guns, also, were really weird. You had a huge variety of guns to choose from, but they were all useless. All pistols have unlimited ammo, and are just better for being stealthy, which you have to be or you will die. I ended up carrying a shotgun for most of the game, because when I was seen, running straight backwards and firing shotgun blasts tended to deal with the problem pretty well. Still, the majority of the time I used one silenced pistol. It’s just weird, because there’s this weapon upgrade system, but you only need to upgrade that pistol, so it is a system with seemingly no purpose. Kind of strange.

Conviction really is the picture-perfect example of a great weekend rental. It’s fun, it’s short and doesn’t overstay it’s welcome, but it’s a little too off to really want to add to your collection. I am sad I never got to play the co-op, because I hear that’s pretty fun too, but maybe I will sometime on PC with Brer when it goes on a super-sale. The single player, though, was fairly good times. I enjoyed myself.

[…] just because the next part was really, really annoying. I put up with that kind of thing in, say, Splinter Cell: Conviction because the combat itself was pretty fun. Just Cause 2 didn’t really offer me that to make up […]

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