The codebreakers at PocketGamer were right: There is a Splinter Cell iPhone game in the works, and we’ve played it. Read on to hear about what we did when put into the sneaky shoes of Sam Fisher.
First thing we did was die a lot. Did we mention stealth games are not our strong suit? When we managed to avoid blowing our cover and going “Rambo”, the sneakier tricks at Sam’s disposal became much, much more impressive.
For example, you can sneak up behind a guard who’s staring ahead intently, perhaps thinking about what’s waiting for him in the refrigerator at home, and snap his neck. You can then shoot out the nearby floodlights, and take cover behind some crates with a context-sensitive button press.
While you’re in cover, two more guards come into view. You can then press a multi-target marker button, placing red crosshairs over each bad guy. One more button press, this time the “execute” button, and Sam will fire off two quick headshots. Both guards will fall down dead without making a peep. You can pull this same multi-targeting trick using a convex mirror stuck under a closed door, and Sam will take out everyone in the room as soon as you give the signal.
Other fancy spy tricks we were told about but didn’t get to try ourselves include interrogating bad guys by smashing them into walls, and placing traps using camera grenades with remote detonation.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction on iPhone looks like it will retain a lot of the features of its console big brother, while still being fairly accessible for us bumbling types. Your objectives are sometimes “projected” onto certain objects in the environment, elegantly combining the game world and heads-up display. The storyline, which has Sam on the outs from secret spy agency Third Echelon and searching for his daughter’s killer, is the same as the console game.
On the iPhone, you’re eased into the action a little more with an objective pointer, and position indicators which tell you the best spots to hide in the shadows. We’re not great infiltrators, so we appreciated these additions, but seasoned spies won’t have the option to turn them off for a greater challenge.
While most of the game involves being stealthy and smart, we did play one glorious level of unbridled action. Set in Iraq, Sam dons desert camouflage and goes to war, shooting an assault rifle from cover and tossing grenades every few feet. During all this chaos, weather effects (like a whirling sandstorm in Iraq) really wowed us.
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction looks and plays great, and it’s rare that we see such a sophisticated stealth game on this platform. It’ll be out later this month, but better keep your excitement muted, so the guards don’t hear you.