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.
Chasing Nikoladze’s breadcrumbs had taken me across Virginia, but thanks to the encryption key Sam had obtained, we were closing on his trail, with the latest hints headed for the Chinese embassy in Myanmar…
Sam was dropped off in an alleyway with instructions not to kill anyone, nor raise any alarms. Luckily I was given some new toys -- distraction cameras which sprayed knock-out gas, and a smoke grenade. I was also told that Wilkes Jr, shot by Russian mercenaries in Part Four, had died from his wounds. I went over a barrier, where there were two security personnel patrolling. I took them down carefully and hid the bodies before continuing into a building and up a ladder. The next alleyway had a trio of security men, so I used my sticky shockers to take them down to the end of the alley.
There were two men patrolling one end of the street, another manning a security checkpoint at the opposite end. I waited for them to turn around, and darted through the shadows. My target was an open manhole cover which had a floodlight trained on it, luckily when I shot it out nobody heard and I went down.
There were three men down there, so I followed them as they swept the area. I shot a floodlight, alerting the one at the back of the pack, who came back to check the area. I gassed him with a diversion camera and went for the next guy, who fell to the same gadget.
I left the third man and went up a nearby ladder and out of the sewers. There was a ladder up onto some scaffolding, so I went up it but the wooden boards creaked as I jumped to hang from a pipe. I stayed motionless as the two alerted men below began to search. One came up the ladder right behind me, but due to the low light level didn’t see me.
Once they had returned to normal, I went across the pipe and in through an open window -- well, there was no window there so technically it was an open window frame… I had to shimmy up a pipe, which was where I found the CIA contact who could tell me how to infiltrate the embassy. I was to use my laser mic to see what I could hear.
I rappelled down the side of the building and into an alleyway. The embassy was nearby, so I only had a few men between myself and the compound, through a few connected alleyways. I took out one with a torch, and snuck past the next one to go up a ladder and inside a building. I was almost spotted by someone stood out on the balcony I had to get onto, but since it was too dark and he didn’t have a torch, I simply shot him with an airfoil round to knock him out. I slid down a nearby zipwire and avoided another man as I slipped into an alleyway.
There was someone wandering around a fire escape -- up one ladder, down the other and back again. I shot a couple of lights, making him come back towards me, and snuck underneath him. Colonel Lambert warned that I wouldn’t have another opportunity to sneak in, if I didn’t go in with the laundry truck the CIA asset had told me about.
As I exited the alley, the laundry truck drove past. I snuck past the two security personnel patrolling the street, and in through the open gate just before the truck drove inside and the gate closed. There were three guards and a dog near the gate, so I gassed the man with the dog and kept to the shadows, somehow managing to avoid the dog. I crossed a little stream they had running through the complex (complete with a wooden bridge and an ‘island’ with a tree), and took up position on a dark patch of grass to aim my laser mic.
I listened to General Kong Feirong as he spoke to former Georgian president Nikoladze on the phone. Nikoladze interrupted Feirong, claiming that someone might listen in on the conversation. Humouring him, Feirong left his office and got into his limo a short few meters from me, and called Nikoladze back. The latter had arranged for some American soldiers to be executed live on a web-cast (it was 2004, remember), to incite the USA to war.
I managed to sneak out of the compound with minimal fuss thanks to some distractions, and met up with Coen, my driver, who was going to drop me off at the abattoir where the executions would take place.
Dropped just inside the perimeter, it was already obvious that the mercenaries were prepared for an assault. Luckily I was sneaking in by myself, and armed to the teeth. I shot the three guards in the outer court and made my way in through the outbuilding, which housed a computer. There was another guard next to the fence just outside, who was radioed to warn others not to enter the minefield without a sensor on them, to tell the mines not to detonate.
Luckily the mines were detectable via thermal vision, which I had access to. I snuck past spotlights and murdered everyone on my way through the courtyard, and avoided mines by climbing onto and over things. I wall-jumped up onto a crawl space, and made my way to the roof where the antenna tower was. I made too much noise, and two guards came running out to see what it was. I shot them down and picked the lock on the door, sneaking inside and down some stairs. There was only a computer (and a wall mine) there, so I went back onto the roof and turned off the antenna.
Unfortunately, although that stopped the broadcast, it also alerted the perpetrators -- including Nikoladze. He was rushed away to a getaway vehicle and made his escape, and word was sent down to execute the Americans and air the video at a later date. I took out two men in the changing room, and almost got shot by a third I hadn’t realised was there. I snuck around and into a ventilation duct, as Nikoladze radioed Vyacheslav Grinko to say that he was away, and for him to tell Feirong that he was retrieving “the Ark”. Whatever that was.
The vent led to a pipe which went up into the false ceiling above where the execution patrol were. I fired a smoke grenade down the nearby hole and it took them out, before I dropped down and went into the freezers. I had to use my thermal vision for the entire section, and it was only capable of seeing five metres in front of me on a clear street…
There were several freezers and a few automatic turrets, but eventually I found another ventilation shaft which led me out of the frozen fog covering the whole area. One man stood between me and the final area, and he fell like the rest.
I entered some stables where all of the horses had been shot. I was spotted very quickly, and shot the guy. His buddy didn’t investigate, instead just throwing a grenade which killed himself. I hid the bodies and continued, coming across another man patrolling near another auto-turret. I shot him and ran past the turret, throwing a grenade at the two guys in the next stables, before sneaking around the two turrets near their corpses to disable them.
As I went along the hallway, two men appear at the end, and I hid in an alcove. Surprisingly they stopped right in front of it to chat, and so I shot them both in the face. Once they were hidden in the shadows, I went out into an area that wasn’t being patrolled. There were two auto-turrets, which I disabled, then went to the right and met with the Chinese ambassador, whose office Feirong had been using.
Unfortunately, just as we finished talking, several enemies came into the area to kill the Americans. A firefight broke out, and I eventually took them down. Grinko himself decided to come down to deal with me. Lambert assured me would cause the rest of them to flee once I dealt with Grinko, as they were mercenaries. Sure enough, once he was down, Lambert told me to get back to the Chinese embassy -- the leash was off, and I was to kill my way to Feirong...