What Did You Play This Weekend?
My weekend consisted mainly of trying to shoot dudes in the face, over and over again. And you know what? It was actually pretty fun. Ok, so I did all the shooting in Splinter Cell: Conviction, and the dudes were appropriately dickish and reasonably predictable robots, but still, fun.
Conviction is intended as a reboot of the series, and certainly boasts enough differences to qualify. The overriding design philosophy seems to have been simplify wherever possible, and nearly everything about the game, from the shooting to the stealth to the story, is compact and focused. The fighting gets to be a bit same-same after a while, though the environments are varied enough to still provide some challenge even after you've seen the bulk of what the AI has to offer. The story has been pretty enjoyable so far (I think I'm at the two thirds mark), with all the over-the-top Tom Clancy preposterousness you could want in a paranoid American black-ops tale. I'm hoping that even though this could be the end for Sam Fisher (he turns 53 on August 8th, after all) Ubisoft will continue making games from this new design branch of the series.