Universal acclaim - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 46
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 46
  3. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. 100
    Although featuring the most realistic and detailed graphics, lighting and animation you've ever seen with sound effects to match, it's still the gameplay that shines the most, combining a sublime mixture of stealth and combat with the most versatile range of moves, gadgets and tactics ever to feature in a stealth game.
  2. The engrossing story blends perfectly with Splinter Cell's gameplay style, which can be best described as genre-redefining. And to top it all off, the visuals are gorgeous and completely intrinsic to the game's genre!
  3. The story line is based on real-world politics, making the missions seem even more daring. This is one of the few games to elicit a feeling of suspense without resorting to shock techniques found in survival horror titles like "Resident Evil."
  4. Splinter Cell oozes cool and sophistication from it’s lead character through it’s many and varied levels, and very slick control scheme.
  5. There are too few save spots and even those are in inopportune locations.
  6. Splinter Cell is as close to gaming perfection as you are going to get, you just have to be prepared for what's coming next.
  7. One of the best Xbox games out there, unfortunately, by the end it has been repetitive and linear a bit too long.
  8. Despite a few surprising shortcomings, most notably the save system, Splinter Cell delivers with the impact of a postcard from Hell.
  9. A graphical powerhouse... My only gripe: Some levels are outrageously difficult. [Jan 2003, p.206]
  10. Wickedly ingenious. [29 Nov 2002, p.114]
  11. But you’ll also love Splinter Cell for being a challenge in an age when videogames have all the interaction of a fairground ride.
  12. The sounds of the environment is what matters. The other characters in the game even the ruffling of your pants in the wind. This game is a treat to experience in 5.1 or in the headphones.
  13. 100
    Featuring an acute attention to detail in every respect and more substance than fluff, Splinter Cell is the defining espionage simulation... A compelling, unforgettable experience.
  14. The ultimate outcome of Splinter's perhaps overzealous mission structure is a common one: Eery level increasingly becomes a lesson in trial and error. [Jan 2003, p.104]
  15. Insanely hard. Even with your tightest game face and greatest skills, you’ll still wind up replaying a mission at least three or four times before you get the hang of navigating through each level’s shadows, finding specific hints, clearing newly acquired objectives and discovering codes that you’ll need to progress through.
  16. Its combination of great gameplay mechanics and simply astounding graphics easily outweigh its faults. Trust me, you will see the light.
  17. This is a very linear game, and... one can't but feel it's a wasted opportunity to limit the player's freedom in choosing how to approach a situation.
  18. The storyline is so in-line with the current international scene that it’s a little frightening.
  19. 100
    The reason why you bought an Xbox. It's dark, it's loaded with depth, and it's absolutely gorgeous. [Jan 2003, p.56]
  20. 100
    Realistic scenarios in realistic environments add to Splinter Cell’s tantalizing world of covert operations. With a strong overall package of incredible features, the stealth/action genre has a new hero.
  21. One of the greatest games of all time. Splinter Cell redefines what a game should look, play, and sound like. Perhaps most amazing is not that the graphics, gameplay, and sound are so good, but that they all blend together to form a whole so well.
  22. The appeal of Splinter Cell shifts into the sublime when it's graphics and sound are taken into account. No other game thus far has managed to present such realistic looking gaming environments... ever.
  23. The second best game on the Xbox, and if first person shooters aren’t your thing, then I suppose it is the best. If you have an Xbox, you must have this game. If you don’t have an Xbox, buy the game anyway – it’s that good.
  24. The game's developers have done an outstanding job of pushing the Xbox to its full potential and the result is a game with incredible atmosphere and a fully immersive environment.
  25. The amount of gadgets that work their way into the game is absolutely staggering, the feeling of playing James Bond will most definitely enter the minds of some gamers.
  26. To its very core, the game always goes for realism in a way that leaves "Metal Gear Solid" feeling extremely arcade like in comparison. [XGamer]
  27. A great game on its own merits, and it offers a slick and rewardingly suspenseful gameplay experience that's sometimes reduced to frustrating bouts of trial and error.
  28. 95
    Featuring brilliant visuals, edge-of-your-seat gameplay, and some of the best voice acting around, Splinter Cell is one of the best single-player experiences to come out this year... The best game on Xbox. Period.
  29. Features one of the smoothest, most precise, easy-to-use cameras that I have ever experienced in a game. This is perhaps the game's greatest innovation.
  30. The painstaking detail in the architecture is a huge draw in making the game as believable as it is. Everything looks exactly how you would envision it in real life, with hallways, open areas, offices, courtyards, everything modeled correctly.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 65
  2. Negative: 4 out of 65
  1. JeremyC.
    Nov 17, 2003
    Very nice graphics and an excellent idea for a game. But it stops there. First of all all the levels are ridiculously linear, and this is Very nice graphics and an excellent idea for a game. But it stops there. First of all all the levels are ridiculously linear, and this is meant to be a stealth game? This game is full of try, die, and load again. It got very frustrating having to do the same things over and over again just to get killed in the same place. The A.I. is ridiculous. Sometimes you stand practically in broad daylight and they don't see you, other times when it is pitched dark they turn and put a bullet through your head. One time i had a gun to one guys head, i aimed at his comrade, over the guys shoulder, who began firing with an ak-47 at full blast I fell back dead while the guy i was using as a human shield walked away. Also it seems that if you throw a grenade at a group of guys if they notice it then it does no damage. More then a dozen times i saw a group of three or four guys so i threw a grenade they say 'GRENADE' and it blows up in their faces but they aren't hurt. Also this game is stuck in the middle of two worlds. I wish they had either made it more stealthy where their is very little action or else more SWAT like with infiltration and assassination. As is, it is ridiculous, in one mission you sneak through the entire level only to be confronted at the end by having to fend off an attack of over ten well armed guys while you are stuck with Mr. Cantaim Sam and his pathetic weaponry. Meanwhile three American soldiers stand at the back and wait for you to finish. The objectives and missions were more suited for an RPG or FPS, Splinter Cell needs to get some better designed levels and AI. Full Review »
  2. JeffM.
    Dec 8, 2004
    This game rocks it changed the way I look at stealth gaming and I still have yet to play Pandora Tomorow but I know it will be good.
  3. Mark
    Jul 14, 2004
    I dont know what is so amazing in this game. I think Splinter Cell is good game, but not so good what everybody say.