------------------------------------------------------------------ Splinter Cell Conviction Deniable Ops Guide ------------------------------------------------------------------ Author: Daniel Acaba ======================================================== 1. Introduction ======================================================== Splinter Cell Conviction features much more than just a single-player mode and this is likely where people will spend much of their time. There is a pair of modes that will likely draw in players time and again: the co-op prologue levels and the Deniable Ops mode. Much of this guide will focus on helping players survive and hopefully excel when playing Deniable Ops. There are four game modes and a number of maps to learn so it will require a bit of effort for a player to really learn the ins and outs, a process this guide will attempt to aide. A later update will attempt to help players get through the co-op mode with their friend of choice. Although it is worth remembering that the free-form nature of the Splinter Cell series will mean that there are numerous ways to approach a situation especially thanks to the Mark and Execute mechanic that has been introduced in this game. There are very few “right” ways to get through a section of the game and this guide is more geared towards helping those in need of a few tips more than it is meant to hold the players hand. The tips for this guide have been written with the Normal difficulty in mind Unless specified. With that said if it works on Normal it will easily work on Recruit and it will likely help on Realistic. The main difference between difficulties is that enemies are smarter, more accurate and less likely to obsess over your LKP. Unless you’re just terrible at the game you should play on Normal for the most part. Playing on Normal will easily allow you to play Recruit if you find yourself wanting to get achievements easy and it will prepare you for playing on Realistic if you should so choose to eventually try it. Recruit doesn’t prepare you for the difficulty jumps that occur going upwards though so don’t bother with that difficulty. ======================================================== 2. General Tips ======================================================== One of the things you’ll quickly learn while playing the main game is that the new systems are incredibly important. The Last Known Position (LKP) and Mark and Execute systems are critical to getting through most of these modes. Below are a number of tips that can help out, but please keep in mind that these are suggestions, not golden rules, and everyone will have different playing styles so do whatever is most comfortable to you. =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= • If you’re being pursued by the enemies, whether by a slip up or going in gung-ho, always make use of the LKP system. It’s very easy to lure enemies into positions that are advantageous to you by leaning out of cover, shooting someone in the head in plain sight and then retreating through the shadows to another location.This can be used for any number of purposes ranging from drawing enemies into close range for a clear Mark and Execute, luring them into range of your mines, or to simply move around and outflank them. You’re limited only by your equipment and your imagination. • Speaking of the Mark and Execute system, this ability is almost hilariously overpowered when used properly. If you’re using your silenced pistol then you will be able to take out up to three people (via upgrade) without alerting anyone nearby to your actions. Carefully mixing up your hand to hand attacks to recharge the skill allows you to wipe out an entire room of enemies by yourself without alerting a single guard.Even so, learning to do this reliably will take some practice. • Another tactic that may take some getting used to: Marking but not executing. Since you can’t really move with the Sonar goggles on, you will instead want to use them when you’re hiding behind cover so you can see all of the nearby enemies. Now mark all of the enemies you can that are near you. This will allow you to track their movements by the marks above their head and removing much of the need to constantly use the Sonar Goggles. Just use the Sonar when you’re in cover and scouting the level or when you need to see which direction the enemy is facing. • While the maps are generally simple, mastering them is hard. Enemy placement will be a huge issue, as well as learning all of the key areas of a map. Choke points, alternate routes and turret locations are all things that you should be keeping your eyes open for. Missing out on these can come back to bite you if you find things aren’t going according to plan. For example, alternate routes will help you during Infiltration since you want to avoid enemies like the plague. Turret locations are important in Hunter, as forgetting where one is and bumbling into it is a death sentence. • To help with learning the game, turn off the time limit and keep it off. There’s no reason for you to have to deal with the frustration of the time limit until you know what you’re doing. This is a great way to test yourself later on once you know the maps, enemy placements and have a better idea of how to handle the game. Unless you’re really good at Splinter Cell, you’re going to take at least fifteen to twenty minutes per stage and rushing yourself isn’t going to help you out with learning the maps and enemy placement. Once you’ve got that information down