Infiltrate terrorists' positions, acquire critical intelligence by any means necessary, execute with extreme prejudice, and exit without a trace! You are Sam Fisher, a highly trained secret operative of the NSA's secret arm: Third Echelon.
User reviews:
Very Positive (597 reviews) - 86% of the 597 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 18, 2003

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Buy Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®

Packages that include this game

Buy Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Elite Echelon Edition

Includes 4 items: Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory®, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction™ Deluxe Edition, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Double Agent®, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell®


About This Game

Infiltrate terrorists' positions, acquire critical intelligence by any means necessary, execute with extreme prejudice, and exit without a trace!
You are Sam Fisher, a highly trained secret operative of the NSA's secret arm: Third Echelon. The world balance is in your hands, as cyber terrorism and international tensions are about to explode into WWIII.
  • Go Behind the Headlines into the Real World of Modern Espionage - Enter the realistic Tom Clancy universe. Suit up with the latest classified field operative gear and weapons.
  • A New Level of Stealth Action - All the best stealth action plus all new moves. Highly interactive environments giving players more gameplay options and the ability to strategize their actions.
  • Deep Environments. Unparalleled Immersion - Stunning environments driven by the Unreal™ engine. Dynamic lighting and sound effects that match reality.
  • Pulse-Pounding Action on a Global Scale - Over 20 Hours of stealth action. Diverse mission objectives that can be achieved by different means for increased replay value.

System Requirements

    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® 2000/XP
    • Processor: Pentium® III or AMD Athlon™ 800 MHz
    • System Memory: 256 MB of RAM or above
    • Video Card: 32 MB 3D video card (64
    • Sound Card: Direct X 8.1 compliant sound card (
    • DirectX Version: DirectX® version 8.1 or higher
    • Hard Disk: 1.5 GB available hard disk space
    • Multiplayer: Broadband Internet connection
    • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® 2000/XP
    • Processor: Pentium® III or AMD Athlon™ 1.0 GHz
    • System Memory: 256 MB of RAM or above
    • Video Card: 64 MB 3D video card/
    • Sound Card: Direct X 8.1 compliant sound card with surround system
    • DirectX Version: Direct X 8.1
    • Hard Disk: 2.1 GB available hard disk space
    • Note: For an up-to-date list of supported chipsets, video cards, and operating systems, please visit the FAQ for this game at:
Customer reviews
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Very Positive (597 reviews)
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356 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
You'll be surprised how well this game holds up.

Sure, one can't ignore the fact that the graphics and animations are totally dated. However the controls and stealth itself (gameplay) feel as good as they felt 14 years ago, in 2002. As Sam Fisher you will be sneaking, climbing, and shooting through fun and diverse levels in world class, while dropping some sarcastic one-liners 2000s style. Just promise me you won't take this cliché story too seriously, remember gameplay is king.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
89 of 94 people (95%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: January 9, 2014
While it pales in comparison to its franchise's third entry, the original Splinter Cell is still a very entertaining experience, with an engrossing plot and oodles of gadgets to match. If you played this after playing later entries like Double Agent or Chaos Theory, or (god help you) Conviction or Blacklist, you might encounter some difficulty getting used to this game's quirks and its overall non-streamlined nature compared to later entries. Give this game a little patience, however, and it will reward you with a rich story and a satisfying stealth experience. However, if you want a more refined and near-perfect stealth experience, you might want to pass this game up in favor of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.
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51 of 53 people (96%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 1, 2014
It's been more than a decade since the original release of Splinter Cell. Does the game still hold up as one of the pioneer hardcore stealth games to this day? ...Yes, yes it does.

You play as Sam Fisher, a Splinter Cell in the secretive OPs agency known as 3rd Echelon. You are shadow, invisible, a ghost...and an excellent infiltrator. Should you be captured, you would cease to exist to the general public. With the credo realized, you must play this game as if the light will burn you alive. You will slowly creep through various locales finding ways to circumvent guards or silently take them out. You are provided a generous amount of tools and gadgets to help you in this cause. Be it sticky cameras, wall mines, to snake will always find a use for the tinkets possessed by Sam.

The game is pretty unforgiving in terms of stealth. There are 5 ratings of exposure to light you can be in at once and depending on your current position will determine how fast a guard realizes it is a bionic commando versus a mosquito buzzing around. There is also an invisible noise detection level which varies depending on the surface you creep upon. You can flatten yourself against a wall to be even more hidden and use distractions such as light switches to pull unexpecting guards to their sleepy fate.

