Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D (Nintendo 3DS) review:

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
  • Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
  • Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
  • Ubisoft Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5

Pros

  • Stealth kills will always be awesome

Cons

  • Wow is that 3D and video footage bad

Bottom Line

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is a reasonable Nintendo 3DS game to buy at launch. The core gameplay is fun; its only real problem is that it's as typical as launch titles get -- a little hurried and rough around the edges, and it fails to take full advantage of the new technology.

Would you buy this?

Stealthy spy games should be all kinds of awesome on the 3DS. From creeping around in the dark to sniping unaware guards from a mile off, the 3D effect should heighten the immersion greatly. Unfortunately, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D doesn't quite pull it off. It's a very playable game, but it's also easy to tell that it was rushed to hit the Nintendo 3DS launch date.

The problem is the 3D. Rather than build the game from scratch, Ubisoft appears to have reused existing assets and then '3Ded' them. The result is not unlike comparing Clash of the Titans to Avatar — a cheap attempt to cash-in on the success of a film custom-made for 3D. Where the latter makes great use of camera angles and depth to create a spectacular experience, the former looks like a pop-up book, and this is where Splinter Cell sits. Although it is indeed 3D, it's a layered effect — so it feels like you're looking at flat characters nonetheless.

Immediately this kills the immersion factor, and the video sequences are so grainy as to be truly painful. Unfortunately because of this Splinter Cell is nowhere near as cinematic as it should be, which means that the upcoming Metal Gear Solid suddenly looks that much better.

The gameplay itself is fine. It's heavy on the stealth — it's possible to run out of ammo and need to restart the game from the very first mission if you're not careful to take peons out from behind with your knife.

And, more importantly, the 3DS's buttons are used well. This is a reasonably complex game, with a lot of button inputs, but between the touchscreen and the face buttons Ubisoft has done a truly great job with the controls.

Though missions tend to be more linear than is comfortable for a stealth game (we would prefer a few more routes to tackle objectives), they are well structured, with plenty of opportunities for hiding in shadows, taking out lights, and hacking computers. The enemies are not the brightest sparks around, and if you do inadvertently make them aware of your presence, hiding in the shadows for a few moments will make them forget you are around.

The gadgets you get to play with, while not as cool as James Bond's toys, are still fun, and you'll feel like a secret agent. While its utility is debatable, the optical cam you can use to get a sneak look into a room before you enter the door deserves a special mention, because the camera is controlled by the 3DS' motion sensors.

Other than that and the 3D effect, there's no use of any of the 3DS' other features — no StreetPass, no online play. It's a lonely experience, and while we can't see how those features would work at any rate it's still a little disappointing.

Though Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell works, it's almost certainly going to be forgotten once Metal Gear Solid arrives. It's feels like it was rushed out the door to be ready for the 3DS' launch. Still fun, but flawed.

Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook

Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide

Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Read more on these topics: Nintendo 3DS games, games, Nintendo 3DS
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?