User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 232 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 232

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  1. JosephPalka
    Jul 13, 2009
    10
    This was a pretty good game on the Playstation 2 when I first experienced it. The stealth element in the game made the game itself come to life. Despite the weapons, there were also a variety of objects in the game as well. Another good thing about this game are the graphics. The graphics are polished in every single environment along with the effects of the sky, explosions, fire, andThis was a pretty good game on the Playstation 2 when I first experienced it. The stealth element in the game made the game itself come to life. Despite the weapons, there were also a variety of objects in the game as well. Another good thing about this game are the graphics. The graphics are polished in every single environment along with the effects of the sky, explosions, fire, and decals. The interrogations and conversations from the NPC's are also entertaining. In the Kalinatek building, you see two guards through a transparent wall talking about how wall mines are dangerous. You have two choices: Wait for one of the guards to walk into the room and be knocked out by you or just open the door in the middle of their conversation, take out your SC20K, zoom in and shoot the mine to turn them into barbecue steaks!

    Overall: I have played all the Splinter Cell games in the franchise so far and even though this game is old, it is well worth anyone's time.
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  2. Jun 4, 2014
    8
    I have played many stealth games and after playing through this game I am still not convinced that this is one of the best stealth games but it was still enjoyable and well made for it's time. The controls was ok but there are problems with the gameplay when descending from a ledge to another ledge and jumping from a ladder to a ledge which can make you miss the ledge. This was annoyingI have played many stealth games and after playing through this game I am still not convinced that this is one of the best stealth games but it was still enjoyable and well made for it's time. The controls was ok but there are problems with the gameplay when descending from a ledge to another ledge and jumping from a ladder to a ledge which can make you miss the ledge. This was annoying but with many tries it finnaly worked. The difficulty of this game was very hard and not because of how smart the A.I was or how the level design was built, but reather the recoil and accuracy of the weapons which made the game harder in a unrealistic way and also those times when you had to kill your way through to complete a level was a bit annoying. You can get used to it but still it could have been more enjoyable if the shooting mechanics could of been better.

    The difficulty was unrealistic how the A.I could spot you with their eyes in the back of their heads which also made the game bad. Some might disagree with me and say that I made too much noise but was not the case here, the A.I knew that you were behind them all the time quite often but this could be a bug or the A.I. was inconsistent.

    Being the first game in the Splinter Cell franchise it is still a enjoyable stealth experience but it is disappointing to me that the A.I is inconsistent and the weapon handling is bad.

    The story is good but not great but how the story was told was quite interesting.
    I would like to have a longer story campaign with more stealth gameplay but they wanted to balance the variation of the gameplay by having more shooting rather than stealth which is unfortunate because I still think that this game needed more stealth moments and If the shooting mechanics would have been better, well then I would have enjoyed having those crucial shooting moments in the game. Despite those flaws this game Spinter Cell is a very good stealth action game and I recommend those that love the stealth game genre to play it.
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  3. Jan 15, 2015
    8
    LAST PLAYED: Jan 2015 (GOG.com Version)

    PROS: + Stealth matters + Story is pretty good + Some cool equipment CONS: - Some clumsy control elements – Graphics haven’t aged well, even on max PC settings REVIEW: When I spotted this title on sale on GOG.com’s platform I thought I’d try it out, since it spawned so many sequels. In some ways, I was pleasantly surprised. The Assassin’s
    LAST PLAYED: Jan 2015 (GOG.com Version)

    PROS: + Stealth matters + Story is pretty good + Some cool equipment

    CONS: - Some clumsy control elements – Graphics haven’t aged well, even on max PC settings

    REVIEW: When I spotted this title on sale on GOG.com’s platform I thought I’d try it out, since it spawned so many sequels. In some ways, I was pleasantly surprised. The Assassin’s Creed series, also by Ubisoft, claims that you should try to kill your target stealthily, but gives no reward for doing so. Splinter Cell, by contrast, really can’t be played “loud” since the computer is scripted to give you one warning before terminating the mission. It is refreshing to have stealth be a mission-critical element in a game, since so many of them are optional at best.

    As a side-effect of the stealth focus of the game, patience is rewarded. If you wait, in game, things improve. This is also true for the story, which starts out pretty bland but gets better later (though if you don’t care for geopolitics and conspiracy theories you might still be bored). Also, the rifle with all the attachments only becomes available later. From my perspective, this is kind of a mistake, since it makes the early missions less fun, but whatever.

    The bad of the game really boils down to some growing pains. Ubisoft hadn’t figured out a good control scheme yet, I guess because the mouse wheel is all important for controlling movement speed in this game. Yes, I could have used XPadder to try to mimic the console, but who would really want to go to all that effort? Also, the character models are angular with terrible textures—symptomatic of games of the time.

