Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent Reader Review
Splinter Cell Double Agent is the latest in Tom Clancy's series following on from Chaos Theory. In Double Agent the game is different in the respect that you're on both sides and throughout the game you will make choices as to whether to follow the JBA (John Brown's Army) or the NSA (National Security Agency) which will affect the final outcome of the game.
As you start the game you start it in an unfamiliar place. Prison. The reason you're there is to try and break your way into the JBA by helping Jamie Washington escape who has found his way into trouble. You'll find that a lot of Splinter Cell's interface has changed with a nod in the direction of Advanced Warfighter. Sam's OPSAT now details both sets of objectives, it's your choice in which ones you choose to undertake but you'll have to balance a tightrope as lose all of your trust on one side and it's game over. Splinter Cell Double Agent impliments the Double Agent storyline in the game to try and improve the story which Ubisoft are successful in doing. In previous versions it was just a case of doing your job so to speak. But now you'll have to make moral choices like whether you choose to kill a pilot as this is happening it zooms up on Sam into a first person perspective. This gives the player a sense of immersion that woudn't be possible otherwise.
As always throughout the game you will be taken to various locations in trying to stop the JBA. What's different about Double Agent is that most missions now take place in daylight. This can be a bad thing because Sam excels in the shadows and later on in the game it will require a lot more of the aggressive approach which can often end up in Sam's demise. However to compensate the whole previous lightness and darkness system has been scrapped. Now you have a light on Sam which changes colours depending on the situation, it being green if you're out of sight, yellow if visible and red if you cause an alert.
There are more gadgets at your disposal this time around for example the ability to blow up your sticky camera killing enemies in the process or use an ultrisonic emitter to distarct guards. Throughout the game you will have the ability to unlock new gadgets by completing certain objectives which gives you even more incentive to do them. One thing I like a lot better in this game is the map. It's now a lot easier to find your way around as a coloured dot will indicate where you need to go to complete your various objectives. The Havok game engine is also put into the game which is good for the most part but can be silly. Say you knock out an enemy and place his body in the corner his head will stick to the table which looks stupid.
So, all in all Splinter Cell Double Agent is a fine game, one that brings a great story along with a sense that you are actually in it which wasn't the case in previous games. Plus you get a vastly improved online mode which some say is actually better than the single player campaign. This still dosen't hold the same impact of the original but it is an improvement over Chaos Theory and its frustrating A.I. This isn't a game of the year candidate but what it does do is deliver you a solid stealth-action game that's well worth playing.
8 / 10