Conviction is in reach of greatness. Its flaws stand out in the short singleplayer campaign, and its tail end relies too much on the gunplay that the game otherwise relegates to a begrudging last resort. But when it hits its stride, the environments unlock the player's tactical ambitions in away that is truly empowering, launching you between shadow and light, discretion and aggression.
In some ways it's sad to say goodbye to old, subtle Fisher, but as Splinter Cell goes from covert to overt, anew-found dynamism emerges, happily driving players to return to its vicious little sandbox battles, tempting them to obliterate enemies in ever slicker, quicker ways. And that's surely the hallmark of any true conviction: it bears repeating.