That's correct. Although her style as a whole was more consistent in the previous games before Conviction. In Chaos Theory and in Essentials she looks dirty blond... kind of. It was also easier to make her hair brown in in the first SC. With the graphics of the time, dirty blond didn't look so good.
Yes graphics enabled them to advance the in-game and cut scene models for principal characters. Sam's model has changed over the course of the games - as in DA he was bald for much of the game as per the prison hair cut.
Yes the original build for Conviction had him looking more like a homeless guy. Someone you might easily miss on the street of a heavily populated city.
I finished rereading the Conviction novel and started rereading the Endgame novel. There's a certain symbolism in Grim giving Sam's knife to Ben and mainly they - probably Megiddo - wanted Ben Hansen dead because of his potential to become the new generation's Sam Fisher. Allen Ames - Kovac's mole in 3E - tried to get Hansen's runner to kill him. In the end, the runner didn't pull the trigger, make the kill, etc. despite Ames' insistence that Hansen is not his friend. Hansen and Sergei Luchenko had been through much together since the 'Farm', which I think is part of why they could never totally manipulate Sergei against Ben.
It came awfully close, but again friendship trumps loyalty. Well loyalty in the way that its interpreted by Kovac and in the game's context by Reed.
I believe I will re-read this novels as well, however, when I'm done with the story I'm writing. I don't want too many things going around in my head. It happens too often. I wouldn't want to subconsciously copy aspects or ideas from those novels. However, I find myself somewhat stuck at the moment, thus perhaps reading a bit from them might actually help.
It is more like a template or an inspiration source. You get a sense of how another writer wrote for Sam even when its probably not the first time you read a particular novel. Rereads often refresh and give new insight. Whether it helps your writing or just gives you new perspective on the plot is just as good too.
I agree. In order to get in character for first person stories though, I usually RP or read the older novels or the old blog on itself for that humor that is characteristic of him. I have not RPied him in a long while.