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June 13, 2012

KVR Archive: Splinter Cell: Conviction FULL REVIEW



Splinter Cell: Conviction is the fifth main installment in the Splinter Cell franchise. Conviction was released in 2010.

Please note: This review is Single Player only. There are some more concerns in Co-op, but I’m not going to get to those as I haven’t played Co-op. This review will be updated when I have.

Areas of Concern:

Violence: This game is a stealth action shooter. Whereas in previous installments you could take enemies out non-lethally, in this game there are sections where violent confrontation is inevitable. But how graphic is the violence? Let’s find out:

Enemies can be shot; you see a small spray of blood emitting, and a small amount of blood spattering on the environment. Enemies yell when shot. If you shoot them in the head, a small bullet wound, which looks like a small patch of blood, can be seen where you shot them.

You can take enemies out at close range; your character punches them, snaps necks with crack, and even shoots them at close range. These moments are violent, but happen very quickly. Your character kicks and shoots them in the crotch some of the time.

You can also grab enemies, and use them as human shields. When they are shot, blood sprays. When you’re done with them, you can either throw them through doors, shattering it.

Or you could throw them, bash their heads against objects, with a brief blood spray, and bash their heads into walls, blood spattering on it. 

Or you could just snap their necks, with a muffled crack.

You can take enemies out with explosives; the enemies are sent flying, or collapse. No dismemberment occurs.

Interrogations:


One of the more violent and inevitable scenes are interrogations; your character grabs their throats, and slams them into objects in order to extract information from them. However, the moments of inflicting pain happen quickly, even if they are violent.

I will list what happens in these moments: 

-Your character kicks open the door of a bathroom, sending the guy behind stumbling backwards into a wall, splattering a bit of blood on it. The man pulls out his gun; your character slaps it away, hits him through the face with it, blood dripping from his nose, and then grabs his throat.

You can slam him into three objects; a toilet’s wooden door, a urinal, and a mirror with a sink.

When you choose the toilet door, your character hits the man’s head against it, and then as falls down, gives him a knee to the face. Blood splatters on the door, and drips from his nose.

When you choose the urinal, your character rams the man’s head into it, and then punches head through it again. Blood spatters and the urinal shatters.

When you choose the mirror with a sink, your character rams his head into the mirror, the man falls down onto the sink, and then your character punches his head through it. Blood spatters on the mirror and sink, and the sink shatters.

After you’re done interrogating him, the man squeezes the man’s throat hard. A crack is heard, but it is not known if the man dies.

-Your character grabs a man, and then you can interrogate him three ways; a piano, a table, and threatening to throw him out a window.

If you choose the piano, your character punches him, he lands on the piano keys, and your character punches him through the keys, blood spattering.

If you choose a table, your character will punch him, and then slam his head against the table. Blood spatters.

If you choose the window, your character will try to push him out of it, and then pull him back in.

After all of this, your character punches him, bit of blood, and then holds a gun to his head.

-Although not an interrogation, there is another part that involves somebody being slapped around; a woman tells a man he has to make his escape look convincing, so she tells him to hit her. She hits him first, and then he grabs her, and slaps her. Twice. She is a bit bruised afterwards.

-There is a part where you can do interrogations on a few enemies. You can only smack them into objects, with a bit of blood. Your character snaps their necks when he’s done. These are milder than the rest of the examples.

-You grab a man, and you can interrogate him using a bunch of TVs, a sound board, a metal fence, or a stack of sound tuners.

If you choose the TVs, your character will give him a knee to the face, and slam his head into a TV, blood spattering on it.

If you choose the stack of sound tuners, your character will throw him against it, and punch multiple times. Blood spatters on the sound tuners.

If you choose the fence, your character slams his head against it, and blood spatters.

If you choose the sound board, your character throws him against it, kicks him between his legs, and slams his head against the board, blood spattering.

The man is shot after the interrogation. Blood sprays, and is seen on his suit.

