Sam Fisher is best known for his exploits on consoles and the PC, but he’s a veteran of the portable game world as well. With Splinter Cell releases on the N-Gage, DS, and mobile phones, it was only a matter of time before the grizzled agent sneaked his way on to the PSP. But despite what its title would have you believe, Splinter Cell Essentials is entirely avoidable.
Splinter Cell Essentials is somewhat of a Sam Fisher’s Greatest Hits compilation, bringing a handful of missions from each of the three released games, as well as several brand-new missions. And, like a greatest hits album, there’s no continuity or context to tie it all together. You just jump from one mission to another, spanning a couple of decades of Sam Fisher’s illustrious career as a shadow-loving badass. There is an attempt to tie the missions together, but it’s a weak effort. Essentials takes place just after the events in Splinter Cell: Double Agent. The game opens with Sam paying a visit to his daughter’s grave on the one-year anniversary of her death. It turns out that Sam ditched the Third Echelon and went missing after his daughter died, and was reported to be associating with known terrorists. This has Homeland Security worried, so they track Sam down, arrest him, and start demanding answers about his past.