Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D (Nintendo 3DS) review:
- Stealth kills will always be awesome
- Wow is that 3D and video footage bad
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is a reasonable Nintendo 3DS game to buy at launch. The core gameplay is fun; its only real problem is that it's as typical as launch titles get -- a little hurried and rough around the edges, and it fails to take full advantage of the new technology.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Stealthy spy games should be all kinds of awesome on the 3DS. From creeping around in the dark to sniping unaware guards from a mile off, the 3D effect should heighten the immersion greatly. Unfortunately, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D doesn't quite pull it off. It's a very playable game, but it's also easy to tell that it was rushed to hit the Nintendo 3DS launch date.
The problem is the 3D. Rather than build the game from scratch, Ubisoft appears to have reused existing assets and then '3Ded' them. The result is not unlike comparing Clash of the Titans to Avatar — a cheap attempt to cash-in on the success of a film custom-made for 3D. Where the latter makes great use of camera angles and depth to create a spectacular experience, the former looks like a pop-up book, and this is where Splinter Cell sits. Although it is indeed 3D, it's a layered effect — so it feels like you're looking at flat characters nonetheless.
Immediately this kills the immersion factor, and the video sequences are so grainy as to be truly painful. Unfortunately because of this Splinter Cell is nowhere near as cinematic as it should be, which means that the upcoming Metal Gear Solid suddenly looks that much better.
The gameplay itself is fine. It's heavy on the stealth — it's possible to run out of ammo and need to restart the game from the very first mission if you're not careful to take peons out from behind with your knife.
And, more importantly, the 3DS's buttons are used well. This is a reasonably complex game, with a lot of button inputs, but between the touchscreen and the face buttons Ubisoft has done a truly great job with the controls.
Though missions tend to be more linear than is comfortable for a stealth game (we would prefer a few more routes to tackle objectives), they are well structured, with plenty of opportunities for hiding in shadows, taking out lights, and hacking computers. The enemies are not the brightest sparks around, and if you do inadvertently make them aware of your presence, hiding in the shadows for a few moments will make them forget you are around.
The gadgets you get to play with, while not as cool as James Bond's toys, are still fun, and you'll feel like a secret agent. While its utility is debatable, the optical cam you can use to get a sneak look into a room before you enter the door deserves a special mention, because the camera is controlled by the 3DS' motion sensors.
Other than that and the 3D effect, there's no use of any of the 3DS' other features — no StreetPass, no online play. It's a lonely experience, and while we can't see how those features would work at any rate it's still a little disappointing.
Though Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell works, it's almost certainly going to be forgotten once Metal Gear Solid arrives. It's feels like it was rushed out the door to be ready for the 3DS' launch. Still fun, but flawed.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTGraduate Application Support Analyst -SMSF SoftwareNSW
- FTBusiness Solutions AnalystNSW
- TPAPS6 Java DeveloperACT
- FTDeployment Manager | ContractVIC
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieQLD
- TPWintel EngineerVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSalesforce Senior Developer | Solution DesignerQLD
- FTIT ManagerVIC
- FTSolutions Architect - Digital Technologies Financial ServicesQLD
- CCOracle Middleware Production SupportACT
- CCJava/ Guidewire DeveloperQLD
- CCFinancial/Logistics Administration OfficerACT
- FTSoftware EngineerSA
- FTPHP DeveloperACT
- FTInfrastructure ArchitectSA
- FTSenior Developer/DevOpsVIC
- FTManagement AccountantNSW
- FTAgile Project ManagerACT
- CCVMWare Automation ArchitectACT
- FTSecurity Monitoring SpecialistVIC
- TPSenior Drupal Developer / ArchitectQLD
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD