Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (PC) ReviewFormer staff writer - April 10, 2004
Closer Look (Cont.)
Sam also has a new “S.W.A.T. turn”, which allows Sam to pass by doorways without being noticed. Some of the other abilities Sam has include repelling, split jumping, climbing, and shimmying which will (hopefully) keep you undetected through most of your missions. And should you find yourself in a confrontation with the enemy, Sam has several options (lethal and non) on how to deal with the target.
The story itself is good, and even has a reference or two back to the first plot line. The only thing I would have to say bad about the story is it is linear. You have no options, no alternate paths in the story, it's pretty much do as you told or mission over. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but a lot more depth could be added with a dynamic story line.
The major thing about the game, is it is very much trial and error. You'll probably find yourself restoring a save game multiple times when trying to complete a mission. Part of the reason for the trial and error method is due to the game being very linear, as mentioned earlier.
If you like fast paced, ton's pf people, high kill count, shooters, then this isn't the game for you. Remember, this is a spy game. ;)
In the single player part of the game, you learn about a group of spies like Sam, known as Shadownet. They are set out to neutralize several canisters of the smallpox virus. This part of the single player game is what the multiplayer part is based on. You play as either a Shadownet member, whose goal is to end the bio-terror threat; or you play as a Terrorist, who is sworn to protect the virus.
The multiplayer mode supports a maximum of 4 players, and can be played with any team combination (2v2, 3v1, 2v1, 1v1, etc).
The Shadownet members play in the 3rd person view, just like the single player game, while the terrorist move around in traditional 1st person view.
Each team is equipped with their own unique gadgets. The spies get the dual mode goggles, as well as a few specialty grenades (smoke, flashbang, chaff). They spies also have the ability to ease drop on enemy communication.
The terrorist (actually called ARGUS Corporation Member) have their own bag of tricks. Flashlights and laser pointers make locating and identify targets easy, the added Electromagnetic Field (EMF) vision and motion vision helps detect even the stealthiest spy. The terrorist also get their share of grenades (flares, frags, and phosphorescent) and even mines.
If avoiding the terrorist wasn't hard enough for the spies, the terrorist also get the home field advantage. Motion detectors, surveillance cameras, and trip lasers are sure to throw a damper in any spy's mission.
While the multiplayer mode is good, it could be improved on. First off, rather than using the popular, GameSpy Arcade as a server browser, SCPT is played on UbiSoft's own system. While the system isn't bad, I find GameSpy's system to be far superior. Though I can understand a company wanting to use their own system for their game. :)
Another problem plagued by the multiplayer mode is the inability to disable friendly fire. Friendly fire, whether is due to a noob, idiot, or just a no good team killer, seems to have no recourse.
The multiplayer game has three game modes, but only eight levels to chose from. While each level is nice, and provides a good challenge, it'd be nice to have some additional maps. Perhaps some outdoor maps? We've seen how beautiful the game is outside, why limit those scenes to just the single player game? We can only hope that the powers that be at UbiSoft release some additional maps.
Whether you are play single player or multiplayer, one thing's fore sure. The graphics and sound to this game rock. Shadows, lighting, textures, it's all good. Though I will admit, some of the animations could be improved.