Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow Review - Multi-player Tips
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This is probably the one game I would suggest mastering the multiplayer mode before even touching the single player mode. Reason being, they changed everything. I don't understand why exactly but for some reason the makers of the game felt that all the controls should be different for multi-player. I can get their reasoning on a few changes but they seriously went a bit too far. Unfortunately for me I followed my almost unbeatable formula of beating the single-player game before attempting the multi-player mode. This allows you to become fairly adept at controlling your character in various situations. Well that's not the case with this game, so I got my butt handed to me repeatedly by pretty much every other player on UbiSoft's international network.
For multi-player, things are a bit different in story too. Games consist of a maximum of 4 players, 2 on each team. You are either a spy working for SHADOWNET, or you are a Mercenary working for the ARGUS Corp. As a spy, your objective is much like Sam's in the single-player mode and that is to stay unseen and undetected.
There are three official modes of play: Neutralization, Extraction, and Sabotage. In Neutralization the spies attempt to find viral containers and neutralize them, mercs attempt to protect the containers and kill the spies. In Extraction mode the spies look for viral containers, take out the virus tubes and bring them to the extraction point, the mercs attempt to protect the containers and kill the spies. In Sabotage mode the spies find the viral containers and place a modem nearby to neutralize the virus, the mercs attempt to protect the containers and kill the spies.
Okay, so the different modes aren't all that different but that's not necessarily a bad thing. The one unofficial mode I ran into online is DeathMatch which basically just means that all 4 players agree not to attempt any of the mission goals and instead focus on killing each other.
Although the different modes are similar for the most part, what's different is playing mercs as opposed to spies. First and foremost when playing as a spy, you will have the same third-person view as when your playing single player, but when playing as a merc you will be in first person. Reasoning for this isn't really given but it works and it does a good job of making the two factions feel a bit different when you are playing, so I have no qualms about this. As a merc you have two special types of vision in addition to just plain vision; of course, you have motion vision (shown below) which allows you to see any fast moving object regardless of the lighting situation...
The lighter colored square just off-center is a grenade I just launched from my rifle. Your other special vision as a merc is EMF or Electromagnetic Field vision. Using this vision, you can see all things electronic, therefore if your spy friends out there are using either their special visions or the laser scope on their rifle, they will be visible to you. As you can see below when the spy's special vision is on, he's fairly visible, but when it's off, he will be nearly impossible to see. Your teammates will stand out considerably though, so there won't be any cases of mistaken identity.
Spies will get the same two types of special vision that Sam gets in the single player mode, Heat Vision and Night Vision. Although these two visions will help you keep track of the mercs, keep in mind that as long as you have them on, you will stick out like a sore thumb to them if they are using their EMF vision.
Your weapons are also different as a spy versus a merc. Mercs have guns a bit like Sam's, but they can also equip a projection Tasers which will allow you to temporarily immobilize a spy long enough to pump him full of lead, nice. Spy gun on the other hand fire electrically charged ammo that won't harm the mercs but will have a taser-like effect on them. The advantage the spy has here though is that the ammo from their guns will travel much like bullets, whereas the merc's taser only has a reach of about 7-10ft.
One of the other cool tools given to the spies is the Spy Bullet. This device fires like a normal bullet but sticks to the wall and allows the spies to see if the mercs enter the area around the bullet. You can also shoot the mercs with it directly, and they will temporarily appear on the spy's radar. Also when they are tagged you tap into their conversations.
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