-A man is punched hard by your character, and then sent spinning, and hits a table, blood spattering.

Your character kicks the man off a floor. The man lands on a hard table, cracking it.

You can then interrogate him using a widescreen TV, a table, and a flag.

If you choose the TV, your character slams his head against it, blood spattering.

If you choose the table, your character hits the man’s head against it, blood spattering.

If you choose the flag, your will punch the man, break a piece of the flag off, and stab the man in the shoulder with it. Blood spatters and the man yells in pain.

When you’re done, your character tears away his hand from the man’s throat, a snap being heard. He lives, however.

-A man can be interrogated using an overturned fridge, a tree stump, and an abandoned pickup truck.

If you first choose the fridge, your character will throw the man against it, and punch him once, hard.

If you first choose the tree stump, your character will hit the man’s head against it, blood spattering.

If you first choose the pickup truck, your character will kick the man over on his front, and while he’s lying in front of the car’s grill, kick his head against it, with blood spattering.

If you choose any of the three above objects on the third time you are supposed to hit him, your character will try to punch the man, the man counters and swings out a knife, which your character grabs and stabs the man throw the hand with, pinning him to the object. Blood spatters and the man yells in pain.

-You grab a man’s throat. When he’s done talking, you shoot him in both kneecaps, blood spraying, and he yells in pain.

-You have the option of hitting or shooting a man. If you choose to hit him, your character whips him with a pistol, blood spattering. If you choose to hit him again when prompted, same thing.

If you choose to shoot him, your character shoots him in the shoulder at point blank range, blood spraying and a bullet hole is seen. 

If you choose to shoot him again when prompted, your character shoots him in the other shoulder, blood spraying and a bullet hole is seen again.

You can then to choose to spare him, or shoot him. If you choose to shoot him, blood sprays, and a bullet hole is seen. If you choose to spare him, he is shot by somebody else anyways.

Storyline violence:


The game also features other inevitable violent moments, a few brought on by the player's character:

Some footage of a man firing several gunshots into a man, off-screen.

A man suddenly shoots a man three times in the torso, blood spraying, and blood patches showing where he has been shot.

A man suddenly steps on a mine, which explodes. No dismemberment occurs. A man crawls around afterwards, and is gunned down by an enemy soldier, blood spraying.

A man wakes up, blood underneath him. He then walks through a highway where a massacre occurred; dead bodies lie around, and there is a moderate amount of blood everywhere.

A man is tortured by electrical shock; he convulses, sparks are seen, and the man cries out in pain. He is also punched by another man repeatedly. The man has some blood on him afterwards, and blood is seen leaking from his nose.

A rocket suddenly hits a building and explodes. Nobody is killed.

A man is shot twice in the chest by a man, blood spraying. Another man shoots him twice as well.

A bunch of innocent people get shot. The place has a moderate amount of blood spatters, and you see a few dead bodies with some gruesome looking bullet wounds. You see a few of them getting shot. Blood sprays.

A man is suddenly zapped by a device. He is first electrocuted, and then dies whilst on fire. He screams whilst being electrocuted.

A man briefly holds a hostage, whilst pointing a gun to said hostage’s head. He suddenly shoots the hostage, blood spattering.

A man sits in a car, which suddenly explodes. If you look at the car, you can see his burnt body sitting in the chair. This is seen from a distance.

A man hits, and threatens to kill a woman. He doesn’t.

A helicopter fires at a man, and is then shot down by another helicopter, an explosion being seen.

A missile suddenly hits a helicopter, which then spins out of control and crashes.

A lot of people are seen after a large bomb went off. They are bruised and bloodied.

There are a few paramedics attempting CPR on a woman.

A car explodes; a man is thrown across the street, and lies there, bloodied.

A car suddenly explodes, and it is stated a woman was inside. The woman’s husband is held back as screams and tries to get to her. 

Another man becomes bloodied and collapses dead as soon as the car explodes.

