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Which version is better? PC vs Xbox vs GCN vs PS2 This article is old, true. But as it is an insider article, I'm sure not many people have viewed it. Good reading. Ubi Soft's tactical shooter launched exclusively for the Xbox in November 2002. Sporting incredible visuals and polished stealth-based gameplay, Splinter Cell has gone on to become one of the most recognized new franchises. Sam Fisher is a face, name, and voice that many hardcore gamers know very well. Early in 2003, Ubi Soft launched a port of the Xbox version to PC. This was just on the tale end of Microsoft's exclusive rights to the game. In the background, Ubi Soft was working on ports for the GameCube and PlayStation 2. What we didn't know was how much Splinter Cell had been tweaked since its birth on Xbox. However, with all four versions housed here in the IGN offices, Strada landlord not prevented from terminating insolvent tenants lease, court rules can now tell you all about them. Harford elementary students see themselves as writers with new program, principal says this head-to-head comparison we evaluate everything from the gameplay to the load times to the bonus content. It's been an eye-opening process, and we urge you to consider every last detail within if you want to own or rent the best version. Splinter Cell is not the same game across all four platforms. We'll say it again in hopes that you'll bury it deep into your mind: like fraternal twins, the Xbox/PC version is the same but different than the GameCube/PlayStation 2 version. We speak of the Xbox and PC iterations as one because, as aforementioned, the PC offering is just a port. Likewise, GameCube and PlayStation 2 were developed by another studio, and thus are different in their own way. This is important to understand because the gameplay styles are quite different. The GCN/PS2 version is home to a number of redesigned levels and differently balanced gameplay. Those who have played the Xbox/PC version will notice that architecture has disappeared, doors have changed places, and occasionally entire portions of missions are condensed down. For example, on the Xbox/PC you are forced to sneak into a CIA building. It's an extremely tricky part of the game. On GCN/PS2, you are given a fake ID that lets you right into the building, thus bypassing that difficult experience. Ubi Soft and Shanghai attempted to better balance the game for GCN/PS2, but it may have gone to far, making it too easy. That's a point of debate, though. In another attempt to better tweak the gameplay, level designs have changed. There are portions where it is drastic, and other areas where it is much smaller. For instance, doors may change positions to make navigation less complicated. Sometimes events that happened on Xbox/PC don't happen. In the opening level, the Police Station, you run into a burning warehouse, and there's an instance where you enter a burning room that crashes down in front of you, stopping you in your tracks. This only happens on Xbox/PC. On GCN/PS2 the experienced essay examples Mark Judges alcoholism is a disease, not a moral standing reduced to entering through a completely different door, and moving on to the next room. This tuned gameplay on GCN/PS2 makes itself apparent in regards, too. The artificial intelligence has been taken down a few notches. To put it mildly, the GCN/PS2 version is more forgiving. Fire a gun off in most rooms on the Xbox/PS2 version, and the closest guard will be alerted. This, however, does not happen with the GCN/PS2 Splinter Cell. We can't impartially say which gameplay is better -- you can check out our reviews for that -- but now you are aware of those differences. Additionally, Ubi Soft has actually tried to give each version of Splinter Cell something exclusive to each platform. Xbox has downloadable levels (only one has been offered so far), GameCube links up to the Game Boy Advance to produce a handy radar and the exclusive stickybomb, and the PlayStation 2 comes with its own new exclusive level at a nuclear power plant. Oh yea, and the GCN and PS2 both come equipped with binoculars out of the gate, which is not on Xbox or PC. Meanwhile, the PC doesn't really have any of its own exclusives, but it has the potential to join Xbox with some downloadable content, but that's not absolute by any means. As far as pure gameplay and features go, they all have their own benefits. The PC is the only one with no true exclusive features. Winner : GameCube/PlayStation 2/Xbox (Tie) On to the next important topic we go. Control in Splinter Cell varies across each platform. Let's begin by discussing the PC. With the advantages of mouse and keyboard, navigating and pointing-and-shooting couldn't be easier. There's little to debate there. Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to this otherwise wonderful system. Without an analog stick to steer Sam Fisher around, you are left with four keys for turning and moving. The problem is that Splinter Cell is very dependant on the idea of being stealthy and sneaking up on characters. Instead of relying on your thumb's accuracy like the console's do, the PC uses the mouse wheel to set Sam's pace. This takes some of the skill out of sneaking up on people, as you can create a constant, safe pace for Sam with little effort. So, while the PC does control extremely well for most of what's needed, we couldn't label it all that and a bag of chips. Moving on to the console versions, we know that since Splinter Cell launched on the Xbox it controls very well there. The four face buttons are reserved for capturing victims, crouching, jumping, and drawing your gun. Meanwhile, the R-trigger Joe Biden among pallbearers at McCains funeral used for shooting your gun or using an item. The White button is used to access your items and equip things. Finally, pressing D-pad left will activate night vision and the L-trigger is used for holding your breath in sniper mode later on. To center your camera, the right analog stick button is used. As well, sliding up against a wall is as easy as tapping the Black button. How does it work on GameCube and PlayStation 2? Let's start with the PlayStation 2 since it has the most buttons. The face buttons are very similarly laid out; you have one for grabbing enemies, one for crouch, and one for jump. However, instead of the Square button being used for pulling out your gun, it's used to navigate your items, as the White buttons is on Xbox. Pulling out your gun is instead tied to the R2 button, but there's a catch. R1 is used to actually shoot it. Sound confusing? There's more. The D-pad is used for, not only night vision, but also quick switching items. The D-pad works surprisingly well for surfing through your items. So well, in fact, we're not sure why Shanghai even bothered to use the Square button for the same function. The R3 button (the clickable right analog stick) is used to activate your binoculars at anytime. What this means, though, is that there is no "center camara" button. Shanghai omitted it, and while it's not exactly a must-have, it's disappointing in that it could have easily been added. L3 sets your back to the wall. Last, but not least, we have the GameCube. With fewer buttons there are some noticeably differences. The face buttons are rearranged yet again. The main button, A, is used not only to grab enemy's and interrogate them, but it is also used to press your back up onto walls. This is actually quite intuitive, as it's more context sensitive in style; you don't have to remember which button does what. Unfortunately, it can cause the occasional mix-up. For example, you might go to open a door and you'll end up backing up to it. There are some other shortcuts that have been taken on the GameCube controller. It features the same quick D-pad switching for items, but the Z-button is instead used for activating your night vision. There is no true shortcut for pulling out your gun. The R-trigger is used as a "use item" button. This means if you have the lock-pick equipped, the R-button will attempt to use it. The R-trigger will only pull out your gun if you have it equipped. As a solution, pressing the D-pad right will quickly equip your gun. So, it's easily memorized and performed, but it's still a short cut that was taken. As well, the binoculars are tied to the flick of the C-stick. It works about as well as using R3 on PlayStation 2, but it can lead to accidental instances. There is no "center camera" button on How big data made applying to college tougher either. Are you thoroughly confused yet? It's pretty interesting to see how different the controls can be. The question is, which platform is home to the absolute best control? Before we pick a winner, let us say that no platform has any truly damaging control issues; they all function quite well. Having said that, our following choices are very close. The PC is the most fluid for pointing and shooting, and despite the more simple walking and running scheme, it's still so comfortable to use the mouse and keyboard. Behind that, the Xbox and PlayStation 2 are basically equal. The Xbox may not have binoculars, but you can use your sniper gun later in the game. Plus, it comes with the handy "center camera" button. Meanwhile, the PS2 has quick item navigating on the D-pad, binoculars, but no "center camera." Last place goes to GameCube, not because it's bad, but because the shortcuts taken can be counter-intuitive at times. Winner : PC Runners-up : PlayStation 2/Xbox (Tie) Here we will dig deeper into the technicalities of each console, staring with the audio experience. Ubi Soft took great time to