Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Tom Clancys Splinter Cell: Double Agent Preview

        Tech | Video Game Titles

Title: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Rating: Not yet rated

Suitable ages: older teens

Studio: Ubisoft

Platform(s): PS2, Xbox, Game Cube, PC, PS3, Xbox 360

Release Date: September 26, 2006

General Summary: Agent Sam Fisher returns for his most deadly assignment yet: infiltrating a group of terrorists where, to keep his cover, he may have to kill innocents and help commit acts of terrorism.

Similar Games: Metal Gear Solid 3, Grand Theft Auto, Yakuza, Tomb Raider: Legend, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

What is "Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent"?

Return to the world of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell series with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent, a multi-platform action shooter game that promises tons of action. Once again, you’ll take on the role of Sam Fisher, antiterrorism agent in a group known as Third Echelon and the star of the previous Splinter Cell games. This time, Sam faces his biggest challenge yet, and you’ll face many new challenges, too, as you learn the art of being a double agent.

The game begins with Sam’s daughter Sarah dying in a car accident while Sam is away on a mission. Shaken, Sam falls into a deep depression for months, refusing missions and generally doing nothing with his life. Finally, he accepts a new mission from Irving Lambert to infiltrate a terrorist organization and take it down from within.

Once Sam successfully enters the organization’s North American headquarters, however, things go horribly wrong, and he finds himself yet again in the position of saving the world from disaster. If you manage to keep Sam’s cover and accomplish your missions, you’ll find yourself on a globe-hopping mission, traveling with Sam to Cozumel, Shanghai, New York City, Los Angeles, and more.

Multiplayer options are back, as well, and you’ll also have the chance to earn new ranks, spy on the other team and do a little sabotage on the side. Each of the different platforms will feature different exclusive multiplayer content. Multiplayer missions can be played online as well as offline, so you can join your friends in combat no matter where they are.

All of the action, suspense, and excitement in the previous games are back and incorporated with the new twists and additions to the game. Plus, the ability to determine the game’s outcome is fun and guarantees that you’ll never have to play through the exact storyline twice.

Background

Double Agent was developed by the team at Ubisoft, the same developer of the other three games in the Splinter Cell series (Splinter Cell, Pandora Tomorrow, and Chaos Theory). However, Double Agent is the first Splinter Cell game to be created by the collaborative works of Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Shanghai, and Ubisoft Annecy (located in France). Each of these studios worked on previous entries in the series, but the three have never joined forces to work on the same game. Because Double Agent is being developed for so many systems and features so much amazing gameplay, it took the combined manpower of all three studios to create the game.

With Double Agent, Ubisoft wanted to do something different, which lead to the idea of your actions determining how Sam was viewed by the terrorists and affecting the outcome of the game. “We started thinking about this game two and half years ago, and our idea was to change the way you played the game from the ground up: We wanted to change the level design, story, gameplay, everything,” said Julian Gerighty, co-producer of Double Agent at the Ubisoft Shanghai Studio, in an interview posted at IGN.com.

Ubisoft also decided to create versions of Double Agent for the next generation consoles (PS3 and Xbox 360), making it the first Tom Clancy game for the systems. These versions take advantage of everything these new consoles have to offer and present the most visually stunning Splinter Cell games ever. Because of their desire to make the game the best it can be, they’ve bumped back Double Agent’s release date from mid-summer to September of 2006.

In addition to the Splinter Cell series, Ubisoft has also created video game series based on Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter concepts, both of which are just as impressive as Splinter Cell. The company is also responsible for other great action hits like Devil May Cry 3 and Resident Evil 4 in addition to creating the hit series Prince of Persia, Myst, and Rayman.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent brings in some interesting new innovations to the series. The biggest innovation is the loyalty system. Because Sam is so deeply undercover, he has no contact with the NSA or Third Echelon. This means he (and you) will have to make decisions based on what’s going on around you and with what information you have. These decisions can either be based on what the terrorist organization wants (thus making Sam a bit more “bad”) or based on Sam’s idea of what the NSA would want him to do (making him more “good”). It’s up to you to decide the fate of innocents, Sam Fisher, and the world.

One of these decision points can be illustrated by a mission where Sam and several of the terrorists have captured a prisoner. Sam is ordered to shoot the tied up man in the head. You have the option of either killing him and keeping your cover or refusing, but if you refuse, one of the other terrorists will simply carry out the deed and then question your loyalty to the organization. It’s difficult decisions like these that make the game so interesting.

Of course, all of these decisions influence the game’s storyline. Some decisions will cause new missions to open up, other missions to suddenly have new objectives, or may even make you skip missions completely. The dialogue, actions of other characters, and scenes you see all change depending on your actions, too. It’s up to you to decide if Sam Fischer stays true to his NSA orders or turns to the dark side. Multiple endings guarantee that you’ll want to play through the game several times to see everything and experience the entire world of Double Agent.

The Story

The storyline of Splinter Cell: Double Agent follows the adventures of Sam Fisher following his daughter’s death. Sam is a lone operative in the NSA’s secret branch of antiterrorism agents known as Third Echelon. These operatives are trained in several different areas, including information-gathering, infiltration, and covert operations, and each is as deadly as an entire squad of regular soldiers. Some of the previous characters introduced in previous games, like Third Echelon member Irving Lambert, appear in Double Agent, although you won’t see as many of the NSA characters since Sam will spend much of the game cut off from them while he’s under cover.

The games are set a few years in the future, so you’ll see some interesting gadgets and weapons in use. Likewise, the political climate of the world is close to, but not exactly, like today’s current situation, which creates some interesting twists and guarantees more than a few surprises. Double Agent picks up after the previous Splinter Cell games, but you don’t need to be familiar with their plots to enjoy this game. Any needed information is in the form of flashbacks or discussed in the instruction manual.

The storyline of each of the Splinter Cell games is approved by New York Times best-selling thriller novelist Tom Clancy.

Although Double Agent won’t be released until September of 2006, interest in the game is very high, and, much like the other Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy titles, the game is expected to sell very well and be received by the Tom Clancy community as another great hit. Previous games in the series received many different awards and record-setting reviews.

In the next section, we'll find out what the gameplay is like and what it takes to win.