|Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell|
|Working title||Third Echelon|
|Developer(s)||Ubisoft Montreal (Xbox, Windows, Mac, and Game Boy Advance)|
Ubisoft Shanghai (PlayStation 2 and GameCube)
Gameloft (Mobile Phone)
|Composer(s)||Michael Richard Plowman|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2.0|
|Release date||November 17, 2002 (US)|
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (sometimes referred to as simply Splinter Cell, Splinter Cell 1, Splinter Cell: Stealth Action Redefined, and Splinter Cell: SAR) is the first video game in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series of video games developed and published by Ubisoft as well as endorsed by American author Tom Clancy. Set in 2004, the story focuses on Sam Fisher, a covert ops veteran recruited to spearhead the newly-activated Splinter Cell Program which is part of Third Echelon, a top-secret initiative within the National Security Agency (NSA). Third Echelon uses Splinter Cells, lone operatives working in the field with high-tech support to conduct intelligence-gathering missions in hostile territory.
An HD remaster of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, as well as Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, was included in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy HD for the PlayStation 3.
The main focus and theme of Splinter Cell is the use of stealth to complete top-secret missions and objectives in mostly linear missions. The player is encouraged to use stealth by relying on the light/darkness mechanic, a feature where the player is able to hide in darkened area and rely on a stealth meter that notifies the player of their concealment. The player has access to an array of weapons and gadgets to help them accomplish objectives, and are a means to maintain their stealth and avoid hostiles from raising any alarms. Additionally, an alarm limit is usually present in certain missions with a three-alarm limit, failing the mission will cause the player to restart their game from an earlier check point.
The player has full control over Fisher and the gameplay plays out in a slower pace to compensate for the emphasis on using stealth and covert tactics. Players can also maneuver through the environment and do a series of physical moves such as rappelling, split jumps (and wall jumps), crouching, and more. The player also can use cover to peek around corners, and are also able to use their sidearm to fire around corners. When dealing with enemy guards, players can use objects, sound and gadgets to distract enemies and knock them out. When the player is sneaking, it is important to know that they must observe the environment; different materials will produce different sound outputs when moved on (softer material absorbs sound more while hollow or gravel material produces more sound).
Tbilisi, Georgia: Police StationEdit
- Main article: Police Station
T'Bilisi, Georgia: Defense MinistryEdit
- Main article: Defense Ministry
The detected intrusion at the Ministry forces Nikoladze to go into underground hiding. He then kick-starts his campaign into full action: the Georgian military cells now start murder rampages throughout Azerbaijan. NATO sends troops into the affected areas in an effort to stop the attempted genocide, and to locate Nikoladze. During this chaos, the NSA notice, in the data retrieved from the Ministry, that a Georgian military cell stationed on an oil rig on the Caspian Sea has been exchanging data with the Georgian Presidential Palace, speculating it is of considerable significance; and thus Fisher is sent there to retrieve the data.
Caspian Sea: Oil RigEdit
- Main article: Oil Rig
Langley, Virginia: CIA HeadquartersEdit
- Main article: CIA Headquarters
Langley, Virginia: KalinatekEdit
- Main article: Kalinatek
Because Grímsdóttir's hack was detected by those at Kalinatek, the troops in the building are attempting to destroy any evidence that could lead to Nikoladze, including their computer technicians. Grímsdóttir intercepts a 911 call made from a technician called Ivan inside the building, who states that his life is in danger, and he will help the American government in exchange for rescue. He tells her that he is safe for now as he has closed the fire doors surrounding him but they won't hold forever. This new information necessitates an emergency mission to the Kalinatek building and Fisher has to move fast to find Ivan before he is found and killed. However, he is forced to make several detours when the troops plant mines throughout the building on vital parts of the structure, and a bomb is armed on the gas pipes in the main utility room. After deactivating all of these explosives, Fisher stumbles across a dying technician, who tells him that Ivan must be on the fifth floor. Lambert then tells Fisher that the FBI will collect Ivan and all he needs is Ivan's encryption key. Fisher locates Ivan hiding in the bathroom, and saves his life by killing his attacker. Ivan is anxious to leave with Fisher but Fisher just demands the encryption key from him. Reluctantly, Ivan hands over his encryption key. Fisher shoots his way out of the Kalinatek and escapes via The Osprey as FBI agents come to take over the scene and take Ivan into custody. Using the encryption key, the NSA discovers that Nikoladze has been using a network of unconventional relays to communicate with the Georgian military cells. Grímsdóttir manages to trace one of these data streams back to the Nadezhda Nuclear Power Plant in northern Russia, but due to the electronic noise surrounding the plant, is unable to trace the data any further; thus Fisher is sent to shut the power plant down.