then feel free to start timing yourself. • Play solo to begin with! If you don’t know the maps then you’re not going to have any idea how to proceed through the level. Learn how to handle yourself before foisting your “talents” off on other people. Otherwise you’re just going to encourage them to quit the game before completion and just generally leave everyone involved annoyed. Spare everyone the grief and practice solo before going online. • When you finally do have the capabilities to play co-op with someone, it’s time to learn how to handle marking and executing with them. Since all marked enemies show up to both players be sure to mark lots of people so that you can track them all through the walls without use of Sonar Goggles. Also when one person is executing marked targets the other player can jump in on it, taking a free shot at one of the marked targets for free. This works well when you’ve got people marked that are out of reach for one person but not the other. Doing this efficiently will enable you to track and then systematically remove enemies in very short order. • As a final thought, depending on what game mode you’re playing, shooting lights may not actually be the best of ideas. For example, it’s always helpful during Hunter or Infiltration mode but it might not be quite so useful during Face Off for example. While it makes it easier for you to move around in that area, it also shows your opponent that you were in there and alerts the guards which may leave you sitting still just long enough to get a bullet in the brain. ======================================================== 3. Guide Body ======================================================== ========= Hunter ========= Of the four game modes, Hunter is one of the better Deniable Ops modes simply because of how utterly ruthless it is. You will play through a number of maps, each with ten enemies in it and it’s your job to clear all of them. Dying sends you right back to the beginning and there’s no way to just “reset” to a checkpoint if you make a big mistake. Any of those mistakes you happen to make will cause the enemies to radio for reinforcements, dropping ten more enemies onto the map and they come from all sides, including previously cleared areas. There are other things that can cause them to radio for help and that’s any sort of overly loud or revealing action on your part: • Exploding a Sticky Cam (but not using it as a distraction) • Being clearly seen by an enemy for too long. • Firing a weapon that is lacking a silencer. • Using a frag grenade, remote mine or otherwise setting off something highly explosive. • Using a flashbang or EMP grenade and still being seen by the enemies. • Being seen performing a melee kill. • Enemy soldiers seeing his ally get killed. • Shooting at an enemy but missing. You can often shoot twice before he sets off an alarm. Reinforcements are a pain but they shouldn’t be a common sight either. So long as you’re careful to kill anyone who sees you fast enough that they can’t radio for backup and nobody actually sees you kill their friends, they will never call for backup. They can find the bodies all they like, but they only ever call for help when they physically see the kill occur. So while Mark and Execute is made of pure awesome, never use it if someone is going to survive your barrage of bullets. All it takes is one survivor that sees you kill their friends, and they’ll call down those lovely reinforcements to ruin your day. As a rule you never want to try to kill someone if his friends can see what you’re doing., just wait for another opening when it’s safer. The enemies, like most people, don’t often look up. Use this to your advantage by staying on pipes, ledges, railings and window sills as long as you can. They will only start looking up when they’re really paranoid (i.e. you’ve killed too many) or if they see you up there due to some error on your part. This lets you stay there, dropping down on enemies and then using Mark and Execute to kill groups. It works surprisingly often, even when the enemies should realistically notice that bullets from up above just murdered all of their friends. When choosing your load-out for missions keep it simple. The best stuff to bring into Hunter missions are also the basic things. A silenced pistol, preferably one with high accuracy, EMP Grenades and a Sticky Cam will serve you very well. You can use the camera to take out enemies directly but it can lure them out of rooms, setting up a Mark and Execute or just a melee takedown. As your backup weapon bring along a silenced automatic weapon if you have it or pick an assault rifle just in case. It’s very important that you pay attention to the stage here since you’re going to need to use the environment to your advantage. Many enemies are in positions where it’s nearly impossible to sneak up on them… unless you see that pipe on the wall you can use to get behind them. Sometimes it’s possible to put out a light when the enemy walks away and use the darkness to get close and take him out. Don’t just shoot the soldiers as you may miss and don’t just rush them, keep your eyes open and take advantage of everything. • Your gun is good, but it’s not 100% reliable, only your melee attacks are, so try to sneak up on enemies when possible and knock them out instead of shooting. On the other hand, doing things loud and dirty can sometimes be both fun and therapeutic. If you can unlock the Scar Assault Rifle you can really mop up an area full of enemies in very short