We’d only played about ten minutes of Ghost Recon: Future Soldier when we wrote the comic, but it was enough time for someone to ask me What The Situation Was, and whenever they do that this is always the conversation I hear in my head. It’s ineluctable. I have to say the whole thing out loud, too. If I don’t say it out loud, things begin to thicken up there. I can feel the words forming a clot in my brain.
Splinter Cell: Conviction is one of my favorite games, and I only know a couple people who agree with that assessment. The competitive multiplayer had a different shape than previous games, different enough to horrify longtime proponents of the series: one on one, in an era with a hundred and twenty-six versus a hundred and twenty-six, seems like a failure of imagination. It succeeded, though, by retaining its stealth cache while letting you corral each round’s limited number of targets: either as points to be scored, or as dogs to sic on your opponent.
I don’t know them personally, but there are apparently fans of Conviction on the team of Future Soldier, because the three things that define the last Splinter Cell:
1. A “queued kill” mechanism,
2. Text projections directly into the environment, and
3. The best stealth traversal mechanic in existence
all show up here. Gabriel and I have agreed to disagree on whether or not Raw Text is an appropriate thing to draw directly into “real” spaces. I can’t get enough of it. But we agree on the other two, which is a better ratio than usual for us, so I’m prepared to celebrate. Bringing campaign cooperative play - something that used to be a franchise tentpole - back onto the main stage is something I welcome. I was impressed with the multiplayer beta, there are a lot of “toys” to play with, and placing “intel” on enemy locations at the center of an information economy was interesting to me. Driving the drone has always been my job, so I don’t mind the new focus. Indeed, I welcome our gritty, near-future surveillance overlords (in a purely simulated context).
The Gametrailers review is kind in the aggregate, but there are many individual barbs inserted, particularly for the campaign: instafail stealth stuff in a multiplayer context seems like something that could result in a broken controller, television, or perhaps both simultaneously.