custom fit Decoding Alien Messages Could Be the Biggest Citizen-Science Project Ever sound to Xbox. It comes complete with 5.1 Dolby Digital support, the sound sampling is crystal clear, and the surround experience is excellent. On the PC with advanced EAX support, it mirrors this closely. The GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions are basically identical in sound performance. They sound decidedly less impressive than both the Xbox and PC. The audio, less separated and muddy, can't compare with Joe Biden among pallbearers at McCains funeral clarity offered from Xbox and PC. We really couldn't recommend a better audio experience on GameCube or PlayStation 2. Splinter Cell is drastically different on every platform. It uses a subset of the Unreal engine, so it looks best on Xbox and PC, and it's quite similar on the two platforms. The biggest differences are these: you get better resolution and textures on PC, perhaps even a better framerate, but it's hardware dependent. On our GeForce 3 it wasn't mightily improved over the Xbox. In fact, Xbox still looks comparably good to the PC. Naturally the textures are not as crisp and you can't run it in a higher resolution -- though it does have progressive scan support -- but it has an overall polish that we can't fault. There are certain lighting effects and things such as night vision, which are just best on Xbox because the developer took time to specifically code the effects to the hardware. Xbox runs at a fairly consistent 30 frames per second. Next in line is the GameCube. It lacks the powerful lighting and shadowing models that are exhibited on Xbox and PC. Most of the lighting effects are faked, and it shows. There are a few glitches with it, too. We noticed that in certain areas the supposed real-time shadows that are cast from objects, as a light swings in the distance, would suddenly stop moving. This is because the engine stopped processing the area with the light source, and the result is a suddenly static shadow. Whoops! Textures are also considerably less detailed than the Xbox and PC. In fact, the textures, the coloring, and even architecture is very different at points. Like we said in the opening, the GCN and PS2 versions are very different. Speaking of the PlayStation 2, it suffers from all of the same problems that the GameCube does. However, the framerate and texture quality is worse. Sometimes roofs are shaded with flat textures, where you might see actual tile detail on GameCube. The framerate, which peaks out at 60 on GameCube, frequently dropping, is also worse on the PlayStation 2. The PS2's framerate is rarely that high, and more often it's noticeably more choppy. However, GameCube doesn't escape without its oddities either. Let's examine a few pictures and discuss what's going on: Here you can see how different the lighting and texturing is on each platform. Notice how the Xbox actually has a fuzzier, more impressive lighting model. Above: four of the same rooms and two of them are completely different. When we said that there were big differences, we weren't kidding. Probably due to polygon complexity, the soundproofing in this training room was removed from GCN and PS2. In the image above, you can see how dark and fake the GameCube and PlayStation 2 versions are. They also don't have the texture detail -- such as the foliage on the wall -- that the Xbox and PC have. The lighting on this gate, which sways on Xbox and PC, will stop moving on GCN and Emily Blunt talks about filming A Quiet Place with John Krasinski if the camera is placed in certain spots. Woah! Do you see what's going on with the lighting in the GameCube version? Yea, we sure do. It's oddly contrasted to the point of being uncomfortable. It's not always like this, but this is an example of how the GCN version, even though it looks better than PS2 overall, does have some weird issues. For comparison, check out how nice the lighting and shadowing is on the Xbox and PC. This is not an isolated incident. Last, but not least, we compared the night vision modes. Hands-down, it's best on Xbox. If you have the right PC card, it comes close, but it's just softer and more polished on Xbox. As for GameCube and PlayStation 2, it's hard to say which has better night vision, but PS2 definitely has that green glow and a somewhat softer look Review: New вЂMagnum P.I.вЂ™ Is Mostly Nostalgia and Testosterone the much more highly constrasted GCN night vision. What's the final word on best graphics? Obviously if you have the right hardware it's best on the PC; a Radeon 9700 would help. However, Xbox also looks stellar and is very polished with lighting and effects. GameCube, with its better framerate, but odd lighting, still wins out over the slower, worse textured PS2 version. Winner : PC Runner-up : Xbox Second Runner-up : GameCube.