Kola Peninsula, Russia: Nuclear Power Plant (Available only on the PlayStation 2)Edit
- Main article: Nuclear Power Plant
Fisher infiltrates the Russian power plant, only to find it under the control of Grinko's mercenaries protecting the microwave relay. Despite this, Fisher makes his way through the building, and initiates a false meltdown alarm, which forces most personnel to evacuate, allowing Fisher to move around easier. However, some troops remain and even gun turrets have been set-up. Nonetheless, Fisher gains control of the microwave relay, allowing the NSA to finally locate Nikoladze. Fisher leaves the building via the plant's private train - but to their surprise, the mercenaries are also using the train to transport nuclear material, possibly to create nuclear weapons.
Yangon, Myanmar: Chinese Embassy OutskirtsEdit
- Main article: Chinese Embassy
Yangon, Myanmar: AbbatoirEdit
- Main article: Abattoir
Hoping to gain some more time to work with, Fisher disables the broadcast antenna of the slaughterhouse, which does indeed delay the execution. The entire facility is guarded with Grinko's mercenaries, and Grinko himself is here leading them. Fisher kills the thugs; upon finding the hostages and Chinese dignitaries being held against their will, Fisher converses with them. Grinko and his lieutenant find the dead bodies; they arrive to kill Fisher. However, the antagonists are terminated. Returning to the hostages, Fisher finds that Feirong is acting renegade and does not represent China in his actions. With this news, United States and Chinese relations stabilize and war is avoided for now.
Yangon, Myanmar: Chinese Embassy Interior Edit
- Main article: Chinese Embassy (Part 2)
T'Bilisi, Georgia: Presidential PalaceEdit
- Main article: Presidential Palace
Somewhere in the Kola Peninsula, Russia Edit
- Main article: Kola Cell
As Nikoladze has been neutralized, Philip Masse was still on the loose. Seeing as how he could still be a threat to the free world through digital means, Sam is sent to Kola Peninsula to eliminate him. He first accesses Masse's server in the basement after infiltrating the complex. Sam then grabs a colonel named Alekseevich and uses him to access a retinal scanner to the ducts leading to Masse's office where Sam has him access his computer. After killing Masse, Sam was ordered to go to a nearby submarine port to prevent a threat of a loose nuclear weapon from being retrieved from a Typhoon-Class nuclear submarine.
Kola Peninsula, Russia: Submarine Port Edit
Sam Fisher is sent somewhere on the coasts of the Kola Peninsula, Russia. The mission was to stop the remaining Alekseevich's troops from taking control of a Typhoon-Class nuclear submarine Vselka. In his efforts, Sam was able to raise the sub to the surface in order to board the vessel and prevent Alekseevich's soldiers from using it. To stop a threat from loosing a nuclear weapon, Sam discovers that they were unable to retrieve the nuclear weapon. Sam then escapes the submarine via a torpedo launch tube.
Version 1: (Xbox/PS3/PC/Mac)Edit
- Training, CIA Training Farm, Camp Peary, Virginia, USA, August 7, 2004, 06:01 Hours
- Police Station, T'Bilisi Old Town, T'Bilisi, Georgia, October 16, 2004, 20:01 Hours
- Defense Ministry, Georgian Ministry of Defense Headquarters,T'Bilisi, Georgia, October 16, 2004, 23:01 Hours
- Oil Refinery, Georgian Waters, Caspian Sea, October 27, 2004, 9:38 Hours
- CIA HQ, CIA Headquarters, Langley, Virginia, USA, October 31, 2004, 20:19 Hours
- Kalinatek Building, Langley, Virginia, USA, November 1, 2004, 01:24 Hours
- Chinese Embassy, Chinese Embassy to Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar, November 11, 2004, 20:13 Hours
- Abattior, Mouke Tsoe Bo Meats, Yangon, Myanmar, November 11, 2004, 22:52 Hours
- Chinese Embassy, Chinese Embassy to Myanmar, Yangon, Myanmar, November 12, 2004, 00:11 Hours
- Presidential Palace, Georgian Presidential Palace, T'Bilisi, Georgia, November 13, 2004, 00:04 Hours
- Kola Cell, Kola Peninsula, Russia, January 19, 2005, 17:11 Hours
- Vselka Infiltration, Kola Peninsula, Russia, January 26, 2005, 20:14 Hours
- Vselka Submarine, Kola Peninsula, Russia, January 26, 2005, 23:29 Hours
- Sam meets Grímsdóttir for the first time while at the CIA Training Farm, August 7, 2004.
