Splinter Cell Conviction to last “30-35 hours” altogether

“Systemic” AI allows for easy mode creation.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, March 12, 2010


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Remember when Ubisoft’s Patrick Redding told you that Splinter Cell: Conviction would last 12-16 hours? Well, he was lying. Or rather, he was only referring to the single player campaign and co-op modes.


Factor in Deniable Ops, the competitive multiplayer mode, and according to Creative Director Maxime Beland the figure is twice or thrice Redding’s estimate.


“Deniable Ops is going to last people like 20-25 hours, easily – there’s a lot of modes and maps,” Beland revealed in a recent interview. “Then we’ve got co-op, story – easily 30-35 hours of gameplay. So we should be selling the game for 200 bucks!” Trying to get one over Activision in the pricing stakes, eh, Maxime?


Apparently creating multiplayer modes for Conviction is a doddle, on account of its highly flexible AI.


“Because we’ve built our AI in a systemic way, our AI is all reactive to the ingredients you throw at it, it’s not scripted at all – because we’ve built that, it was very easy for us to create some multiplayer modes that took advantage of our AI,” Beland explained.


“You take a map that’s working, you throw in enemies, and they’re going to be fine – they’re going to be talking, shooting, taking cover, hunting for Sam. Everything works. Once the AI is debugged for story, it works in all those modes. It required very little work on the AI side to get us all those modes.”


Conviction has five two player modes for six maps, all of them featuring large groups of AI goons. Not quite a pant-ripping breadth of options then, but enough to be going on with.


“And just like we did in [Rainbow Six: Vegas], we had a lot of different modes, and what’s cool is they’re playable in co-op, they’re playable in single player, and it’s just extra value for the player,” Beland went on. “And it’s not that hard to do. So it’s fun to do it, a pleasure to do it! To give even more gameplay for the same amount of money.”


We like the sound of that better than the 200 buck bit. How about a level editor while you’re at it?


Conviction hits PC and Xbox 360 in April. Read our hands-on here, and don’t forget to check out the full interview.


3 Responses to “Splinter Cell Conviction to last “30-35 hours” altogether”

  1. Brush says:

    Hmm…

    In R6Vegas…terrorist hunt + PEC levelling led to hundreds of hours for me…then in Nr 2 the levelling was a bit…better tbh, it didn’t take three years to get to elite.

    I think if this ‘hunt’ game mode is good, and the PEC provides enough trinkets for addiction to set in, then it will provide the game with a lot of legs.

    I’ve been to the ubi.com forums, and lots of people moaning about no spys vs mercs (admittedly the 2 player vs in this sounds weak). But…the last SC didn’t have co op and a t hunt mode…I think this co op focus is the right decision for this particular game – downloading files made for a pretty crap MP, and whatever you do with this game in versus, it’s never going to be as good as shooters like R6, COD, graw etc.

    ….The PEC system, i would hope actually takes more than 35 hours to reach the top rungs, because it’s just a nice excuse to keep on playing.

    Level editor is a great idea, though i bet they don’t do it – if you could design your own hunt maps, share them..that would be a nice way to keep it fresh as you work through the PEC. Alas, only Far Cry 2 gets the editor action (and i think that was prob because Crytek left a legacy there they had to live up to)

  2. Brush says:

    Crikey, bit of a wall of text that.

    Game shows promise…SC, GRAW on the way, there’s only one missing, a new Rainbow six game.

    I actually think these tactical/military tom clancy games are what Ubi does best, for all the plaudits Assasins creed gets, it’s very boring in the long run, whereas give me a FAMAS and a man repeatedly shouting ‘that’s the guy who shot Marcello’ and i’m entertained for months.

  3. I think the two player versus options could be more interesting than they sound – it all depends on how clever the AI truly is, how much of a threat it can pose. I can imagine, say, killing the other chap by shooting out a light near his position, thus drawing a pack of guards. Or something to that effect.

    Still a bit gutted at the absence of Mercs vs Spies though. Absolutely fantastic asymmetrical concept, brilliantly implemented. I almost wonder if it’s worth releasing it as a standalone title, like Warhawk and BF1943, with mildly upgraded gfx. Pretty please, Ubisoft?

    You’re probably right about the level editor thing. I would have asked after it but time was short, and I had to get the inevitable “will it be going multiplatform” questions out of the way.

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