GameSpy has announced their Xbox Game of the Year for 2002, and it is none other than Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.
Games which concretely capture the experience of stealth -- claustrophobic and threatening at one moment, exhilarating the next -- seize the senses of gamers like none other. A game that can combine all of this with seamless gameplay and an engaging plot is a marvel. Metal Gear Solid 2 failed gamers in the latter respect, with a nonsense brew involving a gay vampire -- as everyone knows, the army has a strict "don't ask, don't tell" policy about vampires, so it was hardly believable -- and a whiny hero that drove most to distraction. Avoiding those pitfalls nimbly, Ubi Soft couples intricate gameplay with the unparalleled gritty realism of their Tom Clancy license for a stealth adventure par excellence.
Hard-nosed operative Sam Fisher is a member of the (fictional) "Third Echelon," an elite group of the most highly-trained and capable secret agents in the world. The U.S. government sends him off to infiltrate a terrorist organization operating out of the former Soviet Union and put a stop to a threat that could quite possibly lead to a full-on global conflagration. That's right -- the stakes in this game aren't high, or anything -- just World War III.
News source: GameSpy