Splinter Cell: Conviction • Discover Anna Grimsdottir’s dark secret • 10G • 45.41% of gamers unlocked this

Here’s a little secret: I actually have no idea what Grimsdottir’s secret is. I spent most of the final cutscene in the Third Echelon level trying to skip it – and even when I couldn’t, I have to overtired kids trying to sleep off a big weekend – so the TV was on mute and I was subtitle free – meaning that there could have been the greatest narrative plot twist happening on-screen and I’d be non-the-wiser.

Insert shrug here.

I’m feeling a bit jaded today, after the media have been touting Melbourne as the new ‘home’ of esport. What I’m particularly upset about is my efforts two years ago to build Victoria up as an esport hub, and was flat-it told that the Government didn’t want to be in this space and it was to be – quote – “industry-led.” My wife, quite rightly, points out that there’s not really any incentive for the Government to treat me as an ‘industry leader’ in this space, but it still stings, and I am allowed to indulge in some petulance on my own blog!

Here’s what it boils down to: for someone who has so openly and willingly put themselves on the line for esport, often at the expense and ridicule of others, to be so summarily discarded as having any influence locally in the esport scene? That’s the bit that bites. I acknowledge that there’s political traction to be made out of this – I was quite openly involved in discussions with the State Treasurer’s Staff – but obviously the reality slap of being a small fish in a large pond has hit a little harder than I wanted it to. I’m going to need a day to work out my next steps.

Anyway, it seems like my day is still marginally better than Sam Fisher’s, who just infiltrated and escaped an NSA office, blowing it up in the process – so all disappointment is subjective, I guess!


Lincoln Memorial

Splinter Cell: Conviction • Complete Single Player Story “Lincoln Memorial” on any difficulty • 20G • 51.58% of gamers unlocked this

With the announcement – or confirmation – today of LEGO DC Super-Villains, it is looking increasingly like that Walmart leak out of Canada is more-and-more real.

And do you know what that means?

We’re going to get a new Splinter Cell! And Just Cause 4! All aboard the hype train!

To give the gaming news a boost – we also got a new Fallout game, Fallout 76, announced overnight as well.

Toot! Toot! Toooot!

Long story short – it’s going to be a good year (or two, or three, depending on when these games are actually released) for gaming.

I decided to keep pushing on with my Splinter Cell: Conviction run this morning just by virtue of having it still front-and-centre of my live tiles, and wanting to play something that wasn’t a mindless arcade game. The level today was a nice mix of stealth and puzzle and action – none of it particularly hard – but it required a little more involvement than a popcorn gunner.

Do I have any idea what’s going on yet? I’ve read the Wikipedia plot summary – but to be honest: No. No, I don’t – but it doesn’t really matter. The superimposed text does a good job of pushing me forward, and I also discovered that the pause menu gives me a quick 1-2 line description of what I’m supposed to be doing. For all the dialogue and narrative beats that I miss, this is incredibly handy.

Off-script, I’ll be making another run at Dark Souls‘ Taurus Demon if I get a chance tonight. I am absolutely mad-keen to beat him … and I’ll likely be so excited I’ll do a blog entry on it if/when I do. I’m also in the process of grabbing some PC games to take away with me on the weekend when I’m away from the console, but I’ll likely be sticking with Age of Empires or something else I’ve neglected for a little while to fill-in-the-gap.

White Box Laboratories

Splinter Cell: Conviction • Complete Single Player Story “White Box Laboratories” on any difficulty • 20G • 52.67% of gamers unlocked this

I was mad-keen to play some Dark Souls tonight … actually, let’s start that again … I was made keen to earn an achievement in Dark Souls tonight – but knowing my general incompetence at killing bosses, I felt it safe to grab a quick achievement from something from the pile of shame just to keep things ticking over.

Enter Sam Fisher and Splinter Cell: Conviction.

I actually played a couple of levels tonight, knowing that I had a bit of time up my sleeve to afford to a level or two, and likewise, it is actually a title that I’d like to finish … and so without really having much idea what’s going on, I just followed the bouncing ball … or text superimposed on the environment – six of one …

With that out of the way, I’ve been able to fire up Dark Souls tonight and try – but, no, not succeed – to kill the Taurus Demon. As I write, I’m attempting a cheesing strategy that involves sitting on the ladder and hoping he jumps off the bridge accidentally – but honestly, the thing just stands there and roars at me – so I’m probably just going to have to face facts and be killed by it sooner or later.

For someone who really doesn’t like multiplayer … I sure could do with a phantom summon right about now!

Merchant’s Street Market

Splinter Cell Conviction • Complete Single Player Story “Merchant’s Street Market” on any difficulty • 20G • 76.11% of gamers unlocked this

I played some more Dragon Ball Z this morning, but I was right – I’ve reached my capacity for milking everything I could out of the game. Thanks to Xbox for freeplay weekends though – I played more of a game that I likely never would have picked up in the store, and unless it was a Game with Gold, I probably never would have played it at all.

Instead I decided to experience a game that I missed out on at launch because it was an exclusive – Splinter Cell Conviction. I’m a huge, huge Tom Clancy fan – and have been since the original Rainbow Six series (I played the death out of that demo) – but my previous experience with Splinter Cell was exclusively PlayStation, so due to the timing of fate, I never got a chance to play through this part of Sam Fisher’s story when it first came out. Tom Clancy is now more of an IP in its own right, and they’ve made some blunders in Clancy’s name along the way (looking at you, Rainbow Six Vegas), but Splinter Cell has always remained a reasonably good approximation to what I perceive Clancy had in mind for an NSA Black Ops group.

Conviction, however, feels a bit different. If anything, it feels clearly like a precursor to the cover based shooter of The Division, but with the essential stealth mechanics that make Splinter Cell what it is.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not hating it. My first thought in the opening level was that this could have been a worthy contender for an early-build Hitman, but it feels like a standalone game with the broad strokes of Clancy’s characters slapped over the top.

I’m only one level in, so all that could change – but right now, it’s kind of nice to be closing out my Splinter Cell experience, even after all these years. It’s also time for a reboot, Ubisoft…

… Dare I say: Make Splinter Cell Great Again.