One aspect that still amazes me is that you can sneak through most levels without ever touching a guard or being detected. Granted, since this game needs to have a little bit of variation from the normal stealth'll find yourself in a couple of mandatory shootouts. These occurances are few and far between and help break the typical slow creep and crawl you'll be doing through most of the game. Music and sound play a big part with music dynamically ramping up in intensity when guards are becoming alerted to your prescence to heavy rock when a battle is unavoidable. Ambience of halogen lights and crickets chirping as well as cars passing by will be your typical tune when you are a ghost.

Techincally speaking, the game looks great if you do a few simple tweaks in the game's .ini files. I personally could not see the CG cutscenes without sacrificing my graphical tweaks but just watch them on YouTube and you'll still get the full effect. A small price to pay for 1080p and anti-alising. The game runs stable at 60fps and looks fairly decent for its time. Volumetric lighting and partial physics exist here.

I can fully recommend Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell for anyone looking for an actual stealth game where slow and steady certainly and almost always wins the race.
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34 of 35 people (97%) found this review helpful
15.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 2, 2015
For today's standards, this is a good game. The graphics are pretty good for a 2002 release, and the gameplay is solid enough to be fun. Back in the day it was kind of a big deal, but nowadays many elements feel dated: the levels are very linear, the story is forgettable, the music is unremarkable and there's no content besides the main campaign. I recommend it for fans of the series or the stealth genre for historical reasons, but for everyone else, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is the one to play. It's a good deal when you buy it with the Elite Echelon Pack which comes with SC, SC:CT, SC:DA and Conviction.

Also a quick note: The PC port was made with old Nvidia cards in mind, so on most modern hardware you'll be missing many of the special effects the original Xbox version had, as it falls back to a generic setting. The lack of this generic setting on the sequel (Pandora Tomorrow) is the reason why it's not on sale on Steam.
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42 of 50 people (84%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
19.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 6, 2015
Forgot how beautiful this game is.

It doesn't seem to age at all, by contrary, it looks and feels better than a lot of bigger and newer titles...
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32 of 35 people (91%) found this review helpful
21.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 4, 2013
I like stealth action games and I like Splinter Cell as it does stealth action very well.

The stealth mechanics are very good, especially tracking light exposure and noise made. There are many ways to approach problems and I very much enjoyed playing cat and mouse with my victims while being completely undetected. The setups are mostly well-thought out and the variety of mechanics keep it interesting. I dislike being forced into story-driven firefights so often, but at least the gun mechanics are up to it. The music is somewhat generic and the story seems to be sort of lackluster in that it's hard to care about the characters or what's happening to them.
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26 of 28 people (93%) found this review helpful
9.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2013
Splinter Cell, a Stealth Action game very much like Metal Gear Solid, except not nearly as over-the-top ridiculous awesome (although this game is pretty awesome). You play as Sam Fisher, America's resident badass to prevent major world conflict (particularly war) and save the lives of many many people. Sam is a no-nonsense guy who is VERY good at his job.

Story: 9/10
The story is pretty good, a little cheesy at times but good nonetheless. You are basically traveling across the world infiltrating places (EVEN THE CIA) in order to find out more information about your enemies. Sam is an NSA agent, part of Third Echelon, which is supposed to be super top-secret, the kind that if you are caught, it will cause an international crisis because you are probably breaking a few treaties.

Sound: 10/10
Sound is a MAJOR element of the game. The effects are pretty good and whatnot, and "Name of the Game" by Crystal Method is a kickass song. I'm giving this a 10 because the game relies on you being STEALTHY, which means sneaking and timing and making minimal errors, prepare to save often!

Graphics: 10/10
Considering the game was released in 2003, the graphics are way ahead of its time! You use the element of surprise and hide in the shadows in order to achieve your objectives. This combined with the sound factor from above basically make you a modern day ninja with night vision and death at your fingertips.

Gameplay: 10/10
A little complicated at times, things aren't always so obvious, and that is a really good thing. The game is really easy if you know what to expect, so on your first playthrough be prepared to have a lot of "WTF" moments. With everything flowing together so well, you really find yourself immersed and FEELING like Sam Fisher. When you have to run, your heart will race. When you have to be quiet, you will find yourself holding your breath. This game is truly magnificent for its time.

Overall: 9/10
Naturally, I would give this a 10/10, but I have one major gripe. The xbox version came with FREE DLC, which were 3 additional levels after the end of the game. We don't get those on PC. Apparently there is a way to grab them, I think it was supposed to come with a 1.3 patch if you also have Chaos Theory (Splinter Cell 3) installed, I didn't try though. The game isn't any less good because of it, just a little depressing.

I should also like to note, if you are looking at the sequels, Steam doesn't have Splinter Cell 2, Pandora Tomorrow. There is apparently a PC version you can go buy or something, so I'm not sure why it isn't on Steam, it is depressing, so until we get it, enjoy playing Chaos Theory and so on.
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22 of 22 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 25
Just to let other older gamers know, in case you're wondering like I was if there's any way this will look and run even remotely bearable on modern systems (and especially Win 10 64-bit), that it actually seems to work! All that was needed was to apply the widescreen patch ( as referenced by ThirteenAG in thread and BAM, there it is in 1080p and looking better than some titles from around 2010.

