Hey guys, I too would like to add my opinions on this game as I have recently finished the game in less time than I took for the first edition of this game.
Best left for you to experience it yourselves as a game is meant to be played, not read nor seen until U have done a minor bit of gameplay into it! Overall, the story is kind of a letdown, nothing innovative, follows the course of the world as it is now, Bio-threat<-- biggest hint ever. Metal Gear has done it with nuclear devices so now this time is Bio-related stuffs.
Verdict for story === 5/10
Much better than the Splinter Cell, this is a good thing. Controls are changed or rather tweaked and I just felt the team decided to sort of put the controls inline/more compatible with the S-controller. I played once with the smaller controller and it felt nicer compared with my second time through the game with the larger controller. Point to note: Controller settings in single player is different from multiplayer (obviously, fps vs 3rd person action)
Verdict ==== 9/10
Improvement here and there. Framerates are good. Lightings and shadows are great. Sam Fisher doesn't like the huge ape like he was whilst walking slowly in Splinter Cell part 1. He still walks like that but I noticed the character to appear a little not so erm, extreme? maybe not the right word but you would get it once you play both games side by side. Furthermore, facial expressions are looking absolutely gorgeous. I finished the game and I open my dusted Splinter Cell to see the differences and my first edition Splinter Cell would be up on ebay soon ....
Another thing to note is that while i know it is not easy to code/develop games that operates mostly with night vision/thermal sensors, I prefer games that have a huge abundance of vibrant colors and look lively even if it's an action game. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is somewhat dissapointing to me in that aspect. If you played through the whole game, I am sure you would notice that more than 80 percent of the time (single player), your character would be spending his time hiding in total darkness aided only by his night vision goggles and almost ALL the missions are in the dark. Yes, yes i know this is tactical stealth kinda game but Tenchu and Metal Gear both excel in this department. They have good contrasting colors and visuals as well but not with 80 percent of the time looking through night vision goggles. Well, I know some of you would like it this way too. So it's a matter of in the eye of the beholder
Verdict ==== 8.5/10 (only coz i think there are better looking games out there)
COOOL stuffs although most of the same but this time, you begin the missions in the game almost fully equipped with all things that you need
No verdict here, part of gameplay, just wanted to add
I am not an audio fanatic but I think they have done a good job here. Bullets sound great, voice acting is good and certainly this is not a game where soundtrack plays a great role ehhee, stealth means silence in a way right? I am comparing this to Metal Gear series where I think totally sucks in terms of simple things such as bullet sounds, weapons etc etc. The player would be immersed in a pseudo-realtime spy environment. Anything alerting the guards/enemies would get your attention through nice sound clips of suspence and action.
Verdict === 8/10
AI of enemies:
Sometimes it is good, sometimes it aint. Sam Fisher can whistle on the fly in this edition of Splinter Cell. A good or bad thing? I am not sure. But it adds to the realism of the game of such genre. Solid Snake could tap walls to make sound, getting enemies attention and luring them to their dooms whilst Fisher could whistle. Cool eh?
But I find this to be a contributing factor to the easyness of the entire game! You, the player could get through the entire game without killing a single person except in situations where you must kill to advance. Enemies would react to a whistle and you could just hide in the shadows and pop out and press your right lever button on the controller and 'bam', enemy is knock down unconscious. Good fun nevertheless and it's a challenge to go through the game without killing unnecessary enemy.
Verdict === 6/10
This is another area where this game should shine. Graphically it looks not as good as its single player sister but it is adequate for hours of funtime with real-live friends as opposed to computer AI enemies. I have only tried system-link and not xblive and I have to say it is better than counter-strike. Perhaps I have a counter-strike burn-out having play it for more than 5 years. But the multiplayer theme of neutralizing bio-threats isn't as fun as planting bombs in CS imho. For those who really into SCPT's multiplayer action, feel free to add to my comments.
Verdict == 8/10
Overall : 7/10 (i think this only applies to the single player missions as i think the real fun begins when you are fragging your friends, don bother about polygon counts, no silly enemies but your mates to kill and so forth)
Recommendation: A good buy and with xblive updates and so forth, definite keeper. Focus on the multiplayer side of things though coz i strongly believe it to be a good experience. But if you are gonna spend on only one game this few months, and you most likely to play alone, no other game comes close to Ninja Gaiden.