order. This works especially well if you can lure a bunch of them to a single location and then just cut them down one by one. Just remember that while it is possible to do this, your character still has the endurance of wet tissue paper. If you’re going to go all G.I. Joe on them then make sure you’ve got good cover to hide behind. Performing this on Realistic takes balls of steel and great accuracy but is totally worth it. • If you’re going to go this route make sure to improve your armor in the P.E.C. screen so you can survive more shots. Also be sure to increase the ammo capacity and accuracy of your weapons. This will make your squishy self more enduring during gunfights. When you’re working with another player it’s a really good idea to coordinate in Hunter mode. This mode can be played mostly solo, using the other player to help you kill enemies faster, but you don’t want your paths to overlap. Otherwise you might run towards your partner when running from an enemy or you might take a shot at someone only for your partner to kill him, accidentally alerting enemies to your presence. Try to designate certain approaches through the level for each player and stick to it. If one person takes the second floor while another clears the first floor, don’t “help”each other unless asked to do so. You will find that so long as you’re both doing the jobs assigned to you, the stages will pass incredibly fast and efficiently. One complication to a two player game is reinforcements. If the two of you should happen to be caught, you will want to try to hunker down somewhere, possibly together. Watch both your front and back so that soldiers don’t sneak up on you. Give it some time so that the reinforcements will spread out throughout the level before splitting up again. One person should head backwards, going for the reinforcements in the previously cleared areas, while the other continues killing forward. This will get you back on track in very short order. That’s really all there is to Hunter mode, the rest of it is learning how you’re going to handle each stage by yourself and with a partner. ================ Hunter Mode Map Tips ================ ================ St. Petersburg Banya ================ ================ First stage ================ • When on the outside you have two means of entry, a pipe along the wall and a door that leads into the first floor. The pipe will almost always allow you to kill an enemy with a melee attack, an important start since it will net you the ability to Mark and Execute. From there it’s basically up to you as to which method of entry to use. • As tempting as it may be do not, under any circumstances, drop the giant chandelier on the enemies that are standing beneath it. It will kill the two that are talking but then ten more will be called in as reinforcements. The trade off just isn’t worth it unless the ones you kill are the final enemies in the first part of the level. • Most of the enemies walking around on the upper level have very set routes that they will follow and are very predictable. If you learn them well enough you can climb along the railings inside of the building and clamber over to get some melee kills, allowing more Mark and Executes. Even if their pattern is disturbed by finding a dead body or seeing you destroy a light they will eventually get on a slightly modified pattern. • The last enemies will usually retreat to a set position near the far door. You can very easily look down from over them, mark them and then take them out with no fear of them seeing you. If you’re having a hard time getting them both in frame for a kill, jump over the railing and hang on to it for a good view. ================ Second Stage ================ • It is very important to start this one off properly. Try to move forward as quickly as possible, shoot out the light if you must, and then open the door into the next room. If you don’t do this fast enough the guard will sometimes hear the lights being shot out through the closed door and go on alert. If he goes on alert then there’s a chance that the two up ahead go on alert. It just makes the area more complicated than it needs to be. • The only other hard point is the large room with only one door that comes at the end of the hallways. Here there are a number of enemies patrolling the room, a few in another room at the far side, and all the bright lights you probably don’t want to deal with. For this room it’s best to have the ability Mark and Execute, set off an EMP and then run into the room. From here you can try to use the Mark and Execute to take out the two patrollers and then move on to the others. ================ Third Stage ================ • This level starts off very much in your favor. There is a guard in the very next room who is easily caught with a melee attack from behind. Once he’s out of the way slip forward and watch the next room. There’s a guard on the ground and one on the upper level that should be marked ASAP. Every so often they will meet up at the back of the first floor for a quick chat – this is your opening. Quickly move forward and execute them to clear the area. • Going outside can be a bit on the tricky side. It’s very easy to get noticed here and have reinforcements flood the area. One of the guards will often put his back near the wall, sneak over him and kill him before climbing the nearby pipe again. From here you should be able to Mark and Execute two of the guards leaving just one last one to deal with. The rest of them are in the building across