Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Developer: Ubi Soft Montreal
Publisher: Ubi SoftFire in the hole! Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell has had a lot of press. It was a finalist in the G4 GLO Awards for 'Game of the Year'. Countless people have horked out glowing reviews of Splinter Cell, touting it's top-notch stealth action, incredible graphics, detailed and interesting storyline, and more. If you believe everything you read, Splinter Cell stops just short of making you breakfast and walking your dog, for crying out loud.I played Splinter Cell slowly, over a period of about two months. I gave it every chance in the world to suck me in and involve me. I held off posting this review for several weeks, giving myself every opportunity to enjoy the subtle nuances of the game, to find my 'happy place' and then join my brethren in their gaming orgasm over this uber-game.This did not happen. I am not fooled, and I didn't like Splinter Cell.Before I get to what deep-sixes Splinter Cell for me, let me tell you what I did like about it, with caveats:Graphics:Splinter Cell is graphically strong, taking the Unreal-engine technology to its very limits. One problem here is that you spend a great deal of time in the game using your night vision goggles, turning what is truly a stunning game into a black and white TV program. I understand that dark environments is part and parcel to a stealthy game, but I got incredibly tired of it after awhile.Michael Ironside:Sam Fisher, the main character in Splinter Cell, will be forever associated with Michael Ironside, who provides his incredible voice acting talents in that regard. Ironside may have the second most impressive voice in Hollywood, next to James Earl Jones. He's so good, he almost salvages Splinter Cell by himself. Almost.Cinematics:The cinematics in Splinter Cell are second-to-none. Particularly impressive are the 'CNN-like' news broadcasts that add a great deal of depth to the storyline between missions. Splinter Cell also features some high quality in-mission cutscenes that are, at times, breathtaking. More than well-done, this work is to be emulated by anyone considering cutscenes or machinima of any kind.