Summary: So the Splinter Cell demo is out, and we have a review of it already? Read the review, and find out just how Jakub was able to get so quickly through it. He also gleaned every last bit of information he could from it, and you can get a Splinter Cell newbie's perspective on the game... sorta. Read on and have all this explained!
Despite being quite fond of my Xbox, I havenít found the opportunity to pick up Splinter Cell yet. Maybe itís my inherent PC bias, but Iíve decided to wait for the PC version. So when Ubi released the Splinter Cell demo last night, I jumped on the opportunity and downloaded the modest (by todayís standards) 100MB file. For those who missed Marcusí news post, itís the same demo that made went around in the Xbox magazines as a cover disc.
So what does it offer?
Good question. With the steeper requirements for the game than one would expect from an Xbox title, you can at least test out your system against it. For the record, it ran perfectly fine on a P4 Willamette 2GHz with 512MB of DDR and a GF4 4200 OTES. In fact the system handled full details, 1280 resolution and Quincunx FSAA without a hiccup.
A definite crowd pleaser even for experienced gamers will be the curtains in the game. They react extremely realistically to the player and other characters, warping, bending and shuffling as theyíre hit. Almost as impressive are the vision modes. Night vision is basically a brightened, black and white version of normal vision. Be careful, if you go into a well-lit area and your character will go blind. Infrared vision is the real bonus Ė the world is heated realistically. Lamps and computers give off heat, and an uncovered face will be brighter than a clothed body. If you took an enemy down, his body will cool and you can even see that with the infravision goggles. Is that sweet or what?
SIDEBAR: The biggest change in the requirements from an Xbox is the amount of RAM. Gives you an idea of how much of a memory hog Windows really is, if they can run the game on 64MB in the Xbox.
The interface is really something else. It combines the basic WASD controls from an FPS game with a free camera and analog speed control. Analog speed control? Thatís a really clever way of letting the player determine the movement speed of his character. Rather than just have a run and slow toggle button, the game lets players use the mouse scroll feature to determine movement speed. Fisher, the agent you play in the game, can go at any speed from a cautious walk to a light run. Even at his fastest setting, he never abandons stealthy movement. Like our perennial first-person-sneaker favorite, Thief, thereís a light bar. It shows how well or how poorly Fisher is hidden.
The most disappointing part of the demo is actually the gameplay. The five-ten minutes of play donít even allow us to get immersed before itís over [insert feminist sexual joke here]. What really kills us is the fact that you donít end up trying even a tenth of the things you can allegedly do in the full game.
SIDEBAR: Is Jakub being a little harsh with Ubi? I mean, really, youíre getting some free entertainment here! Of course, when even a phat pipe to the internet spends more time downloading the game than you do playing it, that could be a problem, couldnít it?
|© Copyright 2003 FS Media, Inc.|