Splinter Cell: Conviction on the X360 and the PC evoked mixed reactions from reviewers and consumers alike as it departed from the traditional stealth-centric Sam Fisher formula and opted for a more aggressive, guns-blazing approach. Gameloft's portable adaptation follows in the same vein, but also seems to introduce some of its own issues.

From the onset it is clear that Splinter Cell Conviction is one of the better looking games on the App Store. This can be attributed predominantly to its terrific looking and varied level themes, from grand historical Maltese buildings to dock-side marketplaces and even a trip to the middle east, Splinter Cell: Conviction does a great job keeping the eyes engaged. The storyline on the other hand is fairly disengaging; cycling through the usual cliches and predictable plot-turns as Sam seeks revenge for his daughter's murder.

As with most 3rd person games on the App Store, Splinter Cell Conviction is controlled with a virtual analogue stick and on-screen buttons. These buttons are context-sensitive, the action button changing between firing your weapon at range and grappling enemies when up close. Though the context-sensitive controls should work well, we felt that they haven't been executed as well as they could have.

The stick-to-cover button doubles as the multi-kill button, but often when the multi-kill option is present, Sam will instead opt to stick to cover (despite that button not even being visible at the time it was pressed). In fact, we found the cover system to be unresponsive in general, often impeded our control of Sam. Only designated objects can be used as cover (despite some looking blatantly like they are there solely for cover), and when in cover, even the slightest movement of the analogue stick can cause Sam to jump out in the open.

A similarly arbitrary feel permeates the shooting system in Splinter Cell Conviction, arguably the largest aspect of the revised not-so-stealthy gameplay. Rather than being able to shoot at whatever is under your cross-hair, it appears that Sam can only engage in enemies when the crosshair turns red. On many occasions, this is despite the enemy being in plain sight and well within range. In other situations, Sam can headshot an enemy at great range with a pistol-- when the red crosshair permits of course.

The AI is another problematic area, but not to the degree that some readers have suggested in our forums. Enemies will sometimes run at Sam without restraint, gratuitously falling to his bullets, and at any difficulty level below the hardest, will take a very, very long time to take Sam down. Enemies seem to be a more than a little light sensitive too, often ignoring Sam despite him standing on their toes, so long as he remains out of the light. Despite this, enemies flow thick and fast and provide enough of an obstacle to keep the pace up and Sam constantly engaged.


As do the levels themselves, as though they are predominantly about taking cover and dispatching enemies, they are varied in both theme and substance too. Some levels force Sam to engage with the few gadgets at his disposal, such as peeking under doors or throwing camera grenades to get an edge over his enemies (though usually these are not at all required to actually complete a level). Another level has Sam aboard a speed-boat, a graciously on-rails sequence that lets you deviate from the ordinary pace of the game and mow down approaching enemies with a chain-gun. It's good fun that helps break up the 11 available levels.

Ultimately though, we think Splinter Cell Conviction's biggest problem is how successfully it recreates that Splinter Cell feel. If the game didn't look and sound so great, then its obvious mechanical and AI hitches wouldn't seem so glaring in contrast. While we may be holding the game to somewhat higher console-like standards as a result, that feeling is something that was inescapable and interfered with our overall enjoyment of the game.

App Store Link: Splinter Cell Conviction, $9.99.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Howard

    Worst gameloft game I've played so far...

    • TA

      This is a great game!

      You obviously haven't played Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles.

      That's the worst gameloft game, and it goes along with NOVA and BIA (the first one).

      • brian

        yup i agree nova is crap

  • Howard

    Worst gameloft game I've played so far...

    • TA

      This is a great game!

      You obviously haven't played Assassin's Creed: Altair's Chronicles.

      That's the worst gameloft game, and it goes along with NOVA and BIA (the first one).

      • brian

        yup i agree nova is crap

  • Yo bro!

    Yup it's crap

  • Yo bro!

    Yup it's crap

  • Amil

    One of the best looking action games in the app store. Gameloft/iPhone graphics are getting pretty amazing.

    • Noman

      yep, the graphics are good.

      That's about it.

  • Amil

    One of the best looking action games in the app store. Gameloft/iPhone graphics are getting pretty amazing.

    • Noman

      yep, the graphics are good.

      That's about it.

  • iphoneprogrammer

    yeah the AI could use some tweaking as well as a reduction in filesize......500mb is a tad too large. it plays really well except for the AI....not worth $10 right now....id wait

  • iphoneprogrammer

    yeah the AI could use some tweaking as well as a reduction in filesize......500mb is a tad too large. it plays really well except for the AI....not worth $10 right now....id wait

  • dyscode

    Gameloft really becomes like PSYGNOSIS in the 90ties:
    Great looking games, but you never know what to expect otherwise.

