Man, it’s been ten years since the debut of Sam Fisher on Microsoft’s console, Xbox. Splinter Cell was meant to be Microsoft’s answer to Sony’s Metal Gear Solid franchise. Thus, Splinter Cell was advertised as the best third-person stealth game. And oh boy was it an incredible experience. Packed with amazing visuals for its time, Splinter Cell quickly became the epitome of third-person stealth games. Fast forward a couple of years, and here we are today with new Splinter Cell games that are more action-oriented than its predecessors. But let’s forget about this and let’s wish Sam Fisher happy birthday, shall we?
The first Splinter Cell was developed in 2 years, and was published and released by Ubisoft for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and PC. The game used a modified version of Unreal Engine 2, allowing the light-and-dark based gameplay, as well as dynamic lighting and shadows.
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Its sequel, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow was developed by Ubisoft Shanghai and featured some moderate graphical improvements, as well as minor gameplay changes. For example, all health kits were no longer considered as inventory items. Pandora Tomorrow remained true to the first game’s spirit and was enjoyed by all those who loved the first Splinter Cell game.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
The third part of the series, Chaos Theory, is considered the best Splinter Cell game to date. Developed by the developers behind the first game – Ubisoft Montreal – the game was packed with amazing visuals and supported modern-day techniques such as normal mapping, HDR lighting, parallax mapping and ragdoll physics. Chaos Theory had also featured refined stealth mechanics and improved AI.
Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Splinter Cell: Double Agent was the next part of the franchise, and the first game that tried to depart from its pure-stealth mechanics. Ubisoft developed two versions for this title; one for old-generation consoles and one for current-generation platforms (PS3, X360 and PC). Ironically, these two versions of the game feature different plot lines and completely different level designs. Most Splinter Cell fans enjoyed the old-generation version of Double Agent. The PC version was also plagued with some shadow/lighting issues, and it took Nvidia almost a year to address them.
Splinter Cell: Conviction
Splinter Cell: Conviction was the last Splinter Cell game that was released, and it was more action-oriented than ever. Ironically, when the game was originally announced, gamers got excited as its premise looked spectacular. Conviction was meant to be a new stealth game with jaw-dropping visuals. Players would be able to blend into crowd and Sam Fisher had long hair and a beard (looked similar to Snake). However, Ubisoft decided to scrap its plans, delay the game and re-design it around the new core elements “Mark and Execute” and “Last Known Position”. Sam could not whistle, lock pick, or hide bodies. Not only that, but – for the first time – the game featured a covering system similar to Gears of War and added some interrogation sequences (quick-time events).
Splinter Cell: Blacklist
Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be the sixth installment in the Splinter Cell series and will be developed by Ubisoft Toronto. The game is said to feature both action and stealth mechanics. However, the map that was showcased in E3 put most Splinter Cell fans off, as Ubisoft seemed to be trying hard to win the COD crowd. The company promised to show off a lot of stealth features, and contrary to Conviction, players will be able to hide bodies. Blacklist is currently planned for a Spring 2013 release on PC, X360 and PS3.
So, happy birthday Sam Fisher and all the best. Here is hoping that Ubisoft will treat you well, despite the fact that Ironside won’t lend you his voice anymore. Cheers and we’re looking forward to your return!
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email