According to the ESRB, this game contains: Strong Language, Violence
Parents should be aware that while the game emphasizes being sneaky and passing through areas unseen, the game is populated with enemy soldiers and a fairly realistic slant; no big bugs or aliens here. It's often necessary (or just easier) to kill or disable the opposition, and Sam Fisher has a wide variety of techniques. Parents who are sensitive to this type of violence should steer their children clear. There are also a small handful of instances with stiff language, though nothing that you probably wouldn't hear on late-night network TV. There is no sexual content or sexual situations.
Splinter Cell fanatics might find enough here to justify the time spent playing the game, especially since there are several connections to the upcoming sequel. However, the graphics are bad, the control is bad, and some of the missions are rehashes from the earlier games in the series. My suggestion would be to let Essentials pass you by unless you absolutely have to play every single game in the series.
PSP action fans should forget it. The control issues are significant and the gameplay is so clunky and unsatisfying that your money is better spent elsewhere.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers will probably encounter serious difficulty playing this game. Although there is text accompanying much of the conversation, not all speech is subtitled. Going further, listening for audio cues is a significant part of playing the game. Oftentimes, the only way to know that you are not alone is to listen for snatches of conversation or for the footsteps of guards nearby. Combine missed audio cues with extremely awkward controls, and you've got a perfect recipe for frustration.
Currently, he's got about 42 minutes a night to play because adulting is a timesuck, but despite that, he's a happily married guy with two kids who both have better K/D ratios than he does.
Brad still loves Transformers, he's on Marvel Puzzle Quest when nobody at the office is looking, and his favorite game of all time is the first Mass Effect -- and he thought the trilogy's ending was Just Fine, Thanks.
Follow Brad on Twitter at @BradGallaway