Generally favorable reviews - based on 90 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 90
  2. Negative: 0 out of 90
  1. 91
    Conviction's stylish presentation and intuitive cover mechanics prove that Ubisoft can make a highly polished product, but for the amount of game you get, the price seems sorely inflated.
  2. Hardcore fans of the series will no doubt hate the new direction Splinter Cell has taken, but the game is much improved and those wanting some action and silent tactics goodness will be pleased. Conviction does not rebuild the genre, but does a great job increasing its scope.
  3. 95
    Splinter Cell: Conviction is a game you have to play. Not only has Ubisoft managed to breathe new life into the franchise, but it has also succeeded in offering a wonderful action-stealth game for fans and newcomers. Not only does it excel graphically and sound-wise, but on top of that – one tends to forget all too often these days – a giant leap forward gameplay-wise. Definitely worth a purchase.
  4. Some people will hate Splinter Cell Conviction just because it’s different – you know what, it’s there loss. Bar a few pacing issues and a little too much emphasis on gunplay towards the end of the game, Conviction nevertheless delivers a fantastic experience that is great when played alone and nothing short of terrific when played with a friend.
  5. Conviction is one of the most polished experiences available this year, and certainly one everyone should see through to the end.
  6. Faster, Harder, Fisher. The new Splinter Cell is more action-oriented and offers an atmospheric presentation and high tension. Some will miss the traditional stealth gameplay, others welcome the fresh ideas.
  7. Splinter Cell Conviction may still demand patient planning but when a well-conceived scenario pays off and the air fills with the cries of frightened soldiers, the sense of empowerment becomes palpable – indeed outright addictive.
  8. The development of the story and the game provides not only die-hard fans of the series with a new and refreshing take on the Sam Fisher story, but it also provides new players to the series a rich and extremely satisfying gameplay experience.
  9. Although not a perfect package, Splinter Cell Conviction is a great game that offers a great single player experience as well as a solid cooperative game that all combines into another must have action game.
  10. Gratifying predatory battles, a unique visual exhibition, and a variety of engrossing game modes makes Conviction an absolutely solid experience that nobody should feel disappointed in.
  11. Splinter Cell is back with new gameplay mechanics and a great title. If you were waiting for a stealth game with fast paced mechanics and a cool main character, buy this game immediately. Conviction has a great multiplayer experience, and a short but intense campaign. Our uncle Sam is back again, and we love him!
  12. Splinter Cell Conviction opted for an approach with more action while offering the stealth that attracted the fans in previous games. The new mechanics make the gameplay more accessible, fluid and deadly.
  13. Conviction is the perfect evolution for Sam Fisher's series. The gameplay is smooth and dynamic, and even if the graphics are not the best of this generation, this last Splinter Cell delivers some serious action.
  14. This might not be the biggest Splinter Cell in the franchise but is by far the best and gets my vote for most innovative action game of the year.
  15. Splinter Cell: Conviction isn't the series' high point, but it does get the franchise back on track. [May 2010, p.89]
  16. It’s a more accessible and cinematic experience that may turn off some Splinter Cell purists. If you’re only in it for the single player story, a rental will suffice, but with a good-sized co-op campaign and a more focused multiplayer suite, Splinter Cell fans have excellent reason to get re-acquainted with Sam Fisher this summer.
  17. Arguably the best in the series. Better sneaking mechanic, one of the best cover systems ever, and pacing on a level unlike anything you've experienced in a stealth game, all while keeping it accessible to new players.
  18. Splinter Cell Conviction isn’t the most astonishing game you’ll play but when you put the final product in perspective, there’s no doubt in my mind that Ubisoft Montreal managed to create the second best game in the Splinter Cell franchise.
  19. 100
    Why Sam has stepped out of the shadows and is on full out attack makes complete sense in context with the story, so if you can accept it for what it is and not dwell on the fact that it isn't what you've come to expect in a Splinter Cell title, you'll no doubt agree that Conviction rivals Chaos Theory as the best title in the franchise's history.
  20. An exciting campaign, sweet Revenge kills, bad-ass interrogation sequences and an incredibly addicting co-op mode make Conviction one of the best Splinter Cell titles to date.
  21. Whether you’re an action nut, stealth gamer, or somewhere in between, Splinter Cell: Conviction has all the ingredients to take you on an unforgettable thrillride.
  22. Gorgeous visuals and a brilliant cast make Splinter Cell: Conviction a terrific, if a little short, singleplayer-experience. The Co-op modes bring loads of entertainment for shadowy agents and novice spies alike. Fisher's latest comes highly recommended.
