• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

LTTP Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is a Fantastic & Underrated Gem from the PlayStation 2 era (brian0057, GET ITT!!!)

Romulus

Member
Mar 21, 2019
5,313
6,563
535
SP3 Xbox


SC3 PS2



It'd like to also mention, not only is the gulf here massive, the Xbox is rending it at 480p versus 480i on PS2. That would be like an XSX game with RT, ultra settings, running at 4k, versus the same game running on PS5 at 1440p, very low settings, and no RT. lol
 
Last edited:

Sub_Level

wants to fuck an Asian grill.
Apr 9, 2009
31,368
10,891
1,460
Overall, I was happy with Ubisoft’s decision to keep things the way they were, but I would've hoped for a bit more variety with the weaponry and stealth mechanics.

You'll be happy with Chaos Theory, then.

- no more 3-alarm system like in PT.
- better melee options. You can take out anyone (lethally or nonlethally) if you're close enough and don't have to rely on that silly elbow thrust.
- EMP on your pistol that disables lights & surveillance cameras, so you don't have to make a ton of noise shooting out bulbs. The tradeoff is that its only temporary, so shooting out lights is still a viable strategy sometimes.
- shotgun & sniper rifle if you want to get loud. It won't necessarily alert the entire level of guards either.
- more elaborate levels as opposed to PT which was fairly linear.
 

pawel86ck

Banned
Jan 27, 2018
2,122
3,222
430
It'd like to also mention, not only is the gulf here massive, the Xbox is rending it at 480p versus 480i on PS2. That would be like an XSX game with RT, ultra settings, running at 4k, versus the same game running on PS5 at 1440p, very low settings, and no RT. lol
We both know there's no comparsion between Xbox and PS2 versions.
 
Last edited:

hyperbertha

Member
Nov 24, 2018
1,961
6,629
625
Anybody remember the original version of splinter cell conviction? The one that looked way cooler than the one we got:


I remember being pretty hyped about it but then it went silent for years and what came out looked entirely different and less ambitious.
 
Jan 11, 2019
13,633
49,528
1,320
Tokyo, Japan
Bring back memories.
Superb trilogy
Ubisoft doesn't make this kind of quality niche games like they used to
They need to remaster those games to actual consoles
I actually started to appreciate the PS2 versions of the game despite the obvious graphical downgrades.

People make it seem like I'm playing the Gameboy Advance version of the trilogy but I've realized the bonus content and cutting off the fat of the games really made me enjoy these games.
 

Ozrimandias

Member
Jun 21, 2018
937
1,042
430
I actually started to appreciate the PS2 versions of the game despite the obvious graphical downgrades.

People make it seem like I'm playing the Gameboy Advance version of the trilogy but I've realized the bonus content and cutting off the fat of the games really made me enjoy these games.

I lost my PS2 years ago, all of those games (Like Chaos Theory and Pandora Tomorrow) I played them on PS3. Another take on what you said is that, in the case of Double Agent, the best version (in terms of story ) is the PS2 version (or at least that is some people say) I remember that it was really good in fact.
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima
Jan 11, 2019
13,633
49,528
1,320
Tokyo, Japan
I lost my PS2 years ago, all of those games (Like Chaos Theory and Pandora Tomorrow) I played them on PS3. Another take on what you said is that, in the case of Double Agent, the best version (in terms of story ) is the PS2 version (or at least that is some people say) I remember that it was really good in fact.
Exactly.

I was tempted to buy the PS3 trilogy but I'm fondly in love with the PS2 Quadrilogy 🤗
 
Last edited:
  • Strength
Reactions: Ozrimandias

Romulus

Member
Mar 21, 2019
5,313
6,563
535
Another take on what you said is that, in the case of Double Agent, the best version (in terms of story ) is the PS2 version (or at least that is some people say) I remember that it was really good in fact.

The ps2 and OG xbox versions have the same storyline(best imo), but the xbox version has heavily upgraded visuals.

PC, PS3, and 360 have a different story and is considered cannon.
 