    The results? A game that is still worth playing 12 years later: it will immerse you if you are willing to be patient with the awkward controls and clunky first levels.
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  4. Aug 17, 2011
    10
    supremo! Sam fisher rocks! Kick the people finding flaws in this game.it is much better than hitman where if u wear enemy cloths then no one recognises you.oh come on it is impossible to unrecognise top most honour killer agent 47 in any getup specialy because they have those barcodes on the back side of head.
    Splinter cell rocks man!
  5. Sneak
    Sep 4, 2008
    10
    I really, really, pity the people who think that this has been done before/is stupid/is too linear. It takes a while, but there is always an alternate route, with a few exceptions. Also, AI is amazing, mch better than in Metal Gear Solid (where pointing your gun at them caused them to crap out ammunition and supplies. Also, even though I have only played the Xbox version, the computer I really, really, pity the people who think that this has been done before/is stupid/is too linear. It takes a while, but there is always an alternate route, with a few exceptions. Also, AI is amazing, mch better than in Metal Gear Solid (where pointing your gun at them caused them to crap out ammunition and supplies. Also, even though I have only played the Xbox version, the computer version can't really be that much different. Expand
  6. DrewL.
    May 31, 2003
    10
    This game brings out the best in every aspect of what a solo-shooter game should be. Graphics are amazing, and stealth tactics are awesome.
  7. PliskinI.
    Mar 8, 2003
    10
    Best Game out There Definitely buy it.
  8. JoshF.
    Mar 16, 2003
    8
    So far, I'm really liking this game. I got a PS2 unfaithfully , solely for Vice City. Planned to buy this, too, but when I found the PC version I couldn't imagine playing it with an anolog stick. Mice are SO much more precise. Games like this are totally suited for PC's. Any way, so far this game kicks ass, people.
  9. BoMD
    May 4, 2003
    10
    TOP OF THE LINE !!!!!!! This game is realy something new and never before seen. The only bad thing about the game i can say is that it abit too hard fore me. THUMBS UP
  10. IzZo
    May 1, 2003
    10
    One of a Kind!! This game rocks!These stealth games have alwayz been my fav, especially MGS series. Man, this game has 2 b ubisoft's best piece of work yet! unfortunately like other games 2day it's a very demanding game, requiring a Geforece 2 operate, had 2 upgrade my geforce 2 to 4 jus for this n MGS 2 but seriously these games r worth it!the lighting n audio r incredible, n i One of a Kind!! This game rocks!These stealth games have alwayz been my fav, especially MGS series. Man, this game has 2 b ubisoft's best piece of work yet! unfortunately like other games 2day it's a very demanding game, requiring a Geforece 2 operate, had 2 upgrade my geforce 2 to 4 jus for this n MGS 2 but seriously these games r worth it!the lighting n audio r incredible, n i like da idea of da scroll mouse for adjustin runnnin speed, very creative me thinks, well done Ubisoft, i take my hat off 2 u for this great game! Expand
  11. AdamR.
    Mar 27, 2003
    10
    Very good. I have only played the demo, but it is very good. But what is with the AI? I was using this guy as a human shield and the AI shot at me anyway. And when the shield died, the computer blamed it on me. What's up with that!? But, back to the demo I go. Another note: Graphics are bad on a GeForce2 GTS
  12. Stuie
    Feb 19, 2003
    10
    Totally a wicked game, very well done, excellent gameplay, excellant sound and graphics..... all around a top notch game and totally woth the money.
  13. ChristopherW.
    Mar 6, 2003
    9
    A superb game, way better than the console versions.
  14. TimB.
    Apr 5, 2004
    10
    Oh man. I don't know where to start. This game lets you choose whether to kick ass and take names, or just hide in the shadows and sneak past everyone. If there were no ending, I'd still be playing it. Nonstop. I wouldn't even sleep.
  15. DjE
    Dec 22, 2004
    10
    This game is the best with all the best sound graphics and levels puls how much deatial is put in to the guns this is a sweet game i would recommend this to anyone.
  16. ShawnH
    May 24, 2008
    8
    A good game, even in 2008, 5 years after it debuted. I agree with what others have said. It is linear and has aspects of Thief, Hitman and No One Lives Forever. I enjoy sneaking up and taking out enemies, but I wish there were more ways to dispatch the enemy. I also enjoy listening to the conversations between NPC's, which give life to the game. It is definitely worth playing, and I A good game, even in 2008, 5 years after it debuted. I agree with what others have said. It is linear and has aspects of Thief, Hitman and No One Lives Forever. I enjoy sneaking up and taking out enemies, but I wish there were more ways to dispatch the enemy. I also enjoy listening to the conversations between NPC's, which give life to the game. It is definitely worth playing, and I look forward to playing the sequels to see what other adventures Sam Fisher gets involved in. Expand
  17. DalekC
    Jun 6, 2009
    8
    I thought that the game was fun, sneaking and shooting and whacking the crap out of people.
  18. AdrianV.
    Mar 9, 2003
    10
    EXCELENT, THIS GAME RULES
  19. MattR.
    Mar 2, 2003
    9
    This game is intense and innovative (I don't know what the last poster was talking about, this HASN'T been done before). This is one of those games that will make your palms sweat with tension. The graphics are awesome, the story flows pretty nicely, and the sounds are great (footsteps sound differently on pavement, wood, etc). The only downside is that it's a bit too hard This game is intense and innovative (I don't know what the last poster was talking about, this HASN'T been done before). This is one of those games that will make your palms sweat with tension. The graphics are awesome, the story flows pretty nicely, and the sounds are great (footsteps sound differently on pavement, wood, etc). The only downside is that it's a bit too hard for the average gamer. Expand
  20. Mar 6, 2012
    8
    Age beat it up, but it never fell down. I love the game, it comes close to my heart the testament of how good games stay forever whereas some leave, this one will not leave me for one second though!
  21. Jun 23, 2012
    9
    after playing chaos theory this game looks abit stale but for it's time it's great you can pretty much tweak anything in the ini solid game showing its age
  22. Feb 12, 2013
    9
    story- it revolves around 'sam fisher' a spy agent that you play as. you work for a type of government security agency. gameplay- the controls can get a bit problematic, sometimes feels blocky. but it introduce a new way to play with tactical gameplay. you use a variety of tactical equipment to get the jobs done. video- solid for its date of release. its about the standard during thatstory- it revolves around 'sam fisher' a spy agent that you play as. you work for a type of government security agency. gameplay- the controls can get a bit problematic, sometimes feels blocky. but it introduce a new way to play with tactical gameplay. you use a variety of tactical equipment to get the jobs done. video- solid for its date of release. its about the standard during that time.

