Right. I've finally completed it. Great game, but one thing bugs me - the Success Rating.
Oh, I can get my 100%s, so I'm not complaining about how hard it is to achieve it. Rather, I'm questioning the decision to deduct points for killing enemies. It just does not make sense! The Success Rating is there mainly for the sake of replayability, but let's not kid ourselves, it is rather gimmicky.
Firstly, what does the Success Rating provide? There are no tangible rewards for achieving 100%. What you do get is that feeling of accomplishment when you get that elusive score of perfection. All well and good, and I applaud this feature for its ability to hook players for a longer time. But what is perfection?
The developers of this stealth/action game will have you believe that perfection can be achieved if nobody gets killed (barring the obvious "Eliminate xxx" objective kills). But why? You can knock out as many people as you want, shoot out lights, hack terminals, etc and keep that 100%. But kill one person and that rating drops.
I don't see why people should be penalised for killing if they take the effort to cover tracks and hide the bodies. Realistically speaking, a kill can be stealthier than knocking people out. Take the ship mission for example. Let's say you knock everyone out. Come next morning, the crew will be telling tales of the night before.
Bad Guy 1: "He got me good. Came out of nowhere and grabbed me. I had to tell him about Lacerda or he'd have gutted me with that scary knife!"
Bad Guy 2: "Yeah. Who knows what he'd have done to me if I didn't tell him about the escape boat. These Americans are crazy."
Bad Guy 3: "So... an American spy was after Lacerda and escaped on the boat eh? And the whole crew is intact? I say he deserves 100%."
But if you make just one non-objective kill, and leave everyone else untouched...
Bad Guy 2: "My computer was hacked into, and the escape boat is missing! What the hell?!"
Bad Guy 3: "It seems like Bad Guy 1 is gone too. Without a trace! I wonder what could have happened..."
Bad Guy 2: "Maybe 1 was the one who hacked the computer and then escaped with the info? He must be a spy."
Bad Guy 3: "Hmm that's possible. But... whatever! We'll just give Fisher a 97%."
This feature is also strange from a gameplay point of view. One one hand, you get all these cool new moves to kill enemies: the knife stab, rail-throw, inverse neck snap, etc. But on the other hand, you have to avoid using these to achieve 100%! Let's not forget the shotgun and sniper attachments... Say it with me, "What?! Why?!"
Thing is, the appeal of Splinter Cell is the combination of stealth and action. In the first 2 games you sneaked past some, you killed some, and nobody could say you weren't perfect. Real gameplay ghosting is more applicable to a game like Thief, where the level design lends itself to full stealth. Using a scoring system like this for SC, while adding to replay value, only serves to dilute the core gameplay somewhat. Sigh.
Anybody know what files I can edit or what mods I can d/l to to change this?