In one scene, a whole lot of innocent people have been shot. You can see a lot of dead people are lying in blood puddles, and have bullet wounds. 

You see a few of these people quickly getting shot, blood sprays. Screams are heard as some people are being shot.

A still frame fly-through of people who have been shot in the head; the blood is frozen in mid-air with them, and bullet holes are seen.

A woman shoots a man in the shoulder. A bullet hole is seen.

Sex/Nudity: Verbal references only, at least in Single Player.

A few men break into a house. They are frustrated when they find nothing of value, but one man adds: “…The lady that lives here is 'hot'. Maybe we can wait for her to come home” Another man says: “Take it out in a trade?” Previous guy says: “Now you’re talking…” 

Nothing happens.

A man and a woman discuss their plans for the following week. the man mentions he knows that the woman wants to go shopping. The woman mentions she doesn’t want to clutter up the hotel, because they have “better things” to be doing in the room. The man says he likes the way she’s thinking. 

These two are random civilians, so you probably won’t even overhear this conversation unless you’re going around listening to people talking.

Sometimes, when your character slams a character into an object, he says: “Yeah, you’re going to have to pay for sex now…” 

Sheesh....

A man, over a loud speaker, yells at your character, and calls his daughter a whore. Your character is not amused.

An enemy insults you: “Whatcha doing, admiring some panties?”

A man says to his torturer: “Go f*** yourself. I’ll be here when you’re done.”

Now, even though this is a single-player only review, I will note something about Co-op; apparently you go into a club, filled with scantily clad dancers. 

This scene is suggestive, but it doesn't last for long as far as I know. You have to do the research in this category, as I don't really have people to play Co-op with me and thereby allow me to review that category.

So this is up to you.

Language: Frequent Strong Language:

(If you’re turned off by swearing, I suggest you skip this game.)

Uses of F**k, with its variants, (Motherf***er, f*** yourself) uses of S**t, with its variants, (Bulls***) and uses of other words like A**h*le, B**t**d, B**ch, D**n, H**l, C**p, P***k, D**k, B**ls, and P***y. 

C**ks***er is used, but the scene is muffled, so you don’t hear it clearly. Unless you have subtitles on, then you can know exactly what he is saying.

Semi-Frequent uses of God and Jesus name occur.

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking: A few frank verbal references, and some boxes you kick over emit a white powder, probably drugs.

A man is said to use drugs a lot. Several of henchmen mention and make jokes about it; two men discuss him getting a shipment of drugs, saying he’s powdering his nose.

A man says that he’s going through a lot of stress right now, and then says it would explain all the drug use, whilst imitating the sound of somebody sniffing drugs.

Two men discuss the man having ordered a shipment of drugs; they mention he eats them like candy. They mention which he ordered; blow, oxycontin, horse tracks. They mention he gets high when he’s nervous.

You later meet the man. He acts aggressively, and rubs his nose, implying he has been using drugs recently.

Spiritual Content: Nothing that I could pick up.

Gross Stuff: A man asks a man if a building’s exterior shielding is tight. The man replies: “Tighter than a drill sergeant's a**h*le.”


Alright, that's the content! I will have a short conclusion about it after the review.

Speaking of which:

Review of Game:


Splinter Cell is back, and better than ever?

Let's find out:

Gameplay: The gameplay of Splinter Cell: Conviction differs from previous installments, but the fundamental basics of hiding in shadows and taking out enemies silently remains. 

What HAS changed is the pace; instead of being a slow, methodical, middle-aged man with a gravelly voice, you are now fast, methodical, middle-aged man with a gravelly voice.

Is the change for the better? Yes. It actually is. And you are listening to a guy who was a huge fan of the original Splinter Cell's, Chaos Theory in particular.

Why for the better? Because it feels more like you are a smart, ruthless operative, instead of a slow vulnerable, bumbling old man who seems to be just scary enough to make a dumb guard talk. Now, if I was on the opposite team against THIS guy.....That, would be a scary game.

