There comes a point in time when a videogame character reaches the end of their life, and the torch must be passed on. This generally means the end of a major point in the franchise, when everything we know will be turned up on its head and the very fabric of the character's being is put to the test. In the case of Splinter Cell that character is Sam Fisher, and if Splinter Cell: Conviction is going to be his last hurrah then it's almost guaranteed to be worth the wait. It's also nice to see that the extended development cycle was considered to make sure the game ended up how the developers wanted it, as opposed to simply trying to cash-in on the franchise. Here's the breakdown:
Fresh Gameplay Mechanics
If gameplay wasn't swapped around a bit by the end of a series something would feel wrong, and for a series completely dedicated around stealth action this is a pretty big deal. Remember how Metal Gear Solid 4 felt when they had you riding a motorcycle at top speed down a city? Or shooting down mechs with a rocket launcher? It'll be nice to see a stealth-action game really stick to its roots, and still try to change things up/be cinematic. It sounds like this is something that Ubisoft Montreal have really attempted to do with Conviction.
Not enough games give players the chance to work harmoniously together, and even fewer do it in the stealth genre, so even if it's for a short level or two it'll be great to see how Splinter Cell: Conviction handles it. Though many games are taking a multiplayer or single-player route, being able to have both in a neat little package is a major selling point. If development time had been shorter, this little nugget may have been put to the side.
Splinter Cell: Conviction's meat and potatoes may be its stealth-based game design, but the most striking details lay in how the game dynamically directs you from objective to objective. Spotlights on the buildings, flashes of events on the walls, the art direction is both notable and stunning in how it captures the eye. As the main driving force for the storyline Conviction's narration appears to be top notch, and is the extra bit of driving force in drawing the player into the world.
An Epic Conclusion
The final game in any series is where it all comes together, and with Ubisoft paying extra attention to how cinematic this game is, fans can expect some awesome action sequences. It's nice to play through everything that leads up to the events in Conviction, but on the same page there's something about being tossed into the 'boiling point' of a games action. It adds for a bit more excitement, drama, and of course, makes any game more of a memorable experience. Ubisoft have really taken their time to make sure this game is all it should be, hopefully their effort pays off.