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 begin Essentials.
Released in 2006 alongside the two versions of Double Agent, Splinter Cell Essentials landed exclusively on the PlayStation Portable. This, of course, means that I had to get it on my Vita to give it a go. I couldn’t remember where I put my PSP… Of course, this means no graphical mods, and no workarounds to make it function, as well as no screenshots that I’ve taken myself.
So, without further ado, let’s find out what happened last time in Splinter Cell Diaries…
After the death of his daughter, Sam had gone undercover for eight months inside the John Brown’s Army militia, where he stopped some high explosive devices from killing millions before escaping the clutches of the FBI…
It’s January 2009, and Sam is visiting Sarah’s grave on the first anniversary of her death in September 2007. He reaches the gravestone and is grabbed by a team that had laid in wait for him, correctly assuming he would come here 15 months after Sarah was killed.
In a strange coincidence, a member of the team’s father was in the Navy SEALs with Sam, and argues that since he had rescued someone in Columbia years ago, he couldn’t have betrayed the NSA. This triggered a flashback to 1992, where Sam went in to save his SEAL commanding officer, Douglas Shetland. The man he would shoot in the face in Hokkaido in 2007, back in Chaos Theory.
The captain of the base ordered me to stay on site. Being the good soldier that I am, I disobeyed orders and snuck past two guards, though the third caught me on the bridge leading into the jungle. Sam explained that he was spec ops, and not technically there, so not under orders and was allowed to leave, so I raised the gate and did so.
After listening to two men talk a bit, and mention mines, I shot the one that walked towards me while his mate wandered off without a care. I followed him, disarming two of the three mine trip wires as I went, and snuck past two men at an outpost. However, gunfire began to go off as I jumped onto a zipwire, so perhaps I didn’t sneak as well as I thought I had.
At the bottom of the wire, I knocked out a guy who came whistling at me, then stabbed his mate who came to investigate the ruckus. I then went around a corner and over a rock before being ambushed and knocked unconscious.
Awaking in a cell to someone asking their leader whether to bring “the American” or not, I jumped up a wall and crawled out through a broken ventilation shaft. I clambered across a pipe and dropped onto “the Columbian”, knocking him out, and took his knife. Outside the cell, I was spotted knifing a napping guard, but managed to stab that guy too without losing too much blood. The next room was a garage, where I lured a man away from a flaming barrel and stabbed him.
While I was moving him, I was spotted by someone who opened fire. I hid, which made him come running over - so I stabbed him, too. I was starting to like my new knife. I went up some stairs and turned off a switch, which made a prisoner cry out that he would tell his interrogator everything. I slammed open a door, knocking out the fiend, but seemingly too late for the prisoner. I left through a handy hole in the wall, dropping down.
The room I entered had one guard wandering around. He left the room, so I turned off the light and waited for him to return before stabbing him. Someone else came to investigate, and got stabbed for their troubles. The hallway out of the room opened led to a chain link fence, which I used to climb across some pipes. Into another large room, I killed the guard who came close to me, but failed to notice his buddy downstairs. I dropped down from the gantry I was on and waited for the guy to run upstairs, then back down to meet my knife.
I figured that I was getting close to Shetland, as the next room had a cage locked by a code. Since I hadn’t been able to grab anyone, I had no way of knowing the combination, so went up the ramp to the next level, then a second ramp to the top. Through a doorway, there was a man sat at a desk, who I grabbed to interrogate. Unfortunately he literally had nothing to say, so I knocked him out.
The next hallway was lined with cells, and Shetland was in the second one. Quite why they had my cell so very far away is anyone’s guess. I let him out, and he gave me the code for the cage back downstairs where I could get my stuff. Again, quite why he knew the code he never specified. Sam told him to leave, and I went down to get my stuff, having to stab a guy on the way.
Finally escaping back to the jungle, two men were chatting in a tent. I waited for them to finish and begin patrolling before I snuck through the area. Unfortunately when I tried to grab one, he noticed and I had to punch him, which resulted in stabbing the other guy. Up the hill were three mine tripwires, which I deactivated on my way, then had to rappel down and climb back up where a bridge had collapsed.
I went and battered another guard before shooting his friend, and went through a hole in the fence. Two guards were patrolling another field, and I managed to slip past without them noticing me, and headed up a hill. I climbed over some rocks, then jumped onto a zipline, hoping that the guy nearby didn’t see me. He did.
Landing in the water at the bottom, I ran for it, having to shoot a couple of guards who heard the commotion. I climbed up some more rocks to avoid a fallen tree, and shot another man before finally arriving at the American base.
Returning to “now”, a couple of men discussed what to do with the captured Fisher. A woman burst into the room, exclaiming that some of his old mission logs had been tampered with. They claimed that he blamed Lambert and the NSA for almost getting him killed during the oil rig mission back in Splinter Cell Diaries Part Three, when in fact that link shows what really happened.
I was sent to 2004, and had to replay the events already covered in February, but quite cut down. It only took 12 minutes, whereas I remember it originally took me much longer.
Agent Blake came in to speak to Sam, asking whether Lambert knew that he was joining the John Brown Army. Sam retorted that he should ask Lambert, despite being told that he had been missing since Sam himself had gone to ground. Blake then decided to ask about “those civilians you murdered” in Belgrade back in 1999…