  23. It isn't perfect and it doesn't stand out so much as to make it the be-all, end-all of stealth games, but Conviction has definitely put the Splinter Cell series back among the genre's elite.
  24. Explosive tactical knee-grazing and smash action. Breathes new life into the stealth genre. [June 2010, p.82]
  25. An easier gameplay doesn’t mean a worse gameplay, especially when you have so much more on offer in terms of storyline, action, interaction and graphics. Splinter Cell: Conviction marks a new beginning in the Splinter Cell series.
  26. With Conviction, the Splinter Cell series expertly keeps pace with the way stealth games are ploddingly evolving. It even throws in a few flourishes all its own. The result is a great stealth game that's well worth experiencing, even for newcomers to the series.
  27. Splinter Cell: Conviction is a return to form for the series after the slight hiccup that was Double Agent, and anyone that's put off trying out the game at this point would do well to give the series another chance.
  28. 93
    It was a huge risk deviating from the trial-and-error style that made the series famous, but it paid off. Splinter Cell Conviction is awesome.
  29. 92
    The main thing, though, is the remarkable and bold focus - none of Assassin's Creed 2's endless tutorial or ridiculous minigames, or indeed of Arkham Asylum's irritatingly blocked routes and hollow collectormania. This reborn Splinter Cell just gets on with it: it has the courage to pick one thing, the fantasy of being a hi-tech manhunter, and do it as well as possible.
  30. The new style and direction of the Splinter Cell franchise may not thrill all the fans out there, but it's a fact, that this was a much needed bold fresh adrenaline jolt.
  31. Splinter Cell: Conviction is quite different from its predecessors. Less trial-and-error, more tactical and action based stealth. Sam Fisher became the ultimate killing machine in the renewal of the stealth genre.
  32. A genre and series defining game for action fans to enjoy and appreciate.
  33. A great candidate for the title of best game in the series thanks to brilliant graphics, great attention to detail, a very immersive story and some well thought-out gameplay innovations. A must for every stealth action lover.
  34. Splinter Cell Conviction has turned the series upside down for the better, ditching the archaic gameplay of old which to be frank has gotten stale. The all new action stealth approach feels so much better and a lot more rewarding.
  35. Conviction can't be the perfect epilogue for the saga. The new Sam Fisher's adventure is well structured, with a fluid and fast gameplay and an intricate and addictive plot but it has several technical glitches and imperfections. But if you don't mind about these problems, you'll play Conviction from the start until the end and will appreciate every single part of its gameplay.
  36. 91
    All of the narrative and story-driven dialogue is beautifully pitched throughout, making the plot meld seamlessly with the gameplay.
  37. Every bit of the lighting and digital-effects are top-notch and we can only dream about what the next game will look like, it’s just so damn polished looking.
  38. 90
    A game that more than makes up for the protracted wait, with both a fantastic single player campaign and brilliantly worthwhile multiplayer component to boot.
  39. Sam Fisher is back with a vengeance then, leaner and meaner than ever before. Splinter Cell: Conviction, like Fisher is also rather lean in terms of narrative-based content, but there's more than enough going on in multiplayer to make SCC well worth the asking price.
  40. In both the main campaign and a rich two-player mode, the trademarks of Clancy’s military fantasy world—espionage, conspiracy at the highest levels of government, surgical application of deadly force—come to life with unrelenting suspense.
  41. Conviction is the best installment in the series. The developers took some major risks in design and presentation that paid off, resulting in a game that's at once approachable and complex, and arguably the current last word in stealth adventure.
  42. With an engaging story, impressive presentation and voice acting, and a variety of multiplayer game modes, Conviction has a lot of quality worth experiencing.
  43. This is a game that everyone really must play and, hopefully, other developers will pick up on some of the ideas in this title, mainly the excellent cover system. Be sure not to miss out on Splinter Cell Conviction.
  44. A bit short for one player, but with an impressive cooperative mode which compensates for. Simply put, Sam Fisher has in Conviction its best iteration since the first entry of the series.
  45. Splinter Cell was in need of a refresh and that's exactly what Ubisoft has delivered. Conviction manages to tweak the tried and tested formula without ruining the stealth gameplay, delivering some of the best action gaming I've played this year.
  46. It gives some of us a chance to release a lot of the pent-up energy from having to chill in the shadows for years, and any time you get to let the beast out and stop hiding, it feels good.
  47. Fast, brutal action that shines in single-player and co-op. A terrific series reboot. [June 2010, p.81]
  48. If you’re a fan of coop gaming action this is your game.
  49. 87
    Splinter Cell: Conviction is a game that will keep you on the edge of your seat for at least eight hours. The new direction that is chosen is a good one, even though the ride could have lasted a little longer.
