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.
After breaking into the Georgian defence ministry and stealing some intel from computers, Sam was sent after an encryption key on an oil rig…
Sam arrived at the above-water pipeline and I had to make my way across it. They spotted someone -- nobody was in sight of me -- and decided to explode the pipeline to stop intruders. Luckily that made it easier for me, as I dropped into a hole and leisurely made my way in, against the flow of sewage.
I arrived at the platform just as the technician with the encryption key did, so I had to follow him. Unfortunately, this involved going a very fiddly route and waiting for headshots for everyone I had to kill. I waited for the target and his entourage to disappear upstairs, then shot the one remaining guard. I walked across some supporting beams (being careful as Sam couldn’t swim), and up onto the gantry.
I followed them upstairs, when suddenly some American fighter jets began a strafing run. The screen was shaking like crazy as things began exploding, and the target… well he just went the same speed he had been going. Another of his entourage straggled behind and I took him out before following the rest. I was almost spotted, and had to quickly backtrack before taking out another guard, catching up to the target as he went into a room.
It was guarded by two men, so I carefully took aim with my silenced pistol and was spotted just before I took the shot. I quickly unloaded a clip into them and they dropped. Before I could enter the room, I heard the target talking with his guards: they were coming back.
Luckily they didn’t spot the two bodies in front of the open doorway, as they went into another room and sealed the door behind them. I went around the side and hopped up onto a pipe, shimmying through a window. The target scarpered and one of his men stayed to shoot every piece of electronics -- my orders were now to get the briefcase handcuffed to the technician. I silently dropped down, snuck behind him and shot him in the head before following the target out through the back door.
As more explosions rocked the oil rig, and unseen ground troops mounted an offensive (well, the guards were shooting at someone), I went up some stairs and shot a guy on a gantry above, and another on the same level as me. I swept the area, but saw no sign of my target. I went around one of the rooms and down some nearby stairs carefully. There was another guard at the bottom, who received a headshot. He had about 30 seconds to see me as I leveled the gun and waited for him to walk into the sights, so really it’s his own fault.
I burst into the room he was guarding, but found two doors. I picked the left one at random and there was an explosion as I opened it. I ran out and the target was legging it for the boat that brought him. Colonel Lambert had okayed ‘any means necessary’, so I gunned the technician down and took his briefcase.
On the flight back to the United States, Fisher was speaking to his daughter when she yelped and the line went dead. Before he could call back, the plane began taking evasive maneuvers. When it steadied, Lambert contacted the plane to explain that Georgian president Nikoladze had mounted a cyber attack, damaging power relays in America, as well as causing the plane to malfunction. He had also formally declared war on the USA.
Third Echelon discovered that someone within the CIA had let Nikoladze’s people into the nation’s systems. Sam was sent to find out who was responsible, and the next mission began with him stood within the grounds of the CIA’s headquarters, with no obvious way of having gained entry.
There were three guards, two of whom were chatting and another who was patrolling. It was paramount that I not be spotted, as Third Echelon wasn’t supposed to operate on American soil, and for all intents and purposes Sam Fisher no longer existed. I was told that I had two minutes to get to one of the big extraction fans on the side of the building -- it was tight, but I made it.
Down a ladder and over a fence, and I was in without detection. Except for the janitor who spotted me and sounded the alarm… Luckily the two men with guns who came along to kill me weren’t as vigilant, so I knocked them out and hid them in the shadows. The camera down the hall also spotted me despite my hiding in the shadows, but since the guards had been dealt with, only the maintenance guy was left -- and uninterested in taking me on.
I made my way through the complex, headed for the server room. Or, I would have, if Lambert hadn’t told me to get to where they had stashed a SC-20K -- a silenced rifle. It was weird that they gave me bullets with it, since I wasn’t supposed to shoot anyone…
I went through technical services and the backup power room, having to beat up a couple of guards when more maintenance guys spotted me, before finding it. Earlier I had found some secondary ammo -- Ring Airfoil Projectiles, Sticky Shockers, and a Sticky Camera. Make note of that term: secondary ammo. Because I’m not going to confirm nor deny half a dozen accidental murders and mission restarts.
I headed for the server room, using my new weapon to stun a couple of guards when conventional “sneak up and thrash them” didn’t work. I had been given the code for the server room when I started the mission -- it was the other door codes that I needed to keep finding. So, I went inside and took out a couple of technicians before accessing the server.
The Third Echelon computer whiz Anna Grímstóttir traced the leak back to a single unprotected computer registered to Mitchell Dougherty. I had to locate that computer and give Grímstóttir access so that she could find out who broke into it. I left the server room and went around through the main hall to an elevator which took me to the top floor.
I snuck past two people dissecting some video made by terrorists, and through to Dougherty’s office. Once Grímstóttir was in, she told me that she traced it to the offices of Kalinatek, which was based locally. Unfortunately, she was locked out before she discovered more, so I had to grab Dougherty and get him to my quartermaster Vernon Wilkes, who was downstairs with an interrogator. I’ve no idea how they arrived so quickly either.
On the plus side, Dougherty was a heavy smoker and would often take smoke breaks, where I could take him out more easily. On the downside, I didn’t realise it was Dougherty when I knocked out some random guy in the hallway. Lambert had a go, but said it was my fault, and I had to carry him the whole way.
I snuck past some of Dougherty’s coworkers and stole the next keycode from an office. The door open, I was almost spotted by a guard patrolling outside the smoking area. He came in to check it out, and I grabbed him as soon as he turned around. I stuck him in the corner, then resumed my journey with Dougherty.
Outside, Lambert told me that a guard was chatting to Wilkes and the interrogator. I’d have to take care of him, or risk the mission when he saw a man dressed like a ninja chucking a businessman into the truck.
I dumped the body and snuck into a room to dispatch a technician and another guard, then went downstairs to knock out another one, and hid him upstairs. I retrieved Dougherty and took him down the stairs, but had to leave him while I went down a ladder to take out the guy talking to my ride. Since Sam couldn’t carry the bloke on the ladder I had one more guard to get rid of, who I shot with the Sticky Shocker I found, before getting Dougherty into the truck.
Wilkes confirmed that Sam’s daughter was okay, but that we had to get to Kalinatek right away. There was infiltrating to do...