Not impressed with Splinter Cell demo ...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by James Zos, Nov 9, 2002.

  1. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    After reading the glowing OXM review and the positive comments here I was really looking forward to the Splinter Cell demo. In case you haven't guessed from the title of this thread, I was a little disappointed ...
    First thing that struck me was the graphics. OXM just raved about how amazing they were. I didn't think so.
    Sure the shadows and the flowing plastic curtain effect are nice, but overall I thought the graphics had a harsh, gritty look to them, and lacked fine detail. I think Halo, Hunter and Deathrow - to name just three examples - look much, much better ...
    Once I found the in-game brightness and contrast menu, I managed to make the game look a little nicer, but not that much. Is it possible the full game will look better than the demo disc? I've heard people claim that the demo for MotoGP doesn't look as good as the full version, so maybe there's hope there.
    I know, I know - graphics aren't everything. How about control and gameplay?

    Aiming sucks. I know the full version is supposed to have an inverse aiming option, which would surely help in my case, but that isn't the only flaw here IMO. For some reason, when you aim (by using the right joystick) your whole body rotates in place, like you were standing on a revolving platform. Try looking at the floor and you'll easily see what I mean. Yes, I know you shouldn't be looking at the floor when you're trying to shoot someone, but to me the "rotation aim" is obvious and unnatural no matter where you are looking. You aren't pivoting or moving your arms, you're revolving in a circle like a car on display at an auto show. Lessons the believable factor for me.

    Another thing that lessons the believability, especially for a game focused on stealth, is the fact that you can crouch or stand right in front of a guard, with a light behind you, yet somehow remain invisible.
    The guard who is in the little room watching the closed circuit monitor - you can open the door right in front of him and crouch there and draw a bead on his head and he doesn't react at all, even though you are ten feet away and in his direct line of sight. (I tried moving even closer to him and he did react, so the AI isn't a total loss, but still ... )
    I also wish there was more of a reaction when you set off alarms. I killed that one guard and then got caught on camera in the morgue. "Surveillance is showing enemy hostiles!" a man shouts over the intercom and red lights start flashing - but nothing happens. No one came looking for me. If agent Fischer had brought a sack lunch, he could have sat down right there and ate it without being disturbed.

    Last, and I know this won't matter to most of you, but I thought the writing (what little there was) was pretty stupid. Sure I know this is supposed to be a Tom Clancy creation, and Clancy isn't exactly the most gifted writer, but still ... pay someone to come up with something decent!

    "Fish-uhh, the sun is down, time to go to work ... " is not the most inspiring message to start out on.
    And things don't improve when ...

    POSSIBLE SPOILER (skip next paragraph)


    ... you find the bodies of your fellow agents, and your control agent casually says "Rest in peace," like their loss is no big deal. Sure, I don't expect him to start crying, but SOME kind of reaction seems appropriate.
    Isn't Fischer supposed to be searching for these guys? The "here they are, oh, they're dead, oh well," reaction seems like a little kid's idea of the "heartless life" of a secret agent. Even if they are from a sister agency, and not Fishers own, it should still make SOME difference ...

    I know I'm in the extreme minority here. These are just my opinions, if you loved the demo, fine, I'm glad you enjoyed it. I haven't given up on the game by any means, I just hope the full version will be a lot better.
     
  2. RayKk

    RayKk Stunt Coordinator

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    James because of your post I will be watching for reveiws very closely on Splinter Cell and Ghost Reacon before I buy, you have not gone unnoticed.[​IMG]
     
  3. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    I liked it. I am, however, a bit disappointed with the character graphics. Chuncky & boring. There is a certain lack of atmosphere in the game too (comparing it to Metal Gear, of course).
     
  4. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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    James, I think you're being a little too harsh. Fischer didn't expect to find the agents alive, you find this out if you interrogate the guy in the room beside the autopsy room. Therefor I think his reaction is fine. "Rest in Peace" would be all I would expect over radio chat during a mission as well. A little too picky I think.
    Aiming, I love the aiming system. Very smooth and accurate IMHO.
     
  5. Rob Varto

    Rob Varto Supporting Actor

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    James, Im with you... I wasn't too impressed with the demo either. I walk right into the morgue and some biker dude goes running away - so I shot him [​IMG]
    The camera was on me the whole time but didn't sound an alarm or bring guards or anything.. so I shot it too [​IMG]
    Then I go upstairs and shoot some guy running around - I get "scolded" for killing a civilian! How the hell am I supposed to recognize a civilian or a guard when they all look the same. Eventually I come up to another guard but now Im out of ammo and I can't get the bastard to kick or punch!! Are you kidding me?
    Oh yeah, what's up with all the empty cans laying around and getting in my way? Damn cans. I think I'll pass on this game unless the controls are more intuitive or the reviews are just outstanding once the final version is released.
     
