So we’ve already talked about the fantastic single player of Splinter Cell: Conviction and while that is a great experience (albeit a little short) the co-op is even more awesome. Sam Fisher is bad ass, we know that, and yes even more bad ass then both Archer and Kestrel our duo of co-op super spies put together. However, the dynamic between the American and Russian agents is quite a bit of fun as you and a friend can take down enemies with coordination and conviction (see what I did there, hehe).
That’s one of the most amazing things about this new Splinter Cell. Even though there are cut scenes where some cool stuff happens, it’s the created choreography of you perfectly set up death trap that gives this game that “Holy Crap!” factor. There have been many moments where I’ve said aloud “Sweet zombie Jesus! Did I just pull that off?” And as many options as you may have had in the single player campaign, the artful ways you and a friend can deal out death in any of the co-op modes is incredible.
The quick story between Archer and Kestrel is just about as good as the story of Sam Fisher, I wont go into details but I enjoyed it just as much. What’s special though is that while playing with a friend you can go down if you try something risky and not have to start over as your partner in death can revive you and continue – you can even defend him as he does so. Which to me is absolutely amazing.
The fact that you and your partner can mark and execute together is another fantastic option. I wish you could have up to 8 marks with two of you in the fray but alas it’s still a max of 4 (so far). I can just imagine taking down a huge group of enemies in one crazy flourish. That’s the thing about Splinter Cell: Conviction it does everything with quite a bit of style and that is just as true when you and your partner talk out a great mark and execute!
That being said, you need to play co-op with a friend. I have tried to play with some random person online and unfortunately more often then not, we either are not coordinating well or he/she is of the mind to play Rambo style which is very much the opposite of my Jason Bourne/Solid Snake style.
If you love the way the story plays then you’ll love the different deniable ops games you can play though in a few different modes. Hunter is most like the story missions, you have to take out combatants by whatever means necessary. Infiltration is the pure splinter cell experience where you have to traverse a number of levels without being seen at all.
And then there’s my favorite.
Face Off is simply the most fun I have had with a game in a long time. Instead of Archer and Kestrel working together to a common goal, it’s Archer vs. Kestrel! You fight against a friend or someone online and it’s an all out battle where you both have a certain amount of time to take out each other as well as the AI fodder for points. There’s nothing like trying to stalk someone and kill them as they are trying to do the same to you. There’s no pattern you can figure out, no oblivious AI who’s basically looking at you and not able to see you. It pretty much puts the game on a whole new level. It’s so much fun to take out a guy without him even knowing where you were, or watching as an AI combatant goes down from a head shot a few feet away and you’re trying to figure out where the shot came from.
The Splinter Cell: Conviction co-op to me is the 4 inches of meat on a a great gaming manwich and it make it endlessly re-playable. Please, if you’re a fan of stealth action games but have been put off by the idea of a short campaign, I beg you to reconsider and go get this game.
Splinter Cell: Conviction is available now on the Xbox 360.