Splinter Cell: Double Agent and Dead Rising

So I did finally get Dead Rising from Gamefly. And I'm glad I waited, because ultimately? Unimpressed with it. It's almost brilliant and I really wanted to like it, but ultimately a game gets very few "make me play 40 minutes and they reload because the save points are so @#$^#$%#$ far apart" tokens, and Dead Rising burned right through the supply. The last time I played for a while, then found a homicidal clown juggling chainsaws who has some trick to killing him I suppose. Bullets to the head at point-blank range did no damage. Then he breathed fire on me, knocked me into a moving funhouse ride and as I stood up he came over and cut me with his chainsaws. End result? I lost five of my six blocks of health before I got control back. And the little orange envelope came out and away it went. Good riddance. I've got more games than I can handle, and I can't be bothered with games that spring cutesy bosses on you with little to no warning and no save point beforehand.

Splinter Cell: Double Agent is a different story. I haven't made up my mind about singleplayer yet, but multiplayer is a blast. I've played a bunch of coop-challenge play and tonight we tried the versus mode. They definitely streamlined the game down, it's faster paced than either Pandora Tomorrow or Chaos Theory, but that's a good thing, in my opinion.

Gabe from Penny Arcade disagrees with me and I can see his points without entirely agreeing. You can read that here:

You can like this game, that’s fine. But it really is a new game. This isn’t Splinter Cell multiplayer, this is Halo hide and seek.

Penny Arcade! - The Green Harvest, Part Two

Scroll down a bit - it's the second post of the day and it's titled "Yuck".

I don't really see the Halo comparison at all. It's definitely faster, and the mercs have lost the ability to place mines. In exchange they got more powerful grenades, unlimited ammo, and these super-cool remote hover-drones that can investigate the airducts where a filthy spy might be hiding. They can also quickly move from one terminal to another. In Chaos Theory mines were super-important because there were more terminals than mercs and you couldn't get from one to the other easily. So I usually ended up mining up one terminal so I could then guard another.

They are very different games, no doubt about it. The difference is that Double Agent supports six players versus four, and that you can have a friend up to speed in Double Agent with a couple of plays. I remember how complicated it was to explain Chaos Theory to a new player - I like this version much better myself.

I can see where somebody who played PT or CT three-four times a week for months on end wouldn't like it. But those people need to acknowledge that catering a game to them means an incredibly limited (and stagnant) market segment. At the end of the day Double Agent captures much the same feel (for me at least) while making it much more accessible to newcomers. That's all to the good.

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