For this price, I'm pretty confident it was a good idea to begin this walk down the memory lane. Looking forward to relive all the enjoyment I once had with this game!
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28 of 33 people (85%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 29, 2015
So Tom Clancy Splinter cell

This is pretty much the original Stealth-Sneaky game as far as i know.Interestingly because of the initial disinterest in it ,the devs were gonna make it as a James Bond game(lol)
The game originally came out in 2003 and gained notriety quite quickly as a result of the games involvement with Tom Clancy.(Tom clancy(rip) is actually a damn good thriller writer,check him out if you can)
So the game is not like todays "stealth" games,Theres no easy QTE missions or a nice gun that you can shoot your way out with the only punishement being a score penalty.
Your gun has just 30 bullets for a entire level,takes 5 seconds for it to be accurate and needs 3 shots to kill a enemy,AND several missions have the requirement that you cannot incur any fatal injuries.
The setting is quite great for its time like a nice Central asian city,a oil rig and even a Cia Facility(Langley).
The graphics are obviously a bit dated but in my opinion hold quite well for its time.The animations are quite well done and there are a variety of moves that make the gameplay interesting and not blocky/restrictive.
The story is actually quite nice,following the path of a typical dictator-gone-wild-revenge-on-usa thing.
The stealth aspect of the game is actually done quite well,darkness,light is well represented with the option of shooting out lights to create darkness for you to hide,There is ZERO handholding,there wont be any markers or compasses to show you where to go,what you have to do and the location of the enemies.You have to solve everything yourself.The AI as well is quite good for its time as many stealth games are put down as a result of extremely wonky AI that acts like a 5 year old with no consciousness.
The controls MAY take a bit time to get used to as jump is with the shift key(inb4 random sticky keys notification) and there is no ADS and you pull your gun out with E.
Anyways now on to what i hated
The Save/Load system is horrible.The game Autosaves ONCE in 45 minutes that is at the start and the end section of a mission and you have to manually save everytime and you have to type the save game name again to overwrite it.
There are no checkpoints(maybe im spoiled from modern games) so yeah sometimes you forget to save and die and then you gotta do 20 mins of work again.
Some places where you have to find a pipe to climb etc are poorly representated.I understand it being a part of the difficulty curve of the game but sometimes it just bugs out or doesnt detect that you are holding a pipe and you fall,or you realise that the actual thing you had to climb was in that doorway just behind you.
Some extremely dumb bugs like you getting magnetically sucked into a hole that you cant escape which is actually just a normal texture (Eg at the start of the Oil Rig level,wont spoil anything)

Barring nostalgia and the fact that im a fan of all things Tom Clancy,This game has actually aged quite well,with the graphics and animations being bearable for the entirety of your experience.The story is quite servicable if you dont know the genre and the Stealth gameplay is crisp,interesting and brutal,just as it should be.
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42 of 57 people (74%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 11, 2013
Really fun, still have it for the gamecube. Set the standered for splinter cell game till double agent were they started to go for a 007 feel with an action spy.
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Recently Posted
10.7 hrs
Posted: October 21
A good age that, true, has aged a bit, but that for the price it still can provide some hours of fun. Iy's interesting to see how much the stealth genre has evolved in the last years. It is true that this game feels linear, very, but it definitely doesn't hold your hand, and lets the player discover the different gadgets by its own. Story and voice acting could be better too. Buyers beware,it will get a bit stale towards the end-game, but for the price it's at today (especially in sale) it's worth it.
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20.7 hrs
Posted: September 30
Generally, I'm not extremely fond of older games. However, this game holds up extremely well. Having already played it through 3 or 4 times on the PS2, I picked this up on sale to see if it was still fun. Once again, I found myslef instantly hooked!

The AI is intelligent, the controls are good, the story is engaging, and it's challenging in the best possible way.

The entire splinter cell series is worth playing, and if you haven't touched it yet then you have a treat waiting for you.
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15.5 hrs
Posted: September 28
A linear but competent stealth-action game; as the first entry it artistically holds up quite well, and instead of holding your hands it lets you figure things out on your own. Definitely worth playing through.
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The Third Man
0.6 hrs
Posted: September 28
Too dated and too buggy. Don't waste your time on this unless you're a completist fan of the series.
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30.8 hrs
Posted: September 24
whoo buddy
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Sir Auron, Samurai
19.3 hrs
Posted: September 21
Splinter Cell is the first game to star Sam Fisher, and its success as a stealth series today is without question. Voiced by Michael Ironside (V: The Final Battle, Total Recall), it truly is a must-have game for any fan of the stealth-action genre.

