Developer / Publisher: UbisoftPlatform: XBOX 360Players: 1 2 (Multiplayer)Rating: AIn a world of replicators and imitators, the Splinter Cell series has remained one of the most original and progressive video games in recent history. Its innovation within the stealth genre is legendary and has never faltered with bringing intense espionage storylines to life. Now on its fifth installment, Splinter Cell Conviction (Ubisoft) takes an already stellar gameplay to bigger heights with an updated cover system and other welcomed additions. Conviction brings back our usual protagonist Sam Fisher, and frankly he is not happy. The time is set to a couple of years after Splinter Cell: Double Agent. Those who might have missed the pre-cursor will be brought to speed pretty quickly through cut scenes, dialogue and bloody interrogation sequences. Sams daughter was killed and this unfortunate tragedy has brought back the hard boiled agent out of retirement. On top of that, these same individuals responsible for his little girls death are planning a major attack on Washington DC; just another day in the day and life of Sam Fisher.Conviction is all about stealth, and it doesnt disappoint one bit. You can duck, crouch, and take cover behind any wall or object with a flick of a button. When you are in the shadows and it is impossible for your enemies to see you, the screen will turn black and white. Once you are in the light and can be spotted, the standard color scheme comes back into play. This minor but significant change adds another layer of strategy and planning to the overall experience. What is a gift and a curse in the game is the Mark & Execute system. In short you can mark several enemies at a time with a red cursor to be executed with a Lee Harvey Oswald preciseness. The drawback is that you have to earn those guaranteed hits with stealth kills. This can be a frustrating since looking specifically for stealth kills can slow you down. Additionally there are often more guys in your scope that you can mark causing the rest to be alerted to you presence.At your disposal are a number of weapons. You can choose from your standard silenced pistol which is more suited for stealth to more powerful automated machine guns that can take out a small army. As you progress through the game you get bonuses for completing specific goals and meeting targets. In turn you get points to upgrade your weaponry to improve accuracy, stopping power, and add different attachments to your firearms. Outside of the main campaign, weve got a very strong multiplayer component. You and a friend can team up as agents Archer and Kestrel and work in tandem to track down some WMDs before its too late. The double team efforts change the approach to game, lending to very fun kill combinations.Hands down Conviction is the best title in Splinter Cell series and in the stealth action genre to date. The new cover system is easy to pick up and the story is wildly intense. After a few hours on the sticks with this engrossing thriller, you will find that there is a little of Sam Fisher in all of us; for better or worse.