Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D - 3DS

Release Date:

25 March 2011

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D on the 3DS follows Sam Fisher as he is sent behind enemy lines in the Korean Peninsula to prevent World War III, by investigating the responsible party that sunk the USS Clarence E Walsh, U.S.’s most advanced cruiser. Through his investigation, Sam learns that the key parties who are planning to use the Masse Kernels to launch WWIII are war comrade Douglas Shetland, Displace International, and Admiral Otomo, the Third Echelon Information Self Defense Force (I-SDF) contact. The cutting edge hardware of the new Nintendo 3DS allows Splinter Cell fans to play in immersive 3D and ability to interact with the game like never before.

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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D is a remake for the 3DS of a previous game for last-generation consoles (GameCube, Xbox, PS2). Despite widespread acclaim for its predecessor, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, the remake for the 3DS received largely negative reviews. Accused of just being a downgraded port to the 3DS, complaints were mostly made because of lack of replay value and poor gameplay due to unclear objectives and unintelligent AI.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory was, by all accounts, at the absolute top of the spy/stealth game genre. With an excellent enemy AI system, graphics and playing options, a spin-off for a next-generation console should have been something to look forward to.

Unfortunately, most players were unimpressed by Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D. IGN described the game as "pretty watered-down" in their official review, and the aggregate ratings website Metacritic gave it a paltry 53/100.

The biggest complaint is the enemy AI. In other Splinter Cell titles, this was one of the defining characteristics of the series; those games were marked by a smart AI that made the game challenging and addictive. The AI in Splinter Cell 3D, unfortunately, falls short of the mark. You can sometimes leave bodies in the open without being detected, and you can occasionally be detected when it says you're hidden. It seems a step down from previous titles, despite having better technology than previously accessible.

Splinter Cell 3D's graphics aren't terrible, but they aren't very good either. It's hard to play if you're in a well-lit area, and that's due to how dark the game is overall. Usually, 3DS games are known for their brightness. A good point of the graphics system for this game is the use of the 3D feature; unlike other games that overuse it feel like their giving you a headache, Splinter Cell 3D just gives a more realistic sense of playing in third-person perspective.

The campaign in this game will last seven or eight hours, but after that you probably won't play the game again. With that in mind, it's difficult to justify the price of the game, especially when the previous title on last-generation consoles was so much better in general. Gameplay can be engaging and pretty fun, despite being marked by the faulty AI mentioned earlier.

Controls are mostly good, and will feel completely intuitive to any veteran shooter player. Getting the controls right has been hard for developers making this type of shooting game on a handheld device, so it's good to see the direction this is going in.

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D isn't an absolutely terrible game, but it is a huge letdown to the potential it had. The original version of the game is much better, and despite some good points with the controls/graphical interface, Splinter Cell 3D falls drastically short of the bar set for enemy AI by earlier titles in the same series. In fact, compared to Chaos Theory, the AI is laughable. If you're a hardcore fan of the series, you should pick this up for a fun and fast play with some decent elements. If you're not, though, you shouldn't waste your money. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D simply can't compare to other titles in the series or other, last dark and disappointing, games on the 3DS.

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