Yes, it is. I loved the older SCs and at points this beats them. However, it does suffer from action-film itis at points: some utterly unnecessary UAV sequences, which are shit, for example. Yet it also plays new tricks and makes them work in a stealthy way, e.g. Briggs' FPS sections - two VERY short bits in FPS that can be played entirely stealthily.
I've got all the other SC's do you think this is worth picking up, I missed going non lethal in Conviction
I've still loads to do, but by far it's my favourite Splinter Cell yet.† It's as accessible or as hardcore as you want it.
I think they set alarm bells off dropping Michael Iron side and even the trailers gave the impression they'd made the game into some bizarre Splinter Cell/COD hybrid. Failing miserably to realise that people who love the series aren't looking for anything of the sort.
It's a shame that many potential buyers were put off. The game for the most part is dripping in hard as nails stealth if you want it and packed full of content.
Even the new Sam grew on me, he's just a no nonsense solider like the old Sam, not the Nathan Drake of Tom Clancey games as many feared.
So it's like the old SCs, with an unfortunate dose of 'modern-big-AAA-jack-of-all-trades-bullshit' to it, but that never swamps the really good core gameplay - ghosting is entirely possible, and is very tense at points, especially on the harder difficulties. Then you have a shitload of extra content in MP, co-op, side missions etc. Many of the latter require stealth as a condition of success, others are a bit louder.
Rather than a game destroyed by trying to be something else, it pays lip service to those other things, and concentrates on being good at what it does, and at offering options to players. I play stealth, always. It's only because the core game is so good that these minor annoyances seem worse than they really are.