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.
Above: Melee kills work on the other spies too.
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. Before getting into anything else, let one thing be said: Quitting is almost laughably 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. 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 out the AI in droves, if the other play keeps on killing you and you alone 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: Turn on Pistols only. This evens the playing field and forces the players to fight strategically rather than running and gunning. 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. 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 like it’s Halo.
Above: Mine goes boom, sucker!
You can shut off gadgets to even the playing field if you’re finding 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.
Most importantly, don’t even bother playing this game mode until you’ve played the levels in Hunter and Infiltration a few times. Essentially you’re playing through parts of these campaigns in a somewhat random seeming order and competing against your co-op partner. As such you will need to have learned a fairly large number of the dangerous spots on the level. Entry points, locations of explosives and choke points where there’s only one way to access a room. All of these are places where you can be ambushed or ambush someone else. Keeping this in mind you will want to remember that while fair play is all well and good, there’s no such thing as fair play among spies. Set mines near doors, camp a door if you know your opponent is going to come through or sneaking up on someone who is hiding by crawling along a pipe. Don’t expect much in the ways of leniency from your opponents, so don’t bother giving them any, just kill them however you can.
Apr 21, 2010