Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

Not content on being the first console to sell ten million units in record time, while Sony botched the PS3 debut and Nintendo’s shaky-wavy low-def remote box can't be found anywhere, Microsoft aren’t resting on their laurels. And bagging Ubisoft’s leading man exclusively on Xbox 360 is another punch to the solar plexus of the competition. To say that Microsoft was pleased with the coup… well that’s an understatement. And when they said Conviction ’s 360 exclusivity is “a testament to the ability of 360 to deliver a complete experience no other console can match,” it was a smug, verbal flip of the bird to their rivals.

Understandably, they didn’t focus on the big wedge of cash they’ve no doubt splashed out, especially if they’re to prevent different Splinter Cells emerging from Ubisoft’s hit factory on different platforms. One thing is for sure though, the only pics that have surfaced of Sammy F’s next adventure focus on making, er, Sammy F’s second Xbox 360 outing perfectly attuned to the console. Any other Cell games will be poor, pale imitations.

Unsurprisingly at this early stage, details on Conviction are distressingly thin on the ground. When Microsoft talked of “a complete experience” there can be little doubt they’re alluding to Xbox Live, where you can expect multiplayer to continue to evolve and become an even more integral part of the Cell arsenal. Next, well, we know it’s set in Washington and by the look of some early art we got a glimpse at, it’s all kicking off. Really badly. Tanks, troops and jeeps are on the streets and helicopters fill the air just down the road from the Washington Monument, so we reckon that terrorists have well and truly put the boot into our capital in a brave stab at some social commentary. Could this be a global game of cat and mouse?

Anyway, what is very definitely certain is that it’s all very much about the graphics. Splinter Cell has always been a best of breed when it comes to pretty pixels, and Double Agent certainly didn’t disappoint on that side. The focus on water effects, clouds and shadows in the artwork (plus the fact that they don’t have to compromise on anything to make the code fit other platforms) suggests that this will be another beauty. Excited already? Can’t say we blame you.


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