Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent
Splinter Cell Double Agent is the first appearance of Tom Clancy's stealthy franchise on the Xbox 360 and it couldn't have come at a better time.
- Immersive experience, graphics, better AI
- Would have been nice to be have the opportunity to go Rambo every now and again
With multiple difficulty levels, and a host of multiplayer options, this is a great addition to the Splinter Cell canon.
Price$ 49.95 (AUD)
First off, let me say that I am a huge Splinter Cell fan and have abnormally high expectations for the series. It's consistently gotten the spy thing right, and it's not the story or characters that get the job done. It's the spot-on controls that allow Sam to perform virtually any action at ease.
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow was definitely the series' low point (though 'mild point' would probably be a better description), knocked for its linear design and somewhat messy multiplayer. But the jump to Chaos Theory was a huge one; the developer ditched the linear style and allowed the player to accomplish objectives in a variety of ways. They also revamped the multiplayer, and even added split-screen cooperative play.
And we see yet another significant leap with the jump to the next-gen. Double Agent falls into a rare breed sequels that live up to the hype and expectations generated by its predecessors.
The first and most noticeable improvement to the franchise formula lies in the control mechanics, which have been redesigned to emphasise both simplicity and function. The HUD has been simplified so there isn't anything to get in the way of the on-screen action. There is an small bar on the bottom left corner of the display that displays your current objectives as well as a colour-coded circle that shows his level of visibility. There is also a trust meter on the top left but we'll talk more about that later.
Unlike the past versions of Splinter Cell, Double Agent revamps the way you, the player, stay out of sight. The old way was strictly a system of shadows whereby Sam would be out of sight if he was completely in the dark. But the new way combines the previous method with the aforementioned colour-coded circle. If you are completely hidden or in a dark area, the meter will display green; if you're in a visible spot, it will show yellow, and once you're detected by an enemy, the meter will blink red.
The other upgrade comes in the way Sam handles actions. Past titles would display a context-sensitive menu in the upper-left corner of the screen whenever you reached a point of action. This still applies but the presentation has been upgraded. For example, when opening a door, an action icon with a small door icon will pop up in the middle of the screen. You can then scroll through the available options and confirm your choice with the A button. For instance, when confronted with a closed door, you can pick the lock, open it normally, open it quietly, bash the door in or use your fibre optics to peer under the doorway. Choosing weapons and gadgets from your inventory also works the same wayholding the RB button and scrolling left to right chooses a gun/gadget, while Sam's trusty SC-20K attachments can be selected by scrolling up or down.
Sneak, Rattle, and Roll
If you're hoping for a groundbreaking new experience in Splinter Cell Double Agent, you might be a little put off. This game sticks very closely to the same type of stealth gameplay that made the series so popular. As usual, you'll need to keep Sam out of sight all the time; there's really no other way to play it. The run and gun option, which worked at times during the first three games, isn't really plausible in Double Agent.
The AI has also gotten smarter to the point that if you are caught out in the open, you're as hosed as Brittney's post K-Fed career. Sure, you can try to forgo the use of cover and concealment but bloody wounds and humiliation will be your only reward. Sticking to the dark, hiding behind objects, inside lockers, under tables and remaining out of sight is the only way you're going to get through the game with a decent rating, which makes sense given the game's history but I would have liked the option to go Rambo every now and again.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Gfinity announce Elite Series Season 2 launch date
- League of Origin comes to Melbourne
- Aussie Esports teams progress to $1.25 million Throwndown Esports finals
- Red Bull brings LVL UP competition to PAX 2018
- The Away Team to get Lost Exodus update on October 22nd
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- 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