Splinter Cell PS2 demo. Some quick impressions.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Romier S, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    In my rather short outing today whilst looking for (and subsequently purchasing) Tenchu 3 I got my hands on a PS2 demo of Splinter Cell. The sample level is the chinese restaurant mission from the main game. It gives you a good sampling of the gameplay and the kind of graphics and sound quality to expect on the Playstation 2. I'm going to be doing some direct comparisons with the Xbox version of the game for those interested.

    First and foremost just to ease any fears, the control scheme has transferred over almost perfectly. Its intuitive, quick to use and doesn't fail you when you need it. Sam has all of his staple moves, the crouching, taking hostages at gun point, a stiff elbow to the face. Its all there. All of the gadgets have of course made the transition. The night vision goggles, thermal goggles. Sam'e rifle and its attachments are all present and accounted for. The game plays identical to its Xbox and PC brethren and that is very good news for PS2 owners. My only complaint in this department is that I personally prefer the analog sticks on the Xbox but that comes down to preference and some of you will no doubt enjoy the dual shock a bit more.

    Of course I could ramble on for hours on the gameplay and in the end what everyone wants to hear about is how well this port holds up graphically to the Xbox version of the game. Put simply, this so called "port" far exceeded my expectations and Ubi has gone beyond the call of duty. Most impressive is that the wonderfully smooth animation for all of Sams moves have been translated to the letter on the PS2. His dive roll is identical and and all of his shooting, hanging and all out ass kicking stealth moves are completely intact. You can tell as soon as you start the game Ubi spent its time making sure this aspects of the graphics tranferred over properly and it paid off. On that same note Sam's model is very highly detailed and is another area you can see Ubi really busted their hump on.

    Moving along through the level you'll notice the texture quality is actually very high quality (though some interior textures were a tad bland). This is really where you start to see the difference between the PS2 and Xbox versions of the game. The PS2 as good as it tries simply cannot compete with the Xbox's overall more defined textures and sharper look. You can tell the developers had to cut quite a few corners here but for the most part what is here is of high quality when in direct comparison to other PS2 games. Also of note are some of the great volumetric fogging effects that translated over. They add a good sense of atmosphere and eye candy to an already sugary package[​IMG].

    Another point to touch on in the demo is the lighting, which is of course is one of the more integral parts of the game. As of now what I have experienced varies from very well done to a bit less than impressive. Outside of the restaurant is a gate that is casting a shadow on the floor and of course if you walk Sam through the the front of the gate you can see the shadows bouncing off of his body and his shadow intermingling with that of the gate.

    The effect is fairly well done (and apparently is a good example of the PS2 shadowing system that Ubi has been touting recently) but if you have experienced the Xbox game then it does leave a bit to be desired. This particular example of the shadow system just appears to be a tad too "light" and does not define itself as well on Sams character model. However a bit later on in the demo you do enter certain darker areas that show off the lighting a tad bit better. Again I am personally giving a comparison to the Xbox game here so anyone interested in the PS2 game can get an idea of how the *DEMO* stacks up. Let me however be clear, if you have never touched the Xbox game you will be left fairly impressed with what Ubi has pulled off.

    Finally one last thing worth mentioning is the framerate. Right now the game runs suprisingly well. There are some instances of minor slowdown in some particular areas of the restaurant but please remember that this is a *DEMO* and there is still time for a good bit of tweaking in the framerate department. To my eyes I really cannot see anyone complaining about the games framerate. With some minor optimizations the game should ship running at a consistent rate much to the pleasure of you hungry PS2 fans.

    Sound wise there is nothing to fret about folks. All of the dialogue, music cues and atmosphere are intact.(and of course we should have expected nothing less). So in other words, Sam still does his best Richter impersonation[​IMG].

    To sum this up for you I'll go ahead and throw this statement out for discussion. As of now this *DEMO* represents what could end up shipping as one of most graphically impressive games on the PS2. If this quality is maintained throughout then PS2 owners really should rejoice in receiving a far above average port of a game that so many said could not be done. Of course nothing will touch Splinter Cell at 1280X1024 on my PC:p) but for most part color me impressed!
     
  2. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    Good overview, Romier. PS2 owners are in for a real treat.
     
  3. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Romier,

    I trust that you will be posting impressions of Tenchu (and especially as compared to the demo)? *waves hand to perform Jedi Mind Trick* [​IMG]

    -Dave
     
  4. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  5. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Oh man, i just got SplinterCell for PC.. its AWESOME... The demo had me worried coz it kept crashing with memory issues (i only have 32MB of DDR ram on video card). But the full version came out great with no glitches.

    PS2 owners will be happy
     
  6. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  7. paul h

    paul h Supporting Actor

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    Just goes to show it might be pain in the ass to code for but you can get good results out of the PS2.
     
  8. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Re: Tenchu

    I loved the first one, liked the second one, and hear this one rocks. I pre-ordered it from EBGames after playing the PSM demo. After some trouble with my card, it shipped yesterday. Should be here in time to play it on my new projector.
     
