Regarding the game's 3D, Ubisoft does at least manage to implement the effect without it distracting you from the main event. Unlike some games I've encountered so far on the system, it didn't ever hurt my eyes or make me feel compelled to turn the slider down - possibly because the gameplay is sufficiently slow-paced that you actually have the time to stop and admire the added depth as you silently snap necks in the shadows.
On the other hand, the subtlety of the effect is such that it's easy to zone-out and stop noticing that you're even viewing the game in 3D anymore. This phenomenon raises the question whether we're gaining anything more than a fleeting novelty from a game's '3D-ness'.
But like 3D movies, it's clear that there's a world of difference between things created specifically for 3D, and those - like Splinter Cell 3D - where the effect is retroactively applied. Here the implementation is little more than an expensive, inessential novelty, while also being perfectly inoffensive and unobtrusive.
But what definitely doesn't work well is the game's determination to be as dark and gloomy as possible. Played in daylight, it's likely that you'll be constantly distracted by reflections on the 3DS' screen. You'll have to draw the blinds or skulk off into a shady corner away from the glare of nearby windows before you stand a chance of seeing what's going on within the game. With no in-game brightness setting, you'll have to play in optimal lighting conditions to get the most out of it.
Putting aside all the control issues and visual impairments, long-term fans will also be mystified at the way Ubisoft has taken a hatchet to the various other well-regarded modes included within the original.
You may recall that Chaos Theory generously boasted a separate seven mission two player co-op mode, as well as the hugely popular Spy Vs Mercenary competitive multiplayer mode. The absence of both seems inexplicable, especially given the wireless and online capabilities of the 3DS. As a result, Splinter Cell 3D feels like an example of the kind of exploitative shovelware which accompanies all new console launches.
Even if this were a cheap downloadable title, you'd be hard pressed to summon up much enthusiasm thanks to the completely broken camera system. The fact that Ubi then has the gall to trim out all the multiplayer content and still charge full whack for it smacks of breathtaking opportunism.
If you really need to be reminded of Splinter Cell's glory days, go back and pick up a cheap copy of Double Agent. Just do yourself a favour and give this pointless reissue a wide berth.
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