  50. 90
    The game is one of the best Splinter Cells I have ever played, and I feel that Ubisoft has really made a solid game.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 525 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 113
  2. Negative: 19 out of 113
  1. Jul 11, 2011
    No one will stop Sam Fisher, nor do you. Slick control is perfect for stealth and combat, strong voice acting gives life to the awesome story and the flashy black and white ( in the shadow) adds cool effect to it. The multiplayer is appealing, i set more with the co-op mode, versus is sometimes frustrating , but it adds tension. Conviction never felt so good Full Review »
  2. Feb 24, 2012
    I have been a massive fan of the Splinter Cell series, beginning with the first title that was released for the original Xbox. My play through with Splinter Cell: Conviction was, to say the least, average. It's the kind of game where developers take 1 step forward and 2 steps back, despite their passionate effort in 'reinventing' the genre. Length: "Splinter Cell: Conviction's" story mode will last the average player an upwards of around 6-10 hours, depending on the difficulty (mind you, this is not the same "lengthy" duration they claimed and boasted in their interviews. The Co-op portion of the title will last approximately 3-4 hours, again, depending on the difficulty. The rest of the multiplayer length is relatively subjective, because it really depends on the person playing and whether they truly enjoy it or not.

    Controls: Excellent. Some issues with trying to climb up and some such but other than that, the controls were very solid.

    Sound: Again, also excellent. Single Player Story: Not too much peep out of me for this part of the game. It's a pretty interesting storyline, but I wish they did a few things differently. In short - and without spoiling too much - it's just obnoxious playing as Sam Fisher one moment, and than being thrown into Diwaniya, Iraq as a completely different person. It just derails the narrative focus of the game for the sake of telling a side story that is completely irrelevant to the main plot of the game. Co-op Story: Interesting to say the least. It really reveals a lot of the interior motives of a certain someone in the single player story, but only if you play the co-op campaign first. The ending was truly a disappointment although my friend and I had a pretty good laugh the first time we played the ending. Gameplay and design: Now, this is where it gets really nitty-gritty. The game-play and overall design of Conviction is quite clear, it's meant to be played as a run and gun, Jason Bourne on speed style game. There are a huge amount of key and refining features missing that made the originals so damn good. The knife, whistling, controlling your light exposure and movement speed, Night/thermal vision goggles, moving and hiding bodies, hallway split jumping, etc. Big and small things like the ones I mentioned above are just completely eradicated from Conviction, all for the sake of making it fast paced, something the Splinter Cell series is *not* known for. Enemies are just thrown into each section of the level, each one being in a convenient spot for players to make full use of the Mark and Execute feature. So much is sacrificed for one feature, and quite frankly, it's just disgusting to see a title stripped of it's roots and garnished with mediocrity.

    The exclusion of key features is one thing, but the illusion of the stealth in conviction is also another. I couldn't shake the feeling that Conviction was not designed with the originals in mind. For all intents and purposes, Ubisoft felt it would be a good idea to force players into unavoidable gun fight scenarios with little hope for pure stealth. The addition of the Sonar Goggles is more of a burden than it is a boon. Special enemy types are later equipped with these very same goggles, further eliminating the use of stealth mechanics and forcing players to draw their guns and mark/execute their way to victory. These same goggles also completely eliminate the use of one such gadget, the sticky camera (which had it's smoke feature replaced with the explode feature).

    I can go on about how this isn't a true sequel to the Splinter Cell series but this review has to stop at some point and I'm just sick of having to juggle why Ubisoft felt it necessary to try and reinvent the wheel. For me, this title in the series is a 5/10. In short, as a Splinter Cell title, Conviction is complete trash that spits in the face of it's predecessor in hopes of garnering the undivided attention of the fast-paced shooter crowd. As a 3rd person shooter with some stealth elements, it's an average game. Make of that what you will.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 18, 2011
    I have loved the splinter cell games since the very first and have played them over and over again, but when i put the rotten piece of diarrhea that ubisoft call splinter cell conviction into my xbox my first reaction was to grab a bucket to vomit into, The graphics look as good as a fox that has been hit by a car, the gameplay is nothing like the originals, A game that is meant to be a stealth game then has little to no stealth elements and it actually forces you to have an all out gunfight using the stupid mark and execute ability, The game was meant to make you feel like a panther but it made me feel like mark and executing my balls off. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys to be anally penetrated with a razor blade as i feel these are the only people who could enjoy a game of this quality. The only reason i give this a 1/10 is because the box art looks quite nice. Full Review »