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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent
Information about Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double AgentTom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Double Agent is the fourth installment in the Splinter Cell series of games developed and published by Ubisoft. The series, endorsed by American author Tom Clancy, follows the character Sam Fisher, a "Splinter Cell" employed by a black-ops division of the National Security Agency, dubbed Third Echelon.
Double Agent was released for the Xbox 360 on Oct. 19, 2006 (7 years ago). The PlayStation 2, Xbox and Nintendo GameCube versions were released on Oct. 26, 2006 (7 years ago). The Windows version was released on Nov. 17 and the Wii version on Nov. 28. A PlayStation 3 version was released on Mar. 30, 2007 (6 years ago).
Originally the game was set for a Mar. 2006 (7 years ago) release, but Ubisoft moved the release date to sep. 2006 (7 years ago) in order to have more development time. Ubisoft then released their fiscal quarter results for Q1 2006 (7 years ago) and announced that Splinter Cell Double Agent (0 walls) would be put back at least one month in order to boost Q3 2006 (7 years ago) income.
There are actually two separate versions of Double Agent. One version (Generation Seven version) was made by Ubisoft Shanghai, who developed Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Pandora Tomorrow and was released on the Xbox 360, Windows, and PlayStation 3. The other version (Generation Six version) was made by Ubisoft Montreal (Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls) and Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Chaos Theory) and was released for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Wii. The Generation Seven version features a completely custom engine while the Generation Six version plays more like the classic Splinter Cell games. The games share the same general plot but feature different storylines, plot twists, and levels. Even the levels they share have completely different level designs. They do however, share the same background music and a few cut scenes.
GameplayAs part of the JBA, Sam must complete objectives set by them to gain their trust as well as complete objectives from the NSA. The decisions he has to make will become increasingly difficult as he progresses through the game. Earlier decisions, such as deciding whether or not to free all of the prisoners during the prison breakout, will just affect his score, but as the game progresses, Sam is faced with serious choices that could kill thousands if made wrong, but may blow his cover if he does not do it.
Despite this, Sam must make the JBA trust him, in order to gain access to the restricted areas of their base and complete NSA objectives. If he is seen in restricted areas before he is allowed to go there, it will dramatically affect his trust with the JBA. Similarly, if he is caught using an NSA gadget or picking a lock in JBA HQ, he will be killed on sight.
He is also watched by the JBA in most of his missions, if he is seen completing NSA objectives or is thought to be doing something out of the ordinary, his trust will go down. Killing people apart from those ordered to be taken out will affect his NSA trust in the same way.
PlotThe two versions of the game feature different plot lines. They share many of the same levels, but with completely different designs and in a different order.
SummaryShortly after the events of Choas Theory, Sam Fisher must deal with the recent loss of his daughter to a drunk driving accident. But he has little time to mourn, he soon has to go on an undercover assignment which requires him to pose as a criminal inorder to infiltrate a terrorist group based in the United States. This new mission forces Fisher into a new and very dangerous grey area, where the line between right and wrong is blurred even beyond what Fisher is use to and thousands of innocent lives are in the balance.
Generation Seven version (Xbox 360, Windows & PlayStation 3)The game begins in sep. 2007 (6 years ago), shortly after the events of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Chaos Theory as Sam Fisher and rookie John Hodge are being flown to Iceland to investigate suspicious activities at a geothermal plant. After he averts a missile strike by Islamic terrorists during which John dies, he is met by Colonel Irving Lambert aboard the Osprey to deliver bad news. Sarah Fisher, Sam's only child, has been killed by a drunk driver. Overcome with grief, he is unable to concentrate on his work and is pulled out of active service.
Shortly thereafter, Lambert offers him the rank of a NOC (nonofficial cover operative), hoping that it will help him refocus. NOCs are operatives with backgrounds from both the CIA and NSA, trained to infiltrate organizations for HUMINT purposes. The government denies any involvement in their activities. The NSA stages multiple bank robberies and killings to set up Fisher to infiltrate a domestic terror organization known as John Brown's Army (JBA). He is sent to Ellsworth Prison in Kansas where he is placed in the same cell block as Jamie Washington, a JBA member, and begins digging a tunnel for escape. By Feb. 2008 (5 years ago), Fisher helps Washington escape, and is welcomed into the JBA.
At their compound, Emile Dufraisne, the leader of the JBA, gives Sam the order to shoot Cole Yeagher, the pilot of the helicopter used to escape the prison. If Fisher kills him, he will earn JBA trust and lose NSA trust. If he misses his shot on purpose, Jamie will kill Cole, and Sam will lose a little trust with the JBA. Fisher's decision doesn't affect the rest of the storyline, unlike later decisions. He is then sent on a mission to take over a Russian oil tanker in the Sea of Okhotsk. Sam needs to take over the tanker so that JBA ally Massoud Ibn-Yussif can use it to deliver one of the bombs.