  • dyscode

    Gameloft really becomes like PSYGNOSIS in the 90ties:
    Great looking games, but you never know what to expect otherwise.

  • Deewin

    I'm guessing this game isn't really a quality title because it will still sell a bunch of copies from the masses. AVATAR was a great iPhone game but IRON MAN 2 felt really rushed. I don't want to buy anymore Gameloft games if they don't bother polishing them up a bit anymore.

  • Deewin

    I'm guessing this game isn't really a quality title because it will still sell a bunch of copies from the masses. AVATAR was a great iPhone game but IRON MAN 2 felt really rushed. I don't want to buy anymore Gameloft games if they don't bother polishing them up a bit anymore.

  • JORDZ

    is it worth deleting everything off my phone and paying 10$ for it. im a huge SP fan from the old ps days (up untill MS decided no SPConviction for ps3) but as we all say. with gameloft you never know. can anyone honestly say its actually fun ???

    • Audi

      No

  • JORDZ

    is it worth deleting everything off my phone and paying 10$ for it. im a huge SP fan from the old ps days (up untill MS decided no SPConviction for ps3) but as we all say. with gameloft you never know. can anyone honestly say its actually fun ???

    • Audi

      No

  • JORDZ

    the above game play vid does seem too bad...

  • JORDZ

    the above game play vid does seem too bad...

  • http://www.nexeh.com nahuelete

    THE SAME SHIT....Iphone originality rules!!!!!!!

    • MidianGTX

      Was it even worth posting that on a Gameloft title? Didn't we all suspect before hand that maybe, just maybe there was going to be a glimmer of something that had already been done in this game?

  • http://www.nexeh.com nahuelete

    THE SAME SHIT....Iphone originality rules!!!!!!!

    • MidianGTX

      Was it even worth posting that on a Gameloft title? Didn't we all suspect before hand that maybe, just maybe there was going to be a glimmer of something that had already been done in this game?

  • Electrolite82

    I think your being rather hard on it,I bought it and im rather enjoying it for what it is.......A mobile phone game!!!!I don't care for console AI when im sat on a bus or a train playing(I have found the AI to be bad but not enough to delete it)!Try it on a nokia N95 and then say its shit;-)

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      I'm glad you're enjoying it Electrolite!

      At the end of the day, games are largely personal and appeal to different people in different ways. Though we try to be as objective as possible in our reviews to give you guys the actual facts behind our experience, that will never be an accurate substitute for your own time with the game.

      With Splinter Cell, we just felt that the poor execution of many of its game mechanics did give rise to significant frustration when we played it, despite us really enjoying other elements. If you are happy to overlook these things, then naturally you'll enjoy your time with the game more than we did.

      And we're seeing quite a lot of innovation and creativity on the App Store these days! You can no longer discount a game for quality simply because it's portable. That's a good thing, and we should be holding our games to a higher standard in my books :)

      • Electrolite82

        :-),i thought your review was more than fair,i was referring to the comments on here,not your review!!lol!Sorry,i should have said that from the start!:-)!I think your review was great at looking at it subjectively from all points of view,whereas a lot of people commenting here are(In my opinion)being abit unfair with it!My best friend owns a Nokia N97 and when he plays my iphone the 1st thing he always says is "Why can't they make games like this on my phone?"......lol!!But everyone is entitled to their own opinions and i respect that!!:-)!!

      • hippodragon9

        ...but this is a review of the iPhone version, not the vastly superior sprite-based dumbphone version. I actually own all three versions, and I found the dumbphone version to be the most fun. The console version is pretty great, but I really like the phone version... but yeah, this is the worst one. Still fun, but not particularly good.

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      I'm glad you're enjoying it Electrolite!

      At the end of the day, games are largely personal and appeal to different people in different ways. Though we try to be as objective as possible in our reviews to give you guys the actual facts behind our experience, that will never be an accurate substitute for your own time with the game.

      With Splinter Cell, we just felt that the poor execution of many of its game mechanics did give rise to significant frustration when we played it, despite us really enjoying other elements. If you are happy to overlook these things, then naturally you'll enjoy your time with the game more than we did.

      And we're seeing quite a lot of innovation and creativity on the App Store these days! You can no longer discount a game for quality simply because it's portable. That's a good thing, and we should be holding our games to a higher standard in my books :)

  • Electrolite82

    I think your being rather hard on it,I bought it and im rather enjoying it for what it is.......A mobile phone game!!!!I don't care for console AI when im sat on a bus or a train playing(I have found the AI to be bad but not enough to delete it)!Try it on a nokia N95 and then say its shit;-)

    • http://www.twitter.com/thewindburn Peter Lettieri

      I'm glad you're enjoying it Electrolite!

