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 start Double Agent.
Released in 2006, the fourth Splinter Cell title came out on pretty much everything. Both PlayStations, both Xboxs, the Wii, GameCube and PC. General opinion says that the version on the older generation of consoles is marginally better than the PC/PS3/360 version, but I don’t have that version. So, I’m hoping that the PC version can be made prettier by following the Steam community guide by Joshhhuaaa. Weirdly, Steam doesn’t install the latest version of the game, you have to download the patch separately as part of it.
The graphics are nicer than the previous game, but I’m annoyed at having to wait a full 30 seconds to start playing each time. It takes a weirdly long time to load…
September 2007, mere months after stopping Shetland and Otomo’s plan to plunge the world into another war, Sam is on another operation. He’s got a ride along, John, who seems eager to impress the guy in charge while Sam alludes to retiring.
We jump out of the Osprey into the water outside of a geothermal plant in Iceland, and swim in through an inlet vent. John snaps a guard’s neck and dumps him into the ice hole he climbs out of, then makes himself scarce while his mate comes to find him. Taking offence to John’s “Just like you would’ve done” remark, I waited for the man to turn away from the ice hole, then grabbed him and knocked him out. Of course, I let the man slip into the ice hole - but I didn’t directly kill him.
With no idea where John had disappeared off to, I checked out an outbuilding. Whilst weighing up whether or not I really had to take out the sleeping guard or not, John called me over the comm to tell me to deactivate the electric fence, and I could probably do so from an outbuilding. The nearby laptop confirmed this was likely the right place, so I cut the wires on a breaker and the fence went offline.
Back outside, I found John near to the deactivated fence. He was whining that I was taking too long to boost him over it. Once I had done so, I had to climb over and use a ladder to get onto the gantry he was stood upon - whilst resenting him for not having done that himself.
A quick zipline later, I was stood above a patrolling guard. I grabbed him and knocked him out, then carefully made my way down the nearby stairs. John had gone to deactivate a fan for me to get past, so I began methodically taking down the guards. It all went to pot while I was talking to the guard in a hut, as I had left the door open, and another guard came to investigate. I had to shoot him with a sticky shocker, before opening the gate I had to get through.
While sneaking through the gate, a guard spotted me from far away and an alert went off. I shot him, then the one I was sneaking up to when I was spotted, before being told to get to the stopped fan ASAP before it turned back on in 10 minutes.
Seconds after slipping through, less than three minutes later, it turned back on. Unfortunately, John had disobeyed orders to stay in place, and had for some reason entered via the front doors. I was just in time to watch him getting shot by a couple of guards. Of course, I instantly suspected that he would come back later in the game, in some kind of Sean Bean in GoldenEye-like betrayal.
Sam muttered something about it being John’s fault, and completely avoidable, which are both the correct ways to look at it. He then described the big missile in the hangar-sized room, and asked technical support how to disarm it. It was impossible, but it was possible to stop it from launching at all, and make it explode in the hangar.
Using the control room beneath the platform I was on, I moved it closer to the missile. I shot out a light that might have given me away, and climbed a pipe up the wall and over the top of the missile. Quickly attaching a rope to the pipe, I slid down and waited for the man down there to move away from the munition. When he did, I quickly slid to the ground and went to grab him: but he saw me.
Jacking him in the face, I came under fire as I started hacking the missile. I managed it, and dodged fire for a couple of seconds before everyone scattered to escape the missile. Unfortunately, I was clueless as to where I had to go for exfiltration, so until Lambert told me to “Grab onto the rope!”, I was running around in a panic. I ran for the ladder beside the missile and went up, quickly grabbing the rope and climbing, managing it with six seconds remaining.
Despite the successful mission, Lambert was aboard the Osprey with bad news. Sam’s daughter Sarah had been struck and killed by a car…
Time passed, and Sam went down a dark path. Wanting his top agent back, Lambert decided to send him undercover, which included a stint in Ellsworth Federal Penitentiary. February 2008 (somehow six months after being put in prison), Sam was approached by Jamie Washington, a man he had befriended to gain access to John Brown’s Army. He told him that he was going to start a riot, and that Sam should use the hole he had been making, and unlock the cell doors in A-block.
I tore the poster off of the wall and climbed into the hole, which led to a maintenance area. Through a vent, I was in the guard’s control room, and grabbed the man inside. He told me the door code, which was also the armoury code, before I knocked him out. I raided three smoke grenades from the armoury, then went out and down some stairs. Hacking a metal detector, a guard almost spotted me, and came to investigate. I knocked him out with a palm to the face, and went through to where some armed inmates were firing on some guards.
Another palm strike knocked a guy out and I snuck around behind the second guard and belted him too, before making a discreet exit to A-block. I hopped over a railing, and evaded a guard, picking the lock to the door into the tower, and went up the stairs carefully. I belted another guard, took a riot shotgun, unlocked the cells and finally went into an elevator. Up it went to the top of the tower, where I shot two guards with the shotgun then exited through a broken window and went up a pipe.
After some careful navigation, Jamie called me for help, as he had been cornered. Before I could find the broken window leading out to the roof, he had taken care of it himself. A news helicopter was hovering above him, when a police chopper arrived to throw more bodies at us. He ran, and I followed, making my way into a room and up a ladder. Sam and Jamie commandeered the news chopper and made a break for it.
Finally at the John Brown’s Army headquarters in New York, Jamie promised that he could get me in with them…