- Sam is introduced to Vernon Wilkes, Jr., for the first time at the CIA Training Farm, August 7, 2004.
- Sam's subdermal implants are modified by Grímsdóttir on board the Osprey on the way to Georgia.
- Sam tells Wilkes not to light a cigarette on board the Osprey, to which Wilkes replies that he is saving the cigarette for when they land.
- Blaustein was sent to Georgia after Alice Madison went missing (in version 2, both were on a mission together when they went missing).
- Vernon Wilkes, Jr. is shot over Kalinatek Building in Langley, Virginia and dies in route to Myanmar.
- Sam Fisher traces data leading to Nikoladze from Kalinatek directly to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar.
Version 2 (PS2/GameCube)Edit
There are differences in the story and details between the main version of Splinter Cell (Ubisoft Montreal, Xbox and PC) and the version on PlayStation 2/GameCube (Ubisoft Shanghai). Some of the levels are exclusive redesigns based on the levels in version 1. Most are shorter, and punctuated by full-motion cutscenes. The PlayStation 2 version includes four additional levels set in a nuclear power plant in Russia (Sam is wearing a winter Splinter Cell uniform).
- Kakheti Mountains, Georgia, former U.S.S.R. (prologue cinematic)
- Somewhere in the Pacific (prologue cinematic)
- CIA Training Farm, Camp Perry, Virginia, October 7, 2004, 06:01 Hours
- Andrews Airforce Base, Maryland, USA, October 15, 18:27 Hours (cinematic only)
- Nadezhda Nuclear Plant, Kola Peninsula, Russia, November 6, 19:50 Hours (PlayStation 2 exclusive mission)
- Version 2 has a different timeline from Version 1, Sam's audition begins October 7, rather than in August. Most of the level dates remain the same (although the missions and story have been altered).
- Prologue (October 2004): Alice Madison and Robert Blaustein, CIA agents infiltrate the Caucasus, to investigate potential violations of UN regulations by the former Soviet Republic of Georgia. They discover a mass army, and are captured. OPSAT files and data sticks in the game contradict this by stating that they were captured separately at different times.
- Somewhere in the Pacific, Sam Fisher goes diving with his daughter, Sarah Fisher.
Sam Fisher is apparently already a member of Third Echelon, and has his gear, and implants.
- Vernon Wilkes, Jr. finds Sam to take him to speak to Irving Lambert about the missing CIA agents (he is forced to find them). He is recalled by Third Echelon to help.
- Sam has already met Vernon Wilkes, Jr. in Version 2 in the Pacific before the Third Echelon audition (In version 1 he met Sam for the first time at Camp Peary).
- Sam Fisher doesn't like Wilkes smoking and knocks the cigarette from his mouth outside the Osprey.
- Anna Grímsdóttir introduces herself to Sam face to face for the first time (during a cinematic) on October 15, 2004, at Andrews Air Force Base on board the Osprey (rather than on August 7, 2004 at the CIA Training Farm as in Version 1).
- Sam traces data from Kalintek, but it gets stuck near the Kola Peninsula, Russia, forcing Sam to make a detour to a power plant on the Peninsula in order to continue tracing communications back to Nikoladze. Vernon Wilkes, Jr. is shot at nuclear power plant, and dies over the Russian airspace. The data trace at the power plant leads back to the Chinese Embassy in Myanmar (PlayStation 2 Only). Wilkes is killed at the Kalinatek Building on the GameCube.
- Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Version 2 begins and ends with Sarah and Sam staying on a boat in the South Pacific rather than in a house.
- Sarah appears much younger than she does in Version 1.
Version 3 (Essentials (PSP))Edit
Sam Fisher joined Third Echelon and met Anna Grímsdóttir in the 1990s. The Caspian Sea mission file was later tampered with, claiming that Fisher was almost killed when US forces attacked in the middle of the operation, it claimed he went on record blaming Lambert and the NSA for it. This was not true. Anna Grímsdóttir had discovered the lie and went on to explain the real events on the GFO Oil Rig to help clear his name.
