Parents' Guide to

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction

By Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Mature spy game with a hero who kills with his bare hands.

Game Windows , Xbox 360 2010
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 15 parent reviews

age 18+

Tons of language, very bloody, but amazing storyline

(SPOILER ALERT) Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction is probably the most profane and violent Splinter Cell game to date. The story follows Sam Fisher, who is now retired from Third Echelon. As the game progresses, we learn that maybe his daughter's death (run over by a drunk driver) wasn't an accident. This causes Sam to want to find out who is responsible, and reunite with his daughter. However, Sam shows no sign of mercy throughout the game. In almost every level, you interrogate people to get them to tell you what you want to know. The most intense interrogation scene I've experienced was more than halfway through the game, where the man draws a knife on Sam, who grabs the knife, twists the guy's arm, and stabs the knife though his hand and into a tree stump. As these interrogations proceed, you can visibly see the victim's face being more and more beat up, including open cuts, bleeding mouths, and (in one scene) coughing up blood. The game is also very profane. The hostiles are CONSTANTLY dropping F-bombs like it's the cool thing to do. And unlike other games such as Gears of War, there is no way to filter the language, outside of hacking the game. Personally, it made me uncomfortable to hear the F-word so many times per level, I almost wanted to stop playing the game entirely. The only reason I didn't is because I was warned of the insane amount of vulgar language. Personally, I have not experienced any sexual content, and I've played through the entire game. I've heard about a scene in a club where girls dressed in their underwear move their bodies in certain ways for men, but I never saw anything close to that. But what keeps drawing me back to the game is the compelling storyline! It's like re-playing the game all over again every time! I love the story, and I love how we get to see more of Sam's pre-Echelon life. This was a great step forward in terms of storyline for Splinter Cell. If it weren't for the absolutely unnecessary use of the F-word dozens of times in literally every level, I'd give the game 5 stars.
age 12+

Not as bad as you may think

Not that violent, some slightly bloody hand to hand combat scenes. The game took a light turn when it took out pools of blood, slitting throats, and hiding bodies. Unfortunately these violent things do return in blacklist. But all in all Sam, the protagonist, basically punches and shoots his way through terrorist threatening civilians and the president. There is some swearing, nothing they probably haven’t heard. So 12+ maybe 13 it just depends on if you child knows the difference between real life and a video game.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (15 ):
Kids say (37 ):

Yes -- for adult gamers. Fisher has acquired some new "Mature"-rated tricks, such as the power of persuasion, which lets players "interrogate" suspects and other thugs by slamming their head into tables, walls, toilet bowls or windows. Players can even complete side challenges for being creative in their interrogation techniques. Fisher can also tag enemies in the "mark and execute" feature, which allows him to take out multiple enemies at the tap of a button.

It would be remiss not to mention the outstanding production values in this third-person adventure, including the cinematic way it introduces mission objectives and Sam's thoughts by splashing words and images onto the environment itself. Some of the documentary-style "shaky" camera angle effects might bother some, though. Toss in multiplayer play, including a thrilling co-op mode with its own unique story, and it's easy to see why Splinter Cell: Conviction will likely be the must-play action game of the season.

Online interaction: The game offers many multiplayer modes including a much-hyped co-op mode. Gamers can talk over Xbox Live while playing so it's possible for players to hear profanity from other players (though we didn't hear any), exchange personal information, and be exposed to abuse.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Windows , Xbox 360
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: UbiSoft
  • Release date: April 13, 2010
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes, Strong Language
  • Last updated: August 31, 2016

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