is a third-person action game with a focus on stealth, similar to the Metal Gear Solid
series. The player takes on the role of Sam Fisher, an operative for the secret organization NSA Black Operation, part of the U.S. government. The organization deals with very sensitive missions, often taken on by a Third Echelon splinter cell division Fisher is part of. His missions are so discreet, that if he is captured the government will deny any such existence of that organization.
To get around and reach his objectives, Fisher has a variety of moves at his disposal. He can walk, run, crouch, jump, rappel, shimmy, cross horizontal wires, zip using a zip cord, and do a split jump. There are different approaches to taking out enemies. He can use weapons, but the noise might alert guards and that generally makes it more difficult to complete missions. Opponents can be stunned, killed, or subdued. Fisher can for instance jump down from the ceiling and knock an opponent unconscious. Some enemies are needed to activate a door or passcode. Therefore enemies can be taken hostage by holding a gun to their head. They can also be interrogated or be used as human shields.
Other features include the ability to peak through a door before going through or use an optic cable camera (a "snake" camera) to peer through the underside, to check what is ahead. As the focus is on stealth, the amount of weapons is rather small. There is an FN F2000 assault rifle that can be fitted with a silencer and other modifications, and there is a suppressed FN Five-Seven pistol. Ammo is limited and additional bullets are scarce. Players are encouraged to avoid danger by sneaking through shadows and hiding behind objects. Fisher has access to a light meter to check how visible he is, and night vision as well as thermal goggles to see in the dark and view warmer temperatures in colour. Other weapons are ring airfoil projectiles, gas grenades and sticky shockers.
The Xbox version is the original one, with a closely adapted version for the PC, and separate ports for PS2 and GameCube. The latter have slight changes in levels generally to make it a little easier. Each version also contains some exclusive features. The Xbox and PC versions include three additional downloadable missions (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Mission-Pack
). The PS2 version has an exclusive level, and the GameCube version can be connected with a Game Boy Advance through a link cable to view an overhead map. The PS2 and GameCube versions include additional binocular items, and the latter also has an extra sticky bomb weapon. The PS2 release also has an exclusive 5min pre-rendered intro cinematic with full orchestrated score, showing how the two agents you are sent to look for at the beginning of the game were captured.
- "细胞分裂" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
- "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Stealth Action Redefined" -- Tag-lined title
- "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell HD" -- PlayStation 3 title
- "Splinter Cell" -- GOG.com cover title
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On March 13, 2003, the first downloadable level, Kola Cell
, was released. It can be played whether the game was beaten or not.
The PS2 version was ported over by Ubisoft Shanghai in China. It was developed within 4 months.
One possible source of the Fifth Freedom
concept is Noam Chomsky
's preface to The Culture of Terrorism
: "U.S. international and security policy ... has as its primary goal the preservation of what we might call “the Fifth Freedom,” understood crudely but with a fair degree of accuracy as the freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate, to undertake any course of action to ensure that existing privilege is protected and advanced." FDR's original Four Freedoms are Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
is one of the three Xbox games that, with the help of Action Replay, can hack into an unmodified Xbox. The other two being 007: Agent Under Fire
Penguin has published novels inspired by the game; Sam Fisher's adventures continue in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
(2004), Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Operation Barracuda
(2005) and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Checkmate
(2006), all (perhaps confusingly) written by Raymond Benson
under the pseudonym "David Michaels".
- The vehicle that picks up Sam outside the police station at the end of the first level is a delivery van from St-Hubert, a popular restaurant in Montreal where the game was designed. Just look at its logo and compare it to the one on www.st-hubert.com.
- On the level Chinese Embassy, Part II (the second time playing in the Chinese Embassy), go down the back alley (not through the front door of the restaurant) and use the optic cable on the door. The chef can be heard humming If I Were a Rich Man from the movie (or play) Fiddler on the Roof.
- In the original Chinese Embassy level, Sam is told to meet with a mission contact. Once he comes into contact with him, he is to introduce with the code phrase "A bright cold day in April", which is the first line of the novel 1984, written by George Orwell.
In the game, Sam Fisher works for Third Echelon. The real world ECHELON is a global intelligence initiative run by the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. While ECHELON's full capabilities (and intentions) are unknown, the ACLU reports estimates that the network intercepts up to 3 billion messages (phone, e-mail, Internet) daily.
The PC version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
is fairly closely based on the original Xbox version. Both were made by Ubisoft Montreal. The GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions, which were developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, are similar to each other, but have many small changes over the originals with the result that they are generally easier. Some doors are moved around, guards are less likely to notice gunshots, etc.
Each version of the game, except for Windows, has some exclusive features. The Xbox release has two new missions downloadable via Xbox Live which involve a Russian nuclear sub. The PlayStation 2 version includes an exclusive level which takes place in a nuclear power plant, new cinematics, a new intro cinematic with original music by the Prague Orchestra, and many behind-the-scenes interviews and documentaries both about the new intro and the game itself. GameCube uses the Game Boy Advance link cable to give you a real-time overhead map and a new sticky-bomb weapon. Additionally, both GCN and PS2 include a new binoculars items.
Information also contributed by
Ace of Sevens,
Terrence Bosky and
- Computer Gaming World
- February 2006 (Issue #259) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
- 2002 – Xbox Game of the Year
- 2002 – Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Choice)
- Golden Joystick Awards
- Verband der Unterhaltungssoftware Deutschland (Entertainment Software Association Germany)
- August 31, 2003 - Gold-Award for selling more then 100,000 (but less then 200,000) units in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. (PS2 version)