Before an alcohol-fuelled night out in most cases, if a game is to be played it generally tends to be something that is as brain-dead as it's players will be by the end of the night. Gears Of War, Halo, Call Of Duty... the list goes on and on.
However, may I suggest to you my dear reader a slight change of pace. Rather than sticking your chainsaw in the orifice of the closest rock-skinned beastie, how about we try a bit of stealth for a bit? Y'know, work the angles, be one with the shadows... all that stuff.
Doesn't sound like it would grab you, right? Well, it didn't grab me either until I realised that the whole idea of *trying* to formulate the perfect stealth strategy is in fact a completely unachievable goal if the alcahol is casually flowing, which given the fact we're talking about a pre-night out session here, it bloody well should be.
The fact that this noble goal is so far beyond the grasp of me when i'm sober, does little to discourage me or my friend in it's futile pursuit. We go over the angles, the strategies, the chance of success, the optimum load out... everything.
Somehow, in our gradually pissed state of mind, we manage to convince each other that we know what we're talking about, when in actual fact, the sober on-looker will see us for the intoxicated plebeians that we are.
I digress though; the experience is a great one, since there really is nothing like going split-screen with a mate, casually drinking your poison as the night wears on, only to see our meticulously crafted stealth strategies degrade (along with our awareness and reflexes) into loud, brash shotgun and assault rifle retard fests.
Indeed, I always imagine that the game must be pissing itself at our collective expense, as time after time, our sluggish reaction times and drunken impatience betray our floundering to the nearest security camera or guard with his back to us, as we fumble about like morphine addicted amputee burglars trying to break into a house.
At the end of the day, it's all about trying to recreate that perfect stealth strategy and whilst it can never really be done, coming in sight of this goal by only alerting half of the guards in a given level and not ALL of them, nevertheless still manages to satisfy and entertain in equal measure.
So leave with this thought; not only does a good multiplayer sesh on Splinter Cell: Conviction provide a ready supply of laughs from game-faced piss-heads trying desperately to work their way around the levels without being seen, it also doubles up as an effective benchmark for just how shitfaced you really are.