Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sam Fisher to come out of hiding!

Despite the multitude of serious bugs that Splinter Cell: Double Agent had upon it's release; Anticipation has not been dampened for the return of Sam Fisher in Tom Clancy / Ubisoft spy series . Since we last saw him, Sam has evading the authorities and gone "dark" - deep under-cover. Set two years after the events of Double Agent, he's now forced out of hiding to hunt down the drunk driver who killed his daughter, Sarah in the previous game. Sam's quest will once again take him globe-trotting to Malta and Washington DC in an effort to unravel the most-certain-to-be-conspiracy behind her death.

What makes this quite different from the previous entries in the series is that now Sam will not have the gadgets he has as a member of Third Echelon, a wing of the NSA. Now he has to procure makeshift items in the field or from a network of allies, as well as obtain weapons from downed enemies. For example, Sam can break off a car rear-view mirror and use it as a makeshift snake cam. While his familiar three-sensor night-vision goggles wont be a part of his arsenal, he may encounter enemies who have NV equipment

Conviction's creative director Max Beland said that the goal for the development team was to create the fantasy of being one of the world's best stealth operatives, without the slow pace that's usually associated with stealth games, including Splinter Cell. While using stealth and the shadows is still important, you can move faster than before with a more fluid animation system. For example, you will see Sam run, climb, drop, leap, and kill with a minimum of sound. He can now run up pipes and shimmy across ledges in record time.

One addition is a "mark and execute" feature [also seen in Rainbow Six: Vegas]; it allows you to identify targets before storming a room and eliminating them. Instead of assigning their death to a teammate, Sam will have to do the dirty work by himself. By marking targets beforehand, he will auto-aim and fire once you issue the command. You will need line of sight to shoot targets, and you can not only select people but also interactive objects, such as lights, barrels, or traps.

Due to the personal nature of the mission, Sam's attitude is more aggressive and desperate this time around. This is demonstrated through interrogations. You can grab people by the throat or put them in a headlock and proceed to beat the information out of them. Depending on the circumstances, Sam can either knock them out or kill them outright, doing even Jack Bauer proud :)

The final feature revealed was "last known position." When an enemy breaks line of sight with you, a "ghost" of Sam will be superimposed into the environment to indicate where that enemy last saw you. Sam will be able to use it as a tool for escape, it will aid in creating an ambush while the enemy makes a beeline to your last known position. Conviction has eschewed the light meter for allowing the environment itself to indicate your visibility level. When Sam is exposed, everything will appear in full-colour; but when hidden in the shadows, it will all turn to grayscale. In this mode, objects still in colour are interactive--such as a chandelier that you can use to kill multiple guards.

Players seeking an immersive experience will be pleased to know there are no lengthy cutscenes or loading screens in Conviction. Instead, everything is presented to you through the game's engine. Ubisoft has taken a cinematic approach, and in-game text will be projected onto the world itself, such as buildings (for example, "infiltrate the mansion"), or roads. Fans of Fringe will be familiar with this technique. Video updates will also be projected in front of you. The videos seem to represent a mental projection of Sam's thoughts, including information on suspects and flashbacks of Sarah's death.

Michael Ironside will return to voice the ageing agent and Splinter Cell: Conviction is an exclusive for the Xbox 360 and PC and is currently due to ship in October.

Source: Gamespot

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