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Splinter Cell
Splinter Cell (Game) Cover
Video Game
Genre: Stealth, Action
Series: Splinter Cell
Platform: Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube
Release date: X Box: November 17, 2002,
Windows: February 19, 2003,
PS2: March 28, 2003,
Gamecube: April 10, 2003
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal (Win, X Box, Mac)

Ubisoft Shanghai (PS2)

Publisher: Ubisoft, Aspyr Media
Status: Post-Release

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Splinter Cell is a common title. For other titles see, Splinter Cell (Disambig).

Splinter Cell is the first video game created within the Splinter Cell series. It is a critically-acclaimed 3D action-adventure stealth video game, developed by Ubisoft Montreal and built on the Unreal Engine 2. It is the first Splinter Cell game in the series endorsed by Tom Clancy, and follows the activities of NSA agent Sam Fisher.

The game is available for Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Windows, and Mac OS X. 2D versions of the game were released for the N-Gage, Game Boy Advance, and mobile phones. The mobile phone version of the game was developed by Gameloft.


In the fall of 2004 Sam Fisher, a highly-decorated former Navy SEAL, is recruited by the National Security Agency (NSA) to work with a top-secret division dubbed "Third Echelon". Third Echelon utilizes "Splinter Cells", lone operatives supported in the field by a small intelligence team, to conduct covert intelligence missions in hostile territories.

For his first assignment as a Splinter Cell, Sam Fisher is dispatched to T'bilisi, Georgia to investigate the disappearance of two CIA Agents, William Blaustein and Alice Madison. During his investigation, Fisher uncovers a campaign of systematic ethnic cleansing and mass murder being waged by Georgian President Kombayn Nikoladze against the neighboring Muslim population of Azerbaijan in an attempt to seize that country's vast petroleum resources. When NATO intervenes in the situation against Georgia, Nikoladze goes underground and retaliates against the U.S. by initiating an information crisis in America, using advanced computer algorithms developed by Canadian hacker Philip Masse to wreak havoc upon America's electronic infrastructure.

Fisher is dispatched to hunt down Nikoladze and stop the crisis. Fisher eventually discovers that Nikoladze is working with rogue People's Liberation Army General Kong Feirong to develop nuclear weapons, and has even gone so far as to place a nuclear suitcase bomb codenamed The ARK on American soil. Throughout his mission, Fisher is ordered to disable the enemy operation by any means necessary, necessitating the implementation of the "Fifth Freedom". After an extensive campaign against the enemy's cells across the globe, Fisher is ordered to come face to face with the mastermind himself. Upon infiltrating the Georgian Presidential Palace, Fisher assassinates Nikoladze, ending the information crisis and stopping Georgia from detonating the ARK.


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Sam fisher portrait Sam Fisher
He is a seasoned veteran of Black Ops, working for the NSA.
Irving Lambert Irving lambert portrait
The link between agents, like Fisher, and the commanders of Third Echelon. He contacts Sam with new information, objectives, and instructions periodically throughout a mission.
Anna grimsdottir portrait Anna Grímsdóttir
The computer and security expert at Third Echelon. She, like Lambert, will contact Sam throughout a mission - usually in accordance with Lambert.
Vernon Wilkes Jr. Unknown male
Coordinates the transportation and equipment for field agents. He drops Sam off at the start of a mission and picks him up at the end. He is killed by a Russian mercenary in the "Kalinatek" mission (Nuclear Power Plant level in the PS2 version).

Kombayn Nikoladze
The main villain of the story. He is the President of Georgia who wants to bring down America with his power and resources. He launches a technological war on the U.S. before going underground for fear of capture. A terrorist leader. He is killed by Fisher in the "Presidential Palace" mission.
Vyacheslav Grinko
A former Soviet Spetsnaz operator, he is Nikoladze's terrorist military commander - usually working with mercenaries. He is killed by Fisher in the "Abbattoir" mission.
Philip Masse
A Canadian hacker, he is the technology behind Nikoladze's terrorism. He is killed by Fisher in the "Kola Peninsula" mission.


  • SC-20K
    • Ring Airfoil Projectile
    • Sticky Shocker
    • Sticky Camera
    • Diversion Camera
    • Smoke Grenade
  • Gadgets
    • SC Pistol
    • Lock Pick
    • Optic Cable
    • Disposable Pick
    • Laser Microphone
    • Camera Jammer
  • Items
    • Medical Kit
    • Chemical Flare
    • Emergency Flare
    • Frag Grenade
    • Wall Mine
    • Bullet Box


While Ubisoft Montreal's initial Xbox and Windows versions were released to critical and commercial success, Ubisoft Shanghai was developing versions for the PlayStation 2 and GameCube consoles. Development on these ports started in April 2002, while Montreal's version was still in development, and used Montreal's base code and graphic assets as a starting point. In order to complete the port in such a short timeframe, extra developers were brought in from France and Italy to assist the Chinese team. Incomplete data packages being sent from Ubisoft Montreal and cultural and language differences between the team members caused hardship during the production, but the port shipped on time and was also a critical and commercial success. Changes from Ubisoft Montreal's version include a redesigned HUD, lower difficulty, decreased graphic quality, and sections of levels removed and replaced with full-motion video cutscenes.


The Xbox version's visuals include better lighting and less jagged polygon models, and utilize its graphical capabilities almost to the fullest. This version includes real-time cutscenes, rather than the full-motion videos from the other two versions. The game runs at a higher resolution than the PS2 version, and has a slightly more consistent framerate than both the PS2 and GCN versions. None of the extras from the PS2 and GCN versions are present, though shortly after the other versions were released three exclusive levels were downloadable via Xbox Live.


