We delve into the hefty feature set, checking out the different solo and co-op gameplay modes.
No matter what mode you play, you earn points for your actions which can be used to upgrade your armor, weapons and gear. You can max out your goods through co-op play and then take them into the single-player campaign or vice versa.
Here's a breakdown and impressions of the modes available in Splinter Cell: Conviction.
Follow the main story of Sam Fisher as he hunts his daughter's killer and attempts to stop an attack on Wahington D.C. While story may not seem important in a Splinter Cell game, it does make a difference in Conviction. Sam is a real bad ass this time around. I mean, you really feel like the ultimate ass-kicker from the get-go.
Play online or split-screen with a buddy and you'll experience a completely different storyline. A prequel to the single-player campaign, the co-op story takes place over four levels with you and a friend in control of Archer and Kestrel, American and Russian operatives, respectively.
If your friend stealth kills someone, you both earn the ability to mark enemies for execution. In fact, if you both have line of sight on a pair of enemies, you can perform dual executions. There's nothing complex about this. If it makes sense in the context of the moment, you both get to pop the heads of some baddies in a stylized cinematic. But there's none of the tedium of having to press a button at the same moment. There are no co-op moves like turning two keys at the same time or boosting someone over a wall. Instead, co-op is about flanking enemies and watching each other's back.
And you will need to watch over one another. Get careless and the enemy could get the drop on you and take you hostage. Then it's up to your buddy to come to the rescue. The catch? The enemies know this is going to happen, so they converge in a defensive wall. The longer you take to free your friend, the more baddies surround him waiting for you to come charging in. Oh, and if one person dies, you fail the mission.
Available for both co-op and solo play, Hunter is Conviction's version of Terrorist Hunt. There are 10 baddies on the map and you need to clear them out. Get spotted and they call in for back-up, adding another 10 enemies to the mix. Hunter is available for all of the co-op locations, along with two bonus locations.
Hunter is, for me, the most fun of all the modes. It's satisfying to be tossed into an environment and given one clear mission -- take everyone down without making any noise.
Either solo or with a friend, you must defend an EMP device from continuous waves of enemies. This is horde mode from Gears of War 2 or Firefight from Halo 3: ODST. The twist is that not only must you and your friend survive, you have to protect the "health" of the EMP. Every shot it takes does a bit of damage. After each wave, it gets a slight repair, but sooner or later it's going to be too much. Then it's game over.
Yes, there is competitive multiplayer in Splinter Cell Conviction. But it's 1-vs-1. While that might sound a little boring, there are enemies on the map as well. They want to take you both out. Not only must you avoid being capped by your opponent, you have to watch out for AI baddies.
You can use these enemies to your advantage. Cause some noise near your opponent to attract the attention of other enemies. Then lay a remote mine nearby and try and use the AI to flush out your opponent right into your trap.
This final mode is unlockable. Unfortunately, the preview build only has a few of the maps so I'm not able to get it. What I can tell you is that this is a more realistic version of Hunter, where any detection automatically ends the match.