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WII
GENRE
Action
DEVELOPER
Ubisoft Montreal
PUBLISHER
Ubisoft
WI-FI ENHANCED
no
WII EXCLUSIVE
gcn
EXPECTED RELEASE DATE
September 2006
BUY NOW AT

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

It takes something like an act of Congress or a minor miracle to unseat an icon in this industry. Sonic, Crash, Banjo, that ugly cat with its temporal distortions, Jak and that rat he carries around – not one was able to usurp the platforming throne from Mario, nor will any, before the genre itself declines into obscurity. In an industry nurtured for decades by the capricious predilections of children, Brand is King. Gaming icons are chiseled from the most resilient stone.

So it is no small accomplishment that, since its series debut in 2002, Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell series has staked for itself dominion as gaming’s premier spy franchise. James Bond has endured too many failed restarts and spin offs; Solid Snake, godfather of game spies, lost much of his collateral when players napped through cutscenes and traded places with the roundly despised Raiden in MGS2. The scene was ripe for a straight, no ice, no frilly umbrella hard liquor realization of gritty espionage. Splinter Cell delivered.

And this September, Ubisoft will deliver hardcore spy adventure to the GameCube in Splinter Cell: Double Agent.

media

Not available at this time.

impressions

Personal tragedy has driven stalwart NSA superspy Sam Fisher into depression. Severed from his emotional core – or buried within it – he accepts a dangerous and unique mission: he is to insinuate himself into a domestic terror organization and disassemble their internal operations. He will become one of them to destroy them.Ubi’s angle in this excursion places Fisher in the Sydney Bristow mark: each mission, he’ll be executing orders from both the NSA (as is his job) and the terrorists (to maintain his cover), even if the two objectives are antithetical. The title promises to enlarge the player’s sense of autonomy with open ended gameplay and some new twists on the classic Splinter Cell formula. At times, Sam might even have to contend without the benefit of his usual spy gadgetry: in the official trailer, he’s seen discarding his trademark multi-vision goggles – with not a little disgust.

This new mission pushes Fisher past the routine stalk & spy assignments. Playing both sides of the conflict, Double Agent implies a narrative rooted in moral ambiguity, and evokes some timely political issues by anointing as villains an American terrorist organization.

word on the street

Unfortunately, GameCube owners have enjoyed the exploits of Sam Fisher with less satisfaction than their Xbox counterparts. It would not be an exaggeration to call the Cube port of the last two Splinter Cells rather shoddy, or indeed, positively shite. In all technical aspects SP: Chaos Theory remains to this day one of the standouts of the Xbox library; on the Cube it stuttered along through muddled environments. The online multiplayer and downloadable content that significantly augmented the value of the Xbox version couldn’t possibly materialize on Nintendo’s machine. Whole modes were axed from the game.

Given this history, and the diminishing returns of the GameCube market in the advent of a next generation, the forecast for this port is rather grim. However, considering the pedigree of the franchise proper, it’s still a title worth watching.

press release notes

Veteran agent Sam Fisher is back. But he's never faced an enemy like this before. To stop a devastating attack, he must infiltrate a vicious terrorist group and destroy it from within. For the first time ever, experience the relentless tension and gut-wrenching dilemmas of life as a double agent. As you infiltrate a terrorist organization in its American headquarters, you must carefully weigh the consequences of your actions. Kill too many criminals and you'll blow your cover. Hesitate too long and millions will die. Do whatever it takes to complete your mission, but get out alive.

Dual objectives to fulfill: NSA government agents and terrorists will each want you to accomplish opposing tasks at the same time.

Discover the tension of being a double agent: Use actual tactics employed by today's real-life double agents to sabotage the terrorists' plans.

Explore a branching storyline with multiple endings: Your choices have an impact on how the story and gameplay unfold.

A world of international espionage: Missions from all over the world, from Asia to Africa to the heart of the U.S.

Experience extreme situations: underwater or in a sandstorm, hiding behind the dust or smoke - and even skydiving.

New authentic gadgets: Master the latest weapons and gadgets used by NSA government agents in addition to black-market terrorist weapons.

overall

Splinter Cell is a premier franchise for the French-based Ubisoft, and one they do not treat casually. Expect their PR machine to be pimping the next-gen version of this title, currently slated as an Xbox 360 exclusive, deep into the summer and up to the game’s release. But fortunately for current generation players, the next-gen version of Double Agent is being coded by a separate house with a distinct development track: the current-gen team should be allowed to focus on the Xbox, PS2, and GameCube iterations. Hopefully, Ubisoft will reflect seriously on the dismal failure of Chaos Theory and finally give Cube owners a reason to wear the goggles.

Prepare to slide on your stealth slippers when Splinter Cell: Double Agent drops this Fall.





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Gordon Distin
Staff Profile | Email
"In the room, the women come and go, talking of Miyamoto."


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