Splinter Cell: Conviction Limited Edition Shipping with Defective USB Drives Price lowered to alleviate frustration, replacement program may be coming. By Frank Cifaldi, 04/09/2010
Some Splinter Cell: Conviction Special Edition packages may ship with a faulty USB flash drive, according to Ubisoft.
Speaking to 1UP today, an Ubisoft representative relayed that some of the drives shipping next week are "likely" to be defective, and that the company is working on a solution for customers who may receive the faulty units.
To help alleviate frustration, Ubisoft also confirmed an immediate price drop of the Special Edition, from a suggested retail price of $79.99 to $69.99.
The publisher plans to post a notice at the official Splinter Cell site with information for those who receive a faulty drive. At press time this was all the information available to us.
Where Is the Splinter Cell Conviction Review? Connection problems push the review back again. by Steve Butts
April 30, 2010 - We know a lot of you are anxious for us to review Sam Fisher's latest adventure, Splinter Cell: Conviction. And since we've already reviewed the game on the consoles, figuring out how those same concepts and mechanics work on the PC shouldn't present too much of a problem. At least, that's the way things might work in an ideal world.
Unfortunately, we can't get online to test out the multiplayer components. Whether at the IGN office or on various home connections, we've been unable to even connect to the game's multiplayer experience, much less actually evaluate it. Rather than just ignore this crucial feature, we've decided to hold off on posting the review until next week.
Wherever possible, IGN reviews games "out of the box," but since many players seem to be able to get online and play Conviction, we don't feel we can offer a thorough review without at least waiting a few more days to see if these problems can be eliminated.
In the meantime, if you just can't wait (and don't care about multiplayer), you can read the 360 review. The single player content is comparable.
Sam Fisher is mad--and after playing the PC version of Splinter Cell: Conviction, you might feel a little cranky too. Conviction tells Sam's conspiracy-driven story in a brilliant way, and its slick execution moves are fun to perform, particularly in the game's cooperative mode. Unfortunately, these sharp strengths are dulled by a number of issues that will have PC players feeling like second-class citizens. The co-op play that made the Xbox 360 version a winner is seriously injured here due to the mind-boggling omission of voice and text chat, and the precision of the keyboard and mouse controls dissolve much of the tension the short campaign tries to generate. Glitches and bugs, some related to Conviction's stringent online-only copy protection, also undercut the goodwill the game's memorable moments inspire. All of this white noise obscures the great game lurking behind it, making Conviction the latest console-to-PC port that fails to do its platform justice.
The missing chat in cooperative play isn't the only issue you might encounter when you want to jump into an online match. Co-op matchmaking is currently unreliable. You might have to wait 15 minutes or longer to get into a game, and this issue appears to be widespread. The bugs aren't limited to co-op play, however. Some of those we encountered, such as a dead body getting up and running in place, and stretched visuals when looking through a scope, didn't significantly affect the experience. Others, such as a few crashes to the desktop, were a greater annoyance. We also experienced issues with Ubisoft's copy protection method, which requires players to maintain a consistent Internet connection, even when playing the single-player campaign. On several occasions, Ubi's servers hiccuped multiple times in a row, pausing the game in progress and then restarting a few seconds later in an annoying loop. A few times we couldn't connect to the servers and therefore couldn't play the game.
Graphics Quality & Performance Issues
Conviction looks a bit dated but nonetheless attractive, a likely consequence of the older Unreal 2 technology that brings it to life. Fuzzy textures, some blocky geometry, and some jagged edges betray the engine's age, yet you get the sense that developer Ubisoft Montreal squeezed a good deal out of it. Smart use of color versus the deepness of the black-and-white stealth effects makes certain environments, such as a carnival outside the Washington Monument, really stand out. It's best not to look too closely at the grainy textures when traversing war-torn streets, but the abandoned vehicles strewn about and a decrepit-looking fuel station make the dusty level feel uncomfortably--and appropriately--hostile. It's surprising that the game doesn't perform better. On PCs that exceed the recommended system requirements, Conviction is prone to frame rate dips and the occasional stutter. Even the overly compressed cinematics suffer from similar frame rate jitters when the camera pans across the environment.
It's a shame that the PC version of Splinter Cell: Conviction doesn't deliver on its potential. Stellar storytelling and slick executions lead to some enjoyment, but other facets of the game come across as careless. Co-op play without player communication; uneven performance; copy protection that leads to noticeable in-game frustrations--these and other elements distract from what should have been a great game. That it retails for $10 more than a typical PC release makes these flaws seem even more egregious. The issues won't make you as angry as Sam Fisher, but they will make you wish that this version of Conviction had been given the loving care it deserved.