PlayStation 2
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Platform: PS2 (& Xbox, PC, GameCube) Rating: M for Blood, Strong Language, Violence

Story/Gameplay/Enemies:

It is the year 2007 Japan\'s creation of an Information Self Defense Force is deemed a violation of international law and of their own Constitution and ignites rising tensions between Japan, China, and North Korea. Facing North Korean and Chinese blockades of shipping across the Korea Strait, Japan requests US assistance in the accordance with American obligations under Article 9 of the Japanese Post War Constitution. Mounting evidence gathered by the I-SDF indicated that the devastation of the Japanese economy on the now infamous \'Black Gold Day\' may have been caused by intentional Information Warfare attacks. As nations begin to mobilize and the United States activates the USS Clarence E Walsh, the world\'s premier Electronic and Information Warfare platform and dispatches her to the region, Third Echelon gets wind of a small and seemingly unrelated incident that may end up having global repercussions... (from the manual) Game play-Once again you play from the third person perspective of Sam Fisher, a Third Echelon spy who is pushing fifty years of age. Sam Fisher is highly trained in high-risk espionage missions. He acts in stealth and is sent to find certaininformation as his goals. Sam carries both a silenced pistol and a silenced SC-20k machine gun/sniper rifle but you use them only as a last resort. Stealth is your top priority. You are paid to be invisible. There several missions that take place all around the world, mostly in the United States. Sam has to hack computers, steal items, and interrogate certain people he runs into.

Unlike the previous Splinter Cell games, your mission does not end after three alarms. I’ve only gone up to four, but I’m sure it can go higher. After an alarm your enemies just become smarter and more difficult. Also, a new vision is added to the Night Vision and Heat vision modes. EMF vision allows Sam to see destroyable electronic gadgets, such as cameras and computers. This comes in handy when searching for cameras. Enemies-Your enemies consist mainly of terrorists but also include police officers, security guards, and even American troops. Though they all come from different parts of the world, they are all basically the same, except you can\'t kill the police officers no matter how desperate your situation. You also can’t kill your own American troops. It should be noted that you will find yourself pulling out your gun and shooting enemies quite a bit during the game. You do have the option of rendering your enemies unconscious instead of killing them, but it is impossible to complete the entire game without killing enemies. Also, unlike the previous Splinter Cells, you get a mission score at the end of a mission. The less enemies you kill, the higher your score.

Graphics/Sound/Lighting

Graphics-The graphics in this game are phenomenal! Game play graphics are rich in detail, and Sam Fisher\'s character will stun you with how detailed his uniform is. During game play Ubisoft has fixed the ‘mouths moving when speaking problem of the previous games, so I say the graphics are as close to perfect as it can get. The cinematic graphics are even better, and detail is huge. I mean extreme detail, wrinkles on faces, grayish streaks in hair. The graphics are mind blowing. Sound- This is also very important aspect of the game, it has a huge impact on thegame itself as well as being terrific. The sound effects are perfect for walking on glass, blowing out a candle, footsteps, etc.

The overall quality is amazing, especially for the voice acting, the actors make their character’s emotions and personality traits. the music is very good, when the character makes a mistake themusic is very good and creates a suspense feeling in your gut. The overall qualityof the music is excellent and it definitely enhances the mood of the game. Lighting- Very important for a Splinter Cell game, my apologies for forgetting to mention it in my previous reviews. Shadows are in very realistic settings, and you have to hide deep in the shadows to avoid detection. All the shadows may hurt your eyes when playing the game for extended amounts of time though, but otherwise excellent.

Controls/Interface/Stability

The game handles very well and the controls are easy to grasp for beginners. The menus are well done and easy to navigate, and the looks of the menus are done very well. I never came across any glitches or freezes at any point of the game.

Multiplayer

There are two kinds of multiplayer in this game, Co-op and spies vs. mercenaries. The Co-op is not the single player storyline, but is totally different. Two team members use team work two accomplish missions. Because of the nature of Co-op, it would be almost impossible for a single splinter cell to complete the missions. The Spies vs. Mercenaries is just as it sounds. Mercenaries protect a drug or item, and the spies have to get past them to acquire the drug/item. Multiplayer is pretty fun, but I have heard that the Spies vs. Mercenaries was better in Pandora Tomorrow. There is a lot of cursing in the multiplayer.

Appropriate?

The game is rated mature for blood, strong language, and violence. Small red blotches of blood can be seen every now and then, but there really is none at all. Dead/Unconscious bodies do not disappear, as a very big part of the game is to hide these bodies so your character will not be detected. Swear words have been used much more than in the first two games, which is the main reason this game is not teen like its predecessors. Basically everything from a PG-13 movie except no f-bombs. The Lords name is taken in vain a few times, mostly GD and misuses of the word ‘Christ’. In some levels it is better to kill enemies than knock them out (because enemies can awaken unconscious enemies if they come across them) and this should be taken into thought when deciding to play the game. Though as I said above in this game you get a higher mission score the less fatalities you cause. (Joke: killing terrorists can\'t be all that bad, can it?).

The rating on the game should have been for ‘Language’ instead of ‘Strong Language’ but I am not part of the ESRB and can’t speak for their reasons. This game is questionable on rather it should have been rated teen or mature, but it is definitely darker than the first two games. In my opinion the game is appropriate for anyone 14 or older.

Availability?

Brand-new copies of this game are easy to find at most game selling stores, and they run at about $20. Used copies can run as low as $14.99, but I would recommend a brand new copy. This just ensures that there will be no problems with the game disc.

Afterward

Thanks for all the help I was given from imfagentsamfisher, saved, and adam_J for their help on the multiplayer content.

Final Ratings

Graphics A+ Game play A+ Sound A+ Appropriateness -15 points for violence, blood, gore, and language/blasphemy

Overall 85% B+

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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