Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction - hands-on

A choke hold is a great bonding experience. Not between you and the man who’s holding a gun to your head – there’ll always be a tragic, longing awkwardness in that relationship – but between you and your fellow player, the guy flitting from shadow to shadow, circling around to spring up behind your captor and snap his neck like a bony pencil.

Or maybe, if he’s got one of his execution moves prepared, your friend will poke a hole between the eyes of the guard with Bauer-like aloofness. For these situations Splinter Cell Conviction needs a Manly Hug button, because when one spy helps out another, the mutual appreciation for one another’s usefulness is almost tangible.

We’re playing the third map in Conviction’s co-operative campaign, Yastreb Complex, a small part of a five-hour long prologue to the events of the single player game. The two-player campaign is a game in itself, taking in new locations and seen through the luminescent goggles of two new characters. The story goes that Third Echelon notices that three Russian EMP bombs have vanished, and must jump into bed with their Russian-counterpart, Voron, in order to track them down and save the world. It’s James Bond in spandex with big thigh muscles.

Enter Archer, the green-goggled Fisher-lite character, and his soon-to-be best pal Kestrel, who, as a Russian man, has to wear the red goggles. Despite their chromatic differences, the two eventually become the best of friends, crow barring doors open together, planting C-4 charges for simultaneous detonations, and marking and executing entire rooms of people at once.

Above: Russia takes silver in the 500m exploding hurdles

Gone, as far as the Yastreb Complex level tells, are the vaguely erotic acrobatic moves of Chaos Theory (the phrase “use me as man-rope you mucky cow” may never be heard again) and arriving are the well-phrased mechanics of Conviction we spoke about in our last preview, tuned for two players.


  • Yeager1122 - January 13, 2010 3:02 a.m.

    Can't wait looks really good.
  • Rooster117 - January 7, 2010 4:20 p.m.

    Yea already pre ordered this one, after playing double agent and the ending, i def. NEED NEED to know what happens between then and this game. Ubisoft = good story lines. Though I wish the figurine came with a stealth Sam Fisher suit.
  • vicmyster101 - January 6, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    lookss interesting dis is a definet
  • ComradeKhani - January 4, 2010 11:30 a.m.

    I preordered this and Mass Effect 2, and I might just have to give up Mass Effect 2 to get this. I'm torn!
  • Ironarm - January 1, 2010 5:28 a.m.

    This is easily my most anticipated game of the year, if not of all time. Sorry Mass Effect 2, I'll still buy you but I sure won't be as satisfied when I do.
  • Dexsus - December 28, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    @ Ricochet3438 Luck of the draw I suppose, I went through 2 broken blue ray lens PS3's. Anyway, Co-op and Splinter Cell are a match made in heaven. Can't wait.
  • DeadGirls - December 23, 2009 9:04 a.m.

    The inclusion of coop just upgraded this game's status from "vague interest" to "definite purchase" --On the one condition that the keyboard and mouse controls are well executed. --Oh, and it has to be available on STEAM.
  • SumCallMeTalent - December 23, 2009 8:12 a.m.

    no spies and mercs? that was so fun
  • Ricochet3438 - December 23, 2009 2:30 a.m.

    Theres always the possibility of gettin a 360. I mean I have one and ABSOLUTELY love it. Sure, it's broken down 3 times, but it's always been within the warranty.
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - December 22, 2009 11:35 p.m.

    I fucking hate Microsoft for this... Looks like such a good game and I DON'T HAVE A 360 D:
  • El_Hombre11 - December 22, 2009 8:42 p.m.

    2009 was the year of the PS3... 2010 will be the year of the 360! ..[Hopefully] haha
  • crazyqazqaz - December 22, 2009 8:36 p.m.

    This actually looks pretty good. I might look into buying it although there are so many good games I would like to buy it will probably be pushed to the side.
  • nadrewod999 - December 22, 2009 5:57 p.m.

    @JustTheBoBreaker Lighten up. He might have been "loving his playstation 3" when he made his account, but that doesn't mean that he is a PS3 fanboy by any means. Take me for instance. I got Arkham, inFamous, and LittleBigPlanet, all of which I love, but I still spend most of my time on the 360, even if you add in the time I spend watching Blu-rays. In fact, I am equally divided between future exclusives for both platforms (I at least want this game and MAG next year) @GR This just makes me want to spend money buying games even more. I really did not like Double Agent (couldn't beat the first story mission or the second training mission), but I really think that I will enjoy playing this.
  • Xplosive59 - December 22, 2009 11:20 a.m.

    i really want this, to bad its a microsoft exclusive
  • Butcher90 - December 22, 2009 11:14 a.m.

    i also have PS3 and 360, and i like my PS3 more. But im most looking forward to this and Mass Effect 2 next year so its not ironic or odd at all.
  • JustTheBoBreaker - December 21, 2009 11:13 p.m.

    @lovinmyps3 That strikes me as a little odd considering your username. I mean no offence by it, just kind of ironic that they are both Microsoft exclusives.
  • lovinmyps3 - December 21, 2009 10:34 p.m.

    This and Mass Effect 2 are my two most anticipated games of next year!
  • crumbdunky - December 21, 2009 9:49 p.m.

    Hoping the PC version appears sooner rather than later after reading this-I just can't justify paying for Live any longer just to play Halo3 every now and again and subbing up again just for SC:C also seems a bit much! Still, the game looks excellent(if not as visually pleasing as I hoped it might across the onl;ine/offline board)in both single and co-op modes and a return to form is well overdue after a couple of poor outings for Sam. I do worry, thjough, that the PC version might not emerge as I think, like with Gears2 and Fable2, MS want more true 360 exclusives so this and AW may well go the same way in a time where PC gamers are increasingly having their gaming libertuies squeezed unfairly. Not that I'm about to miss out just because of that but a lot of my PC mates will be on tenterhooks after noone with a console supported them after IW shafted them with MW2. And REALLY everyone should have demended the biggest game ever to provide dedicated servers on PSN, Live AND PC but they didn't, so we're screwed for next time as well.
  • Dreddie - December 21, 2009 8:22 p.m.

    Damn. My roomate and I are going 2 go nuts at this game.

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