If there’s one thing the Splinter Cell games have always done well in the past, apart from making the less patient of souls hurl their controller at the wall in disgust as they trigger yet another well-hidden alarm sensor, it’s the mind-blowing visuals. Given what we’ve seen to date, we expect nothing less from the PS3 version. Not just in terms of the amazing level of detail on show, but also the sheer distance you can now see beyond Fisher himself. Creeping around in the dark might look nice, but those shadows helped to hide anything ten feet beyond our hero. Not any more.
In one level, for instance, Sam has to scale the outside of a towering skyscraper in Shanghai, the camera continually swiveling to reveal a dizzying drop below and an entire city’s worth of life happily chugging away all around. Likewise, when Sam enters the war-torn African city of Kinshasa during a daylight mission, he’s able to see the full-scale riot going on around him (and then proceed to use it as the perfect cover for his subterfuge).
It’s all pretty mind-blowing stuff for Splinter Cell fans who have only experienced the PS2 version of the series up until now, but it’s worth pointing out that the single-player game is exactly the same as that on last year’s Xbox 360 version, albeit much prettier. Slightly disappointing to say the least, but at least the PS3 version offers exclusive new Sixaxis-based tilt controls. How they’ll work remains to be seen, but we’re praying for neck snaps that are activated by a quick flick of the wrist.