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.
We enter Splinter Cell in the near future, 2004, and the news was filled with reports from the country of Georgia. This guy Nikoladze wanted to take over, so he staged a coup to do just that. It was reportedly bloodless, and the quickly held democratic elections conveniently voted him into power.
Taking a view west, Sam Fisher was pulled out of retirement by Colonel Lambert. The reason being that the National Security Agency was opening up a new covert operations team, Third Echelon, and they wanted Sam to head it up. At least, that’s what he was cleared to know -- for an agency all about knowing everything, they didn’t like to tell anyone anything...
To make sure that Sam was up to date with the latest spying techniques after years out of the field, he was run through his paces in a tutorial. He learned things such as how to climb ladders and doing the splits between two walls, then how to hide in the dark and get information out of people at gunpoint.
Once cleared for active duty, it was a few months after the last news report, and Sam was stuck on a plane to Georgia. His mission to locate CIA agents Blaustein and Madison in T’Bilisi. The former was sent in to rescue the latter after she stopped reporting in, and Madison was working covertly to gain a cabinet post under President Nikoladze.
It turned out that Sam heading up the whole arm of the NSA actually means that he’s the only operative. That’s the only logical reason why you would put a formerly-retired person in the field, after all. He apparently had to show “the higher ups” that lone operative missions are still a viable way to run operations.
I had to start the mission again after dying minutes in, but that’s fine because I was also spotted within seconds of starting, so disregard that.
Sam was dropped into an alley close to where a CIA asset was located. Unfortunately, a couple of minutes after landing Sam found the building was on fire. The floor gave out in the room where the asset was, so I had to go the long way, down some stairs, across a pipe, up some different stairs and back into the room. The man told me what he knew before dying -- that Nikoladze might be looking for a war.
I ran into the adjoining room and shot out the skylights to clear the smoke, before escaping. Lambert told me to head to Blaustein’s apartment, claiming it would be behind a fake bookshelf or wall. Alas, Nikoladze’s men had already torn the place apart, according to one of them stood outside on the phone. I knocked him out and went into the apartment, getting surprised by another goon.
I shot him and slowly checked out the rest of the apartment before looking in earnest for the black box. His Windows 98 computer didn’t give me anything, so I checked his bookcase, and then the painting in the bedroom. The second idea checked out, the computer behind the painting giving me all the information that I needed.
The most important information it gave was that Blaustein had died 43 hours ago, meaning this was now a rescue mission for one rather than two. His last position was at a police station nearby, which his dead drop in Morevi Square could tell me how to gain access. The corrupt cops between me and the square were going to be a hassle…
I went down an elevator shaft and lockpicked a door to reach the next area, with two officers and some assorted goons in an alley. I climbed up onto a wall and went hand-over-hand past the cops, before deciding to shoot out the lights to avoid the goons. Of course, this drew attention, but I managed to make it past them with only minor setbacks. In the square I once again shot out the lights, before going in through the ventilation shaft which housed the dead drop.
The next area opened when a goon came through a gate. I snuck in and began shooting lights out. Unfortunately, this drew attention from people who could actually see me in the dark somehow, and I used up far too many bullets defending myself from his mate. Nobody else spotted me for the rest of the alleyway, but someone managed to spot Sam’s leg as I had him shimmying up a pipe onto a trellis.
I waited for him to go back to an unalerted state, but that turned out to be a mistake as he was right below me and wouldn’t budge. I dropped down onto him and shot him. Somehow the goons got the impression that I was heavily armed, and gave a warning about me over the radio. However, before reinforcements could arrive I was onto a dumpster and over the wall into the police station compound...