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Weapon X

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

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Taken from xbox.ign.com


December 15, 2003 - With Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Ubisoft is looking to continue the redefinition of stealth action begun with the original. The follow-up to Sam Fisher's adventures on PS2, Xbox, GameCube and PC promises to offer more stealth-based animation, more interaction between Sam and the game world and a few twists and turns that'll make you love Tom Clancy's universe even more. Online play is the biggest addition, but even starting with the basics of the single player game, we can see Sam Fisher isn't playing around this time.

The arsenal of covert operative moves Sam will have at his disposal in Pandora Tomorrow should be enough to get gamers drawn even deeper into his world of espionage. The split-jump for example was underutilized in the first game, but something tells us it's going to be a huge part of the sequel since you can now shift Sam's weight when he's straddled between two walls and prep him to jump to a higher ledge. It's one of the things you'd expect from a highly trained operative. If he's limber enough to support his own weight whilst doing the splits between two vertical surfaces, he should be able to maneuver his way up even higher in that situation. Now he can.

Sam can now perform a "SWAT" move across open doorways that looks like a crouched, whirling move designed to minimize his vulnerability and maximize his lethality if occupants of said room were to notice him. It's another one of those intuitive changes the developers have made that further drives home the point of stealth-action. An operative as dangerous as Sam Fisher would be a lot more careful sneaking around hostile environments and his new move across open doorways just makes a lot of sense.

In the limited demo we saw of Pandora Tomorrow, Fisher had a whole rundown of moves he could perform while on a moving train but it's not clear how these moves might be applied to other parts of the game, if at all. We saw him climb out of a window of a moving train and maneuver underneath, on top of and along the side of the passenger car. The third person camera re-positions itself to provide the most dramatic angle, but you still have some camera control on the right analog stick since there are some significant gameplay elements to deal with once you've gotten over the fact that your character is hanging outside the window of a speeding bullet train.




The original game on Xbox made many gamers into smarter players and left a lot of people behind. While the developers claim the difficulty level of Pandora Tomorrow has been mainstreamed --we can't say dumbed-down-- you will still need a thinking cap to get through this new Splinter Cell. On the train level mentioned above, you'll have to be mindful of the folks --both bad guys and civilians-- inside the train who might have strong reactions to a guy hanging outside the window of a speeding bullet train. In fact the addition of civilians and other traffic in Pandora Tomorrow should add another huge layer of strategy to your game as you guide Sam Fisher on his latest mission. You'll have to time your movements along the outside of the train to avoid lights shining on you and reading the head movements of Aunt Sally sitting at her window seat wouldn't hurt either since you don't want to alarm her. She'll alert the guards and then there's real trouble to be had.

Enemies will be a lot smarter this time around. They'll carry flashlights, react to red dots on their chests from the new laser targeting device on your weapons (!) and they'll even go get armor to toughen themselves up. The guards and bad guys you'll be dealing with will react and stay alarmed when they see Sam or his handiwork (dead bodies). If you continue to do things that confirm their suspicion --like killing their buddies-- they'll go grab armor to better deal with your lethal ass. If you keep it up, they'll throw on a helmet as well. The point is, when the enemy is on you, they stay on you and equip themselves to deal with the threat that is Sam Fisher. The point of all this is to compel you to keep it stealthy and to move through the mission on your own terms rather than reacting to what the bad guys throw at you







Sam's weapons will have secondary functions now and you will be able to equip them and many of his gadgets on the fly this time around without pausing to navigate an inventory menu. Also, there will be a rumble on your controller should you come close to a mine or other booby trap somewhere out in the environment. We don't think Sam has a spider sense or anything like that, but a little rumble never hurt anybody. Another new twist to the main campaign will be time sensitive missions that will put a little more pressure on you to move swiftly and decisively.

Many of the solo game enhancements will carry over to the all-new online component of the game. Pandora Tomorrow is hitting every platform at the same time and they'll all have online capabilities including the GameCube. In a storyline that will be explained at a later date, the online game will have you competing as a separate branch of Third Echelon against mercenaries. The multiplayer component will be limited to four players; a team of spies and a team of mercenaries will each have specific gear, abilities and parameters. As an SC operative you'll have to hack a specific number of computers and you'll play from the conventional third person perspective. The mercenary team will play from the first person perspective but will come with a ton of equipment designed to compensate for their lack of perception. The intent is to give veteran SC players an experience that looks and feels like the main campaign but with much smarter AI (assuming your playmates aren't idiots) when you're playing as a spy while also giving players a new perspective on the Splinter Cell universe by playing FPS style as a mercenary. You can customize the game to specify the number of players on each team (2v2, 1v3) as well as the number of kills and respawns available and how much time will be allowed each round.


With the exception of a fancy drop kick off of a wall, the spies will have the basic moves and equipment that Sam has in the single player game. Mercenaries, however are equipped like super high level guards in the single player game. They'll come with flashlights, motion sensors, sonar devices, proximity mines with laser triggers, specialized vision modes and electroshock weaponry among other gadgets. Since spies will be trying to use stealth just like in the regular solo game, the detection equipment used by mercenaries is crucial to keep things balanced and they have a pair of special vision modes that should do just that. The proximity mines will allow the mercs to set traps around objectives like computer terminals and will force spies to use plenty of thermal vision. The catch here is the mercs also have a special vision mode that allows them to see any and all electronic devices being used and this includes those wonderful night/thermal goggles Third Echelon is so fond of. Surrounding a terminal with proximity mines and simply camping out near that area with your electro-vision mode on will be good strategy early on.






The other special vision mode motion sensor the mercenaries use will turn their HUD red and will only display, in clear focus, objects that are moving in their field of vision. So even if a spy is concealed in the shadows and moving stealthy along, the motion-sensor mode will make them standout like it was broad daylight. All of the advantages the mercs have to undo the spies' stealth may seem unfair, but the Third Echelon kids have an electro-shock weapon that undoes a lot of that unfairness. This round will cause the mercenaries and their controllers to shake and seize when you hit 'em in the body. However when you hit them in the head, their entire HUD is wiped clean and none of their toys work. So you get the same advantage by hitting human players in the head as you do in hitting CPU controlled bad guys in the noggin.

The scopes and binoculars both spies and mercs can use will allow for multiple levels of zoom and the closes zoom will let you hear what that character is saying.

The ultimate expression of the online spy versus spy thing however is grabbing a mercenary from behind, putting a gun to his head and whispering something cruel to them. Any line from "Scarface," "Carlito's Way," or "Necessary Roughness" will do, but the point is they'll hear your cruelty in real time thanks to the Xbox and PS2 headsets. PC and GameCube owners? You'll know how that's going to work when we do.

IGN will have more on Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow in a matter of weeks because this is a huge game and all good things come to those who wait.

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*fixed, I think.





for some reason, it’s taking forever to load the pictures. If you have patience, you’ll see some nice screenshots. If not, just go to pandoratomorrow.com for a nice trailer and some screenshots.

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Originally posted by Grandola

seems like a fun game. is that for the pc?


I know that it’s dropping for ps2, xbox, and gamecube simultaneously this spring. It will definitely be released on pc, I just don’t know when. Maybe this spring as well>


Hell yeah, this’ll be fun. The online idea is magnificent – NSA agents vs. mercs. Third person vs. first person. Stealth vs. armed to the teeth killing machines.

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Splinter Cell. I don't know what is so fucking great about this game. The only fun I had during the whole game (first installment) was the training mode, after that I was bored as fuck. I'm sure this one isn't going to be too much better, I will still give it a go, but I'm not expecting much.

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