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A Bit Of A Let Down?
Splinter Cell has gone through many stages of evolution, since the original incarnation debuted on the Xbox. It's been a considered and well-weighted progression, which has seen Third Echelon grow from strength to strength since Sam's first outing - with more gadgets, more moves and levels growing in complexity. But with Splinter Cell: Double Agent I am still unsure whether the latest step has gone in the right direction. The intention has definitely been to move the series more towards stealth, and of course to add depth with a morality system. Unfortunately it didn't really seem to come together for Ubisoft, and while it's good, it's not great.
The plot in Splinter Cell has never really been that advanced, generally revolving around some terrorist organisation setting off a bomb or similar security threat, with a mixture of cut-scenes and in-game dialogue pushing it along.
Vague themes have been continued, such as Sam's daughter randomly getting run over and his gruff all-or-nothing attitude spiralling. This time Sam is undercover, and must strike a careful balance between keeping the National Security Agency (NSA) and the John Brown's Army (JBA) happy, through choosing which objectives to complete.
Unfortunately this is really easy, as long as you don't smack the leader of the JBA upside the head or blow up countless innocents - then you won't struggle to keep both bars full.
Gameplay-wise Splinter Cell: DA is definitely a lot different to its predecessor. Gone is the classic Light Meter and Chaos Theory's Acoustic Meter, and replaced with the discrete Visibility Meter. Green means you're hidden, yellow you can be seen and red means