Splinter Cell and Rainbow 6 impressions

Written by Wil Harris

May 12, 2006 | 19:43

Tags: #double-agent #splinter-cell #vegas #xbox-360

Companies: #e3

Ubisoft has a couple of next-gen updates of exising franchises on its stand, and we were keen to see how they checked out.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent is on Xbox 360 and PC in September(ish). We know that many bit-tech readers are big fans of Sam Fisher and his stealthy antics, and our first thoughts are that you aren't going to be disappointed.

The new graphics engine looks spangly. It doesn't look quite as good as in the screenshots that have been released, but it looks a lot better than almost anyhting else out there. In fact, the engine reminded us a great deal of the graphical look and feel of the Xbox 360 version of Ghost Recon, which leads us to wonder whether the same backend is actually being used to power both. Certainly, the character detailing, texture resolution and high dynamic range lighting are equisite.

Gameplay-wise, things are much the same as they always have been. Sam creeps around, takes out enemies and accomlishes objectives. What more do you want? Ubisoft suggest that the major gameplay innovation is the in-depth, branching plotline, but we didn't get much of a chance to see that. There also appear to be a lot more outdoor levels than before, with Sam actually seeing daylight for a change. All in all, it seems that if you are a Splinter Cell fan, you're going to go nuts over this.

Rainbow 6: Vegas is, thankfully, a title that really does look as good as the first screenshots suggested. In the level we saw, the squad has to recue hostages from inside a hotel tower. After deploying on the roof and taking out guards on the floor below, our heroes abseiled down the outside of the tower, only to come crashing in through the windows of the floor below and take out a bunch more guards.

We also saw how the team-based gamplay works, with more emphasis being put on giving orders on the fly this time around. The team was ordered to storm one entrance of a building, whilst the player snuck round the side and caught the enemy in crossfire.

The 360 version appears to have a lot of the pre-fight tactical planning removed to make it easier to get into. We suspect that the PC version will have this put back in.

We can't wait to get more in depth with both these games, and we'll be sure to keep you updated when we do. Are you excited by the prospect of these big titles? Let us know over in the forums.

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