I'm gonna do the popular thing and put in my 2 cents on the death animation topic: Its bad.
I feel bad that they were forced to tame them, and in some respect, situations like that shouldn't hurt a game's rating too much (since we're not experiencing the developer's true vision), but it really does hurt the game. Without being able to make out over half the death animations, you're left with an ok stealth game with an ok story.
What really gets me is how some of the death animations, you can at least halfway tell what's going on and the other half, you are left in a state of utter confusement as to what's just transpired.
The controls are decent and the Wii-mote controls work well with the executions. I didn't find the game to be terribly difficult at the default level, so I would probably suggest ramping it up for a bit more of a challenge. And oh yeah, the AI is stupid. This definitely isn't Metal Gear quality AI we're talking about. They seem to give up pursuit very easily and fall for some of the dumbest escape tactics.
The game is worth a rental (if nothing else, just to see what all the hype is about), but don't expect anything groundbreaking and don't think that you will ever get used to the frustration you feel after witnessing a neutered execution sequence.
Right off the bat, this game looks terrible. Gamecube games at the systems release looked better than this mishmash of gray, black and character models? The executions are grayed/blurred out so much I actually had trouble making anything out at all.
There is no camera control at all due to a lame PSP control scheme (the PSP has no second thumb nub to control the camera, so why bother making one for the Wii, right?). The camera is actually so slow that it takes a second to catch up with where the character's face is pointing (which took a very long time to turn in the first place). The plot seems completely stolen from "the Suffering" and "Fight Club" (while I did not finish the game, I'm making a couple assumptions), while being slow and completely uninteresting.
Long story short (and the ESRB troubles aside) the game is a slower version (if that were possible) of the much better "Splinter Cell" series that doesn't look at all like it should be in this generation. If you had a PSP, it might be worth your time. On the Wii...absolutely a waste.
This game has an intriguing premise and for the most part pretty strong execution (no pun intended) of it's game play. However, and for me this is a big however, I feel the ridiculous steps taken to "tone down" the violence severely detract from the game. The entire game design suffers from this white washing of the game. Why will I take the extra time to sit there and build up my execution meter to get a gruesome kill when I wont be able to see a dang thing either way? There are times where I kill these guys and literally can not tell what happened at all. Seriously, what's up with that?
In my opinion, the game lost it's gore by having the violence so ridiculously toned down. It's a game. If parents are worried that their little munchkins should not be playing it, then they should take steps to not allow them. I have young kids of my own and so the steps for me are to obviously not play the game while they are awake and watching, not to put a red tint over my entire tv screen so that they can not understand what they are seeing.
I understand the developers hands were tied on this and a lot of it has to do with Nintendos own policies, but at the end of the day, I dont have to worry about stuff like that. I'm a gamer and all i'm asking for from Nintendo are some games that are not cartoons and dumbed down to the lowest level.
I really looked forward to this game. After playing it, I am realizing that i'm still looking forward to this game coming out because this version of the game is not the game I waited for expectantly.
Decent game, but could have been so much better if not for weepy eyed moms across America.