      At the end of the day, games are largely personal and appeal to different people in different ways. Though we try to be as objective as possible in our reviews to give you guys the actual facts behind our experience, that will never be an accurate substitute for your own time with the game.

      With Splinter Cell, we just felt that the poor execution of many of its game mechanics did give rise to significant frustration when we played it, despite us really enjoying other elements. If you are happy to overlook these things, then naturally you'll enjoy your time with the game more than we did.

      And we're seeing quite a lot of innovation and creativity on the App Store these days! You can no longer discount a game for quality simply because it's portable. That's a good thing, and we should be holding our games to a higher standard in my books :)

      • Electrolite82

        :-),i thought your review was more than fair,i was referring to the comments on here,not your review!!lol!Sorry,i should have said that from the start!:-)!I think your review was great at looking at it subjectively from all points of view,whereas a lot of people commenting here are(In my opinion)being abit unfair with it!My best friend owns a Nokia N97 and when he plays my iphone the 1st thing he always says is "Why can't they make games like this on my phone?"......lol!!But everyone is entitled to their own opinions and i respect that!!:-)!!

      • hippodragon9

        ...but this is a review of the iPhone version, not the vastly superior sprite-based dumbphone version. I actually own all three versions, and I found the dumbphone version to be the most fun. The console version is pretty great, but I really like the phone version... but yeah, this is the worst one. Still fun, but not particularly good.

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles

    Not a astounding great game, but not so bad either. It can be fun, if you're not frisky...

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles

    Not a astounding great game, but not so bad either. It can be fun, if you're not frisky...

  • Jase

    Here is another portable alternative....For anyone with an Intel MacBook or a Windows laptop, yesterday Steam Online released Half-Life 2 for Mac OS (and Windows) for $6.99. Orange Box Package is also available for Mac (Team Fortress 2 will be added soon for Mac.)

    • Kite111

      Umm... A MacBook doesn't fit in your pocket dude. That's my definition of "portable". Maybe you figured out a way, if so please tell me, because that would be amazing.

      • Jase

        My MacBook is light and thin, and it's easy to carry in a backpack or a messenger bag.

        Portable means that you can take it with you, not that you can fit it in your pants pocket. I certainly carry my laptop with me a lot of the time, and I often use it away from home or work. I'll grant you that an iPhone or iPad is more portable than a laptop.

        I have a lot of great games on my iPhone, including NOVA and Modern Combat: Sandstorm. I'm just saying that for $6.99 I can buy Half-Life 2 for my MacBook, or I can spend $9.99 on yet another derivative Gameloft shooter. If you don't have NOVA or Brothers In Arms or Modern Combat, then by all means check out Splinter Cell, or perhaps download the free lite version of BIA to get an approximate feel for what Splinter Cell will be like.

  • Jase

    Here is another portable alternative....For anyone with an Intel MacBook or a Windows laptop, yesterday Steam Online released Half-Life 2 for Mac OS (and Windows) for $6.99. Orange Box Package is also available for Mac (Team Fortress 2 will be added soon for Mac.)

    • Kite111

      Umm... A MacBook doesn't fit in your pocket dude. That's my definition of "portable". Maybe you figured out a way, if so please tell me, because that would be amazing.

      • Jase

        My MacBook is light and thin, and it's easy to carry in a backpack or a messenger bag.

        Portable means that you can take it with you, not that you can fit it in your pants pocket. I certainly carry my laptop with me a lot of the time, and I often use it away from home or work. I'll grant you that an iPhone or iPad is more portable than a laptop.

        I have a lot of great games on my iPhone, including NOVA and Modern Combat: Sandstorm. I'm just saying that for $6.99 I can buy Half-Life 2 for my MacBook, or I can spend $9.99 on yet another derivative Gameloft shooter. If you don't have NOVA or Brothers In Arms or Modern Combat, then by all means check out Splinter Cell, or perhaps download the free lite version of BIA to get an approximate feel for what Splinter Cell will be like.

  • Bok Choy

    Fun game, amazing graphics. Buy it.

  • Bok Choy

    Fun game, amazing graphics. Buy it.

  • RicardoResende

    This game is very cool.
    I dont understund this hate about Gameloft.
    This game is the best game so far, made by Gameloft.

  • RicardoResende

    This game is very cool.
    I dont understund this hate about Gameloft.
    This game is the best game so far, made by Gameloft.

