A Secret Splinter Update

For the record, the Mega Man X run from last update wasn’t the WR (an error that owes to differences in timing), but the latest WR is held by the same person anyway.
We know James Earl Jones is not Lord Vader’s body, just his voice, and so the rest of the cast had to keep a straight face playing off David Prowse’s angry West Country farr-mer in filming. We’ve all seen hilarious footage of Andy Serkis loping about making faces in a costume befitting an asylum-dweller to give filmgoers a credible Gollum. It’s the end result that matters, right? I feel this is a necessary preamble (you’ll understand) before letting loose a slew of inductees all from the same cloak-and-dagger series by Ubisoft. At first they would pay Tom Clancy royalties for team-based tactical simulators titled Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. After testing the waters some more with another splinter line of games called Splinter Cell, the company had by 2008 been convinced (by all the massive skrilla, perhaps) that they should just buy Clancy’s name outright for use in all future entries out to eternity. And Mr. Clancy, who died five years following, agreed.

It is indeed games from the last of the three series that appealed to today’s runners the most. In Splinter Cell you act out the will of a hush-hush arm of the real but probably not quite as exciting National Security Agency. It’s all gadgetry and stealth, stealth and gadgetry from start to finish. The series’ icon, the three-lensed visor, bestows thermal and night-time vision on Sam Fisher, the man of the hour. 2005’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory introduced a third view mode in which players could scout around for sources of electromagnetism, along with numerous other enhancements, including lethal options which have earned it, and every one of its successors, an M-rating. Stealth-oriented games’ runs have in common the dynamics of minimizing the stealth side of it – an especially salient dilemma when playing on Expert and dunking that 100% like Michael ‘CotySA’ is doing here. 0:58:26 makes it faster than the any% run by Tigger77, however that one’s in ILs and so foregoes the benefits of segmentation. The 100% means not only avoiding all alarms, but also completing all kinds of extra objectives so it’s a pretty creamy soup from Coty.

Where it’s your highest imperative to stay unnoticed, doesn’t seem someone called “‘triblast55’” could be of much help, but these code names are designed to deceive after all. The man’s kept busy with Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent, a game with a split personality (or maybe it’s a double agent itself and one of them’s just a cover identity). These runs I’ve seen and they certainly tie in with the whole mimicry idea I opened this with: when you see Fisher lurching around, shrouded in gas from a grenade that’s behind the wall, you can’t help thinking every guard is having the same difficulties as the cast of Star Wars pretending they can’t see him or hear him talking to his transmitter. It’s like this is the behind-the-scenes footage before they’ve done another CGI pass on Fisher’s black suit that’s going to turn him completely invisible. Or give the guards blinkers that cover almost the whole face. Or fashion said face with that vacant George W. Bush expression with a goofy “huh?” every time they think they’ve heard something. There’s two runs for the Shanghai version, both getting the good ending with the usual Hard difficulty and 100% stealth. The PC finishes a minute and nine seconds faster at 1:33:33. The Xbox 360 – a whole nine minutes and six seconds at 1:36:29.

Ubisoft’s Montreal team, responsible for Chaos Theory as well, are the progenitors of the Xbox version of the same game. Except not quite the same: the plot branches out with a slightly different set and order of missions. It’s not even built on the same engine actually. You’re still a Princess Peach -tier professional two-timer, your pretense at ethics wearing thinner and thinner with every passing compromise to not be compromised yourself. It is not the single-segment campaign I should be talking about though: ‘triblast55’ & ‘Tangibility’ makes two guys. SDA doesn’t host “two-players-one-controller” schenanigans so we must be looking at the co-op storyline instead. In a different take on “double agent” two spies acting together, but independently of Fisher, perform covert actions in the same locations as the big chief. In one mission, for instance, they blow up the geothermal facility after Sam’s just been extracted. Because we’re all perfectionists (percentionists) here, the pair still scores all one hundred of ’em in 1:01:56, with stamps of approval from both Judgy and me. Trust our Judge-me-‘nd.


Source: Speed Demos Archive

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