Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 59 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 59
  2. Negative: 0 out of 59
  1. The result is sweaty-palmed fun, teaming the adult joys of a well-paced thriller with the childish delight of playing hide-and-seek in the dark.
  2. Magnificent on the Xbox 360, this could be a contender for game of the year.
  3. It's got to be the most fully featured stealth action game to date, so if you like the idea of high-tech espionage, it's certainly going to have plenty to offer you.
  4. One of the major new additions to the series that really sets Double Agent apart from the rest is the branching storyline. Not only is the story eons better than the past games in both presentation and writing, but you actually get to change the course of what happens for better or worse.
  5. The movement and animation are as smooth as ever with only a few hiccups on the framerate. Swimming, running, and sneaking around never felt so natural as you are going through all of the various missions. The computer AI on in this game is much sharper and makes it more challenging for all players.
  6. 92
    It's the branching gameplay that catapults Double Agent above its predecessors and marks the series as striding forward into a wealth of possibilities.
  7. Even though you won't have the staggering number of gadgets and gear at your disposal, you'll likely still have a blast. Even those of us who were huge fans of the multiplayer action in Chaos Theory came around after a few games.
  8. Involving missions, cutting edge graphics and an excellent narrative that, while not always living up to its potential, strives mightily to expand the storytelling and emotional connection while maintaining the right balance of fun and adventure.
  9. The single-player experience is worth this game by itself but throw in the multi-player mode and you have yourself a candidate for game of the year.
  10. The only thing that really irritated me while I played were the swimming controls – they just don’t feel right. Otherwise, this is an excellent game that you should, at the very least, rent and play through once.
  11. By giving players a real incentive to be the stealthy super-spy, it's opening the game up to being what it should have been. And by wrapping it in a memorable narrative and giving Sam Fisher the ability to be evil, you actually start to care not only about your actions, but the characters in the game too.
  12. Veterans of Splinter Cell Chaos Theory may be disappointed with Double Agent's multiplayer. Yet, while some may call this game stripped down, we thought the lack of gadgets streamlined the multiplayer experience and sped up matches online.
  13. 90
    All sorts of improvements have been made to level design, AI, gameplay mechanics (which are simplified yet still require skill), and a meaningful storyline punctuated with directed moments. While some may argue the point, the new Mercs Vs. Spies mode is good fun and should prove to have legs on Xbox Live.
  14. I came for the single-player, which I liked rather than loved, and stayed for the multiplayer, which I used to like and now adore. I have a feeling many other fans will feel the same way.
  15. Just think of Double Agent as the least amazing Splinter Cell yet, rather than the worst game in the series - because it's simply not. It's the gutsiest, and the chances it takes (but doesn't quite nail) give the series room to evolve into something better than could've possibly imagined to iterations ago. [Dec 2006, p.70]
  16. The only real disappointing aspect of the game is multiplayer. The exclusion of a cooperative campaign is a step backwards in my opinion. Still, Splinter Cell fans are sure to enjoy one of Sam Fisher’s best assignments yet.
  17. The most unique Sam Fisher adventure since the original Splinter Cell game.
  18. Although there aren’t many significant changes to the gameplay, the game still feels more exhilarating and more immersive because of the improved visuals, better storyline, lack of darkness, and the moral choices Sam if forced to make.
  19. Double Agent is fun, exciting, intense, and definitely a showcase title for the visual elegance of the 360, but if you want a fully fleshed out story, extended levels, more dialogue, and an overall richer Splinter Cell experience, I’d have to recommend the original Xbox version over this.
  20. 90
    There's just so much to the game that I feel this is probably only the second or third 360 game to ever really be worth the extra money: I mean, it's really two complete games on a single disc.
  21. In every sense imaginable, Splinter Cell: Double Agent was meant to exploit the platform on which it was designed, and it excels to an extraordinary degree.
  22. 90
    The game has always looked amazing, and now they’ve taken it up a notch by giving more detail to each character, especially Sam, and environments.