The Windows version was a port of the Xbox version, and duplicated that version's user interface and gameplay. However, the Windows version can be run at higher graphic resolutions than the console versions, and some of the real-time cutscenes have been replaced with full-motion videos. The "checkpoint" save system from the Xbox version was replaced with the ability to save a game at any time, and the controls were reworked to allow simultaneous use of a keyboard and mouse, with movement speed being controlled by the mouse wheel. The Xbox Live bonus levels (Kola Cell, Vselka Infiltration and Vselka Submarine) for the PC version were available as a patch included in the limited collector's edition of Chaos Theory, and came pre-installed in the version of the game in the Ubisoft Action-Adventure Collection. It was also available in the Splinter Cell: Mission Pack, which is sold only in Europe. There is an unfortunate graphics problem in this version, though. Projected shadows would not appear with video cards Nvidia 6 series and up. This problem was caused because the game was a direct port from the Xbox, which renders shadows similarly to Nvidia 3, 4, and FX cards. It is possible to force the shadows, but this can cause system instabilities. This problem persists to Pandora Tomorrow.

Mac OS XEdit

The Mac version was a port of the Windows version and runs mostly at a 800x600 graphic resolution, real-time cutscenes have been replaced with full-motion videos. The save system has the ability to save a game at any time, controls were reworked to allow simultaneous use of a keyboard and mouse, with movement speed being controlled by the mouse wheel. No bonus content is present on this version.

PlayStation 2Edit

The PS2 and GameCube versions were developed by Ubisoft Shanghai, and feature a redesigned HUD. The PS2 version runs at a lower resolution than the Xbox and GCN versions, and sacrifices had to be made to the graphics including more jagged edges, duller colors and fewer lighting effects, due to the more limited hardware. Also, despite these sacrifices, the framerate tends to stutter slightly more than the Xbox version. Loading times, as with most PS2 versions of games, are also longer. Missions are also structured in a different/shorter fashion. The PS2 version boasts extra content, however, including a new Nuclear Power Plant mission, which appears exclusively in the PlayStation 2 version. The real-time cutscenes from the Xbox version were replaced with full-motion videos.

PlayStation 3Edit

A HD remaster of Tom Clancy's Original Splinter Cell was included on the Splinter Cell Classic Trilogy. The game features improved graphics and HUD remake. No bonus missions were added.

Nintendo GameCubeEdit

The GameCube version didn't receive quite as many graphical sacrifices as the PS2 version, as it is running on more powerful hardware. This version runs at the same resolution as the Xbox version, is less jagged than the PS2 version, and the colors appear to be more natural than the PS2 version as well. However, the GCN version doesn't quite look as realistic as the Xbox version and, like the PS2 version, had to make sacrifices with the lighting effects. This version includes the full-motion video cinematics that appear in the PS2 version, replacing the Xbox versions' real-time cutscenes. Missions are also structured in a different/shorter fashion than that of it's Xbox counterpart.

Other VersionsEdit

A few other versions of the game have been released. Each seems to follow the storyline closely, however they are very different games, mainly because of the fact that they are only 2D. They are the Game Boy Advanced version, a N-Gage version and a mobile phone version.


Awards WonEdit

  • E3 2002 Game Critics Awards: Best Action/Adventure Game
  • 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards: Excellence in Writing
  • 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards: Console Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Game Play Engineering
  • IGN Best of 2002: Xbox Game of the Year, Xbox Best Graphics


  • 3rd Annual Game Developers Choice Awards: Game of the Year, Original Game Character of the Year, Excellence in Game Design, Excellence in Level Design, and Excellence in Programming
  • 6th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards: Innovation in Console Gaming, Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design, Outstanding Achievement in Visual Engineering, and Console Action/Adventure Game of the Year
  • IGN Best of 2002: Overall Game of the Year


  • The Xbox and Windows versions of the game feature three additional levels, available over Xbox Live or a special patch from the Chaos Theory collector's edition, that continue the storyline.
  • Splinter Cell received positive reviews upon release. Gamespot's Greg Kasavin said that Splinter Cell has "hands down the best lighting effects seen in any game to date." IGN likewise praised the game for its graphics and lighting. Both praised the game's audio, noting that Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher's voice suited the role perfectly.
  • The GCN version includes a new Sticky Bomb weapon, which doesn't appear in any other version. In addition to those, this version supports 480p resolution, which is exclusive to this version of the game.
  • In the first Chinese Embassy level, when Sam is meeting a contact, his code phrase is, "A bright cold day in April", the first line of George Orwell's novel 1984.
  • In the C.I.A. building it is possible to enter an out-of-the-way room containing UFO-themed items and a computer with a jumbled email from 'F.M. FBI,' a reference to Special Agent Fox Mulder from The X-Files. Further exploration lets the player view a huge, unreachable records room as seen in that show.
  • On the C.I.A. mission, Sam is told to go to "Information retrieval" department, another fictional department from Terry Gilliam's film Brazil.
  • On the first level, the training mission, you can reach the upper lookout room behind your starting position and talk to (and knock out) Anna Grimsdóttir. If you knock her out, you are fired.
  • Unlike most next-generation games, Splinter Cell does not use motion-capture technology. All of Sam Fisher's moves are animated. The creators felt this would give Sam a more "fluid" range of motion.
  • Knocking out a guard obviously makes a lot more noise than shooting him, even though its supposed to be the stealthier way. The game's explanation is that other guards can hear him groan when shot, but they don't seem to hear the noises made when you knock him out (he still groans, and then hits the floor rather hard).

See AlsoEdit

External LinksEdit


  1. Wikipedia

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