  • DanH

    I am not going to bother buying this game, at least until it comes down in price because gameloft have really dropped a clanger this time. A game this expensive, this unpolished, is not worth wasting my money on especially when they couldn't even be bothered to include online multiplayer.

  • DanH

    I am not going to bother buying this game, at least until it comes down in price because gameloft have really dropped a clanger this time. A game this expensive, this unpolished, is not worth wasting my money on especially when they couldn't even be bothered to include online multiplayer.

  • Massimo

    I'm not a fan of Gameloft games for my 3GS, as they are just fluff 9 times out of 10, I think Nova did it for me, it was so over-rated, simply walking in straight line for the most part and shooting for hours on end, that's not how FPS's are meant to be, old school Doom Classic replaced it and I've never played Nova since.

    But I have bought Splinter Cell, in terms of graphics and presentation I'd say it's one of the best iPhone games I've ever seen, it really looks fantastic. I've played the first 2 stages but again the same Gameloft problems come up, you're pretty much sign posted throughout the levels I've played and a lot of the combat requires little skill, most of the complex moves are just glorified cut scenes after you push like one button, it definitely aint comparable to console gaming. It's okay I guess overall, I'd give it a 6 out of 10, but that £5.99 could get you GTA Chinatown Wars instead.

  • Massimo

    I'm not a fan of Gameloft games for my 3GS, as they are just fluff 9 times out of 10, I think Nova did it for me, it was so over-rated, simply walking in straight line for the most part and shooting for hours on end, that's not how FPS's are meant to be, old school Doom Classic replaced it and I've never played Nova since.

    But I have bought Splinter Cell, in terms of graphics and presentation I'd say it's one of the best iPhone games I've ever seen, it really looks fantastic. I've played the first 2 stages but again the same Gameloft problems come up, you're pretty much sign posted throughout the levels I've played and a lot of the combat requires little skill, most of the complex moves are just glorified cut scenes after you push like one button, it definitely aint comparable to console gaming. It's okay I guess overall, I'd give it a 6 out of 10, but that £5.99 could get you GTA Chinatown Wars instead.

  • Alex

    I like the game, HOWEVER, I am a little more than annoyed with Gameloft's lack of testing on their games and serious bugs. In Assassin's Creed Altair's Chronicles, there are some serious gameplay mechanic issues. Characters don't even face you when they speak and often times my character's sprite is moving when the other character is speaking. The controls also make the game annoying constantly dying over control issues. These things seem to be plaguing Gameloft's games lately and they need to seriously correct these issues. I don't mind paying for a game if it's made well and has substantial content. There is NO reason this can't be accomplished by a company such as themselves especially when a hugely substantial portion of their sales last year came from the mobile phone game market making them reconsider selling hardcopies altogether and moving to an all digital distribution model. These cost cutting techniques should provide them with adequate resources to tackle these problems and resolve them in a timely manner prior to release. As a project manager for a global company, I can assure you that it can be done with proper management.

    • Howard

      I wouldn't have any issue if the problems in SC were as simple as the ones you refer to in AC. At least that game was still playable.

  • Alex

    I like the game, HOWEVER, I am a little more than annoyed with Gameloft's lack of testing on their games and serious bugs. In Assassin's Creed Altair's Chronicles, there are some serious gameplay mechanic issues. Characters don't even face you when they speak and often times my character's sprite is moving when the other character is speaking. The controls also make the game annoying constantly dying over control issues. These things seem to be plaguing Gameloft's games lately and they need to seriously correct these issues. I don't mind paying for a game if it's made well and has substantial content. There is NO reason this can't be accomplished by a company such as themselves especially when a hugely substantial portion of their sales last year came from the mobile phone game market making them reconsider selling hardcopies altogether and moving to an all digital distribution model. These cost cutting techniques should provide them with adequate resources to tackle these problems and resolve them in a timely manner prior to release. As a project manager for a global company, I can assure you that it can be done with proper management.

    • Howard

      I wouldn't have any issue if the problems in SC were as simple as the ones you refer to in AC. At least that game was still playable.

  • Howard

    After playing some more I have to come back and say that the game is not just bad its completely BROKEN. How can they let something like this ship? I have completely lowered my estimations in terms of the quality I will expect from Gameloft going forward. This game is shockingly bad.

  • Howard

    After playing some more I have to come back and say that the game is not just bad its completely BROKEN. How can they let something like this ship? I have completely lowered my estimations in terms of the quality I will expect from Gameloft going forward. This game is shockingly bad.