    audio- music is solid, and effects are well done. overall- the original sometimes is always the best and this one beats the recent release imo. conviction didn't really introduce much new and felt all over the place.
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  23. Apr 3, 2013
    8
    Considering that this game was released in 2003 its a pretty remarkable game. Not for the graphics those are okay and on par for the generation of games it is in not for the controls of the game and its responsiveness to your actions (drove me insane that Sam would not do the simplest maneuvers without doing it multiple times "No GRAB THAT LEDGE YOU MORON") but purely for the game play.Considering that this game was released in 2003 its a pretty remarkable game. Not for the graphics those are okay and on par for the generation of games it is in not for the controls of the game and its responsiveness to your actions (drove me insane that Sam would not do the simplest maneuvers without doing it multiple times "No GRAB THAT LEDGE YOU MORON") but purely for the game play. The voice acting is okay. The sets are decent. But what makes this an 8 and not a 5 is the design of the game, the variety of approaches, even in the restricted space of a spy/stealth game and the need to really examine all the alternatives before taking a particular route or approach. Its still a fun game even nearly 10 years after its release. Expand
  24. AWG
    Jul 7, 2013
    8
    A funny and interesting game experience wrapped in a great-written story: more than 10 years after its release, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is still one of the most innovative and lovable "first game from a franchise titles" ever.
  25. Sep 1, 2013
    10
    The original Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell is the best game in the series because of its
    1) Game play in which we can do the same thing again and again in different ways.
    2)Graphics which is good for game of 2003.
    3)Sets which are awesome like the CIA HQ & Kalinatek
  26. Jun 22, 2014
    9
    I can say this is a well developed stealth/action game. This is when Ubisoft actually put some heart and soul into this franchise. It's an outstanding game with a simple, but quite unique gameplay element - hiding in the dark.
    Even though it was made in 2002, the game manages to run OK on Windows 7 64-bit. The controls are something you need to learn, but in the end they make the game
    I can say this is a well developed stealth/action game. This is when Ubisoft actually put some heart and soul into this franchise. It's an outstanding game with a simple, but quite unique gameplay element - hiding in the dark.
    Even though it was made in 2002, the game manages to run OK on Windows 7 64-bit. The controls are something you need to learn, but in the end they make the game quite enjoyable. The shooting mechanics are a bit under-powering, but I guess that's to make you feel like you should be sneaking instead. I loved all of the interesting features such as lock-picking, shooting surveillance cams, rappelling down buildings, grabbing officers to bypass a retinal scanner, using zip-lines and scaling all sorts of obstacles as well as getting into tight places.
    The story is really well written, it gives a very honest feeling of actually working for national security - to prevent any threat to the nation. It's amazing how it teaches you about how information warfare works (thanks to Tom Clancy, may this man rest in peace). The cutscenes are very good as well. The characters seem alright and well detailed and the dialogue is superb. Michael Ironside does a great job voicing the main character, Sam Fisher, making him sound cold and brave, alongside a pinch of sense of humor. Also, Irving Lambert's voice actor Don Jordan
    The level design, while at first a bit confusing, is not bad. I like how it gives more than just one option to pass an area: shall I sneak behind a guard and knock him out or climb up a pipe to get up on the roof and then strike him from above? Speaking of guards, I am a little bit disappointed with the AI. It seems at certain points their field of view is superhuman and they can sometimes hear me when I'm sneaking as slowly as possible.
    This may seem like a burden for your temper, but thankfully the environment in the game is very nicely done. Many places are quite detailed and there's quite some variation as well. There are some areas in the game that make it sound like breaking into them would be insane, but in the end you can actually pass through them. The graphics, for 2002, are quite stunning. Though most of the time the player is accustomed to using night-vision, but while the goggles are off, some very fine details can be seen like the clouds, the faces of the NPCs and the guns.
    To top it all off, the sound quality is amazing. It feels like not one bit of quality was sacrificed when it comes to hearing gunfire, explosions, dialogue and the ambiance. I have to say I love the music too, especially when guards get a bit alerted and there's a sudden piano chord followed by a tense, ninja-esque soundtrack. But when things start to get messy, there's a perfect action theme for the upcoming combat. Overall, the last mission's soundtrack has got to be the best though.
    In the end, this game was a great starter for an interesting franchise. I believe this is when Ubisoft was a respectful game developer, unlike now, unfortunately.
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  27. Jun 21, 2015
    8
    My very first Splinter Cell game. No, I didn't play this when I was a kid, I just started the series and plan to play them in order. Talk about being late! Back then I heard this game was aimed to be a Metal Gear Solid 2 killer. Ha! Not even close. Splinter Cell is a great game, just not on par with MGS.

