In this third-person shooter, players assume the role of Sam Fisher, a Special Forces operative trying to stop a deadly terrorist group in America. Players use pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, grenades, and other weapons to kill enemies while engaging in various espionage missions. Players can also employ stealth attacks to defeat enemies at close range (e.g., slitting throats from behind and neck snapping). Firefights are accompanied by realistic gunfire, large explosions, and blood-splatter effects. Cutscenes sometimes depict intense acts of violence and/or give players options to kill characters via on-screen prompts: a soldier executed at point-black range; a character electrocuted during an interrogation; a tortured man's fingers amputated off-screen (not depicted and not done by player), though the victim's dismembered hand is later depicted. During the course of the game, some missions require players to infiltrate various facilities, including an opium farm; the dialogue also references drugs (e.g., “They've vertically integrated drug production.”). The words “f**k,”“sh*t,” and “a*shole” can be heard in the game.