Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

aka: Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell HD, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Stealth Action Redefined
Moby ID: 7780
Xbox Specs
Add-on (official) Special Edition See Also

Description official descriptions

Splinter Cell 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.


  • 汤姆克兰西 之 细胞分裂 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 湯姆克蘭西 之 縱橫諜海 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 细胞分裂 - Simplified Chinese spelling
  • 스프린터 셀 - Korean spelling (Hangul)

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Credits (Xbox version)

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Senior Producers
Associate Producer
Art Director
Lead Programmer
Lead 3D Artist/Lead Level Designer
Animation Art & Technical Director/Lead Animator
Lead Character Artist/Character Concept Artist
Game Designer
Lead Game Designer
Sound Game Designer
Technical Directors 3D Art
Production Assistant
Original Creation with Participation as Associate Producer & Creative Director
Animators (In Game)
3D Artist
[ full credits ]



Average score: 91% (based on 93 ratings)


Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 223 ratings with 11 reviews)

Stealth James Bond

The Good
This game deserves much more than a benefit of a doubt when it comes to the fact of being existent on multiple platforms. Why, you may ask, why is this one better than some Resident Evil or Final Fantasy game which exist on multiple platforms? Well, it's because the programming was made from scratch for each of the platforms, XBox, PC, PS2, etc. using the full advantage of the current platform. But since this review is based upon PS2 version, and since I haven't seen any other, don't expect to find here graphical or any other kind of comparisson to the other platforms. But as for the game on PS2, this game will give you what is promissed, no doubt about that.

I've heard a lot of good stuff about this game, Splinter Cell this, Splinter Cell that, and with such an aspect, I've come to disappoint myself. No, this is by no means a bad game, not at all. But what I expected is that it has the power to bury Metal Gear Solid 2 undoubtedly. It didn't take long enough to see how that is virtually impossible. This is a great game, but on the level of Half-Life. The gameplay is perfected with so much possibilities, but you will barely ever use the most fun ones, so no matter how many things your character is able to do, you will not get much of a chance to do them. However, the abilities and moves you can do are still long in minority when comparing to those of MGS2. As are weapons. But means and methods vary. Whereas in MGS2 you didn't get the chance to use dark places a lot, instead, you could hide in a locker or hang over the rail, in Splinter Cell you can literally be one step from an enemy soldier and if you're in a perfect dark, he will not see you. That is, if you're not moving too much, and don't make a sound louder than a silent footstep.

Textures in this game are very good, as is the graphic in general, and light effects, water, or fire are well done, but expect some real slowdown in a game when near the fire. That is kinda strange 'cos I didn't expect they can make a game for a console that would go slow. With PC it's understandable due to hardware you possess, but with consoles... oh well. Variety of weapons is at bare minimum, a silencer and a sniper are the only two you will use aside your mano-a-mano skills which aren't so plentiful as in MGS2.

You are playing Sam Fisher, a former CIA commando who's beein re-activated, and whose mission is to find out what happened to two of CIA agents with whom headquarters recently lost connection. The game starts with an easy plot which later evolves in a global war possible incident. Nuclear missiles, tricks of the government, raising an army, stealing top-secret government files, those are things you will have to confront and face with virtually no help but your own. It's up to the players virtue and tricks of trade that count in accomplishing each of the missions that stretch from Georgia to China.

Music is very ambience supportive and it will not take out the front scene or be distractive while you're playing, and sound in general (although not very versatile) are good enough. Nice thing that connects this game to Command & Conquer games by something they have in common is that there are pre-rendered FMVs in between each of the missions. Yup, gotta love it. However good they are, they are not as good as the wide-screen intro cinematic made specifically for PS2 version of the game with nice following orchestrated score specially for that intro.

I cannot say if previous versions on other platforms had extra contents included, but this game has many, from developer's interviews and making of documentaries, to review with Sam Fisher himself (Sam, as in main character of the game, that one is neatly done).

Another thing worth mentioning is that this game is much more realistic than Metal Gear Solid 2 to the point that your character moves relatively slower than Snake or Raiden from MGS2, and his moves aren't as stretchy and quick as they may appear at first. This may be a good point, but also gives a feeling of this game being kinda slow.

The Bad
Although very neatly done, this game doesn't rise up to the voice of the crowd as expected. As much as the music is nice enough, there isn't much of it in the game, and seems like it takes most parts in the cinematic themselves. But that doesn't make this game any less worthy (just think of Half-Life, and how much music that game had ;)

I haven't seen graphic on a PC verison nor XBox version of this game, but I don't doubt it looks much better, 'cos frankly, graphic in PS2 verison is very strong on the effects and surroundings account, but characters could've been better. Why I know they could've been better is 'cos I've seen how good MGS2 looks on PS2, and this game doesn't beat that.

Now a few words about an AI. Well, it is neatly thought of, and sometimes it seems that your foe is quite smart, wether he'll run off to sound the alarm or call for backup and then enter the room you're in, or wether he'll just duck behind some box waiting for you to pass the point you must, but then again, using constant phrases like "we got you surrounded" or such even though there's only one enemy I dunno wether to call bugs or did the developers made that on purpose as to try and deceive you. But AI isn't problem at all, the shooting is. Precise hit in the head will kill every enemy instantly, no doubt about it. But shoot him anywhere else, and it'll be like you lost your bullet in vain. Even if they all wear a bulletproof vests, shot in the leg or arm should have its impact. Also, seems like when you shoot someone, there is a short time when he recovers if not dead, and you can shoot him again until you whack him. However, if you're shooting in between the time ot your first shot and recovering, you'll have to shot more times to make a kill. Maybe it sounds silly the way I'm telling this, but it does look annoying when you can never be sure if you need to shoot more or not, and that may be important when you're low on bullets. And unlike the MGS2, you can't always shoot your way through, sometimes you simply must avoid conflicts of any kind.

