I’m a big fan of the new maps for Splinter Cell:PT. I think that they have a visual polish that far exceeds any of the original levels. The Osprey hovering around the beginning of the Bank level is a real treat.
For me the Bank plays out a lot like Warehouse. That is to say it essentially devolves into a death match game which is something I’m not all that keen on. If I wanted to play death match I’d go play Quake. The fact is that SC invented a style of multiplayer gaming that you simply can’t get anyplace else. The cooperative stealth based action versus actual human opponents is something I find extremely fun. So when I jump into a game of Deftech and some ten year old tells me they’re playing death match I get kind of frustrated. It’s like buying a Dodge Viper and then replacing the engine with the one from your lawnmower. Why are they these people even playing SC to begin with?
I did say I liked the Bank though and that’s true. Unlike Warehouse I feel like the Bank offers spies the ability to move around a bit more. Rather than dodging grenades at your spawn point you actually get some time to move through the map and position yourself for an attack on the vault room. I also like the hacks that are available. Not just the lights which is something we’ve seen before but the ability to turn on the magnetic protection in the vault and totally fuck over the mercs EMF vision. In the end though it seems like this map still comes down to aggro spies trying to steamroll over the mercs in order to secure the ND133’s. That’s disappointing to me but I think was a conscious decision my the map makers. Obviously they must have seen the popularity of Warehouse and decided to deliver a map that would offer players a similar experience.
The River City mall on the other hand is exactly what I was looking for from a new map. The size and layout make it a sneaking spy’s paradise. The abundance of quick two second hacks is also a fun addition. Hacking the cameras, the vent fans or the waterfall lights is cool but the ability to completely shut out the skylight in the rear Hi-Fi room is awesome. Over all the map really rewards players who work together as opposed to the lone agro spy. This is the sort of map I’d like to see more of in the future as I think it’s what sets Splinter Cell apart from other multiplayer games.
All in all I think they were worth the five bucks I paid for them. I’d certainly be willing to pay the same amount for another similar map pack in a month or so.