As soon as Fisher is finished, he is quickly flown to the Jin Mao Hotel in Shanghai. CIA agent Hisham Hamza orders him to record a meeting between Emile and a Pakistani Nuclear scientist, Dr. Aswat. During the meeting, Aswat sells Emile several kilograms of red mercury, a fictional explosive material that can detonate with the force of a thermonuclear bomb. With Third Echelon on high alert, Fisher is told to collect a sample from the safe in the meeting room. While he's doing that, Carson Moss radios in and orders him to steal notes from Aswat's hotel room. The NSA then orders the assassination of Dr. Aswat.
With both the red mercury and Dr. Aswat's notes, the JBA constructs a bomb which they wish to test. Emile sends Fisher to Cozumel to blow up a cruise ship. The success of the bomb is determined by the player and is therefore the first of the three major events. Fisher can choose to either let the bomb detonate, maintaining his cover with the JBA, prevent the explosion by jamming the signal, or framing Enrica by using her disarm code, if the player acquires it from her office during the JBA HQ mission. Jamming the signal makes player lose JBA trust, while framing Enrica maintains both NSA and JBA trust. In both of these cases, non-detonation causes Dufraisne to kill Enrica in a fit of anger.
Emile then goes to a meeting in Kinshasa with Alejandro Takfir and Massoud Ibn-Yussif, allies of the JBA. Fisher bugs the meeting and finds out that the three terrorist leaders each have Red Mercury bombs. They plan to destroy Mexico City, Los Angeles and New York City. During the meeting, Hisham Hamza's cover is blown.
Emile orders Fisher to kill Hisham, who has fled to the Congolese presidential palace in Kinshasa. Fisher makes his way through Kinshasa, which is an all-out war zone between government forces and rebels. Fisher takes up a position from the top of a radio tower with a sniper rifle. Fisher may shoot Hisham, but if he spares his life, another section of the level is unlocked where Fisher extracts him safely from the palace. Fisher saves Hisham from the rebels, who took control of the presidential palace and rigged it with explosives.
When Fisher returns to the headquarters, he is ordered to shoot Lambert, who was captured sneaking around the complex. The player can decide to either shoot Lambert or Jamie Washington (the player can also miss their shot on purpose, but this causes Washington to shoot Fisher in the head, killing him instantly). Shooting Lambert will maintain the JBA's trust, while shooting Washington will send the JBA into high alert and reveal Fisher as a traitor. Enrica Villablanca, if she is still alive, discovers Fisher's NOC status, but allows him to pass into the labs underneath the HQ, even giving him his equipment if he does not have it already.
A SWAT team then storms the compound, crashing in through the ceiling. If Sam saves the cruise ship, CIA Agent Hisham, and Lambert, or only two out of three with NSA trust above 33%, then he evades capture and escapes the compound, incapacitating a SWAT officer, and donning his stolen suit. In the unlocked bonus level, the NYPD pursues Fisher through New York, but he boards a stolen Coast Guard boat that Carson Moss is using to deliver the last bomb. Fisher kills Moss, disarms the bomb, and escapes the boat seconds before it is destroyed. This ending is the only one that ends with "To be continued..."
If Sam only saves one out of three, or two out of three with NSA trust below 33%, he is captured by the NYPD, charged with murder and conspiracy to commit terrorism, and pleads 'not guilty'. Before his trial begins, however, Sam breaks out of prison and is on the run. If Sam does not save any of the three, or only one with NSA trust below 33%, he is initially captured by the NYPD, but escapes using a smoke grenade.
Generation Six version (Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube & Nintendo Wii)The game begins shortly after the events of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Chaos Theory as Sam and CIA agent Hisham Hamza are being flown to Iceland to investigate suspicious activities at a geothermal plant. However, the mission is aborted, with Lambert activating a Splinter Cell co-op double team to destroy the plant. Sam is met by Colonel Irving Lambert aboard the Osprey to deliver bad news. Sarah Fisher, Sam's only child, has been killed by a drunk driver. Overcome with grief, he is unable to concentrate on his work and is pulled out of active service.
Lambert offers him the rank of a NOC (nonofficial cover operative), hoping that it will help him refocus. NOCs are operatives with backgrounds from both the CIA and NSA, trained to infiltrate organizations for HUMINT purposes. The government denies any involvement in their activities. The NSA stages multiple bank robberies and killings to set up Fisher to infiltrate a domestic terror organization known as John Brown's Army (JBA). He is sent to Ellsworth Prison in Kansas where he is placed in the same cell block as Jamie Washington, a JBA member. With indirect assistance from a Splinter Cell Co-op double team, Fisher helps Washington escape, and is welcomed into the JBA.
