could hardly wait for the release of Chaos Theory,
the third installment in Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell
series. It's a game of cloak and daggers with alternating
action and stealth sequences. Think of it as James
Bond on steroids. I wasn't as excited to review this
game as I was just to play it as a fan. To have it
exceed my expectations was an unexpected surprise.
There are days when I just love my job.
Cell: Chaos Theory pushes the series into new territory.
It continues to evolve by expanding on the best gameplay
elements of the first two games. Instead of one, solo
mission mode we have a co-op mode and a few online
multi-player modes. The replay value is astounding
and you don't just play the same missions over. New
maps and levels have been created for these new modes.
The graphics have been upgrades, new moves and gadgets
have been added and there's more freedom than ever
before to perform missions as you see fit. I really
don't know what else Ubi Soft can do to top this one.
with all Splinter Cell games you probably won't come
to grips with the entire story until the third time
through. There's just too much detail to pay attention
to. Not to mention that you're not forced to pay attention.
You'll be briefed before each mission and that's all
you'll need to know.
star of the show is Sam Fisher. He's a cool, calculated
professional on a mission. He's not emotional and
doesn't take things personal. To him, killing is just
company policy. Using various weapons and gadgets,
Sam will be called upon to perform a variety of missions
such as infiltrating enemy compounds and retrieving
data of unparalleled importance. What follows is a
smart blend of action and stealth.
so much more to Splinter Cell than shooting bad guys
and flipping some switches. It's a very intelligent
game where you have to assess each situation, calculate
the risks and take the appropriate action.
figures very prominently into the series and it's
made even more dynamic in this version. Stealth is
much more of a tool this time than a forced gameplay
element. Guards will not be so quick to sound the
alarm when they hear or see something unusual. Like
the stealth meter which displays your level of invisibility,
so too is there a volume meter which displays the
level of noise that you make. Make too much noise
and you will alert a guard. They will come to investigate
but won't sound an alarm unless you reveal yourself.
If you remain quiet they will return to their post.
You have the option of shooting them but you also
risk setting off an alarm which is much more difficult
situation to escape from. If you don't find a hiding
spot immediately you'll be turned to Swiss cheese.
fans will enjoy the inclusion of a simple knife. You
can make quick and silent kills with it by sneaking
up on guards and slitting their throats or gutting
them. You can also use it for interrogation purposes
as well as cutting through plastic and paper walls
to gain access to other areas relatively silently.
each mission you can outfit yourself for assault or
action. If you wish you can choose Redding's Recommendations
which will give you more specific tools to deal with
the mission as he sees it. New moves include the ability
to hang over enemies, grab them and snap their necks.
You also have different choices for opening a door.
You can open it normally, open it with stealth so
as not to alert anyone on the opposite side or just
kick it open and stun anyone on the other side of
it. The SC-20K features a built-in sniper rifle and
shotgun. The CS pistol comes in handy with a feature
that disrupts electrical signals. You can use it to
turn the lights off temporarily or even shut down
levels in the single-player mode are huge. You can't
get to a checkpoint fast enough. Staying alive is
a matter of skillful use of technique and tools. You
can really reduce the luck factor by playing it safe
and choosing the stealth option until you can figure
out your next best move. The controls are very responsive
and the graphics won't give you any perspective problems.
play is an incredible bonus. Once you complete the
tutorial mode, which stresses teamwork, you will unlock
four new levels. Although you can use the same weapons
and gadgets from the single-player game you will also
be able to exploit some team moves which include boosting,
becoming a human ladder and a torpedo move which lets
you fling your teammate across chasms or into enemies.
These team moves are easy to use since they are all
relegated to one button and will deploy the appropriate
moves depending on the situation and location. My
only complaint is that four levels is not enough.
online mode pit mercenaries against spies in a traditional
Deathmatch. Each team is allowed one gadget. Other
modes involve infiltrating offices and retrieving
data. New areas on the map open up as you progress.
The ability to the use the headset for communication
purposes adds another layer of realism to the game.
