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 continue Conviction.
After a brief stint in captivity, Grim had let Sam escape the airfield where he was kept prisoner, and he had made his way to a meeting with Victor Coste, an old friend from his unit during Desert Storm…
Entering the county fair, Victor warned that he was being watched. I would have to take out his spotters - quietly - before we could speak. Luckily there were only three of them, and even more luckily they kept patrolling through various shady places. I carefully snuck up behind each of them in turn and interrogated them.
Asking as nicely as possible, I got each of them to tell me why they were tailing Victor, and as we suspected it was due to his association with me. Victor told me to meet him inside the Washington Monument’s office, so I continued through the fair and out the other side. Around to the left, I went through the door and met the man himself.
He gave me an EMP-shielded backpack, my favourite pistol, as well as a portable short-range EMP generator. He also gave me a file about an R&D house called White Box, that was contracting for the Department of Defense to work on EMP technology. I thanked him, and he sent me on my way just as an announcement went out saying that there was a gas leak in the fair, and that people should evacuate. I ran out of the office and dove for cover as armed men flooded the fair.
Setting off the EMP, I crept past them, not wanting to goad them at this stage. I managed to get pretty far before the lights began coming back on, so I set it off again and continued to sneak. With one soldier in my way, I decided to shoot him in the head so that I could get past.
Unfortunately, it went pear-shaped and resulted in a bit of a firefight. I set off the EMP a third time and took out the handful of enemies, before rushing past reinforcements. I was almost out, and decided to set off the EMP again - but hadn’t realised that it was out of ammo. I shot a gas canister, blowing up three soldiers, and alerting the bunch that were to my left in the car park.
An extended firefight took place before I could make it to the exit point and get the hell out of there. I headed to White Box, as per Victor’s suggestion, to find that a private military company, Black Arrow, had been clearing the place out. I shot the lone guard at the gate, and went over to the building. I climbed up a pipe, making my way up to an open ventilation area. Once inside the facility itself, I had to avoid being spotted by scientists who were working in the window-filled offices. I’ve no idea why there were windows, given the fact the windows faced the inside of the EMP-shielded double-walled outer building…
After making my way down various pipes and gantries, I encountered a locked door. Without thinking, I kicked it in and alerted the three Black Arrow mercenaries inside. I ducked beside the doorway and quickly gunned them down, then went inside. Luckily, it was the security room I needed, where I could access the cameras and discover what my objective was to be.
Cycling the cameras, I overheard a couple of scientists complaining that a man called Galliard was taking all of their research notes and deleting their local copies. As anyone with a computer knows, it’s very bad practice to delete your backups… He had apparently bought White Box, and was also in charge of the Black Arrow PMC - hence why they were here.
Finally, I found a trio of scientists working on something that looked like a bomb, guarded by mercs. Until Major Robertson shot one of them, and kidnapped another as she was needed at “the bravo site”. I had to get down there, and save the remaining scientist before he finished off whatever he was doing and got murdered.
Leaving the office, I made my way along gantries, pipes and various offices. I reached the “bomb” room and took out the mercs, then spoke to the scientist. He told me that it was an EMP bomb, and let me into the elevator to head up to Robertson’s office so that I could delete all of the information he had been collecting.
I tried to stay quiet as I took people down, but after a firefight in a stairwell, I found a shotgun. This was a game changer as I began blasting away at the mercs, no longer taking long seconds to murder but instead being flung across the rooms.
Reaching a door that I couldn’t open, so climbed up and over a nearby pipe instead. Unfortunately, I ran out of shotgun shells, so switched to one of the rifles the mercs were using. It was such a change, being loud instead of stealthy, I quite enjoyed it. Along the way, Grim connected me to Sarah for a few seconds - quite literally - which gave me pause.
See, twice now I had been shown scenes of an encounter that was going to happen between myself and Grim where she would shoot me at point blank range. Before reaching White Box, the time stamp had said it was 24 hours in the future. Was Grim still playing me, not letting me hear Sarah’s voice for long enough to confirm it was definitely her? I had been doing Grim’s bidding since Malta, after all…
Eventually getting into Robertson’s office, I connected Grim to his computer and she began downloading all of the data. She told me to wait by the computer so that nobody cancelled the link, though she didn’t know how long it would take. I estimated four waves of mercs.
As I had suspected, four waves of mercs came, using the stairs, the elevator and the two doors at either side of the office. Somehow, I survived and managed to repel them despite using up my remote mines very early on. Grim told me that she was finished, but was being traced and I had to stop that before her cover - and Sarah’s - were blown.
Heading back down to the ground floor, and the big EMP bomb, I contacted Victor who assured me that the EMP would be confined to White Box due to the building’s shielding. I entered the big room, the scientist had made himself scarce, when the lights turned on and mercs flooded in. Robertson was at the far end, and taunted me, so I blasted his men and went up to the EMP controls. He assured me that it was useless, so I activated it and it electrocuted him to death.
The doors at the other end of the room slid open as I was running towards them, so I dove behind cover and let mercs swarm inside. I snuck past them and hopped over a wall, avoiding being spotted as I went back into the car park and away. I had to find Galliard and ask him some questions at the Lincoln Memorial…