But enough of my gushy fanboy love, how does this game play?

You are a guy, hiding in the shadows, taking out enemies silently, and quickly.

I know. It doesn't sound that exciting, but if you start playing this game.....You will soon discover just how good it is.

There are a lot of ways to take care of enemies, Mark and Execute being one of them. Mark and Execute is all about tagging a few enemy targets, waiting your moment, and then taking them out with one push of a button. It sounds like it makes the game easy, but do not be mistaken, the game is very challenging.

This image is the closest to Mark and Execute I could find. Thanks IGN, you're useless as always. :P

The Mark and Execute mode has to be used well, otherwise you will only succeed in drawing enemy attention to your location, which you don't want.

Thus, it requires timing, patience, precision, and a whole lot of cookies. Or something.


In conclusion, the gameplay of Splinter Cell: Conviction, has taken the old games, and breathed new life into them. I highly recommend it, if the content passes the Jesus approval test for you.

Story:


What is the story about? It's about a man named Sam Fisher, who is looking for the man who killed his daughter, and inadvertently stumbles upon a conspiracy to blow America up. (Once again.)

And only Sam can save the day. Which leads to a lot of maimed enemies, of course.

The story itself, just doesn't seem to 'pop'. It always seems like it's never really going to turn into something unique, and it's actually is only a way for the gameplay to shine, and it's not very satisfying.

One exception to that, however, is when Sam goes back to his old HQ, and finds out the truth about everything. I will say no more than that, but I will say that the scene where he finds out the 'truth' is probably my favourite moment in the Splinter Cell series. Seriously, it's subtle, but it's good.

But one scene does not make up for the rest of the story, and I have to say, yeah, the story was okay enough. But it was definitely nothing special.


Audiovisual:


I like the art style of the game. It overlays text and video on the surrounding environment, to tell you the story, without taking you out of the experience.

Besides the art style, the game engine itself holds up well, but it does suffer from a bit of graininess and plastic facial animations, which is a bit distracting when characters are talking and their faces aren't moving properly.

Otherwise, the voice acting is very good, with the whole cast delivering their lines well.

So in the audiovisual department, it is a success.




Alright, what is the conclusion? Well, I did make a conclusion page for all the reviews, which you probably clicked on above, but I just want to add one or two things:

Splinter Cell: Conviction contains strong language, and graphic, but very brief violence. As I said in the page above, it is up to you to pray and decide about it.

Your choice for purchasing a game, lies between you and Jesus, not me.


VERDICT: STRONG CAUTION
  • Great Gameplay: Die-hard fans might miss the gameplay of old, but Splinter Cell: Conviction includes it's own unique take on the series, and it does it very well. Don't miss it.
  • Lackluster Story: The story was okay enough, but it was nothing special. The level where Sam finds out the truth is quite good, though.
  • Good Audiovisual: The game has it's own unique art style, plus the game engine holds up, despite the facial animations. The voice acting is very good, and it has no complaints in my mind.
  • Graphic Brief Bloody Violence: The violence is brutal, with neck snappings, shootings, bludgeonings, and interrogations making this unsuitable for children. But it all happens quickly, so that is to be noted.
  • Frequent Strong Language: You can't go through this game and not hear language. And the language you hear, is strong. Up to you in this category.
  • Rare Moderate Sexual References: At least in the single-player, there is only a reference here and there. Co-op may be an issue.
  • Moderate Drug/Alcohol/Smoking References.
  • Age 15 minimum!
So that is it for my Splinter Cell: Conviction review! Please forgive me if I sound a bit pressed on time, but I wanted to get this review up for Wednesday, which is my usual review date.

If I made a mistake, don't hesitate to notify me, and I will speedily fix it!

Until Next time, Kyle out! 

Oh, and one more thing: COMMENT, SUBSCRIBE, TWITTER, FACEBOOK, GOOGLE+ THIS PAGE. Please, it helps me out a lot. :P

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