If you've got a short attention span at the moment, or don't have much time, you might want to come back later.
I've been a fan of the Splinter Cell series ever since Pandora Tomorrow came with our Nvidia 6600GT back in 2005. At that stage, I was playing the likes of CS (original) and BF2. Having a stealth game was actually quite refreshing.
At the start of 2007, I picked up Chaos Theory for $20. Briliant value for money (excluding the awesome prices of steam games). You had better AI, better weapons and cooler moves. Not to mention a good storyline and great soundtrack (Amon Tobin FTW!).
I've been watching out for Double Agent for a while, and when I spotted it for $20 I jumped. I took it home and installed it. The first strange things I noticed were some invisible light sources. It's not easy staying undetected when there's a spotlight on you and you can't figure out how to avoid it. Shortly after, an invisible camera kept spotting me. Alarm bells started ringing in my head when I started clipping straight through some catwalks, falling to my death. I thought, gee, this is bad. They probably should have picked up on this.
At one point I wanted to load back to a previous save point. It wouldn't let me. It kept deselecting the save slot that I wanted every time I went to hit the load button. Now, most Splinter Cell players know that there's a lot of trial and error involved. But seriously, a dodgy save/load system? They screwed up royal.
At this point I went to Google to find answers. I found out that I was incredibly lucky. Here's why:
- I was running Vista
- I was playing with the graphics on full settings without any issues
- It was only crashing occasionally (I didn't suspect anything...yet)
Most people I encountered on the internet were having serious issues trying to play at all. If it worked for them, the graphics were bad (on all except todays high-end systems) and it constantly crashed. Basically, the game had more bugs than an ant colony.
At that point I remembered back to 2006 when I played the demo on our old system. It glitched out. It was playable, but the graphics were just scary. Yet if you read on the back of the Double Agent box, the Nvidia 6600GT is a supported graphics card. Go figure.
And the icing on the cake? Ubisoft have only released one patch for the game...a few weeks after release. Why? To put in a feature that was advertised on the box. That's right. Sad isn't it.
From what I've established, here's why it's all so bad. It was originally created for the Xbox 360, then ported to other consoles from there. Most game companies do this with hardly any problems. But Ubi Shanghai was in a hurry, and they seriously skimped on quality control.
And now? I'm in the last quarter of the game, feeling glad that I got so far. Because now it crashes whenever I go to reload my game...which is often. I might finish it when I have the patience.
So I've gone back to playing the Battlefield games. People complained that they were full of bugs. At least they've had recent patches though.
Gameplay: 6/10 Same ol' Sam. That's good and bad.
Graphics: 9/10 This must have been where they spent all their time.
Moves: 8/10 Some seriously cool stuff here.
Music: 8/10 Pretty good. Not my style, but suits the game really well.
Story: 6/10 Decent. I think it's a bit vague because it relies on the players actions so much.
Performance: -16/10 Fail. They ruined it by rushing it.
Overall: 4/10 The serious flaws ruined a game with a lot of potential. It's sad really
</rant> Wow, that was long.
Next up? The Boob job.
What? did I say Boob? Oh, I meant The Bank Job. Sorry, Freudian slip.