- GFO Oil Rig, Georgian Waters, Caspian Sea, October 27, 2004, 9:38
This is the first Splinter Cell game in the franchise. This is also the second game to be made not based off a Tom Clancy book, the first being Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon which was released in 2001 for the PC. The game is also Ubisoft Entertainment's second game to be in developed while Ghost Recon was just published by Ubisoft while Red Storm Entertainment developed it. First being the PC game Rainbow Six: Take Down. Ubisoft Montreal was tasked into creating a revolutionary stealth game that took elements from Thief and Metal Gear Solid. Tom Clancy endorsed while also being a support writer for scenarios. Tom Clancy at first did not approve of the tri-focal goggles, which were said to contain both night vision and infra-red vision, as it was unrealistic to have such a device. This is due to the issues such a device would have with size and cost in real life. Though Tom Clancy later approved of it as Ubisoft made use of it as Sam Fisher's signature style and explained that having two separate devices, which the player would need to interchange, would be highly detrimental to gameplay.
Ubisoft Montreal focused on making a more realistic approach to the stealth genre, and in doing so had to do research on developing technology. Such as the suit that Sam wears, the type of tech for surveillance and so forth. Ubisoft also brought in renowned actor, Michael Ironside, to provide the voice for Sam Fisher.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell received positive reviews upon release. GameSpot's Greg Kasavin said that Splinter Cell has "hands down the best lighting effects seen in any game to date." IGN likewise praised the game for its graphics and lighting. Both praised the game's audio, noting that Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher's voice suited the role perfectly. Criticism of the game was also present. Greg Kasavin said that Splinter Cell is "sometimes reduced to frustrating bouts of trial and error." In addition, Kasavin criticized the game's cutscenes, saying that they are not up to par with the rest of the game's graphics.
- E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo 2002 Game Critics Awards: Best Action/Adventure Game
- 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards: Excellence in Writing
- 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards: Console Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering
- IGN Best of 2002: Xbox Game of the Year, Xbox Best Graphics
- 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards: Game of the Year, Original Game Character of the Year, Excellence in Game Design, Excellence in Level Design, and Excellence in Programming
- 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards: Innovation in Console Gaming, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering, and Console Action/Adventure Game of the Year
- IGN Best of 2002: Overall Game of the Year
While Ubisoft Montreal's initial Xbox and Windows versions were released to critical and commercial success, Ubisoft Shanghai was developing versions for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube consoles. Development on these ports started in April 2002, while Montreal's version was still in development, and used Montreal's base code and graphic assets as a starting point. In order to complete the port in such a short time frame, extra developers were brought in from France and Italy to assist the Chinese team. Incomplete data packages being sent from Montreal and cultural and language differences between the team members caused hardship during the production, but the port shipped on time and was also a critical and commercial success. Changes from Montreal's version includes story differences, an extra level (set at a nuclear power plant on the Kola Peninsula), redesigned HUD, lower difficulty, decreased graphic quality, and sections of levels removed and replaced with full-motion video cutscenes.
The Xbox versions' visuals include better lighting and less jagged polygon models, and utilize its graphical capabilities almost to the fullest. This version includes real-time cutscenes, rather than the full-motion videos from the other two versions. The game runs at a higher resolution than the PlayStation 2 version, and has a slightly more consistent frame rate than both the PlayStation 2 and GCN versions. None of the extras from the PlayStation 2 and GCN versions are present, though shortly after the other versions were released three exclusive levels were downloadable via Xbox Live and a disk release was bundled later on. The Xbox version is also backwards compatible with the Xbox 360.
Xbox 360 (Backwards Compatibility) Edit
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell can be played on the Xbox 360, provided that the user has an official Microsoft HDD and they have the necessary updates for their system. DLC is supported for the system, but can no longer be downloaded from Xbox Live. While the game does run smooth, there are some notes: keypad lock colors will not display properly and there is a noticeable drop of framerate in some areas.
The Windows version was a port of the Xbox version, and duplicated that version's user interface and gameplay. However, the Windows version can be run at higher graphic resolutions than the console versions, and some of the real-time cutscenes have been replaced with full-motion videos. The "checkpoint" save system from the Xbox version was replaced with the ability to save a game at any time, and the controls were reworked to allow simultaneous use of a keyboard and mouse, with movement speed being controlled by the mouse wheel, a feature that received praise from several reviewers. None of the bonus content from the other versions are present on this version. The Xbox Live bonus levels (Kola Cell, Vselka Infiltration, Vselka Submarine) for the PC version were available as a patch included in the limited collector's edition of Chaos Theory, and came pre-installed in the version of the game in the Ubisoft Action-Adventure Collection. It was also available in the Splinter Cell: Mission Pack, which is sold only in Europe. There is an unfortunate graphics problem in this version, though. Projected shadows would not appear with video cards Nvidia 6 series and up. This problem was caused because the game was a direct port from the Xbox, which renders shadows similarly to Nvidia 3, 4, and FX cards. It is possible to force the shadows, but this can cause system instabilities. This problem persists to Pandora Tomorrow.
