Recently I had the opportunity to play a co-op mission in Ubisoft’s upcoming game Splinter Cell: Conviction at a local Gamestop store. I fail on some level because I have never played any of the previous Splinter Cell games, but some of my buddies have told me how much fun they are to play.
I arrived a little before the event started and queued up with the other eager gamers. We were given a free Splinter Cell: Conviction winter hat when the doors opened; it’s always nice to get something for free. A crowd of gamers gathered around the center of the store. Giant screens were set up for people to watch while they waited their turns. A friendly Ubisoft representative was there to help the noobs with the controls, explain the game and talk gaming in general. Gamestop offered prize raffles, free pizza, and of course the friendly environment of fellow gamers. I waited in line and chatted with other players until it was my turn.
I grabbed the controller and kept my eyes focused on the screen. Splinter Cell: Conviction is a third-person shooter. The controls at first were tricky, but I easily got used to them. The co-op mission was simple: Kill a set number of bad guys before time runs out. My playing partner lead the way and I followed. We started sneaking around, looking for enemies to shoot. I decided to split off from my partner and go a separate way. This probably was not the best idea, because I was quickly overwhelmed. I hid behind a wall to grab cover and fired some shots back at the enemies who discovered me. The enemy AI was smart and flanked me. I got killed and needed my partner to revive me before time ran out. While you’re waiting for your partner to get you back in fighting spirits, you have interesting options, one of which is to play dead, then sit up and shoot. My partner tried to get me back into the action, but it was too late. There were dozens of enemies around us and they killed us both. I hung my head in shame and gave my controller to the next person in line. After some time I was able to get a few more tries and did a little better. This is a game that’s going to be challenging but fun.
After everyone got their turns, most of the people started to watch the game being played. There was a funny moment when a Gamestop employee took a turn and quickly got his butt kicked, inciting laughter from his fellow employees and the attendees. A bad guy had grabbed him and he couldn’t break loose. The enemy just shot him in the back of the head and the mission was over. He got a lot of grief from his co-workers.
I had an excellent experience at the event. I got a great sense of the gameplay from the small chunk I played and was very impressed. Everything looked great. Character models looked amazing, movement seemed realistic and the environment looked fantastic. I chatted with the Ubisoft representative about the game. She told me that this was just a small slice of what the game truly offers. If that is the case, sign me up. The only thing I was worried about was jumping in late in the series. She explained that the game does a great job of helping players catch up with the story. I was happy to hear that.
Splinter Cell: Conviction hits store shelves April 13.