Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - GBA

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Also for: N-Gage
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Strategy: Stealth
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 6 Jun 2003 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 7+
Connectivity: GC/GBA Link Cable


Who would have thought that the stealthy delights of Ubi Soft's recent killer title could ever translate to a portable format? Well, somehow they've managed it, and you can now take on the role of ace field operative of the secret NSA sub-agency, Sam Fisher, and indulge in a wealth of shadowy sneakery and subterfuge on your humble Game Boy Advance.

As the story goes, two CIA operatives have mysteriously disappeared in the Soviet republic of Georgia, so you are subsequently deployed to go and recover them. The first priority is to find the CIA contact of T'bilisi but, unfortunately, somebody is trying to destroy his archives by setting the building on fire. You therefore have to hurry to retrieve the secret documents before the building collapses. From here a much deeper conspiracy begins to unravel itself as you soon learn of a plot that threatens to destabilise the world order and spark nuclear conflict.

Unlike its 3D cousins, Splinter Cell on the GBA appears courtesy of a side scrolling, 2D adventure. Although unable to compete graphically with the other versions, the game still manages to retain all the stealth and excitement, featuring a comprehensive list of techniques that includes sniping, lock-picking, zip lining, rappelling, and hiding. Let's also not forget the wealth of wonderful gadgets. Everything imaginable features here to help you along the way, such as night/thermal vision, prototype weapons (pistol with silencer, modular assault rifle) and surveillance gear like the sticky cam.

There are 11 missions in all (featuring one training level and a special mission) that see you visiting eight realistic environments, recognisable from the 128-bit versions of the game. Those of you with a copy of the GameCube version will be rather chuffed to learn that a further five maps can be unlocked by linking the two machines together.

Although it doesn't exactly have a great deal of competition, Splinter Cell is clearly the stealthiest of stealth games available for the GBA. It's a concept that works well for the little machine and is something we should be seeing more of.


Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - GBA Artwork