Splinter Cell Conviction was my first run in with Sam Fisher, and now I’m afraid of the dark.   

If you have never heard of this guy, imagine a bear with night vision goggles, and gatling guns for arms. Oh, and make him a ninja and honorary Globetrotter to top that. Throw that all in a blender with raw lava and tabasco sauce and you get... Uh, a 50 year old dude, who is 5’8? Sure, Ubisoft... Sure. 

Not to say that Splinter Cell conviction isn’t a believable work of fiction, but last I checked you have to be vice president to step in after the president dies. Unless the american government changed to ancient Mesopotamian ways overnight, I think Ubisoft made a grave error. 

The story of SCC starts with Mr. Sam Fisher in france enjoying a nice cup of tea and a cupcake, when all hell breaks loose. A group of... umm, american terrorists? What the hell? Did I miss something, or did america just turn into ahfganistan? Apparently the American government is hiring mercenaries to murder a large french town in search of Sam. No wonder the french hates us so much!  Sam, being the eternal master of lead and gunpowder, decides to fight back against the *** americans.

The game establishes itself as a third person shooter stealth game hybrid, depending on how you want to play. You are faced against a large group of mercenaries, and you can either go in guns blazing, or take a slower, stealthier approach. 

For no adequately explored reason, sam has a new ability called “Mark and Execute”. You earn MAE, by performing a hand to hand kill on a squishy mortal, a task as simple as pressing the B button. When you perform the kill, you obtain 2-4 marks. Each guard can be marked with the press of a button, and automatically killed (Executed) with the press of another. The mechanic works like a charm, but feels quite a bit like cheating. 

In fact, most of the game feels quite a bit like cheating. It feels like Ubisoft made this game for people who were new to stealth games, or games in general. Some of ubisoft’s features feel unrealistic and unfair. Like how Sam can apparently see better while in the dark.  

I haven’t even stepped into Co-op territory. Imagine two of these super powered Bear-Ninjas running around marking and executing everyone this side of the mason dixon. The Co-op mechanic is very well tuned, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a great time tormenting the guard with the most children. Unfortunately, two super soldiers against fifteen brain-dead guards doesn't provide much of a challenge. 

All in all, SCC provides a great stealth experience, and a good game experience overall. But I can’t say that the game challenged me in any way, or even gave me a entertaining sense of bad-ass-ness that I get from games like Prototype or Just Cause 2, because in the end SPC is just too *** easy. 

Splinter Cell Conviction gets seven ninja/bears. Out of 10