from you and are easy kills. ================ Fourth Stage ================ • Luckily this one is super easy. When you open the door into the first room with enemies you can easily grab the nearest soldier, taking him out and getting your Mark and Execute back if needed. Often, after he falls, two soldiers will come to investigate him and put themselves right in range for you to kill them from the safety of the doorway. • With those two dead grab the soldier that patrols to the left side of the area, taking him out and getting another Mark and Execute. Sneak towards the bright area in the middle and try to get two more of the enemies here with your ability. That leaves only four enemies. They will usually leave their heads wide open to sniping so feel free to just pop ‘em in the head to clear the stage while hanging around on the upper level. ================ Fifth Stage ================ • Of the first three enemies in this stage, one is easily grabbed for a melee kill and the other two can be easily sniped off with a headshot if you’re careful and have bought some weapon upgrades. As such you should be more than prepared for the later enemies. • There is a long hallway with a soldier in it, you can use the pipe to get up on top of him and use a death from above to take him out. The only real hard part of this level is the next room since there are usually four or five enemies still in there as well as a turret. If you’d like to make your life easier you can use a Sticky Cam to draw an enemy or two out of the room and take them out before dealing with the rest of them as you see fit. You can also mark the enemies using Sonar, use an EMP to disable everything and then rush the room, executing all of the enemies. ========= Infiltration ========= • Unless you purchased the Collector’s Edition of the game you will have to unlock this via Ubisofts UPlay service. It’s easy enough to do by simply playing the storyline a bit or if you still happen to have points left over from Assassin’s Creed II. This game mode is more suited towards those hardcore players who think that sneaking your way 100% through a stage is what it really takes to be a Splinter Cell. Whereas Hunter is about killing the enemies while remaining undetected as much as possible, Infiltration is totally about evading the enemy soldiers. You’re going to have to eliminate them but you cannot afford to be seen. Rather than calling in reinforcements like Hunter mode does you will simply lose the match if you’re spotted. This makes this mode incredibly hard and strictly for those who are looking for a challenge. Now most of the strategies that work for Hunter mode will also work for Infiltration mode. The main difference is that you cannot bring in any of the noise makers. Don’t even bother with bringing any weapons that don’t have silencers, just in case you accidentally fire them. It’s heavily suggested that you avoid using Flashbangs or EMP grenades as well since that can cause the enemies to go on high alert and cause them to immediately radio for support at the first sight of you which is a game over. There isn’t really all that much to be said about this mode since it’s basically just a revamped version of Hunter. The last thing to really be said is to make sure you only take action if you’re 100% sure you won’t be caught for it. Don’t shoot at enemies if you might miss, don’t rush an enemy for melee attacks if you think he might move and don’t slack off. A game over can happen very suddenly in this mode. ========= Last Stand ========= While not actually a very hard game mode, Last Stand can be very, very annoying to play solo. Many of the levels have the EMP device you’re guarding in a position where it can be shot at from multiple levels meaning you will have to constantly be trying to deal with various locations at the same time. There are a few ways to mitigate the frustration that this causes although the easiest way to do so is to play this mode two-player. It’s actually quite the game changer and strategizing between the two of you will make the mode much more fun. Since you can revive each other, you will want to have one person be the noise maker and the other one the shooter. Make sure that your load-outs compliment each other, for example the two of you don’t need remote mines at the same time unless the level has multiple floors. One person should have two silenced weapons while the other has a shotgun or machine gun / assault rifle. Flashbang grenades and / or EMP grenades will help out as well. This setup will cover all your bases, and let you adapt to the situation. Have the noisemaker set up somewhere off to the side, or on a higher level, while the stealthy guy stays near the EMP. When the round starts the stealth user will be running around the room and taking out enemies in melee, as well as using Mark and Execute on further away enemies to take them out faster. The second person should act as a sniper, taking out far away targets with his pistol and knocking out people in melee if they get close enough for him to do so. • In between rounds it will help if you destroy every available light source so that you can move without danger of being spotted. This goes for both players even the one who wants to be noticed. You only want the enemies to notice him when it’s convenient for you. Early on there will be no reason to waste your mines or grenades but for later levels it will behoove the stealth user to place a few and use them to knock out enemies who get too close to the device. If