  9. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    ARGH, glitch in my PC version... Thermal Goggles dont work (just black, still responds)!!! [​IMG] seems other people have had this problem too...

    Still fun [​IMG]... man, the CIA mission is HARD!
     
  10. Scott_W

    Scott_W Stunt Coordinator

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    The PS2 seems to making quite a comeback graphically lately. Dark Cloud 2 and Zone of Enders 2 both look incredible. Splinter Cell looks great as well, and definitely exceeded my impressions. Hopefully we'll see similar jumps with the XBox.
     
  11. Dave Bennett

    Dave Bennett Screenwriter

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    Nick,
    That CIA mission is REALLY hard. I think many of the later levels aren't as difficult as that one. That mission had me nearly bashing my controller on my coffee table.
     
  12. BrianShort

    BrianShort Supporting Actor

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    Hmm... so should I get the PC version (I only have a 32 meg video card, but the demo ran fine in 640x480) or the PS2 version (get to play on 27" display, and a bigger sound system [​IMG])... hmmm...


    Brian
     
  13. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    It runs even smoother than the demo. I have a GF2GTS 32MB DDR, it runs smooth even at 800x600... and still looks great with all the settings on LOW.

    I got the thermal goggles working (reinstalled drivers)

    and ibeat the CIA mission!!! [​IMG]
     
  14. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Any IGN insiders care to share the review details? I am looking forward to this game more than any other in recent memory.
     
  15. Dave.A.C

    Dave.A.C Agent

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    The review from IGN was copied to another forum for a bit, here's what I took from it:

    -Plays much easier than the Xbox version. According to the reviewer the difficulty is notched down noticably and the control scheme has been tweaked for the better. Wrote in some detail about the difference in the thermal mined courtyard area, noting that it was made a lot easier in the PS2 version.

    -Graphics are excellent; lighting isn't as strong and the night vision/thermal goggles effects aren't nearly as good, but they compensated by adding heat distortion and another effect I've forgotten. Textures are overall more simple. The reviewer pointed out ailiasing as an issue, but it was also pretty bad on the Xbox. A trade-off for all of the other effects, I'm guessing.

    -Said sound is good, but made no mention if it was DD5.1, DTS, PLII, or what.

    -He liked the new cut scenes, said that the Sam character was fleshed out better. Noted that the relationship between Sam and his daughter was more developed. Sounds like boring junk to me, but that's just me.

    Made special mention about UBI creating an entirely new engine built from the ground up for the PS2. Also talked a little about the new level in the PS2 game. It seems that UBI is showing everybody else how to make a "port" (this seems like the wrong word to use for what they've done) the right way. There was an opinion piece I read recently - Gamespot I believe - talking about this as well. UBI, rather than taking the least common denominator approach to a multi-platform game, started with the most powerful hardware for the design. Then to make a worthy copy on the other platforms they had to push the hardware. The icing being that they are adding something for everybody - Xbox has downloadable content, PS2 an exclusive level, and supposedly the GC version will have some GBA functionality. This standing in stark contrast to the way EA does things. Go UBI!

    Edit - I forgot, they gave it a 9.1, if memory serves.

    Edit - One more edit. Re-reading what I wrote, it seems I downplay the graphics on the PS2. According to the reviewer, SC has basically set the bar, it's that good. Supposedly if you have never seen the Xbox or PC version, you'll be amazed at SC on PS2.
     
  16. Mark Evans

    Mark Evans Supporting Actor

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    You are correct Dave, the editorial about the Ubi Soft porting was in the latest edition of GameSpotting.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how this puppy handles on the GameCube. I'm a big fan of stealth games and in general always use sniping weapons when there's an option [​IMG]. And we get sticky bombs, hehe. I'm a trap meister as well :p).

    I went through almost half of No One Lives Forever using just the sniper rifle and the crossbow w/scope [​IMG].
     
  17. ChrisV

    ChrisV Second Unit

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  18. Adam Nixon

    Adam Nixon Second Unit

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    So, if you've never played the game and have all 3 consoles, which do you buy? Unfortunately, I don't have access to Live.
     
  19. ChrisMatson

    ChrisMatson Cinematographer

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    Thank you, Dave! And thank you, UBI! It sounds like this game takes all of my favorite parts of Metal Gear and improves on them. I can't wait. I am really more of a casual gamer now, but I do enjoy a great game.
     
  20. Dave.A.C

    Dave.A.C Agent

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    Adam,

    I'd wait a bit, see if the Live levels are offered via another route, like the Xbox Exhibition or OXM disks. If they are, then I'd personally go for the Xbox version for the better lighting effects, DD5.1, and the fewer cut scenes. If the extra levels stay Live exclusive, then I'd go PS2 for its exclusive level.

    Then again, when does the GC version come out [​IMG] ?
     

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