  6. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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  7. Chris Rock

    Chris Rock Supporting Actor

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  8. Joe Szott

    Joe Szott Screenwriter

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    I would say a demo gives you a taste of what is in a game, but it's not the game itself. Some games that are very simple lend well to a demo (like Mario, Quake, etc.) Other games are a little too complex to really cover enough ground to make it worthwhile (like Splinter Cell, MGS1&2, RPGs.)

    Considering there are like 5-10 weapons and gadgets in the main game that are missing from the demo, it's not easy to say what Splinter Cell will play like. Also, without a tutorial and the back story, goodness knows what else is possible. I was underwhelmed by the demo too, but as some have said above there is enough potential and innovation that the verdict must be left out for the final version.

    Read the reviews of the final product. Better yet, rent it and go from there...
     
  9. Fred Bang

    Fred Bang Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't car what you guys say. This is the best game I've played in a very long time. I must have played thorugh the demo about 30 times already. It's extremely immersive.
     
  10. James Zos

    James Zos Supporting Actor

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    "I just ran a few tests on that very scenario. You obviously did this after you shot out all the lights in the hallway."

    Micheal, I swear I didn't shoot out the lights. I just crouched down and opened the door. But I'll go back and double check it again just in case.
    As for the alarm, I think the level would benefit greatly with a few more enemies and a harder difficulty setting. Why should I have to worry about setting off the alarm if all I have to do is kill two guards first?
    I understand this is supposed to be a stealth title, but that becomes rather meaningless if there is no penalty for not being stealthy. In other words, I don't want to set off the alarm because if I do all hell will break loose. But if I kill the guards and set off the alarm and don't break a sweat, what motivation do I or "agent Fischer" have for being stealthy?
    Like I said, I still hold out some hope for the full version, but the demo struck me as pretty dull and not challenging at all. The "immersion" that Fred stresses escapes me entirely.
     
  11. Micheal

    Micheal Screenwriter

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  12. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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  13. Steve K.H.

    Steve K.H. Supporting Actor

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    The demo is what it is... the first level of intro...

    There's a million ways to play it. Although linear, the means to the end are not. You can try shoot your way through a la Max Payne, but good luck! This is about patience.

    I like the fact there are a ton of save points, cuz obviously there's lessons to be learned such as "Maybe that was the wrong method"

    If you've ever done anything as simple as paintball, you would know how difficult stealth is to achieve.

    Certain items such as having to hide in dark areas, traverse along pipes, suspend yourself, reprogramming, creating diversions, rappel, zip, etc, are MUCH more realistic. We of course don't see these in the demo, nor the additional weapons.

    The audio in 5.1 is fantastic. Hearing people walk in corners is chilling, even in the demo.

    That said, they could have given a better taste in the demo. It really was a pretty lame mission (I for the life of me couldn't figure out what the guy in the interrogation room was for, and as it turned out it was nothing)
     
  14. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    From what I've played so far it's going to be a purchase. I have to kick something off my list but this seems like it has my kind of game play. I might have to say goodbye to Rachet and Clank if I want this one...
     
  15. JamesH

    JamesH Supporting Actor

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    Did you ever consider that the first level of a **demo** might be easier than the actual game? Why would they make it difficult and scare everyone off?
     
  16. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    I've got a few friends who hate all Tony Hawk games. Penny Arcade loathes Halo. Several people on this forum have posted their disappointment with the Grand Theft Auto games (although none as cleverly as Chris [​IMG]). Just proves that even great games can't appeal to everyone. Me, I think the game is going to be fantastic and I loved the demo. But you won't hurt my feelings if you say it was dull.
     
  17. Brian J Dupuis

    Brian J Dupuis Second Unit

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  18. RANDY FISHER

    RANDY FISHER Second Unit

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    I wasn't all that impressed either. I was thinking back to when I got my demo for MGS2 and it was no contest which impressed me more.

    Randy
     
  19. Chris Bardon

    Chris Bardon Cinematographer

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    Just got a chance to try it, and the one thing that's driving me nuts are the controls. First off, the lack of inversion is a big minus from the aiming view. Worse than that though is the camera control in the 3rd person view. I think that Splinter cell is the only game where a 3rd person camera is controlled with a first person viewpoint (from a left/right standpoint). These controls make sense in aiming mode (to look left, push left), but in 3rd person mode they're completely backwards (push left & the camera moves right). Ideally, this would switch back and forth when you switched modes-any idea if you'll be able to do this in the final game?
     
  20. Fred Bang

    Fred Bang Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think there are camera problems in this game, compared to a lot of games. The controls are smooth to me.

    For the split jump in the hallway:

    You have to do it beside a BRICK wall (not the cells). Just go near a brick wall (don't need to be moving), press Y once, then a second time holding it until in position. It's very easy, once mastered.

    Take your time in the demo guys. Just stay in the dark hanging from a pole and watch the guards pass under you. I guarantee total immersion.
     

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