Night vision describes the ability to visually see in low light conditions. In the Splinter Cell series, night vision refers to the vision mode developed in an optical headset to allow the user to see in low light levels (darkness).
Night vision grants the user the ability to see in the dark in the absence of sufficient light. Passive night vision goggles work by amplifying the ambient light, particularly emissions from the lower end of the infrared spectrum. Image intensifiers are used to amplify ambient light, allowing to see in extremely low light, but not useful in total darkness and causing temporary blindness if used in an area flooded with light, such as during a thunderstorm where lightning may occur or an area with bright artificial lights, such as spotlights, searchlights, or even certain ambient lighting, such as ceiling and wall lights, where the user's view will be blinded for a short period. Some more advanced models featured infrared light emitters, invisible to human eye, which bounces off objects and is captured by special lenses that then convert it to a human visible light spectrum. These models allow the user to see in completely dark ambiance.
In Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, night vision was shown to greatly illuminate dark areas and turning the screen into shades of a grey effect for the player. While the night vision effect remained the same in Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow, the feature of having bright lights momentarily blind the player was added in for a more realistic feel to the vision mode. In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and Splinter Cell: Double Agent, the night vision mode was changed to a green effect while the 'lens' zoomed in the screen by a slight increase. Bright lights and lit areas would drastically brighten and distort the player's view. The night vision mode was not present in Splinter Cell: Conviction, but returned in Splinter Cell: Blacklist a more realistic fashion. When night vision is switched on by the player in Blacklist, the vision mode will take a few seconds to 'fade in'.
Night vision allows the user to conceal themselves in darkness, or areas of low light, while still retaining the ability to see clearly. Night vision users can also still retain a pretty clear visual, as the vision means to merely enhance the visual representation of things in the dark. For stealth operations, night vision is very detrimental for personnel to operate covertly while being able to think tactically and evaluate the environment.
There are disadvantages that exist with the use of night vision: bright lights can temporarily blind the user, meaning using them in lightning storms can have intensifying, but temporary, effects on the user. When this occurs, it is about the equivalent of being blinded by a flashbang grenade. Certain types of artificial lighting that is bright enough can also have negative effects against the user. Additionally, night vision can sometimes produce blurry imaging that would normally come up clearer without it (in a brighter lighting environment, of course). Night vision also tones the environment in a similar shade of color, meaning it can be hard distinguishing certain things. In Pandora Tomorrow, lightning affects the NVG, while in Chaos Theory it will not. In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, lightning greatly affected NVG, and Drone Operators will interfere with the goggles, including NVG function.
List of night vision compatible goggles Edit
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
- The night vision mode appears in every Splinter Cell title except Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction.
- Double Agent is unique for featuring the "enhanced" version of NVG, the player can see the image in full color, light has less blinding effect compared to the original NVG.
- The night vision color/tone has changed through the series, varying between a black and white tone and a green shade. The green shade is the predominately used color, and specifically, the color used in Blacklist as well.
- In Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the night vision mode take a few seconds to fully come into focus (starting as a grainy black color as it fades into a clearer green shade/tone).