  23. The game is very accessible to veterans and newbies alike, and it offers a great single and multiplayer experience.
  24. Double Agent's level design and scenarios will keep you on your toes while blowing your mind at the same time.
  25. Rupturing quality and oozing tension, this is stealth gaming of the highest calibre, full of imagination and augmented by an excellent two-way Trust system that leaves you pondering every choice you make and then having to deal with the consequences. [Nov 2006, p.8]
  26. The story is great, the double agent dynamic is unique and engaging, and the set-piece levels and accompanying ‘next-gen' graphics are second-to-none. But with all that said, Double Agent's drift from the stealthy core of Sam Fisher's past travails will no doubt displease many hardcore fans, and this is arguably the simplest and least challenging game in the series.
  27. If the trial-and-error aesthetic turned you off in the past, not a whole lot has changed in that regard, and the series becomes increasingly less accessible for new players with each entry. But Double Agent is an unforgettably tense experience no stealth fan can afford to miss.
  28. What we’ve seen here is a more-vulnerable Sam Fisher rather than the near-invincible super ninja of the previous games, which certainly gives Double Agent a distinctive feel.
  29. Splinter Cell Double Agent is a solid game with an excellent multiplayer component. Fans of a gripping storyline which includes intense action and “stealthy stealth” will no doubt enjoy this game.
  30. Excellent as it is, it fails to match the impossibly high standards set by "Chaos Theory." [Dec 2006, p.96]
  31. Agent Sam Fisher's latest assignment turns out to be a fairly routine stealth action operation, but improvements to Splinter Cell's innovative multiplayer mode more than make up for this.
  32. The story is better, the trust meters "work," and the gameplay is still fun. Only problem: the next-gen content snub. Had it included online co-op and Ubisoft done more to integrate the single- and multiplayer modes, it would've scored a [90].
  33. Playing as a Double Agent is the perfect plot line for a Splinter Cell game; finally we feel a little closer to this world of international espionage.
  34. 85
    It's not quite the complete package that "Chaos Theory" was, but it deserves credit for trying something a bit different this time around, even if the changes weren’t entirely successful ones. Few games recreate the sense of tension the way that the Splinter Cell games do, and this latest version does it incredibly well.
  35. 85
    The A.I. has also gotten smarter to the point that if you are caught out in the open, you're as hosed as Brittney's post K-Fed career. Sure, you can try to forgo the use of cover and concealment but bloody wounds and humiliation will be your only reward.
  36. Offers the same outstanding stealth action than its predecessors, but fails miserably on the story department. Also, the much-advertised choice between good and bad does not really affect anything at all. Could we please get the next one with a decent, engaging story? [Dec 2006, p.82]
  37. Splinter Cell still offers the most unique multiplayer around, and Double Agent will keep me happily entertained for quite some time--probably well past Fisher's retirement party. [Dec. 2006, p.121]
  38. We love the immersive gameplay and cool visuals, although we’re starting to get tired of constantly saving and reloading because some guard spotted us picking a lock.
  39. It provides plenty of glorious visuals, the audio is top-notch and the missions are pretty damn fun.
  40. They want their multiplayer and this is where it shines, though hardcore fans of previous installments will most likely not be very pleased with some of the changes.
  41. Though the Clancy series entirely consists of such well-rounded packages, it’s Splinter Cell that shines – a game of equally accomplished halves. [Dec 2006, p.82]
  42. With a good ten hours plus of single player game, even on the easiest difficulty, and the multiple endings the choice system provides adding to that, and a great co-op and multiplayer game on top this should provide you with plenty of enjoyment doe your money and keep you sneaking around for a long time to come.
  43. A great game that's certainly worth playing if you enjoyed any previous Splinter Cell titles, but don't expect to see a huge leap in terms of gameplay, or the ingenious level design of years gone by.
  44. The double agent element gives the game a slightly unique feeling, but at times it's hard to shake the thought that you're playing a Chaos Theory expansion pack; albeit a very attractive one.
  45. A worthy continuation of a superb series that is unfortunately over way too quickly. When a game is this great you simply don't want it to finish. [Issue 13, p.82]
  46. 80
    At it’s core, Double Agent is a terrific game and I would definitely recommend it to all action and stealth genre fans, but the stifled campaign and clumsy multiplayer presentation hinder it from being the stellar game everyone was hoping for.
