While the original gameplay demo helped develop the personal storyline of the game -- Sam Fisher is on the hunt for the man who caused his daughter's death -- a greater conspiracy and global threat exists. A series of EMP Bombs threaten the Capitol City, and it's up to Sam to abort the danger.
As promised, Sam's goggles have returned. Sam's specs now function more like sonar, allowing him to see (and mark) enemies through walls. Fellow Joystiq staffer Ludwig Kietzmann asked the obvious question, "Did you play Batman: Arkham Asylum?" They did. Sam's cover system has also seen an upgrade, allowing him to move between shielded points by pointing to a new location and tapping a button. It's quick, it's simple and more importantly, it's silent.
Each of the room's I encountered were filled with enemies. If increasing tension was a goal for Conviction
, Ubisoft Montreal looks to be delivering on that promise. There were two important mechanics at play: The new "Mark and Execute" feature and interrogations.
Mark and Execute seems easy, but players must first get within grasp of an enemy and initiate hand-to-hand combat (pressing X goes for a quick kill, holding the button allows Sam to use an enemy as a human shield). Once an enemy has been taken out, all marked hostiles in the vicinity of Sam's selected weapon will meet similar fates after a press of the Y button.
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Interrogations are a returning concept in Conviction
, but work differently than in previous Splinter Cell
titles. As Sam holds an enemy hostage, the pair automatically exchange dialog. Once all of the necessary information has been extracted, and the hostile has been beaten and bloodied, Sam will dispose of the enemy in a unique way. According to Parizeau, this particular encounter always ends the same way -- with Sam sticking a knife through the reluctant informant's hand.
The first time I attempted a run through the demo ... frankly, it was embarrassing. At one point I thought returning star Michael Ironside would waltz into the room, slap the controller out of my hand and yell at me for making Fisher look so bad. Thankfully, I was able to play the demo again and ultimately saved Sam's (and my) reputation. Oh, and if you can execute all of Sam's abilities gracefully, you will feel like a badass
. There's definitely a learning curve, but it seems manageable even in my brief exposure to a fairly complex demo.Conviction
lands on the Xbox 360 and PC exclusively on February 23, 2010 in North America and February 26, 2010. If Ubisoft Montreal can execute an operation as flawlessly as Fisher, Conviction
could be one of the best action titles on the Xbox 360.