    As you may already know, you are Sam Fisher, a secret agent of Third Echelon, a
    My very first Splinter Cell game. No, I didn't play this when I was a kid, I just started the series and plan to play them in order. Talk about being late! Back then I heard this game was aimed to be a Metal Gear Solid 2 killer. Ha! Not even close. Splinter Cell is a great game, just not on par with MGS.

    As you may already know, you are Sam Fisher, a secret agent of Third Echelon, a section of the NSA. A coup has occurred in Georgia, and a man named Kombayn Nikoladze has come into power. The CIA sends in two agents to see if this guy is up to no good. Suddenly they lose contact. That's where you come in. The story is decent and so is the voice acting. Music also sets the mood too.

    Obviously, stealth is a must in this game. Why? Because #1: you have limited ammo. #2: Sam can get killed easily, even on the easier difficulty and #3: setting off too many alarms will cause the mission to end. This game does not hold your hand, you have to figure how to proceed by yourself. What I like about this game is the use of light and darkness to proceed. There are cases where you can be nose-to-nose with an enemy yet because you're in pitch darkness, he wouldn't notice you. Note, that's an exaggeration, he'll notice if you get too close, so don't actually do it :D

    Of course, there are faults. One is the melee attack. There's JUST one: an elbow strike. You can knock out enemies from behind with it, but the real problem is using it face-to-face. When you're sneaking from behind and they turn around and spot you (which will happen very often), it takes two strikes to dispatch them and by the time you do that, they pumped 2-3 bullets (more if it's an assault rifle), bringing down a good chunk of health.

    Another thing is the aiming. For some reason, this highly-trained NSA agent cannot aim his pistol right. As in, even if you're crouched and still, you can still miss. Not a big deal since you're not supposed to kill too much anyway, but it's a problem when you trying to shoot lights out. What I do is that I quicksave before I shoot. The SC-20K is MUCH better. Not only is it more accurate, but you can do a lot of stuff with it, like sniping, shooting non-lethal darts and sleeping gas. And the last thing is once you beat the game, that's it. Fortunately, it's worth a second playthrough. Try it on Hard.

    This game has done a good job of introducing me to the SC series. It's worth the low price now. I want to play Pandora Tommorrow now but it's not on Steam. Please Ubisoft, fix whatever problems it has and re-release it.
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Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 20
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 20
  3. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. It’s all rendered beautifully, possessing a realistic quality that will likely be unmatched for quite some time. Animation is incredibly fluid and the attention to detail is impeccable.
  2. The graphics in Splinter Cell are unsurpassed. The lighting effects are incredible, the character models look great, and the animations are realistic.
  3. It's not all stealth. Ubi Soft's Montreal studio did a terrific job sprinkling the missions with spasms of frenetic action and tech-savvy stunts. [Mar 2003, p.84]