This is my ongoing exploration of the Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell games, played in release order. I will chronicle my playthrough of each title in turn and discuss any recurring themes and noteworthy events. This time I finish Conviction.
Escaping the exploding Third Echelon building after discovering it was Lambert’s plan to pretend Sarah was dead, Sam was on his way to stop one of the three EMPs set up to disguise the assassination of the president…
Arriving at the Michigan Ave Reservoir, I found it crawling with Black Arrow mercs. With a grenade and a number of bullets, I took them down and had to sneak over to an officer to interrogate him. He told me that the scientist that Prentiss brought from White Box was inside, and would be disposed of after the EMPs went off.
Going around to the left side, I climbed a pipe and went in through a window. Several mercs were testing a much smaller EMP inside the building, so I shot it and dropped it on a pair of them. I hopped up onto a pipe, intending on climbing across the room, but the temptation to shoot them all from my perch was too enticing. After a couple of them were down, I had to jump down and hide in cover while shooting the rest.
Heading down inside the facility, I managed to avoid detection until I accidentally discharged my firearm. I grenaded a pair of them and shot another before ducking into cover, managing to kill the final two and heading further inside. Prentiss was holding the scientist at gunpoint, so I went up some stairs to stay out of sight. He taunted me even as I walked across the gantry above them, getting right above him before shooting him in the head, then the last of his men.
The scientist explained that there were two generators, and taking out only one of them would trigger the other, and thus set off the EMP. They had to both be taken out at once, which Sam was relying on Victor Coste to do. He had gone to extract Sarah on Grim’s orders, which I would soon learn he was doing via helicopter.
Leaving the basement of the facility, I finally saw just how big the directional EMP was, and wondered quite how it was constructed without anyone noticing. I grabbed a merc to use as a human shield, and shot the hell out of his mates before marking down the coordinates of the first generator. Unfortunately, a bunch more of them stood between me and the second one.
Now armed with a shotgun, I waded through Black Arrow to their underground parking lot, which was filled to bursting with SUVs and mercs. I decided to do what Chaos Theory had taught me, and avoid a fight, by sneaking past them. I was almost spotted, so set off my portable EMP a couple of times. I was spotted just as I left - though an attack helicopter made sure I wasn’t pursued by firing a missile at the structure I had just left!
Staying in cover as best I could, I shot some men before dashing inside a building for cover. The helicopter didn’t like that, blowing the wall off so it could still get me. I traded fire with some more mercs, finally taking them out with bullets and explosives, and reaching the second generator. As the attack chopper got me in its sights, Coste arrived. He blew up the chopper, then the two generators, before landing to reunite me with Sarah.
We took off and stayed above the area of effect from the two remaining EMPs as they went off. Followed shortly by an RPG being fired from near the White House, where we were headed, and making the helicopter crash. Thankfully everyone was fine, but I had a job to do. An unpaid one that I likely wouldn’t get credit for, but a job nonetheless.
Black Arrow arrived promptly, and I ended them with grenades and my handgun before heading into the streets. I was still several blocks away from the White House, so got to see the devastation left in the EMP’s wake. Crashed cars, things exploding and people weeping for their loved ones.
I took out a couple of patrols along my route, one by hiding literally above them and shooting down at them, before finding the route to the White House blockaded. There were civilians and a whole bunch of Black Arrow, so I tried to sneak around to get past without being spotted. This did not pan out.
Several explosions, shootings and stabbings later, I finally reached the inner cordon. More Black Arrow stood between me and the front door of the White House, so I murdered them quite loudly. They knew I was coming, so I didn’t see a real need to avoid it.
Grim told me the front door was blocked, but she arranged for the garden doors to be opened - by sending men to kill me. I shot them in quite a messy display of failure on my part, before heading inside. Parts of the building were billowing smoke, and there were gunshots and screaming, so I had to work quickly.
The first two men I came across were Third Echelon, but they died like the rest for supporting Black Arrow in this. On my way to the Oval Office, I was to secure the vice president who was being watched by Black Arrow, ready for him to take over as president.
After clearing a couple of large rooms with gunfire, explosives and chandeliers, I reached the VP. A remote mine and couple of headshots cleared the room, ready for us to have a chat. He claimed he was safe and bulletproof, so Sam shot him in the kneecaps.
Black Arrow stormed the room, but with more remote mines and bullets they were soon dispatched. I was really regretting not using the remote mines more up to now, as I went to meet Grim to protect the president…
Deciding to avoid the stairs, given the amount of noise I could hear nearby, I went down an elevator shaft. It was a single story drop, so I climbed out and ducked behind a wall while I checked things out with my sonar goggles. The kitchen was full of men with guns, so I slipped around the corner, and behind them all. They were watching the staircase, so missed me completely.
Quite probably the sole surviving member of the secret service was gunned down by a turret in front of me, so I ducked from cover to cover to avoid a similar fate. A couple of remote mines, and a close quarters killing later, the ambush that met me was taken care of and I went around to take care of the turret operator with a grenade.
As I went through the hallways, I was ambushed three times. My shotgun and I made short work of them, and I found a room where a shootout was taking place. The Black Arrows that were taking part must have won, because as soon as I threw a grenade the Secret Service members were all dead. I shotgunned the surviving mercs before meeting up with Grim.
She shot me in the shoulder and led me to the Oval Office, where Reed grandstanded a little. Apparently the president had wanted to cut Third Echelon’s funding - well that wouldn’t have been necessary if he hadn’t blown up that lavish office building that had the huge statue in the lobby… As he came close and held a gun to my head, I grabbed him. Grim and I shot his men, and knocked Reed on his arse.
Sam tried to get answers from him, such as how Megiddo was involved in all of this. The only thing he gave up was that he was the mole that Lambert had suspected, and thus the one who was responsible for his past three years of grief. The army came in and extracted the president, with her basically telling them to ignore Fisher, Grímstóttir and Reed. Once she was away, I shot Reed in the head.
Things ended with Coste explaining that Sam had taken Sarah on vacation, as the most important thing in life was family. And Sam had called Coste a brother, so those explosions that had literally just started? Was probably him coming to save his family.
Such a good game. I haven’t had this much fun since Chaos Theory, I’ll be quite honest. Of course, the timeline isn’t helped by Lambert now having died in New York, despite my killing him in a flashback which took place in New Orleans… At least they mentioned right at the end that this game took place three years after Double Agent, which makes this game the first one to take place in the year it was released.
The voice acting was superb throughout, and the graphical upgrades were fantastic. I loved the objectives flashing up on the sides of buildings and such, it was such a neat touch. It felt much more like a modern Splinter Cell game than Double Agent did. I just hope the boob physics don’t return for the next game - Grim and Sarah distracted me far too much...
Join me next time for Splinter Cell Blacklist, where I’ll be finishing this series.