At their compound, Sam finds an e-mail written by JBA member Cole Yeagher. If he chooses to send this information to the NSA, they will extract Yeagher for interrogation; if he chooses to send it to the JBA, Emile kills him.
Sam is then sent to hijack a train in Grand Central Station, carrying a large sum of money, gold, and jewelry. Because Lambert pretends to be an arms dealer, Sam has access to his NSA equipment.
After the JBA constructs a bomb using red mercury, Emile sends Fisher to Cozumel, Mexico to test it by blowing up a cruise ship. If the player chooses to sabotage the bomb detonation, Sam and Enrica are severely beaten. Unlike the other version, this decision does not affect the ending of the game.
Sam is then sent on a mission to take over a Russian oil tanker in the Sea of Okhotsk. Two computers on the tanker have an e-mail to Emile from an anonymous sender who intends to blow Lambert's cover as an arms dealer.
Emile then goes to a meeting in Kinshasa with Allejandro Tawkfir and Massoud Ibn-Yussif, allies of the JBA, to buy more red mercury. He orders Fisher to kill Hisham. If the player lets him go, he will receive an adrenaline syringe, which does not make an appearance for the rest of the game. Fisher uncovers information that sets up a mission for a Splinter Cell co-op double team to sabotage a chemical bunker owned by Takfir. An e-mail on Massoud's computer reveals that there is a mole inside the NSA.
When Fisher returns to the headquarters, he discovers that Lambert has been taken hostage, and the terrorists are about to send off the Red Mercury. Sam has to choose whether to place information on the JBA server backing up Lambert's cover, or plant information that proves he is with the NSA. At the end of the mission, Director Williams seems strangely indifferent to the death of Lambert, if the player chooses that route. He can also choose to disable two of the red mercury bombs.
Unlike the other version, regardless of whether Lambert is saved or not, the mission starts with the JBA discovering that Sam is a spy. Williams authorizes the Fifth Freedom and orders Sam to kill all the top-ranking members of the JBA. Enrica, unable to kill Fisher, helps him by setting off the sprinklers in one room. After Sam kills Emile, and disables the last bomb, Enrica comes looking for him, and is shot by a Splinter Cell agent. Out of anger, Sam hides underneath the snow, then jumps out and slits the agent's throat as he walks by. Sam then removes the subdermal for his own cochlear implant using his knife. He accuses Williams of murdering Enrica and vows revenge; Williams says that they will find him first.
If Sam disarms the bombs in Nashville and Los Angeles, the end newscast will say that a potential terrorist attack has been stopped. If only one of the bombs is disarmed, the newscast will report on a bomb, whichever one was not disarmed, exploding and killing many. If neither of the bombs are disarmed, the newscast will say that two bombs have gone off in Nashville and Los Angeles, killing many people. If Nashville is destroyed, it is also noted that the President has been killed during his visit. He is succeeded by his Vice President.
ReceptionThe United Kingdom, American, and Australian versions of the Official Xbox Magazine gave the Xbox 360 edition of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Double Agent a 9 out of 10. The UK magazine said that it was "rupturing quality and oozing tension", calling it "stealth gaming of the highest calibre, full of imagination and augmented by an excellent two-way Trust system that leaves you pondering every choice you make and then having to deal with the consequences." The UK OXM also gave the PlayStation 2 version an 8 out of 10.
IGN gave the Xbox and Xbox 360 version of Double Agent an "Outstanding" 9.0 out of 10, the PlayStation 2 version an 8.7, the Windows version a 9.0, the Wii version a 5.5 for poor graphics and motion sensing, and the PlayStation 3 version a 7.9 for degraded particle effects. TeamXbox.com rated it 9.1 out of 10, USA Today 9 out of 10, GameTrailers.com 8.9 out of 10, and 1Up.com a "Dynamite" 8 out of 10.
Nintendo Power gave the GCN version 7.2 out of 10 and the Wii version 6.0 out of 10.
GameSpot reviewed each version separately, giving the Xbox and Xbox 360 version a "Great" 8.5, the Windows version a "Great" 8.0 noting "Some issues with stability and graphical performance", the PlayStation 2 version a "Great" 8.2, the PlayStation 3 version a "Great" 8.0, the Wii version a "Fair" 6.2, and the Gamecube version a "Fair" 6.7. The major differences between them are in the online multiplayer, graphics and the controls.
GameSpy gave the Windows version 2.5 out of 5 stars, citing many bugs, inconsistent graphics, and high system requirements.
Despite all the improvements, the "Splinter Cell Versus community" was not very enthusiastic about Double Agent Versus mode, preferring the previous opus Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell (4 walls): Chaos Theory. Hyper's Dylan Burns commends the game for its great looks, "moral ramifications [and] branching objectives". However, he criticises it for the "same old trial and error gameplay, it's over too quickly".
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