As you all know, HD remakes have become quite trendy these days and even Sam Fisher decided to get his own HD face lift in Splinter Cell Trilogy HD. Ubisoft sent us three codes to download the three original games on PSN and we captured a bunch of videos for you guys. The collection will be available at your retailer by the end of the month, but you can purchase the three titles independently on PSN for $9.99 each. My impressions on each port inside.
The first Splinter Cell game was released back in 2002, so one could not hope for a miracle when launching the HD edition adapted from the PC version. Despite some HD textures, it clearly is the episode which looks the most dated. Cutscenes especially show their age, with hands modeled in just one block. In spite of pixelated textures worth of the 32bits era, the shadow effects still look good and the lighting is sometimes worthy of a few modern AAA titles.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow HD has received a better treatment. Textures are decent enough and the dynamic lighting effects start to show what they are capable of. On the downside, aliasing is still too visible for the HD port of a 2004 game.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory arrived on Xbox and PC one year later, in 2005. As a result, its HD version looks a lot better than the other two. Don't expect the quality of today's standards, textures being a bit poor, but the great work they had done with the lighting is still impressive. Aliasing is also more discrete, though one can't help but wonder why it is still there today.
In the end, these three ports do not seem to have changed much from the PC versions of the time. However, in spite of their age, some effects are still worth a look and add to the immersion. That being said, unless you are a great fan of the franchise, these HD versions will probably appeal more to those who have never played the games. As for the others, they will most certainly pass, especially since there is no trace of the excellent multiplayer mode.
@GriftGFX: Gonna go eat lunch now. Thanks for the chat. It's always great to learn more about technology and its potential. I just wish there were any articles on the subject I could find. (5 Hours ago)
*about game engine graphics pipelines (5 Hours ago)
Then you start getting into proprietary software hell and potentially preventing other developers from writing innovative software solutions themselves. It's a WEIRD idea. (5 Hours ago)
and game engine graphics pipelines or even programming interfaces for their products. None of that is their role in the whole thing.. and it shouldn't be. (5 Hours ago)
@Sdarts: Nvidia and AMD already do help developers with optimization more than they should have to. Nvidia and AMD should be improving the hardware and driver end of the technology and not worrying (5 Hours ago)