Splinter Cell: Double Agent

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Content at a glance:


Computer Platform: Xbox (Microsoft)
Produced by: Ubisoft
Price Range: $11-20
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Mature Teen to Adult
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Reviewed By: Josh

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆
Genre: Action Stealth
Rating: 3 of 5 (average)
Gameplay: 4 of 5 (good)
Violence: 3 of 5 (mild)
Adult Content: 3 of 5 (mild)

Splinter Cell: Double Agent.  Illustration copyrighted.

“Splinter Cell: Double Agent” is the fourth installment of the “Splinter Cell” series, a popular franchise of stealth/action games. Although the Xbox version shares the same title as the 360 version, the two have differences in both gameplay and story events. The one being reviewed here is the Xbox version.

“Double Agent” revolves around black ops agent Sam Fisher and his infiltration of a domestic terror group called the JBA (John Brown’s Army). After Sam’s daughter is killed in a car accident, he feels he has nothing left to lose. In response to this tragedy, he teams up with his long time partner in the NSA, Irving Lambert, to undertake the most dangerous mission of his life: to stop the JBA by becoming a double agent.


Splinter Cell: Double Agent

For those who are unfamiliar with stealth games, those are the type of games in which players are rewarded for using stealth tactics over violence. Game developers must provide plenty of ways for players too snoop around without being seen.

“Splinter Cell” takes this idea and pushes it a bit further. Players must use light and shadow to their advantage and learn to time their moves well. Enemy patrols respond not only to sight but to sound as well. Sam Fisher, a sort of super spy, is equipped with the tools he needs to disable security, incapacitate guards, and secure vital data for the government without leaving a trace on the physical or political map. This is what the “Splinter Cell” games are all about.

Graphics and audio are superb on Xbox. The controls are more refined than the last “Splinter Cell” game, and there are new gadgets and abilities for players to use. But this is not what makes “Double Agent” a stand-alone title.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

A new game mechanic that makes “Double Agent” stand on its own is the trust system. Since Sam is now a double agent, he has to keep both his NSA and JBA partners happy. The all-new trust meter shows how much trust he has in both organizations. It is important for Sam to balance trust between the NSA and JBA. If the meter slides too far to either side, his superiors will get suspicious and it’s game over.

Balancing their trust is complicated because sometimes NSA and JBA objectives oppose each other. For instance, the NSA may require you to protect someone the JBA has ordered you to kill, or you may be faced with the decision whether or not to eliminate one of your comrades for the sake of the mission.

This time around Fisher walks on a moral tightrope, and he must make increasingly difficult choices, each one with lasting consequences. And these consequences aren’t just on a personal scale; they are global too. Thousands of civilian lives can be saved or lost by his actions in the game.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

In “Splinter Cell: Double Agent,” there is a lesser body count than in games such as Halo and Gears of War. This game actually rewards you for not using lethal force to complete your objectives. However, the option to kill is always open, and you are equipped with the means to do so. It is a very tempting option too, since it means fewer guards to worry about.

There are many ways you can kill your enemies. These include shooting, stabbing, tossing them over ledges, neck-snapping, and more. There is no blood shown in the game except for in two cut-scenes, in which a man gets shot by a terrorist and another gets his throat slit by Sam.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent
The language in “Double Agent” isn’t terribly rough. However, d*** and h*** are used frequently, and I heard s*** once during the game. Christ’s name is taken in vain several times, which I was offended by.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Other Content:
A recurring theme in “Splinter Cell” games is the government versus terrorism. The theme is most prevalent in “Double Agent” as Sam Fisher is both a terrorist and an agent. This question came to mind while I was playing: “What boundaries must law enforcement recognize in pursuing terrorism?” The scenarios in this game are definitely too mature for children, who are better off playing Super Mario Galaxy.

“Splinter Cell: Double Agent” is a gripping, mature action game that will most likely appeal to fans of secret agent movies and Tom Clancy novels. Even in the light of the 360 version, the Xbox version of this game should not be ignored.

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Year of Release — 2006

[tags] 3.5 stars, Action, Xbox (Microsoft), M (Mature), Ubisoft [/tags]


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Answers Network.

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