As a gamer that has played the title on PS3 as part of the HD collection, I found the game to be a satisfying experience on the PC. It plays well on Windows 10 despite being an older title - the only noteworthy technical adjustments I felt I had to do were in the .init file, tweaking brightness and gamma to get the shadows in-sync with the stealth meter in-game. Links to optional mods and fixes to common problems can be found here - I used the Widescreen fix and the PS3 HD texture pack.

Overall the game is short, but can be much longer depending on your control setup and your ability to assess situations and how to tackle them. There are also some tricks that can be used to avoid detection or combat altogether.

After some research into getting my Dualshock 3 to work, I ended up resorting to keyboard and mouse. I was concerned over the difference in how speed of movement was handled (up and down on the mouse wheel as opposed to automatic with control stick pressure), but by the end of the training level I realised it wasn't impeding my gameplay, and that I actually enjoyed it. I recommend a mouse wheel with clicking intervals though. Movement speed is critical in terms of silence in this game.

As a stealth game, I find the most important aspect of the interface to be the stealth meter. In perfect darkness it becomes less important to stay slow and quiet because no one can see what's going on anyway. A variety of movement is available to Sam Fisher, including jumping, climbing, crouching, horizontal pipe traversing, and even wall jumps. It's possible to sneak up on guards to knock them out or grab and interrogate. Door codes, doors locked with retinal scans and locks that need to be picked all form major obstacles to your ability to progress (perhaps unsurprisingly). A quick menu is available to access such items as lockpicks, diversion cameras, smoke grenades and sticky shocker rounds (think taser/non-lethal KOs).

There is only one pistol and one special assault rifle. Using a weapon is as simple as unholstering, aiming, then firing. Thankfully everything is silenced. For the ultra-cautious, it's even possible to pop a little camera under a door to check if the next area is clear. It's also possible to use the pistol while hanging from a pipe - not many games could boast this sort of freedom way back when.

The one detraction I found comes in the form of the move whereby Sam jumps up a corridor wall to stand on the walls with his legs doing the splits over the corridor path. I didn't find any instances where I could do it. Perhaps I just didn't look hard enough. It seemed like such a pointless thing to show off during training though. I didn't much like the forced combat events either - but with practice it's possible to get through these with no kills / no damage too.

Gameplay is thoroughly enjoyable most of the time though. The different levels each offer something new, and are unique enough that the overall game doesn't become stagnant. There are instances where discovery by the enemy or just one alarm can mean game over, but for the mostpart you are free to choose combat or stealth. In my mind stealth is more rewarding anyway, and it's clear this is what the game was created for. There are many sections of the game that you will feel badass for getting through undetected, such as evading sniffer dogs, armoured cameras or lights that can't be shot out, or even time-sensitive events where you must be fast, queit and invisible all at once.

Splinter Cell has its funny moments too. There's a Chinese guard no one like to patrol with because of his outlandish theories on American hotdog stands being propoganda cells; one Colonel that everyone hates (one guard even spits on his food); one guard saying he's going to the 'little boys room', and he even sounds embarrassed about it. Even Fisher's limited dialogue is good for a laugh.

The colour palette is dark. It's a stealth game, yeah? You won't see much anyway if you spend the majority of the game with your night vision goggles on, as the whole game becomes greyscale. But if you enjoy great gameplay then little things like colour shouldn't matter. The important thing to remember is that this is Third Echelon and the government is relying on you. The nation's top brass will be seeing and hearing everything you do. Of course, covert ops is not something you forget. 'It's like riding a bike.'

'Or wearing high heels.'

It may not have achievements (such as its HD counterpart), but they can still be accomplished. A worthy addition to any gamer's library, at any price.
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Sgt. C. Keeler [ SC ]
8.9 hrs
Posted: September 20
Love the Splinter Cell franchise, have played all of them multiple tiems. Would highly recommend to anyone who likes stealth and fast paced games. ***** Five Star game for sure.
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14.0 hrs
Posted: September 9
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20.8 hrs
Posted: September 9
Great game. What ever happened to slow paced stealth? The newer splinter cell games are fun and all, but not the kind of fun that the older games were. This game truly makes you feel like a "secret agent", missions aren't always just "go into here and kill this dude". There is a lot of interrogation and spying on people to gain intelligence for your next mission. Something that is not in the recent splinter cell games is true freedom of movement. I love being able to bounce off walls and land on thin railings, then drop down on an unsuspecting night watchman and hammer fist him right in the dome. While you can do similar things in recent SC games, it just isn't the same. I hope Ubisoft decides to make the next splinter cell game have the gameplay style of the old ones with modern graphics and new features that only add to the experience. Just remember, take your time and always quicksave.
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