February 23rd, 2006, 18:14 Posted By: wraggster
Source - IGN
<blockquote>Fans of covert action know that the Splinter Cell franchise is on its way to Sony's handheld. The title, of course, is Splinter Cell Essentials, and it blends all-new content with a few missions from previous games. Basically, it's the same caliber title we'd expect from a console release, only optimized for the PSP. So in this regard, fans don't need to lose any sleep over getting a slimmed down version of the console games - pretty much everything made the translation from console to portable.
We talked about all of Sam Fisher's moves, gadgets and weapons in an earlier preview, but here's a recap should anyone need one: You can still use all of Sam's gadgets, including different visions modes and high-tech weaponry. You still get to use the SC-20K covert assault rifle. It's the covert operative's best friend and this wouldn't be a Splinter Cell game without it. You also have access to a few accessories, such as the foregrip and launcher attachments. The former offers better aim through improved handling, while the latter lets you fire five different types of projectiles. There's the sticky camera, sticky shocker, gas grenade, diversion camera and ringfoil. Most of these are pretty self-explanatory, but for anyone that's slightly confused, the ringfoil incapacitates enemies at a distance.
Virtually every maneuver from previous games makes it intact. To start, Sam can crouch, back to walls (to avoid detection) and climb ladders, pipes and cables. He can also shimmy along walls, grab on to ledges and move "hand over hand" along horizontal pipes and cables. The more advanced move set, including rolling, split jumps and half split jumps, are also available. Each of these moves actually works well within the game and feels just as intuitive as you'd hope. And even though the game has been made with mobile gamers in mind, just know that you'll have plenty of opportunities to use all of these moves.
To prove a point, Ubisoft let us play through a few levels with some of these techniques, gadgets and weapons for ourselves. The first, which takes place in Columbia, sends you back in time to when Sam Fisher was part of the Navy SEALS. His commander, Douglas Shetland, has been taken hostage by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia. The American base commander orders a rescue operation, but they'll take far too long in reaching the enemy base. As such, Sam needs to go against the advice of base personnel and conduct a search and rescue operation by himself.
This mission helps acquaint players with the basics needed in later levels. In order to sneak out of the American base, for instance, you need to use shadows and foliage, not to mention remain relatively silent as you creep around. On your way out of the base, you'll also need to pay attention to troop movement and move only when their backs are turned. Of course, you can also find light sources (such as kerosene lamps) and disable them to cast shadows over the environment. One of the first things you need to do in the mission is to evade two guards and make your way across a bridge. Once over, you need to climb a nearby wall by finding some vines, which places you right on the outskirts of the enemy camp.</blockquote>
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