Sam Fisher, voiced once again by Michael Ironside - a man who sounds like he eats chunks of granite instead of cereal for breakfast, is pretty pissed off. His daughter has disappeared, the agency he previously worked for has gone and stabbed him in the back and he's been out of the game for a little while so he's not quite the super sleek spy that he used to be.
Finding out exactly why Sam's gone a little nuts will only set you back £12.99 at the moment from The Game Collection, saving you just under £2 on the nearest competitor. Xbox owners will be pleased to know too that they can pick up a copy for just a little more (£13.99) at HMV, saving them a quid on the next lot.
The fact Sam's been out of the game for a little while means that Conviction plays slightly differently to its predecessors in that he's a bit more angry, a bit more direct and a little bit more obvious. You don't hide the bodies of your fallen adversaries any more - they're there to freak out any remaining soldiers left between you and your objective. It shares quite a lot in common with Arkham Asylum in that respect: using the shadows (the use of interactive dynamic lighting in this game is excellent) to cloak you, and popping out every now and then for a spot of brutal violence before retreating into the dark and ratcheting up the fear factor. It's a lot of fun.
The main campaign is short, but there's a host of other modes and co-op missions to keep you entertained, with the Deniable Ops missions offering a players what one might call the super-stealthy 'authentic' Splinter Cell experience we've grown to love. I might have found it difficult to recommend this game at £50, but for under £15 it's an absolute steal and might just be up there alongside Chaos Theory as the best title in the series.
Nod to goonertillidie at HUKD for the X360 tip.