Ein neuer Anfang

So schnell können 8 Monate vergehen! 😀 Okay, brechen wir das Eis… Ganz kurz, was ist passiert?

  • Mein Praktikum bei FIFTYEIGHT 3D war ganz schnell vorbei. Es war eine echt schöne Zeit, gerade zum Schluss! Fazit: Einfach super.
  • Im Herbst hab ich meine Bachelorarbeit in Hagenberg geschrieben. Es war schwer! Eine echte Herausforderung mit allen Höhen und Tiefen…
  • Kurz vor Weihnachten hab ich bei der Bachelorprüfung aus Panik einen Rückzieher gemacht und beschlossen, erst beim nächsten Mal anzutreten.
  • Zurück in Klagenfurt war das nächste Thema die Zukunft: Wie mach ich weiter?
  • Seit ein paar Wochen gehe ich zum Ölmalereikurs von der sehr talentierten und netten Andrea Rust!
  • Ich hab mich bei AnimationMentor beworben und wurde genommen! Nächste Woche geht’s los und ich bin wie alle anderen extrem aufgeregt!
  • Ein wohlverdienter Urlaub in der Karibik, schön war’s 🙂
  • Die Bachelorprüfung hab ich dann bestanden, Sponsion war auch noch im Februar!
  • In meiner Freizeit arbeite ich an lange vernachlässigten Projekten und Hobbys bis das Frühlingssemster bei AnimationMentor losgeht!

Jetzt zum Blog selbst: Ich hab mir in der Auszeit auch hierüber viele Gedanken gemacht: Ich möchte auch nicht-Deutsch-sprechende Menschen erreichen, mich aber nicht ausschließlich ins Englische zwingen und somit Leute abschrecken, die ich persönlich kenne. Es wird also je nach Laune Beiträge auf Deutsch oder Englisch geben. Da ich wieder regelmäßiger schreiben will, werden die Beiträge wahrscheinlich kürzer sein. Bei Gelegenheit möchte ich das Portfolio updaten, da es auch ein wichtigerer Fokus werden soll.

Also schauen wir mal was passiert, ich freue mich auf jeden Fall, dass es hier wieder weiter geht und heiße alle alten und neuen Leser willkommen!

Splinter Cell: Double Agent Review

Ever since the Tomb Raider series began the flop, I looked for other 3rd person single player games. Those I got really into were Max Payne, Grand Theft Auto and Splinter Cell. It was the first game I played that was all about stealth, hiding bodies, using cool gadgets, being a spy. The main character Sam Fisher was an expert covert operative and made jokes about his objectives. The game also had great graphics, interesting locations and a storyline that involved politics. I played all the Splinter Cell games at least twice, and not too long ago I beat them in sequence again. The third one, Chaos Theory, was definitely my favorite.

When Double Agent was announced, Ubisoft made clear that there will be some mayor changes to the gameplay, and in the story Sam Fisher would become a lot more “dark”. This made me think about all the wrong decisions Core Design made with Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, and I hoped the Splinter Cell team wouldn’t screw this one up.

So this game was actually the reason I upgraded my PC, because it requires a graphic card that supports Shader Model 3.0. Obviously, the graphics engine was improved once again. I read in some forum that many PC players have trouble getting Double Agent to work, even when their PC meets the system requirements of the game. I also had to play around with the graphic settings in order to get a stable gameplay experience. For the Shanghai level, I needed to turn off the detailed shader effects for it to even load.


If you have played a Splinter Cell game before, you will notice pretty soon that the HUD has been completely changed and deprived of some cool features. Say goodbye to the visibility/sound meter, the voice log and generally the menu-like appearance of choosing an interaction. This makes Double Agent seem less stealthy, and I don’t think the developers made a good choice here. Now you almost don’t use nightvision anymore, because you have to look for dark spots in your environment using “normal” vision. Otherwise, the first mission feels like a real Splinter Cell mission. Your character now has the ability to swim and dive underwater and there are some other cool new moves. The only obvious change made to the character Sam Fisher is that he is bald throughout most of the game. It makes him look old and a bit like the guy from Hitman, or the JBA characters. Was that really necessary? His haircut made him more agile, fresh looking.


Starting with the next mission, you become a double agent. The NSA gives you instructions to infiltrate an American terrorist cell by busting one of their members out of prison. Getting the organisation’s trust means doing missions for them as well, and you end up getting objectives from both factions. Here the new trust system comes in: Failing to accomplish an objective results in a loss of trust from the organization who gave you that order. Sometimes you have to choose one objective over another; these choices always involve the death of another person.

Of course, the orders you get from the so-called JBA don’t have to do much with stealth. The interesting ones come from the NSA, where you have to do some real spying, and it really feels like spying for the first time. You visit the JBA headquarters three times and have a limited time frame to find out as much as possible about the terrorist cell. This goes from collecting voice samples or finger prints to hacking a server or bugging an antenna. You do that by using NSA gadgets & entering restricted areas; getting caught results in a loss of trust. Those are actually my favorite missions. It also makes sense you can’t carry stuff like your night/thermal/whatever-vision device around or wear a suit that detects how visible you are. You just have to stay out of sight and avoid any contact with your “friends”. The stuff the JBA instruct you to do involve safe-cracking, mine assembly etc. in the same way Sam previously picked locks or hacked computer systems. I welcome the new on-screen puzzles, but in other reviews I saw editors complaining about these being out of place.


Another cool aspect of Double Agent is that the choices you make have an effect on how you will be able to complete a future mission. If you allow a key figure to be killed, you also eliminate the possibility to get help from this person later on. If you don’t complete all objectives, you might end up not having as much options as you could have. You can even choose to be completely loyal to the JBA while pretending to still be on the side of the NSA. This way you get to see different outcomes – different (bonus) content – of the story and so the game has a bigger replay value that its predecessors.

So what stays the same? Splinter Cell pushes the bar in terms of graphics again, the missions/locations are varied and the voices from returning characters sound familiar. The cinematics introduce you to the new mission and take you from place to place. Even with recent hardware, the game is a bit more buggy than what we are used to. A burdened Sam Fisher saves the world again: 7/10 points.

Blog update – ready to go public

I now installed K2 Beta Two because there were JavaScript errors… Modified the color scheme a bit and added some more random header pictures. They are more like close-ups of my projects now. Added a bit more content on the current projects page. Also, the blog is now open to the public 🙂

The written exam was a piece of cake… Shouldn’t have studied for it until 2 am… 😛 They also told us that the practical starts at the ambulance… Hurray.