Thursday, October 21, 2010

I thiought I'd Sneak One In



      Hey folks! First, let me apologize for the long overdue post. I haven't stopped gaming, I simply started working a day-job again. Frankly the added time sink has made me extraordinarily lazy when it comes to writing. When coupled with the fact that this job leaves my head full of doubt, I generally go for my "comfort foods" in gaming.

      I have always found myself going back to Splinter Cell games more often than almost any other series. This years release of Conviction has proved almost as addictive as heroin. I will be accosted by fellow Sam Fisher stalwarts due to the games departure from the play style of old, but I really think this game is a step in the right direction for mass appeal. In today's industry with budgets bigger than Hollywood blockbusters, mass appeal is required for a franchise to survive.

      The game mechanics have been stripped down quite a bit, to the point of deleting Sam's ability to move bodies as well as the infamous "split jump". Those have been eschewed in favor of a quicker style of stealth play. Popping in and out of shadows for quick kills is very entertaining. It also controls very intuitively unlike previous games in the series. Don't get me wrong, I love the old style however, the controls would be a bit clunky for the pacing in Conviction.

      P.E.C. Challenges, Infiltration, and the co-op should keep you coming back for a while. P.E.C. challenges, such as kill 10 enemies in a row without being detected, net you points. Points that can then be used to upgrade weapons and gadgets. Infiltration sets you up with some of the set pieces from the single player campaign and reconfigures them a bit. Then it's up to you how to take down everyone. It's a bit of a sandbox mode the way I see it, and it can be very time consuming for the OCD inflicted. The co-op is probably the shining star of the package. I won't spoil the story, but it's short and is a prologue to the main story. But cranking through it and toying with the AI as a team is crazy fun with a friend.

      For a game that had it's original idea scrapped after 2 1/2 years of development, this is one of the most polished titles I have seen in a while. Possibly the most polished in the franchise. I'm not saying it's the second coming of Crysis, but it is one of the better looking games I have played this year. I highly recommend the PC version if you really want to see it shine, though the 360 version is still a sight to behold.

      At any rate, I highly recommend this for any gamer. I mean really, it's October and I still pick it up often. Until next time kiddies, in which I will probably rant about Borderlands or perhaps being the worlds first real geeky-ass geek stripclub bouncer, hasta winnebago!

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