The Mac version was a port of the Windows version and runs mostly at a 800x600 graphic resolution, real-time cutscenes have been replaced with full-motion videos. The save system has the ability to save a game at any time, controls were reworked to allow simultaneous use of a keyboard and mouse, with movement speed being controlled by the mouse wheel. No bonus content is present on this version.
PlayStation 2 Edit
The PlayStation 2 and GameCube versions were developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, and feature a redesigned HUD. The PlayStation 2 version runs at a lower resolution than the Xbox and GCN versions, and sacrifices had to be made to the graphics including more jagged edges, duller colors and fewer lighting effects, due to the more limited hardware. For example, the Oil Rig level is supposed to take place during the day but the sky is dark throughout the level. Also, despite these sacrifices, the frame rate tends to stutter slightly more than the Xbox version. Loading times, as with most PlayStation 2 versions of games, are also longer. Missions are also structured in a different/shorter fashion. The storyline was modified.
The PlayStation 2 version boasts extra content, however, including a new Nuclear Power Plant mission, which appears exclusively in the PlayStation 2 version. The real-time cutscenes from the Xbox version were replaced with full-motion videos.
PlayStation 3 Edit
An HD version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is included in the Splinter Cell Trilogy. The PlayStation 3 version is ported from the PC version, it has the manual save system (where the player can save at any point during the game) and has a different interface than the Xbox version.
The GameCube version didn't receive quite as many graphical sacrifices as the PlayStation 2 version, as it is running on more powerful hardware. This version runs at the same resolution as the Xbox version, is less jagged than the PlayStation 2 version, and the colors appear to be more natural than the PlayStation 2 version as well. However, the GCN version doesn't quite look as realistic as the Xbox version and, like the PlayStation 2 version, had to make sacrifices here and there with the lighting effects. This version includes the full-motion video cinematics that appear in the PlayStation 2 version, replacing the Xbox versions' real-time cutscenes. Missions are also structured in a different/shorter fashion than that of its Xbox counterpart.
The Power Plant mission from the PlayStation 2 version is not included, though Game Boy Advance connectivity is supported. Using the GameCube-Game Boy Advance cable to connect the GBA to the GCN, a map of the level the player is currently in is displayed on the GBA, and includes locations of enemies and items. The GCN version also includes a new Sticky Bomb weapon, which doesn't appear in any other version. In addition to those, the GCN version supports 480p resolution, which is exclusive to this version of the game.
The Splinter Cell version for mobile phones was opposite in differences than the console and computer counterparts. It was a side scrolling game was pixel bit graphics.
- A "behind the scenes" shows Sam Fisher discussing his experiences in making the game in real time with a CGI version of Sam being voiced by Michael Ironside.
- In the game guards will often whistle "If I Were a Rich Man" from the Fiddler on the Roof.
- Since the game takes place in late 2004, then the events of the game happen during a U.S. presidential election. However, no mention of the election is made on any of the news stories nor during any of President Bowers' speeches. It can be assumed that since Bowers was serving as U.S. President both prior to the election date and in subsequent games, he was reelected during the game.
- The Kola Cell levels supposedly takes place in January 2005 but data sticks and a conversation between two guards in the Abbatoir level during the main game suggest that the Kola Cell levels and Philip Masse's death took place in November 2004.
- You can still download the two bonus missions if you have the bonus disc.
- The text font used in-game is called Hooge font. This text is used for the Main Menu, OPSAT information and the Briefing/Debriefing screens.
- ↑ Gamespot Review
- ↑ Boulding, Aaron (2002-11-18). Splinter Cell Review. IGN Xbox. IGN Entertainment.
- ↑ 2002 Winners. Game Critics Awards. Retrieved on 2007-08-24.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards. Game Developers Choice Awards. CMP Media LLC (2003-03-07). Retrieved on 2008-10-26.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (2003-02-23). Retrieved on 2008-10-26.
- ↑ Best of 2002: Xbox Game of the Year. IGN Xbox. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
- ↑ Best of 2002: Graphics. IGN Xbox. IGN Entertainment (2003-01-14). Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
- ↑ 2002 Overall Game of the Year. IGN Games. IGN Entertainment (2003-01-24). Retrieved on 2008-10-27.
- ↑ List of Xbox games compatible with Xbox 360, Wikipedia, Retrieved 3/21/15