|Dev: Ubisoft Montreal|
|Release: April 10, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Drug Reference, Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence|
The only two things that really work well in Splinter Cell 3D are the controls and the 3D visuals. Though I wouldn't rush out to buy the game because of these two components, they do give me hope that the 3DS will see some decent third-person shooters in the future, as these are both areas where shooters feel flat on the original DS. The controls in particular are quite good, and are surprisingly intuitive. You use the slide pad to move around, and the face buttons to move the camera. Though this method does take some getting used to, once you get the hang of it, it replicates the twin-stick controls of the original fairly well. The shoulder buttons are then used to fire weapons, and if you need to change your weapon or interact with an object (such as a door or health pack) you can use the touch-screen. Of course, the only hiccup here is switching from the buttons to the stylus quickly, but if you can use your weapons strategically and clear a room before you switch weapons or pick up a health pack, you won't have to fumble around with the stylus during shootouts.
The visuals also look great, and certainly show off the 3DS' capacity to create almost measurable depth in complex setpieces. Enemies stick out nicely against varied environments, and though nothing really "pops" out of the background, the depth certainly helps shooting feel very precise, and is great for peering around objects in the foreground. Though the game doesn't have the highly technical visuals that we've seen in games like Super Street Fighter IV and Samurai Warriors: Chronicles, it does a good job of mimicking the original's visuals and sports a fair amount of detail.
Splinter Cell 3D isn't a bad game, but it certainly is a missed opportunity. The Nintendo 3DS brings a lot to the table besides 3D, but it seems that the people behind Splinter Cell: 3D believe that adding a third dimension to the visuals is the only thing required to make a successful 3DS-make. This is not the case. Though the 3D visuals undeniably add something to the Splinter Cell experience (and it's nice to have a functional shooter on the 3DS) too much has been stripped away from the core game to make this worth your $40.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer