Sitrep: You Are Either a Snake Or a Splinter

Splinter Cell vs. Metal Gear Solid

By on August 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Recently I got a chance to check out Ubi’s new Splinter Cell. It’s cool and fun and you kill things so that’s good. But Sam is just not my jam. Never has been. No matter what funky new plan they lay out for the Fisher Man – and there have been some great ‘uns – I just can’t get hip to this hip-shootin’ VIP. Nothing rhymes with orange, incidentally. I will not accept ‘sporange,’ either, that is COMPLETE jackassery. Don’t you even.

Anyway, this whole new Splinter Cell thing has reminded me of something I realised long, long ago, in a land fat with soda cans and party LANs: You are either into Splinter Cell, or you are into Metal Gear Solid.

“But I’m into both!” some will immediately cry and look smugly around the room like the fact they enjoy a myriad of video games is some kind of amazing feat. To those people I say: You are the equivalent of someone who has no deeply held personal opinion of what should be on the radio in the car. Everything is whatever, la-di-da, I am so zen, look at me having a good time all the time, I’m a butt. So you can just go outside and play with the other kids for whom automatic doors do not open.

Metal Gear and Splinter Cell are definitive choices for long-haul gamers. If there was a gamer-centric dating website, this would be an either/or choice on your public profile’s questionnaire. You can tell a lot by a gamer who covets the abject lunacy of Kojima’s favourite, and likewise one who goes fishing for human lives with Sam Fisher. Topically, think of them like the Labor and Liberal of gaming. That’s a terrible example because both those parties are awful (FEEL FREE TO ARGUE ENDLESSLY AND USELESSLY ABOUT POLITICS IN THE COMMENTS EVERYONE), but you know what I’m getting at: Metal Gear = Maladjusted, Splinter Cell = Too well-adjusted.

I’m a Metal Gear guy. So is my best buddy. We both twitch visibly and have short life expectancies. Another guy I work with is all about Splinter Cell. Doesn’t understand a sharting word of Metal Gear, or even what its appeal is. He’s a straighty-180 with a white picket fence and a Range Rover in his future. He doesn’t understand it at all even though both franchises offer fundamentally similar experiences and you would think, quite rightly, that it’d be easy for anyone who appreciates ‘stealth’ to get a lot out of both by virtue of the mechanics alone. Bum-bow.

Snake or Splinter is a personal micro-gravitation that suggests as much as whether someone’s into CoD or BF, or whether someone’s into Microsoft or Sony (PC people need not contend, the stairs do not go to the cellar). If someone is very happily into everything, then a) They have no soul as previously stipulated, and b) That in itself is indicative of who dey is. It might not be unlikely that we’re looking at an easygoing someone who rolls at the pace of whiskey and cigars.

Speaking of cigars and the rotund felines who love them, we often see stats upon stats of how many peeps are playing what, but we almost never get a clear picture of who is playing what. It’s fascinating to see how pure personality informs gaming decisions, because a great percentage of dedicated gamers will instinctively choose sides like this. There is never a cosy half-way house. If there was, gaming websites would’ve run out of linkbait precisely 100 years ago. It is not collectively ‘gamers’ who play games, but ‘individuals who play games.’ That is the point, and a vanishing point the industry and – worse – industries that report on the industry love to lose sight of for oft sensationalist convenience. Don’t let them. You are all beautiful and unique snowflakes.

28 comments (Leave your own)

What about those that say “I’m neither, because I didn’t play either game therefore don’t understand the basis of this argument as I haven’t the foggiest which game represents which ideal?”

Would you think less of me if I were one of those people? Please say no.

Toby McCasker


Actually wasn’t expecting ANYONE to say this, so I wasn’t prepared for this eventuality, and am now charmingly befuddled ala Hugh Grant


I was too busy with Thief to get more than 5 minutes in to either series. But I’d probably lean towards MGS, only because I’ve played more of Splinter Cell so I’m more certain it’s not my thing.


Mr. Fisher all the way!


I’m in the same boat as Kinky Kel… never played either game! :S


There’s nothing wrong with liking both. I reject the idea that we need to be part of mutually exclusive camps for these types of things (Microsoft/Sony, Windows/OSX/Linux, and apparently Snake/Sam).


Splinter cell here, Just a better class of game you can actually play for 30 hours.
The latter just got me frustrated.


I remember playing Metal Gear Solid and loving the daylights out of it. Then playing Splinter Cell on release date and…well the insta-fail stealth bits pissed me off enough that I’ve never gone back to the series. I don’t care how realistic it is, if I get spotted by the enemy I want the ability to run and hide, not end up with a “game over” screen. “Return to Castle Wolfenstein” peeved me off for exactly the same reason.


Actively hate both games.
Rubbish ideas of stealth
Illusion of open mission architecture when in reality they are both quite linear.
sad storytelling that is self congratulatory and simplistic masquerading as deep.

Give me thief or hitman for this genre.


Actively dislike both games.
Rubbish ideas of stealth
Illusion of open mission architecture when in reality they are both quite linear.
sad storytelling that is self congratulatory and simplistic masquerading as deep.

Give me thief or hitman for this genre.


Never played either, but since I tend not to pick sides when it comes to fanboying, I guess I just have no soul.

..and I have walked into automatic doors before.


MGS here, nutty story lines and all.

I remember getting through Sons of Liberty in one sitting and exiting my room very dazed and confused, but it was great fun.


Never played either, but since I tend not to pick sides when it comes to fanboying, I guess I just have no soul.

..and I have walked into automatic doors before.

I bet you’re a GINGER too! :D


Watch what you say about gingers mate! >:(


In all fairness, orange does rhyme with Blorenge – a hill in Wales. You may scoff but it is great if you are writing folk or country music from your little town in Monmouthshire and you really want to capture the feel of a beautiful sunset dipping behind your favourite hill.

Not saying; just saying…


Watch what you say about gingers mate! >:(

Haha <3 I'm a little bit ginger! ;)


Not played much of Splinter Cell, but I’m a hardcore MGS fan.
I just love the mix of playfulness, serious stealth action and the very sombre and dark tone that MGS can have at times.
Again, I’m not the best person to judge but I doubt that a Splinter Cell game could make me cry.


I love and will continue to love both series. Cannot wait for MGS5 and Blacklist.


metal gear solid, easily for me.


In saying that, i did enjoy the early splinter cells, just not as much as all the MGS games (sorry for double post)

Leave a comment

You can use the following bbCode
[i], [b], [img], [quote], [url href=""]Google[/url]

Leave a Reply



Steam Group

Upcoming Games

Community Soapbox

Recent Features

Destiny exclusive: You won’t read these Taken King patch notes anywhere else

Destiny players won't want to miss this very important read.

Dragon Age Inquisition The Descent

Dragon Age Inquisition’s Descent DLC: A side-serving of dwarven goodness

Although it's better played as part of the main game rather than afterwards, The Descent offers lots of new stuff for series fans.

Until Dawn

Until Dawn reviewed: Finally, a teen slasher flick where you can stop the characters from making dumb decisions

What looks like the world's most generic slasher movie turns out to be an interesting exercise in choice and consequence.


DOOM: We go hands-on with id’s breakneck-speed bloodbath

Fast, furious, and with a little bit of demonic possession mixed-in. What's not to like?

Streaming Radio
Radio Streams are restricted to iiNet group customers.

GreenManGaming MREC

Facebook Like Box