  • Mak Akas

    Stay away ... 'nuff said ;)

  • Mak Akas

    Stay away ... 'nuff said ;)

  • Sometime

    Splinter Cell had great rendition on the PSP. I honestly thought this would build on that. What a shame.

  • Sometime

    Splinter Cell had great rendition on the PSP. I honestly thought this would build on that. What a shame.

  • Kite111

    WTF. I bought this, have been playing it, and find it to be GREAT! What isn't to like?! Most of things stated in this review are outright wrong. Sure, the AI isn't great, but I'd say it's in the upper 50% of Gameloft games, where in most of them there ISN'T any AT ALL. The controls feel great and probably the most responsive aside from NOVA (the best GL game obviously). The cover works fine for me and the ability to M&E in a split second is super empowering feeling. My main criticism is that in some mission, it becomes a shooter, not a stealth game. Granted, for the iPhone it's a pretty great shooter.

    The only reason you guys are saying stay away, is because that's what the review is saying and you're physiologically inclined to believe whatever people tell you. Go on other sites that gave this positive reviews and the people there will say "The score isn't high ENOUGH!" Most of the people who are bitch about this game, haven't even dropped the money to play it and are just trying to look cool.

    This is one of the best iPhone games I've ever played (and I've played every GL games except Zombie Infection). The graphics are there, the controls are what really shine, and the production values are the highest I've yet to see in an iPhone game. BUY IT!

    • Kite111

      May I add, that I am NOT criticizing the reviewer (though granted, I my sound like it). Many things in the review, I found not to apply to me, or at least be noticeable enough to detract from the experience at all to me. No, I am criticizing the commenters who are saying it's bad just because the reviewer didn't love it. People on the internet just love to jump on bandwagons and it gets on your nerves after a while.

    • Matt Allen

      Amen

  • Kite111

    WTF. I bought this, have been playing it, and find it to be GREAT! What isn't to like?! Most of things stated in this review are outright wrong. Sure, the AI isn't great, but I'd say it's in the upper 50% of Gameloft games, where in most of them there ISN'T any AT ALL. The controls feel great and probably the most responsive aside from NOVA (the best GL game obviously). The cover works fine for me and the ability to M&E in a split second is super empowering feeling. My main criticism is that in some mission, it becomes a shooter, not a stealth game. Granted, for the iPhone it's a pretty great shooter.

    The only reason you guys are saying stay away, is because that's what the review is saying and you're physiologically inclined to believe whatever people tell you. Go on other sites that gave this positive reviews and the people there will say "The score isn't high ENOUGH!" Most of the people who are bitch about this game, haven't even dropped the money to play it and are just trying to look cool.

    This is one of the best iPhone games I've ever played (and I've played every GL games except Zombie Infection). The graphics are there, the controls are what really shine, and the production values are the highest I've yet to see in an iPhone game. BUY IT!

    • Kite111

      May I add, that I am NOT criticizing the reviewer (though granted, I my sound like it). Many things in the review, I found not to apply to me, or at least be noticeable enough to detract from the experience at all to me. No, I am criticizing the commenters who are saying it's bad just because the reviewer didn't love it. People on the internet just love to jump on bandwagons and it gets on your nerves after a while.

    • Matt Allen

      Amen

  • Mr. Morozov

    I'm only in three levels, but I'm really enjoying this. This and Zombie: Infection are first Gameloft games I've really enjoyed (and I've bought A LOT). Sure, the AI can be a bit thick at times, but the graphics are fantastic, and I really haven't encountered much of the control problems mentioned above. Now I'm happy to find out that there's only one on-rails shooting sequence later in the game. Seriously, Gameloft, exercise some self-control. On-rail shooting is only fun when you sprinkle it in every now and then, not when you a) Make us do them every 30 seconds (Brothers In Arms 2), or b) make an entire fifth of the game on-rails (Modern Combat: Sandstormm not to mention the entire first level is just a tutorial).

  • Mr. Morozov

    I'm only in three levels, but I'm really enjoying this. This and Zombie: Infection are first Gameloft games I've really enjoyed (and I've bought A LOT). Sure, the AI can be a bit thick at times, but the graphics are fantastic, and I really haven't encountered much of the control problems mentioned above. Now I'm happy to find out that there's only one on-rails shooting sequence later in the game. Seriously, Gameloft, exercise some self-control. On-rail shooting is only fun when you sprinkle it in every now and then, not when you a) Make us do them every 30 seconds (Brothers In Arms 2), or b) make an entire fifth of the game on-rails (Modern Combat: Sandstormm not to mention the entire first level is just a tutorial).

  • i0Shaxxor
  • madreviewer

    That's. not splinter cell