E3: Splinter Cell: Conviction Impressions

Microsoft showed a trailer and gameplay for Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction on Mondayat their E3 Press Conference.

The trailer actually reminded me strongly of an action movie parody.  Let’s just say the dialogue needed some work, and the premise seems ripped from an episode of 24.  Sam Fisher, our protagonist, has gone rogue, on a personal mission to find his daughter’s killer, one execution at a time.  A new “mark and execute” stealth kill system allows Fisher to tag targets, both living and non-living, and make the kill shot quickly and efficiently.  Different weapons determine the number of targets that can be tagged, and the system as a whole reminded me of a cross between the speed kill system in Prince of Persia: Two Thrones and the VATS system in Fallout 3.

Gameplay and atmosphere seem grittier than previous entries and the developers are going for a more cinematic experience.  Mission objectives and information seem to be integrated seamlessly into the environment.  As Fisher interrogates a man with the help of public bathroom fixtures, flashes of character information appear on the walls behind him.  The mission’s objective appears on the side of a city building in the background as we walk through a city.  The different levels are apparently sandbox-style, reminiscent of the early Thief games, allowing for multiple infiltration methods.  This feature in particular peaked my interest, as I always found stealth mechanics to work best in an open-world environment.

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