Last edited:
Jan 11, 2019
13,633
49,528
1,320
Tokyo, Japan
The ps2 and OG xbox versions have the same storyline(best imo), but the xbox version has heavily upgraded visuals.

PC, PS3, and 360 have a different story and is considered cannon.
I'm glad i bought Double Agent on the PS2, they should really consider it as a Quadrilogy.
 
Last edited:

Arachnid

Member
Jan 31, 2019
1,381
2,197
420
Pandora Tomorrow is the second best of the original 4. Fantastic game

The ps2 and OG xbox versions have the same storyline(best imo), but the xbox version has heavily upgraded visuals.

PC, PS3, and 360 have a different story and is considered cannon.
The OG one is also more in line with Chaos Theory gameplay wise. More focus on dark areas/stealth and less set pieces. They're different games outside of the story.

For anyone who cares, both OG DA and 360 DA are BC on xbox.
 
Last edited:
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

Danny Dudekisser

I paid good money for this Dynex!
Oct 13, 2008
21,005
8,409
1,480
Definitely the weakest of the 3 games for me, but still a great time. The train level was bonkers. Shame this will seemingly never get re-released on PC, though I still have my discs from 2004. Does DGVoodoo really fix all of the issues the game has on modern hardware?
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

Ozrimandias

Member
Jun 21, 2018
937
1,042
430
I'm glad i bought Double Agent on the PS2, they should really consider it as a Quadrilogy.
They should bring the Quadrology as you said to current consoles, and the "new" ones, blacklist and conviction (never on a PlayStation console) as a whole bundle called "Splinter Cell Legacy Collection" or something.....because I expect no new game from Ubi (Man I'm so mad at Ubi, what a successful but at the same time disappointing gen)
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

pawel86ck

Banned
Jan 27, 2018
2,122
3,222
430
I actually started to appreciate the PS2 versions of the game despite the obvious graphical downgrades.

People make it seem like I'm playing the Gameboy Advance version of the trilogy but I've realized the bonus content and cutting off the fat of the games really made me enjoy these games.
To be fair, PS2 version looks good compared to other PS2 games, it's just Xbox version looked almost like a different game. Many levels were totally unrecognizable, so people who played PS2 can play now Xbox/PC version and they will feel like playing different game.
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Jan 31, 2018
5,395
5,386
740
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is a Stealth/Political Thriller video game developed by Ubisoft Shanghai & Milan and was released on March 23rd, 2004. Pandora Tomorrow is the second game in the Splinter Cell series endorsed by writer Tom Clancy. The game follows the covert activities of Sam Fisher, an agent working for a black-ops branch of the National Security Agency (NSA) called "Third Echelon". As some of you may have read my previous LTTP of Splinter Cell back in 2019, my love of the Splinter Cell franchise began with the first installment and I was really looking forward to playing the second installment, Pandora Tomorrow, a year later to be exact. Without further ado, let’s get into my 'Late To The Party' review of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow.

Gameplay (9/10)
In terms of gameplay, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow is as meticulous and polished in its approach to the stealth genre as its predecessor. I already expected Pandora Tomorrow to continue where the last game left off in terms of gameplay, but I didn't expect it to stay fairly the same. With that being said, the new gadgets and incremental changes to the weaponry were welcomed, and I felt right at home with the game from the get-go. You have the usual stealth mechanics, but this time around, the use of shadows played a crucial part in how you would approach a level. The fantastic art direction and level design really brought out the best of the gameplay, but you also needed to be creative in how you’d approach enemies. This game does not hold your hand, but it respects your intelligence.
I will say this: one of the grips of the game was how difficult it was to apprehend an enemy behind their backs. I would fail to successfully take down an enemy from their back because i had to rely on the game to prompt the action tab before doing so (Splinter Cell fans would know what I mean here). Nevertheless, Pandora Tomorrow genuinely tested my stealth skills more than any game that i’ve played so far, which is a feat in itself. I’ve always enjoyed taking my time with each level and enemy i’d encounter; the subtle nuances of the gameplay start to shine as you progress into the single-player campaign. One particular level that really exhibited Pandora Tomorrow’s sublime stealth mechanics was in the last level of the game where you had to combine everything that you learned so far in the game and utilize it. In other words, every gameplay mechanic you learned in the game was tested and it was both challenging but satisfying to experience. Overall, I was happy with Ubisoft’s decision to keep things the way they were, but I would've hoped for a bit more variety with the weaponry and stealth mechanics.

