After the epic failure that was Double Agent, which most people probably didn't finish, the series return with conviction (pun intended).
Gameplay – I personally found the gameplay mechanics far superior than its predecessors, although lacking the stealth element from the good old days, the new mark and execute, last know position and cover systems are fantastic and overshadows its flaws. It is very satisfying to take a human shield, while executing the rest of the crew. It is even more satisfying using death from above on a pair of enemies, taking one down then immediate executing the other. The range of weapons is quite impressive, and finding the best weapon combination is definitely addicting.
Video – An enhancement on the unreal engine, it is by no means a Crysis, but textures and lighting are both spot on for a game like this. Shadows are a little weak in areas, so sometimes you won't know if an area is lit or not until you get there. With anti-aliasing enabled to CSAA, you might see drops in framerates, but 4×MSAA is probably all you need.
Sound – Music is a little repetitive, voice acting was good but not great when compared to the likes of Dragon Age and Mass effect series (as you'd expect). Ambiance is lacking somewhat compared to Chaos theory, you cannot separate distinctive areas that well. With that said, the sound quality is definitely a plus.
Story/Re-playability – Single player is not as short as advertised, please take note of that. If you take your time and do the challenges as you go along, on normal difficulty the game will take around 10 hours, realistic will probably double that if you want to upgrade guns and gadgets. Deniable Ops will take a little less time, if you've completed the main story thus gaining some experience in playing the game. Co Op story will be the same, but it will depend on your friend and if he's a hider or seeker. The overall story was predictable in a way, yet it kept me on edge in the later chapters, hopefully we'll see another Splinter Cell sometime next year.
Technical problems/bugs- The DRM server sometimes loses connection for a few seconds, but the problem has been resolved in the new patch which also fixes other problems and includes optimizations/enhancements (1.02). There are some minor glitches which can be easily overlooked when you really get into it.
Splinter Cell Conviction for me was on par with Chaos Theory on some elements, while exceeding it in others. If your computer is relatively new, turn off your lights and turn on your speakers, then you should have a blast playing it solo or with a friend.