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 finish Double Agent.
After the successful test of the big bomb on a cruise ship, Dufraisne had met with co-conspirators to discuss bombing targets, and decided that Hisham Hamza was a mole, and Sam should eliminate him…
Leaving the underground car park, I went for a nearby fence and hopped it as a truck exploded just out of sight. I snuck up to one of the men who had been shooting at it, and knocked him out, leaving him behind a wall before continuing to follow the road. I stopped and hid behind a box when I spotted someone, but as he left I went for a wall. I climbed a post, stopping just out of sight of another man, then followed him into a bombed-out room to knock him out too.
Dufraisne complained over comms that I was losing Hamza, and should get a move on. It was difficult with bullets and bombs flying, troops and militia patrolling and freaking tanks. That’s right, a tank was just ahead with three troops riding atop. I managed to avoid them, sneaking through some side streets. I went inside a building and hacked a laptop, discovering that there were mines near to the palace. Lucky me, heading to the palace and all…
After stealing some ammo and wall bombs, I left the room’s occupant firing out of the window undisturbed. I continued on my way, having to kill a couple of troops before I came across a helicopter, a camp and the radio tower. Since I had missed Hamza, I was to get up to the top of that instead.
There was a secondary objective, to steal some intel from the camp for the NSA, and that I had missed two other NSA objectives, I didn’t want to risk my trust level getting any lower, so I went around the back of the tents to find the intel. The first one had an injured man on the bed, but the second had a computer. One of the men who had gotten off of the helicopter came in and checked the laptop, but while I was cutting through the canvas he got up and left.
After hacking the laptop, I went back around to the fence around the tower. I shot a guy in the head and jumped onto the fence. After a brief electric shock, I went to the unlocked gate and simply opened it before climbing the ladder unobstructed. Dufraisne told me that there was a rifle at the top, and I was to use it to kill Hamza.
As I was lining up the shot, Lambert came over comms and told me not to do it, but to aid Hamza. Usually when I’m conflicted, I listen to the voice in my head - but there were two of them. With explosions rocking the tower, and flames getting in the way of the scope, I shot a man in a red beret, who was fighting Hamza.
There was another explosion and the tower toppled, narrowly missing me, but knocking me down for a moment. Dufraisne complained that I had missed, so Sam told him that it would get done, and cut him off. I zip-wired down to a burning building and almost got hit by an exploding door.
"Wheeee-wait, is that fire?!"
The next area was a warzone - don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean there was fighting, I mean it was a warzone. Bombed out vehicles, a sandbag wall with troops and a tank firing over it… I made my way through the remains of a bus, then a bunch of pipes before finally the husk of a helicopter.
I had reached the palace, but as I was doing recon I was spotted, so I took cover behind some fabric. Unable to shoot me, I waited for them to get into my killing zone at the open end to the right, and gunned them down. I untied Hamza and we both made a break for it. I helped him jump over a barricade, just as Lambert warned the bombs in the palace were about to go off. Sam called Dufraisne, claiming that the exploding palace was how he had killed Hamza.
Back at JBA HQ, I was shown into the room where I had shot the helicopter pilot months ago. There, tied to a chair having been grabbed whilst snooping around the building, was Lambert himself. Dufraisne handed me a gun, told me that I knew what to do - and told Jamie that he knew what he had to do, too. I didn’t like the sound of that, so rather than trust that Jamie’s job was to dispose of Lambert’s body, I shot him.
The security camera noticed that the wrong person was dead, and alerted the base that I was a traitor. Lambert ordered me to stop Dufraisne from setting off the bomb, which he was on his way to do now. With SWAT surrounding the place, he wanted to make his mark in history. I scanned Jamie’s retina and left the room.
Two men came at me as I opened the door, and I stabbed them both. Sneaking out into the main area, I turned off the lights in the bunk room, causing the lone patrolling JBA member to come over and turn it back on, getting his spine broken for his trouble. I’d heard Dufraisne tell people to go to the shooting range to get a weapon, so I headed there and did so - also picking up my goggles.
I went back to the main area and up the stairs to a voice activated door. Someone was there, but as I’d turned the lights off he didn’t notice me. I waited for him and his mate to walk past, before heading for the door with the fingerprint scanner. Since Jamie had gone to check on the bomb the last time I was here, and he had used the retina-locked door past that, I figured it was the safest bet. There was another man guarding the door, but I turned the lights off and broke his spine before going through the door.
Enrica surprised me by asking if I was on my way to do my “real job”, and opening the door with the retina scanner for me. She didn’t want to get blown up, after all. I got in the elevator and went down to find a lab. I attempted my “turn off a light, snap a spine” trick, but was spotted and had to have a little firefight.
With everyone aiming a weapon at me now dead, I went through to the next area only to find a plastic tube connecting two doors. That probably meant some radioactive materials, so - fun! I opened the door and was greeted by Dufraisne having his men kill two others, so the bomb wouldn’t kill them, and escaping up a ladder. Once again, I was spotted, but used a helpful door as a killing zone before heading up the ladder to follow Dufraisne.
There were three of his men with him, once I reached the top of several ladders, so I tried to do things quietly. However, with a time limit quickly running down, I decided to use my gun instead of my brains. This was folly, however, as I only managed to kill the two henchmen before running out of ammo. Luckily, given the lighting situation, Dufraisne didn’t notice me run around some pipes, come up behind him and stab him. I scanned his retina, just in case, and defused the bomb using my hacking, safe cracking and bomb making skills with minutes to spare.
The skylights shattered, and the FBI swarmed the building, but Sam was already gone. I heard chatter about him running for the docks, and getting away in the water, but that was it - game finished.
Except for the post-credits mission. Now, I had been wondering where Moss had gotten to, and it turned out that he was out on a ship near to The Statue of Liberty. From what the assembled men said, it had another bomb on it, and it was going to go off in 10 minutes.
I waited painfully long minutes as I tried to avoid detection and work out the patrol pattern. Striking like a ninja, I ran up behind someone and stabbed him. He went down just as another man walked up, getting stabbed too. Of course, now the boat was fully alerted, so I ducked into a door - but the bomb wasn’t inside the cabin. I opened another door out onto the deck, and a third man casually walked past me, getting stabbed for his troubles. I went aft once again, spotting a fourth patrolling away from me - stabbed him and was done.
Up the stairway to the cockpit, I could see Moss steering the boat. I snuck up behind him and grabbed him - but he reversed it and knocked the knife from my hand. After a brief struggle, I snapped his neck, and finally noticed the bomb beside me. A quick lockpick and hack, then the boat was exploding. Whomever wanted the boat sunk did a good job, as it was on fire as I exited the cabin and leapt to the safety of the water, the day saved…
I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of Double Agent. It took me hours to get stealthy in the first three games, and yet it was hardly utilised in this one. It also took forever to start playing each time, and crashed twice, completely deleting my save files. Somehow it deleted them, yet I was able to restart the mission both times, so it kept my position in the game, just not the levels…
The story itself was pretty enjoyable, though I’m surprised that the newbie Splinter Cell who died at the start, John, wasn’t the person in charge of John Brown’s Army. I was certain he would ‘GoldenEye’ it, and come on it’s in the name. Having time limits on your “free time” during the JBA HQ sections was fun. Stops you from getting bored, while challenging you to complete as many objectives as possible.
Next time, I’ll be playing Splinter Cell Essentials, so no more keyboard and mouse for me! Wish me luck.