Nearly every image that flashes on screen has been improved. Sam has received a nice overhaul, complete with a ton of new, smoother looking animations and new body armor. The same goes for enemies, all of which look incredible. It's a damn shame that half the time you won't even get to see them since it's so far. But then, that's just testament to the game's lighting system. The times when you do see your enemies, you'll more than likely see then when using Night vision or Infrared. Both effects look great. One really noticeable thing this time around is that environments feel much more open. When walking through the narrow corridors in some areas, you can always tell that something is going on somewhere else. Usually, you can't reach it -- but it doesn't feel as closed off as the areas in the original. Lots of special effects and real-world touches (such as varying architecture styles that accurately reflect the countries the missions take place in) all add up to one stellar looking game.
One of the things I always felt bad about missing in my Splinter Cell review was that I failed to mention that Michael Ironside was the voice of Sam. I don't know why this bothered me, but let me go ahead and give props to Michael for this excellent voice work in both titles. The addition of Dennis Haybert (David Palmer from 24) makes Pandora Tomorrow one of the best voice acted games to date (even beating out Everything or Nothing's all-star cast). Sound plays just as big a part in that game as anything else. You can hear things coming for you and even get a better idea of how stealthily you're moving through the area. However, all these things pale in comparison to the REAL star of audio department -- multiplayer. Being able to whisper stuff to other players as you snap their neck is a stroke of brilliance and adds a whole new dimension to online competition. Another cool addition is the Spy Bullet which, when planted, allows you to hear the other team's communications.