You can also shout to get the guards' attention although
the traditional whistle can still be implemented.
can't say enough about the graphics. I never knew
there were so many shades of black. Even though much
of the game is played in the shadows there is no shortage
of detail. The offices look perfect as do the outside
environments with great attention to textures. Even
the evening sky sparkles. There is a lot of ambient
animation and sound that makes the environments come
alive. This level of detail follows the game online
Splinter Cell was meant to be played solo. The title
even suggests that premise. Even though the solo mode
makes a great single-player experience a little company
is always welcome especially when it's handled as
well as this. With so many gameplay options, modes
and different strategies to try, Chaos Theory will
provide you with an incredible amount of quality replay
On: I know a lot of gamers
were disappointed that Ubisoft pushed back this title.
I also know Ubisoft had to make a choice and they made
a wise one. While Prince Of Persia 2 did not please
us as well as the first one, this time it had the chance
to compete without Sam in the way. Now I could go on
about the fact Ubisoft sort of went the wrong way with
POP 2. However, this is a hands-on preview of Chaos
Theory. Due to the nature of the Splinter Cell games,
this preview will be more about the impressions the
demo left and I am not going to go into the story. I
just do not think it would be fair to ruin anything
for fans that have waited for the next game to arrive.
is already on their way making the game into a Hollywood
movie. The opening of the demo is just like a preview
to a blockbuster movie. It's sharp and even has a
new catch phrase while drawing your interest almost
immediately. The way the demo opens looks great and
sets the tone great for what awaits the player. If
you're hoping this demo is easier to play than the
first one, you're out of luck. It is hard but looks
fantastic and Sam has learned some great new moves
and also has some new skills. Of course he also has
a walking arsenal the weapons are great and realistic
looking. I said I would not spoil the story line or
things in the demo and I am going to stick to that.
Of course this makes writing about the demo a little
harder but I think this is the right way to handle
it. Players will be happy to know the voice of Sam
is the same person. He does a great job and really
this time seems more into the role. You will also
meet a few new members that will offer help in the
way of Intel and other help. They also do a great
job in the voice-acting department.
controls are a little different yet are laid out perfectly
for the game. I will admit while playing the demo,
I had to try a few times to do the moves correctly,
but that is part of the fun of this game. Controlling
Sam is fairly easy, although it will take some time
to get used to the new moves. The extra features on
the demo also impressed me. I could watch Sam's new
moves and watch how to pull them off.
I am hoping they add this to the final version. The
best part of the game this time is that Sam has more
than one way to get to the place he needs to go. However,
this feature can also backfire since now there is
several ways all with different obstacles or enemies
to sneak past or get by. The music fits the game and
really the graphics are fantastic and really enhance
the game. It looks like Ubisoft has another hit come
March. Now I know this was a little different than
my other hands on previews. However, I did not wish
to ruin anything in the game. I wish it had allowed
for online play so I could have talked more about
this new feature that has fans waiting. I think Ubisoft
is making all of us wait for the online play until
the game is released.
walked away impressed and pissed a few times. I mean
that as a compliment. The demo was no cakewalk. It
really is another chapter rather than a sequel and
this fact alone is why this one has the chance to
make it big. If you're a fan of the series, you won't
be disappointed with Chaos Theory. I really think
this one looks to be the best one yet. I know that
is saying a lot but I was very impressed. Smooth controls,
great voice acting and killer graphics. Oh and one
hell of a story to boot. This one is going to really
have fans staying up late playing it!
we learned of the decision to delay Chaos Theory until
March 2005. The reasons are threefold: 1) UbiSoft
Montreal will have more time to tweak the game 2)
All versions will be released simultaneously 3) UbiSoft
will not be competing with itself by releasing Chaos
Theory and Prince of Persia: Warrior Within at the
same time. PoP is still scheduled for a November release.
screens and info have been released in regards to
Chaos Theory's multiplayer scenario and we couldn't
be happier. XBL, PC and PS2 Online gamers will once
again eat up bandwidth playing the games cooperative
and versus multiplayer scenarios. Unfortunately there
will not be online support for the GameCube release
but we expect that you probably knew that already.
