Our human shield has outlived his usefulness so we discard him, slamming his face into a nearby piece of concrete, before leaping into a storm drain. There’s one guy left, firing wildly at our last known position – indicated by a white silhouette of Sam. We move through the drain, climb out and around, padding quietly up behind the dozy fool before asking him a few questions about the EMP device.
Interrogations like this take the form of semi-interactive, ultraviolent cutscenes, in which the player can choose to introduce an enemy’s head to a variety of nearby surfaces. Having kicked his skull into the fender of a car, and then pinned him to a tree with a knife through the hand, Sam gets the information he needs and we head off into the warehouse to rescue a captive scientist who might know a bit more about defusing bombs.
There are a number of guards patrolling inside the building – which is conveniently filled with pipes to sneak up and gantries to duck under, allowing you to whip in and out of hiding as you decimate the enemy. We cause some havoc by shooting out a chain suspending a large piece of machinery – the Goonsquisher 5000, we suspect – which reduces the number of opponents by three.
Conviction’s pace seems to be built around little sandbox battles with six or so enemies in each, and they seem perfectly designed to balance challenge with a tremendous sense of power. You’re a killing machine: your enemies are afraid of you. Despite Sam Fisher’s familiar face this is an altogether different beast from previous Splinter Cells. Forget about scrutinising enemy patrols for the perfect moment – this is wall-to-wall action. Can it maintain the breakneck speed with which you break necks? We hope so!
Oct 21, 2009