Giant Bomb editorial institutions Ryan Davis and Vinny Caravella had made a bet — for pride and maybe a nominal amount of money — about whether Sam Fisher would have his trademark three-lensed night vision goggles in next year's Splinter Cell Conviction. There was room for doubt, as Fisher appears to have gone rogue in his new game, using none of his standard gadgets in the Conviction demos presented since E3.
Ryan had bet that Fisher wouldn't have the goggles in the game, a sign of just how fully re-invented the franchise would be.
Vinny said there would be goggles.
On Friday night, just a couple of hours before I had the opportunity to join the men on a special edition of their Giant Bombcast podcast here in Seattle, one of the game's developers speaking at a Penny Arcade Expo live stage demo revealed the answer. That sealed it. I had to attend. I had to go on the show and settle the bet.
I had been in that stage demo audience. A developer played through the same chunk of the game that I'd sampled and covered at E3, receiving raucous applause and cheers throughout as Fisher shot guys from shadows and threw some of them out of windows. The Ubisoft developer followed his demo by showing a brief clip that he said would settle a question he knew people were asking. The short in-engine snippet that may have lasted 10 seconds merely panned up Fisher's body to reveal the famous goggles on his head.