  47. A huge variety of settings and missions mean Ubisoft really gets to show off graphically, and we found that the 360’s HD capabilities gave the game a sleek, immersive feel. A few niggles in terms of camera views and accessibility for people new to the series let it down, but overall it’s a must have for Splinter Cell fans.
  48. The storyline is perhaps one of the most compulsive yet, which is reinforced by the mechanic of working for both the security services and the terrorists at the same time. That said, the Trust mechanic doesn't quite work as well as it should, but it's hard to see how else it could be improved without pushing frustration to the limit.
  49. 80
    Because the co-op missions are just gussied-up versus matches, and because the versus game doesn't have any variations in objectives (spies simply hack at computer terminals to retrieve files to return to the starting base) or modes, multiplayer may start to wear out more quickly than in previous editions.
  50. Sadly the popular co-op mode from "Chaos Theory" did not make its return in Double Agent, I’m sure there are reasons but I am and no doubt many other fans of "Chaos Theory’s" co-op mode will be disappointed that it did not make its return in the new game.
  51. For the most part, Double Agent is like slipping on a comfortable pair of shoes. There aren't really any new gadgets, although some of the old ones have evolved.
  52. 80
    Checkpoints are far too infrequent, compelling the player break immersion and save their progress every hundred steps. And the game's level relies too frequently on cliches.
  53. 80
    While it may lack innovation, it makes up for it with narrative effort. Sam Fisher needed a change, and this will suffice. However, it's tough to look at this game and say, "Being on next-gen has allowed this franchise to take itself to the next level." That's just not true.
  54. Visually the game is stunning however we did have one problem when using lower settings to see how it looked. The game just isn't bright enough, we had to max our TV out with brightness before we could play the game properly.
  55. I'm also a bit disappointed with the AI, which isn't nearly as sophisticated as Ubisoft has claimed. However, the game offers up plenty of intense thrills. This is by far the most diverse collection of missions ever seen in a Splinter Cell title.
  56. The single player mode felt short, far too easy and not as predominantly based on the stealth aspects that I’d come to love from the series.
  57. It's a shame that the overall package can't be as satisfying as it is online because, while it still has many things we've always loved about the Splinter Cell series, it's hardly the next generation offering we were hoping for.
  58. Instead of progressing videogame stealth action, it’s a game gone into hiding – cowering behind a shroud of misguided pseudo-innovation and unbelievable difficulty. [Dec 2006, p.106]
  59. 60
    While single player offers enough to keep things new, the same cannot be said for multiplayer.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 125 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 4 out of 29
  1. Oct 29, 2012
    8
    More of a Splinter Cell 3.5 than a fully revamped 4, Double Agent could've been so much more. That said, and if viewed as if it was the first game in the series, it's an enjoyable experience that is definitely worth picking up whether you're a fan of the series or a newcomer - and especially if found at a price well below retail. A fairly easy 1000 if looked at simply from an achievement point of view. Here's hoping Splinter Cell 5: Conviction provides a more worthy contender to the franchise. Full Review »
  2. Aug 25, 2010
    2
    Disgustingly bad and obviously rushed. This game contains massive plot holes and about half of the missions are segments where you do undercover espionage in the same level. The levels are timed so even if you complete the objectives you can be left sitting for 20 or so minutes waiting for the timer to run out. The night vision has some weird look to it that makes it difficult to see. My biggest issue is the expert mode. It's not too hard, but the guards seem to be able to track you in most levels no matter what you do, how dark it is, or how quiet you are. The multilayer is also a huge disappointment. There is no spy vs merc death match or coop. The spy vs merc works like a sort of capture the flag. It's pretty impossible to kill a merc since they have a motion tracker that beeps louder depending on how close a spy is. So all they have to do is turn around when they hear it beep its loudest and put a round through your face. If you want more splintercell pick up chaos theory or the original xbox version of double agent. This game gets a 2 because sam can now throat chop people and it makes me giggle. Full Review »
  3. TyroneB.
    Oct 24, 2006
    10
    In no other game can you run up behind a merc and have him scream (different things every time) just to use him as body armor. The game is revolutionary. Full Review »