Story [9.5/10]
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow exceeded my expectations when it came to the story. Unlike other politically charged stealth thrillers, in Pandora Tomorrow, Sam Fisher faces a rather smaller-scale threat which involves themes of political strife, clash of ideologies, and revolutionary uprisings taking place in East Timor. The main antagonist, Suhadi Sadono, is the culprit behind these political uprisings and what’s interesting to me is that Ubisoft Montreal was likely inspired by this character when creating Far Cry 3’s antagonist, Vaas Montenegro. Charismatic, brutal, and ultimately deluded in his own grandeur, Suhadi Sadono was a fantastic character to follow in both game and story. He wasn’t the typically generic villains you’d see in entertainment, especially when they’re foreign in nature, but rather fleshed out and had an interesting philosophy when it came to his plans. The flavor text in the form of Grimsdottir’s Reports helped me appreciate his backstory more than just relying on cutscenes, ironically ;)
What impressed me the most is how far the story would go in terms of being controversial. The fact that Pandora Tomorrow was able to tackle the issue of CIA-funded operations and Splinter Terrorist groups to undermine a country’s sovereignty is pretty bold to do in a post 9/11 world (This game was released in 2004). The uncompromising nature of the story reached its peak when Sam Fisher was assigned to examine Syrian Terrorist cells in Jerusalem, Israel. Now, for me, this was the first time i’ve ever seen a game talk about Israel and Mossad and depicted the city of Jerusalem beautifully. It was the highlight of the game and story, for me, because it’s just rare to see this in any politically-charged video game. I won’t spoil what happens in this chapter of the story, but anyone who’s a fan of the Steven Spielberg film Munich will really appreciate this chapter. A nuanced examination of a country's intelligence agencies and the difficult choices they make for the sake of their country is what I loved about this story the most. Overall, I felt that the storytelling was on point and tight enough to keep me engaged and invested in it during the entire single-player campaign.

Graphics, Level Design, Art Direction, Music & Sound Design [9.75/10]
Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow really stands out the most when it comes to all aspects of its presentation. Graphically speaking, playing this game on the PlayStation 2 was a real treat for me because I never thought this port would stand a chance with the other PlayStation 2 games that came out in 2004 as well. I was also shocked at how good it looked compared to the first installment. The levels in this game were instantly memorable, ranging from the beautiful and serene oceans of East Timor, the modern yet futuristic cryogenic labs of Paris, France, to the spiritual awe of Jerusalem, Israel and sprawling nature of LAX Airport. My personal favourite levels has to be the Railway Train that takes you from Paris to Nice, France and the Military Submarine stationed in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The art direction in each level was sublime and the attention to detail really added to the overall immersion of the game. I genuinely felt as if I was exploring these niche but recognizable pockets of the world; being a CIA agent sounds like a blast. Speaking of sound, Pandora Tomorrow continues the tradition of having amazing sound design embedded in each level that you encounter. The raindrops in the alleys of East Timor were a treat to listen to and this game has Dolby Pro Surround sound which I felt was amazing to have in a PS2 game. Not many games from that time excelled in sound design due to the limitations of the hardware, but Ubisoft went the extra mile with it. Not only was the sound design spectacular, but the soundtrack of the game as well. The start-up theme of Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow grows on you slowly with each subsequent play session (Note: Apparently, this track is exclusive to the PlayStation 2 version of the game.)
Overall, the presentation shown in Pandora Tomorrow was stellar and really set a benchmark for future Splinter Cell games as I play through the franchise for the first time in the next few years to come.

