Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials

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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell - Essentials.jpg
Developer(s) Ubisoft Montreal
Publisher(s) Ubisoft
Series Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
Engine Unreal Engine 2.0
Platform(s) PlayStation Portable[1]
Release date(s) NA March 21, 2006[1]
AUS April 6, 2006[1]
EU April 7, 2006[1]
Genre(s) Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials is a video game in the Splinter Cell series for the PlayStation Portable handheld system.


Splinter Cell: Essentials starts off in 2009, after the events of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Sam Fisher sneaks into the graveyard where his daughter, Sarah, who has been recently killed in a car accident, has been buried. Fisher is arrested at this grave site, taken into custody and interrogated. During this time, Sam recalls past events, that are then played as missions.

The first flashback mission is set in Colombia back in 1992. Fisher is at this time a member of the Navy SEALs. His commanding officer, Douglas Shetland, has been captured by FARC guerrillas. Going against the direct order of the commanding officer, he performs a solo rescue mission of the commander.

However, in the end, Sam admits that he did kill his Third Echelon handler, Colonel Irving Lambert. In the final mission, Sam steals the evidence and escapes.


There are three separate versions of the Double Agent storyline between Splinter Cell: Essentials, the Xbox/PS2/GC/WII and Xbox 360/PS3/PC versions of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. There are inconsistencies between each version of the game, in both story and detail.

Primarily this has to do with the fact that all levels in each version of the game are completely original, each having unique layouts and mission objective solutions. For levels which take place in the same locations, the time of day is different. Some mission locations occur during day in one version (360/PS3/PC) and night in the other (Xbox/PS2/Wii). In some cases the level order is different or the game includes an exclusive location not found in another version of the game (I.E. Money Train on Xbox/PS2/Wii and Shanghai on 360/PS3/PC). Some of Essential's levels were modified into exclusive levels on the PS2 version of Double Agent, the Belgrade City mission was modified into Cargo Ship mission, and Norte de Santander was modified into the German Bunker mission.

The game also contains a retcon to the original Splinter Cell's timeline, according to the manual and website; Sam Fisher was, " of the first agents recruited into Third Echelon in the 1990s..."[1]. Originally, according to the manual of Splinter Cell, Third Echelon was founded in 2003.[2] The game includes a Third Echelon mission set during 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.[3]

In other situations, the names, characters or places are different in each version, though core of the story remains the same. For example, Sam Fisher is able to escape a federal prison (Leavenworth or Ellsworth) by helping Jamie Washington, first by killing/beating up another inmate (Mikey or Barnham) in both Essentials and the Xbox/PS2/WII versions of the story. Though the 360/PS3/PC version portrays the escape as well, it doesn't cover the inmate subplot. In all three versions he infiltrates the JBA, and their hideout at the Delta Atlantic Shipping Company Warehouse (New Orleans or New York).

A similar situation occurs during each games decision to choose the outcome of Irving Lambert. In all three games Lambert acts as Sam's undercover field runner, but is ultimately discovered by the JBA. In the Xbox 360/PS3/PC version the choices are given, either for Sam to shoot Lambert or to shoot Jamie to save Lambert. Essentials is similar to the 360 version, but only gives the option of shooting Lambert (later stating he died of his wounds). Sam Fisher does not shoot Lambert in the Xbox/PS2/Wii version of Double Agent, instead Lambert infiltrates JSA as a weapon seller, Wilkes, Sam Fisher is given the option of remotely exposing Lambert's identity (other JSA members kill Lambert) or enhancing it (Lambert takes a beating but lives).

Splinter Cell: Conviction confirmed that Sam Fisher reluctantly shot Lambert, who died from his gunshot wound, and that the 360/PS3/PC version of Double Agent is canon.


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 58.22%[4]
Metacritic 58/100[5]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 6/10[6]
EGM 5/10[7]
Eurogamer 5/10[8]
Game Informer 8/10[9]
GamePro 3/5 stars[10]
Game Revolution C−[11]
GameSpot 5.8/10[12]
GameSpy 2/5 stars[13]
GameZone 6/10[14]
IGN 6.3/10[15]
OPM (US) 2/5 stars[16]
Detroit Free Press 2/4 stars[17]

Critical reaction to Splinter Cell: Essentials was mixed. GameRankings gave it a score of 58.22%,[4] while Metacritic gave it 58 out of 100.[5]

Juan Castro of IGN gave the game a score of 6.3 out of 10, saying: "It feels rushed, even slightly broken during certain parts. Beyond this, the game plays as though it doesn't belong on the PSP. It yearns for a second analog stick and an extra pair of buttons, for instance. Not only that, it suffers quite a bit in the performance department—you'll rarely see the game running smoothly. Making matters worse is that Essentials doesn't look all that spectacular. This from a series that always pushes the boundaries of current technology."[15]

Greg Mueller of GameSpot gave Essentials a score of 5.8 out of 10, saying: "Splinter Cell: Essentials sounds like a fine idea. Take some missions from previous games, mix them up a little, add some entirely new missions, and fit it all onto the PSP. Unfortunately, due to some bad controls, oppressively dark levels, and a worthless multiplayer mode, the result is a game that is more frustrating than it is rewarding."[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials Release Information for PSP
  2. ^ Splinter Cell, pg 7.
  3. ^ Get prepared to discover the disasters of war in Ex-Yugoslavia, spring of 1999, during the NATO strikes and bombing.
  4. ^ a b "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials for PSP". GameRankings. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials for PSP Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ Edge staff (April 2006). "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Essentials". Edge (159): 93. 
  7. ^ EGM staff (May 2006). "Splinter Cell Essentials". Electronic Gaming Monthly (203): 107. 
  8. ^ Martin, Matt (April 25, 2006). "Splinter Cell Essentials". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Splinter Cell: Essentials". Game Informer (157): 112. May 2006. 
  10. ^ Mr. Marbles (March 27, 2006). "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials Review for PSP on". GamePro. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  11. ^ Dodson, Joe (April 20, 2006). "Splinter Cell Essentials Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Mueller, Greg (March 29, 2006). "Splinter Cell Essentials Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  13. ^ Tuttle, Will (April 5, 2006). "GameSpy: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials". GameSpy. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  14. ^ Sandoval, Angelina (April 18, 2006). "Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Essentials - PSP - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on January 1, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Castro, Juan (March 29, 2006). "Splinter Cell Essentials". IGN. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Splinter Cell Essentials". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 90. May 2006. 
  17. ^ Huschka, Ryan (May 7, 2006). "'Splinter Cell Essentials'". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 

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