Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials PSP

  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Mar 21, 2006

Mixed or average reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 37
  2. Negative: 10 out of 37
Buy On
  1. PSM2 Magazine UK
    An object lesson in why certain games probably shouldn't make the transition to PSP - wait for "Double Agent" on PS2 instead and enjoy the 'Cell experience in all its intended glory. [May 2006, p.74]
  2. Play UK
    Fans of the series should be prepared for a fight if they want to get the most out of the game. [Issue#139, p.75]
  3. Splinter Cell is a game that has pushed the envelope of the next-gen consoles. To release this game on a handheld is to have that envelope pushed back with "Return to Sender" marked on it.
  4. Sure to disappoint fans of the franchise, but may be a nice "lite" introduction to newcomers.
  5. PSM Magazine
    The PSP has no camera-maneuvering second analog stick, making the spy's portable debut a frustrating chore. [Jun 2006, p.85]
  6. Splinter Cell Essentials is nonessential for any Sam Fisher fan.
  7. 63
    Every facet of the console games appears in full form, but most of it suffers from poor execution. Whether it's the controls, presentation or multiplayer, you can't help but feel Essentials shipped months too early.
  8. Splinter Cell Essentials would more be appropriately entitled “Splinter Cell Frustrations”.
  9. If you aren’t an experienced Splinter Cell player, or found the game tricky on the Xbox, then the controls will likely be confounding and the other issues not worth dealing with. Nice try Ubi, but no cigar.
  10. The potential is here – the game just needs to cook for a few more hours before it’s ready for consumption.
  11. Even though the game has the spirit of previous Splinter Cell titles, not to mention the exact missions, it's without innovation and comes off as a stale installment in an otherwise fantastic series.
  12. Edge Magazine
    Despite a fair few moments of awe, the governing and familiar impression here is of compromise. The vivid aesthetic and precise audio of the console versions have respectively been mellowed and overplayed, the design beaten into handheld shape and accordingly bruised. [Apr 2006, p.93]
  13. games(TM)
    It isn’t the PSP debut we had hoped for. With a short lifespan and old missions, let’s hope this is the beginning of the end for what has been a strong franchise. [Apr 2006, p.114]
  14. 60
    The beauty of Splinter Cell games has always been the flexibility and fluidity of their controls, especially on the Xbox. But Splinter Cell: Essentials fails to adapt the mechanics to the PSP, and the end result is a frustrating experience with lengthy load times -- an overall trimmed experience.
  15. 60
    If we hadn't spent so much time recently with the superb "Syphon Filter," maybe the deficiencies wouldn't be so glaring. But once you've seen PSP stealth done right, there's no going back.
  16. So despite high production values, highlighted by another stellar turn by Ironside, there are too many frustrations for anyone but the most staunch Splinter Cell fanatic to try and stomach.
  17. While its interesting story ties in with the upcoming Splinter Cell: Double Agent for the major consoles, an interesting plot just isn’t enough to distract us from the poor visuals, atrocious controls and long load times.
  18. Unfortunately, due to some bad controls, oppressively dark levels, and a worthless multiplayer mode, the result is a game that is more frustrating than it is rewarding.
  19. This is not a game worthy of the Splinter Cell title. It feels rushed, forced and, worst of all, like a quick cash-in on a franchise that's move into the next-generation of consoles.
  20. It's official. Splinter Cell is not meant to be a portable game. I think these other reviewers are too forgiving because Splinter Cell's so great to begin with. But I'm a fan of the series, and I think this one stinks.
  21. The camera never becomes comfortable and the graphical glitches are an embarrassment to the development team, the publisher and the player.
  22. The game does feel rushed, but with a scarcity of militaristic shooters, this Splinter Cell title, though flawed, isn't a horrible choice for PSP owners looking for a stealth-action fix.

Awards & Rankings

#11 Most Discussed PSP Game of 2006
#30 Most Shared PSP Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 40 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 2 out of 13
  1. May 9, 2012
    Amazing game indeed. Played it through holding my breath! Stealth elements are made very well, the storyline is also catchy.
  2. JordanS.
    May 24, 2007
    This is an amazing game. the graphics are very good although i found that for most of the game i had to play using night vision. I like howThis is an amazing game. the graphics are very good although i found that for most of the game i had to play using night vision. I like how splinter cell essentials tells the whole story of the splinter cell saga through the different missions. Full Review »
  3. NathanielS.
    Jul 10, 2006
    I just loved the game.