Review: Splinter Cell - Double Agent
Posted by: Toasted Buns on July 9th 2018
I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for Splinter Cell series. When I was a teenager, I’ve played Splinter Cell for the first time and I fell in love straight away. Splinter Cell introduced me to the genre of stealth and I’ve been a fan ever since. I like every single entry, even though I have some issues with every game. I remember playing Splinter Cell Double Agent all the time when I had an Xbox 360 and only have good memories of the game. Therefore, I’ve decided to play it again and find out whether it still holds up.
Double Agent tried to do things differently and introduced the trust mechanics. You are playing as a double agent and you have to keep the trust of NSA and JBA (Terrorist agency you have infiltrated). There are times where you have to make a decision that will only please one side, however, it is way too easy to keep both sides happy.
In addition to this, Double Agent introduces a set of levels where you need to spy around the headquarters of JBA. In these levels, you have a limited time to sneak around and collect more information about the terrorist and complete specific tasks from NSA. The catch here is that you are not allowed to attack anyone and you do not have any of your gadgets. The only thing you have is your skills. It’s a good change of gameplay between levels and really is a lot of fun!
The graphics of the game was amazing for me when it came out. Sam looks better than ever, his model is very detailed and all the other main characters look distinct and realistic even today. However, there are some areas of the game that do look really ugly. It feels like the game was rushed a bit because the textures look low quality and the highly detailed characters stand out way too much in poorly detailed environments. I’d say that the graphics are mediocre at best and just look ugly at times.
Again, does not hold up as well as other games. On the other hand, the story is still excellent. You do feel like a double agent throughout the game. The villain is interesting, even though a bit too two-dimensional. You have a variety of secondary characters and the setup of the story is still gripping. It’s unfortunate that Sam does not reflect on the events at the beginning of the game throughout the game, but it does not ruin the experience. The game has plenty of twists and turns that keep the momentum going. However, I feel like the story could be a bit longer to flesh out some characters and warp some loose ends. It even has multiple endings, therefore playing it multiple times is really fun.
The gameplay is as good as ever. Sam has a variety of ways to sneak around, kill enemies and has a variety of gadgets to use. You have a number of ways to accomplish your objectives and you are not forced to choose any style of gameplay. Secondary objectives return again and are really fun to accomplish. I’ve mentioned the missions in the JBA headquarters and they are a great addition to the Splinter Cell series. Unfortunately, the game is still very buggy.
I played it on Steam with the latest patch (I believe?) and it still had a load of issues. The physics were all over the place at times, the graphics glitches were more than noticeable and AI was really struggling to be realistic. There is a bug in the game, where if you do not set your walking speed to max you cannot crack any safe. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? Moreover, after finishing the last mission the game just froze and the only fix was to reduce the resolution! Wow, I honestly don’t remember this game being so buggy, but maybe I was too young to notice or maybe my nostalgia for this game overshadowed all the issues.
Overall, does it still hold up? Not really, but it’s a great game nevertheless. If you have never played this game, I highly recommend giving it a shot. It does not matter if you have played any of the Splinter Cell games or if you have are a fan of the series. I do not think this is the best entry in the series, but it did introduce new techniques to the mix and was a good experience! If you have never played a Splinter Cell game, I’d recommend starting with Chaos Theory, because it is easily the best game in the series and one of the best games in the stealth genre.