the location has multiple floors then the noisemaker can place a few as well during later waves. The main trick is that enemies will start coming out in large numbers, four or five at a time, and they will need to be taken out quickly before they deal too much damage to the EMP. If too many of them are hitting the EMP, then the noisemaker should pull out his big gun and get the enemies’ attention. When they turn their attention to him, the other player can keep on taking out the enemies on the ground. This will confuse the enemies and allow you to cut through them rather mercilessly. Just be careful to hide if you’re getting too hurt since the distance between you and your partner will almost guarantee that one of you going down is fatal. The EMP will recover health in between waves, recovering either to 100% or 50% depending on how damaged it is. If it has more than 50% health left then it will refill back to full health in between rounds. But once that health bar has dipped into the red you will be left trying to get through the rest of the waves with that gimped health. Do your damndest to make sure that doesn’t happen even if that means one of you gets shot up. Much of your ability to succeed in this mode is figuring out where the enemies are coming from and responding quickly to it so there isn’t a lot that can be said for this. Get used to how the enemies come and know when it’s time to interfere and when it’s time to stay hidden. It’s a fairly simple game mode but it can be pretty hellish on the higher difficulties and the later waves are rage inducing if you’re trying them solo. ========= Face-Off ========= Face off is the most simplistic of the four Deniable Ops game modes but it can also be the most exciting out of the four. You and another Splinter Cell will actually be in competition against each other. The winner is the person with the most points at the end of the match. However this isn’t just a Spy vs. Spy scenario, there are going to be the regular enemies on the map as well. Killing them will net you a small amount of points while taking out other spies will net you a much larger score bonus. However the other spy will always be better prepared for you as well as having all of those fun little gadgets and badass special abilities you get to play around with. While it’s possible to just run them down and shoot them to pieces it won’t work out in your favor. You’re going to have to play this a bit more unconventionally than you would in other games for a number of reasons. If you’ve played the game then you know that when you’re spotted enemies will converge on your position. Every enemy in the area. So you will find yourself being shot at by a number of enemies and while you desperately try to take them down there’s very likely a spy creeping up on your back to wish you good night. Helping the other player out is the fact that when the soldiers know your location then your LKP will pop up for them as well. It’s easy for a player to wait back, watching and move when he sees the LKP appear. The scoring system is heavily balanced against run and gunners: Killing the AI will net you one point, killing a player will net you five points and dying will cost you three points. This means that even if you’re taking the AI out in droves if the other play keeps on killing you and you alone then he’s very likely going to win. Now it may sound like it’s impossible for someone to win just by killing guards but that’s not strictly true. If the player heads straight for large groups of guards and just goes nuts on them with an assault rifle, SCAR or shotgun, then it’s possible for them to outpace you quite fast. Even worse, there is a way to break the game a bit and that’s by using silenced automatic weapons and then running and gunning from the shadows. You will slaughter the guards left and right, leaving nothing for your enemies to kill and they won’t have a very easy time finding you either. This can be solved by doing one of three things: o Turn on Pistols only. This evens the playing field and forces the players to fight strategically rather than running and gunning. o Set the AI density to lower. This should remove enough of the guards to make it nearly impossible to win solely by going after them. o Kill the guards yourself. You don’t have to go after them like crazy but it helps if you try to pick them off while going after him. It’ll make your life a bit easier, deprive him of points and get you some. Just don’t alert the guards to your presence and wait for him to reveal himself so you can snap his neck and get your points. Using this method it’s fairly easy to win matches against the more gung-ho gamers out there who play this like its Halo. You can shut off gadgets to even the playing field if you find yourself annoyed by the other players using the Sticky Cams or Remote Mines. It may be a good idea to do this anyway since the Sonar goggles unbalance things a bit by revealing where everyone is, even the other spy. However it does present a nice challenge and it’s incredibly newbie unfriendly to turn this off so it depends on what you’re expecting out of your game. Quitting is pretty rampant in this mode so it may be best to find some friends you can play with. This way you can actually finish a game properly instead of having the numerous aborted attempts that occurred during the writing of this guide. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This FAQ is property of GamesRadar.com and may not be reproduced. Written by Daniel Acaba ©2010