‘Splinter Cell’ is as thrilling, complex as the best Tom Clancy novel

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‘Splinter Cell’ is as thrilling, complex as the best Tom Clancy novel

“Splinter Cell” has revolutionized and broken all possible barriers of the third-person shooter genre.
Unlike “Rainbow Six,” Tom Clancy’s first effort, “Splinter Cell” is a high-end, resource-guzzling monster that is as close to real as a computer game can get.
The year is 2004. The year before, the U.S. government created a National Security Agency sub-branch called Third Echelon. The sub-branch is so clandestine that not even its own leaders have the skinny on how the operation works. Composed of the nation’s best programmers, hackers, information specialists and field operatives, Third Echelon is America’s most lethal response to national security threats. The agency deploys its teams in small units known as splinter cells. The U.S. government will disavow any knowledge of the cell’s existence should a member get in trouble.
The situation escalates when two CIA agents go missing in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Fearful that national secrets may be divulged to terrorists, the government activates an operative named Sam Fisher, the persona you assume in the game.
“Splinter Cell” takes a while to master. Weapons and equipment are almost entirely interactive and multi-task capable. Your main firepower, the SC-20K AR rifle, is the Swiss Army knife of firearms.
In “Splinter Cell,” almost every object is a possible resource and every shadow a potential hiding place. The detail that UbiSoft’s programmers have built into the game force players to be careful about everything from walking in puddles to standing behind curtains in a lit room.
Ultimately, the game delivers all the essentials of a great movie storyline, complete with political intrigue and military confrontation, all with you at the epicenter of a riveting, well-developed scenario.

by Phil Chang
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