The Bottom Line
All in one, I expected so much more from this game. However, the game itself was very entertaining and challenging, and giving you a solid info on whatever you wanted to do. But I can't help but to think of this game as if being made 13 years back. It kinda creates that feeling, just as Tzar, for example, creates similar feeling. But that only makes me like the game more, actually. Sort of, like adding a part of nostalgy to something which is completely new. I know, I know, sounds silly, but that's how I felt while playing it.

I too have an XBox so I could've get myself that version, or a PC one, but I ricked the graphic quality for more stuff like that completely new 4min long intro animation and some new levels or whatever. And I can't say I regretted it, duh, I never regret when it comes to games I have ;) But let's make one thing clear - this game can by no means match up to the standard that was set by Metal Gear Solid 2, story-wise, graphic-wise, gameplay-wise, music-wise, nor anyhow else. But that doesn't mean this game is anything less than good, it's just the fact that MGS2 is that good, that's all. Any fan of action-espionage and action-sneaking games should get both of them in the collection, no doubt of it.

PlayStation 2 · by MAT (238621) · 2012

A revolution in Espionage action games.

The Good
The shadow's are totally amazing!! No exaggeration, they worked really hard on the shadows and its an intricate part of the gameplay. The gadgets, story, the maps, the surprises all really great. The graphics are amazing in this game. They use this thing called fluid graphics for curtains and other cloth. It's really cool, the darkness and light contrast is amazing. Having to use the darkness to beat levels is really revolutionary. The weapons on the other hand are just plain fun. From what I've seen so far there is the standard silenced pistol, a rifle with a scope which you can attach many things to (tazers, cameras, distraction devices, hollow bullets, gas grenades). He also possesses a variety of distraction capabilites starting from throwing cans to flares, grenades, and the most advanced I've seen was the remote controlled camera that makes noise and shoots case at the touch of a button). Other gadgets present are the laser microphone, the optical eyeglass, grenades, lock picks, night vision goggles, thermal goggles, etc.

The Bad
Having to die a lot to beat the levels because its so unpredictable can get frustrating. Not frustrating enough to make the game less fun though. I also don't like how it doesn't make sense how just because you're in a shadow the guy can't see you although he's right next to you. But that only happens rarely to ocassionally.

The Bottom Line
It's a really good game, just have to be patient or take long breaks before you go take another shot at it. Playing it makes you really feel like you are the main character, especially with the good music integration and all.

Xbox · by Thiago Oliveira (85) · 2003

Plenty of hot and cool spy-action to be enjoyed here.

The Good
Many tense moments did i experience: softly and ever so slowly stepping closer and closer to the guard in the doorway... only to have him turn around at the last moment! Or, running swiftly through a hallway, quickly whipping out the lockpicking tools, unlocking, opening and then hearing the door close just before a soldier enters this hallway. Phew! Splinter Cell has lots of these moments. As well as exciting combat, beautiful locations to sneak through and an adequate story.

You can use lots of gadgets, look cool using them, admire the sights of a simple light beam rolling over your character 'Sam Fisher' and enjoy figuring out the environment - 'where to go next? and how to get there?'

The Bad
Almost every mission has only one path through it. Rarely have the designers included choices to approach the levels. But, there are still plenty of choices to be made. For example, at what moment to pull a soldier into your shadow.

Sometimes, the behavior of the computer characters is very sharp and observant, at other times they seem to lack eyes and ears.

Some levels have odd (unnatural or illogically constructed) layouts or solutions.

The difficulty levels are the only incentive for playing this game again. If you like to play games on 'Hard' expect only one run through. I don't mind, perhaps you do?

The Bottom Line
Very fun, exciting and thrilling game experience. It has no significant difficulty, so enjoy the ride!

Windows · by re_fold (291) · 2004

[ View all 11 player reviews ]


1001 Video Games

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Downloadable Content

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.

Fifth Freedom

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 and MechAssault.


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
  • 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.

Third Echelon

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.

Version Differences

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.


  • 4Players
    • 2002– Best Xbox Game of the Year
    • 2002 – Best Xbox Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2002 – Best Xbox Action Game of the Year (Readers' Vote)
    • 2003 – Best PC Action Game of the Year
  • Computer Gaming World
    • February 2006 (Issue #259) – Introduced into the Hall of Fame
  • GameSpy
    • 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)

Information also contributed by Ace of Sevens, Alexander Misiti, Karthik KANE, MegaMegaMan, Olivier Masse, piltdown man, Pseudo_Intellectual, Reborn_Demon, Terrence Bosky and Xoleras.

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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Trilogy
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist (GameStop Edition)
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by JPaterson.

Macintosh added by Corn Popper. GameCube added by Kartanym. PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 added by MAT. Xbox One added by Eufemiano Bullanga. Windows added by Rantanplan.

Additional contributors: MAT, Unicorn Lynx, Corn Popper, Sciere, Ace of Sevens, Zeppin, Patrick Bregger, Rik Hideto, FatherJack, 一旁冷笑.

Game added November 19th, 2002. Last modified December 4th, 2023.