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Genre: Action
Min OS X: 10.6

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction
April 26, 2011 | Jon Carr

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Slick Presentation

Mac OS X: 10.6 | CPU: Intel Core2 Duo (Intel Core i7 recommended) | RAM: 2 GB (3 GB recommended) | HD Space: 10 GB Graphics: 512 MB - NVIDIA GeForce GT 8800 series or higher, ATI Radeon HD 2600 series or higher | Internet Connection: Broadband Internet connection with 128 kbps upstream or faster - A permanent high speed internet connection and creation of a Ubisoft account are required to play this game.

Sam Fisher is back on the Mac and he's angry. Very angry. Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Conviction once again puts you in the role of the legendary agent, out to find answers about his daughter's death which soon unravels into a far greater conspiracy and chain of events. Sam's daughter, Sarah, was the one humanizing element in his life. With her gone, he's a changed man. Woe betide anyone who stands in Sam's way, whether it be street thugs, mercenaries or even Third Echelon itself.

While previous Splinter Cell games have very much been about restraint, Conviction unleashes the beast. There isn't even an option to knock out enemies, only kill them. And kill them Sam does, with an almost casual brutality. With his hands, from the shadows, from above, and with a wide variety of guns and gadgets. You are the hunter in this game, and all are your prey. Some of the characters even refer to you as "Panther." Stealth still plays a very large role, but it's more stealth-action and it's not much of an issue if you are detected. Unlike previous Splinter Cell games where missions would often fail if you were detected, here your enemies get a "Last Known Position" which appears as a ghost of Sam, and they converge and fire upon it. This leads to a lot of cat-and-mouse gameplay should you be seen, and it's great fun. Enemies will offer all kinds of verbal abuse and bravado once you've been spotted, and it's quite entertaining to pick them off one by one.

Alternately, you can remain hidden and kill secretly and silently. You could peek under a door with a gadget to scout out the room, then go in another way through a window, or maybe a pipe, and take out your foes quietly one by one. Or you can just bash down the door and let the lead fly with your shotgun. While the second approach is more risky, both methods are equally fun. Every level gives you a flexibility of approach, and even paths to take. If you perform a melee or stealth kill, you gain the ability to Mark and Execute a certain number of enemies based on your weapon. Once marked you can press a key to instantly shoot all the marked targets who are within range of your weapon. It may sound easy, but it's fun and works well given the number of enemies you are often faced with. You can also take a human shield which is effective, but they only last so long under a hail of bullets.

Sam is pretty nimble and can climb along walls, pipes, scurry from cover to cover or slide over desks, walls, cars and other objects. Animation is fluid, as is traversing environments, making it easy to sneak around or run away as need be. The AI is fair overall, and while it won't challenge you often, some later gameplay sections do offer some intense fights as your foes flank you, flush you out with grenades and give blind or suppressing fire making it difficult to move around.


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