Final Remarks
I had a fantastic time playing Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow and it was a great way to return to this legendary franchise. I felt like this particular installment left a stronger impression in comparison to the first installment. A unique and compelling story alongside stellar presentation and gameplay makes me think why don’t developers make games like this anymore in the stealth genre. Ubisoft Shanghai/Milan did an impressive job with Pandora Tomorrow despite the short development time given to them. Overall, It’s safe to say: Pandora Tomorrow is another instant classic from the Splinter Cell franchise (@brian0057 won). I look forward to playing Ubisoft Montreal’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory next summer in 2021.

Score: 9.25/10 (Editor's Choice)
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
It's my second favorite game of all time, only reason it's underrated is because most people i see think Chaos Theory is better. Those people prefer the physical limits the developer put on spies and mercs where you could put a mine anywhere your hand could reach. Pandora was like the Wild West, lawless and free. Chaos Theory pandered to those who could not cut it in the Wild West. City boys.
 

VysePSU

Gold Member
May 9, 2019
3,993
8,082
960
I would definitely play Pandora Tomorrow if they brought it to Steam. Your review makes it sound really good. I also really like Chaos Theory and some parts of the original Splinter Cell, particularly CIA Headquarters.
 

Allandor

Member
Feb 8, 2018
1,102
832
405
Germany
Yeah, this SC game was great. It really seems that many have forgotten it.
Still struggling if I buy it in the current ubi sale on Xbox. Played it on pc. But sometimes the memory about a game is better than the game :)
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Dec 25, 2019
8,661
14,972
935
Prague, Czech Republic
Glad you liked it! Don't forget to show it to Ferry Corsten :)
As I've told you, he is above my pay grade, sorry to dissapoint, but I probably going to visit his museum sooner than I will be able to get even a contact. He is really big star, cause he is producing music far beyond trance. Which I find shamful and it tarnish his persona with cheap pop music, but is what it is.
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima
Jan 11, 2019
13,633
49,528
1,320
Tokyo, Japan
As I've told you, he is above my pay grade, sorry to dissapoint, but I probably going to visit his museum sooner than I will be able to get even a contact. He is really big star, cause he is producing music far beyond trance. Which I find shamful and it tarnish his persona with cheap pop music, but is what it is.
I'll send Sam Fisher to spy on him ans see if he's secretly a homosexual House DJ.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: M1chl
Jun 4, 2020
472
982
370
Miami, FL
Great thread, I'm getting the itch to go back and replay the first 3 games. My favorite Splinter Cell game is one a lot of people disliked though. I'm speaking of Double Agent. I really enjoyed the story and some of the choices you could make. The multiplayer is were the game shined though, I spent so many hours and made so many friends playing Spies vs Mercenaries. This franchise needs to come back asap.
 
  • Praise the Sun
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

PPIMystaceus

Member
Jul 22, 2019
266
301
275
It really fascinated me that Double Agent PS2/Xbox/Wii was made by the Chaos Theory team, and Double Agent PS3/360/PC was made by the Pandora Tomorrow team. You'd expect the opposite.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

eyesabitdull

Member
May 10, 2020
888
1,471
385
I've got Chaos Theory installed on my pc, but I never gotten past the first level.

I think the PC controls are complicated as hell off the bat, but maybe it's a matter of getting used to it.

I should definitely power through and see if I like it as much as people are telling me.
 
  • Empathy
Reactions: MiyazakiHatesKojima

Dane

Member
Jul 16, 2019
1,251
1,215
500
Where’s the best place to play this on PC? I think this is the one that’s not available min any platform right?

I think the PC version is not on Steam because there are lightning issues on PC as there was some kind of change of how Pixel Shader worked on GF6 and beyond.

But I think you can buy for PS3 in the trilogy collection, and it's available on Xbox Store.
 
Last edited:

pawel86ck

Banned
Jan 27, 2018
2,122
3,222
430
I think the PC version is not on Steam because there are lightning issues on PC as there was some kind of change of how Pixel Shader worked on GF6 and beyond.

But I think you can buy for PS3 in the trilogy collection, and it's available on Xbox Store.
That's correct, however DGvoodoo will fix shadow issues
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dane