If you own a GameCube and are annoyed with having
to sit out on all of the fun, it might be worth the
effort to put pen to paper and let Nintendo of America
know that you WANT to play online. Nintendo's head
honchos still maintain that gamers really don't care
about such trivial matters. Or you could save a helluva
lot time and effort and trade your Cube in for an
Xbox or PS2. Your choice.
its focus on working with a partner to gather intel
using stealth and smarts, Splinter Cell Chaos Theorys
co-operative multiplayer gameplay will offer a completely
new multiplayer experience, much as Splinter Cell
Pandora Tomorrows versus gameplay did,
said Tony Kee, vice president of marketing for Ubisofts
North American division. And with Chaos Theory,
the latest and greatest installment in the Splinter
Cell franchise, gamers will be able to enjoy both
styles as they work together to prevent a global conflict
of epic proportions or simply open a can of
whup-ass on their online compatriots.
The new co-operative maps in Tom Clancys Splinter
Cell Chaos Theory require players to work together
to accomplish crucial intelligence-gathering objectives
that are directly related to the plot of the single-player
game. Pairs of operatives must develop trust and be
willing to depend on one another as they use a host
of new gadgets and team-based maneuvers to infiltrate
enemy strongholds and help Sam Fisher defuse escalating
conflicts around the world. In tandem, the operatives
will help each other complete tasks such as scaling
walls too high to climb alone, reaching pipes too
high for one person and keeping watch while hacking
enemy computers. Created to support online, System
Link or split-screen game sessions, the specifically-designed,
unique maps emphasize stealth gameplay based on shadow
detection and AI stimulus, and will force players
to attain a new level of strategic coordination using
a headset and microphone, or talking each other through
the tension from ! opposite ends of the sofa. A special
co-op knife challenge mode offers additional ways
for players to collaborate and further enhances replayability.
Graphically rich, with impressive use of shadow, light,
animations, physics and sound technology, the cooperative
maps will push the limits of online play and reaffirm
the Splinter Cell franchises position as the
leader in multiplayer innovation.
The versus multiplayer gameplay of Tom Clancys
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow completely revolutionized
online gaming, and with Tom Clancys Splinter
Cell Chaos Theory, this competitive, addictive game
mode continues to evolve. Players will work as teams
and will compete against each other by embodying either
stealthy, third-person Shadow Net Spies with specific
stealth objectives, or heavily armed, first-person
Argus Mercenaries charged with protecting their compounds.
In several completely new levels, players will have
at their disposal a host of new cooperative maneuvers
and interactions, gadgets and weapons, hand-to-hand
combat actions, additional ways to taunt adversaries,
and two game modes (scenario and disk hunt). With
destructible items, integrated climate affects that
directly impact gameplay and totally redesigned visuals
designed to improve accessibility and immersion, the
adversarial gameplay will make Tom Clancys Splinter
Cell Chaos Theory the most diiverse and immersive
multiplayer game on the market.
titled Splinter Cell 3 when we first saw UbiSoft Montreal's
next Sam Fisher adventure at E3, the game has been
given the subtitle Chaos Theory, ostensibly to keep
it in line with last years Pandora Tomorrow.
of the series might be worried that the lack of the
"3" indicates the gameplay hasn't evolved
enough to warrant such a grandiose numbering, but
we can asssure you that Chaos Theory is chockfilled
with enhancements; but don't take our word for it.
You'll be able to play Chaos in a couple of months.
You read that correctly. UbiSoft has announced that
Xbox owners will be playing this game before the end
of 2004. Presumably the game will once again appear
on the PS2 and Cube, but they'll have to wait until
2005. Commence booing and hissing.
this years E3 we learned that the government has now
allowed Sam to play with knives and he seems to be
quite taken with the pointy and extremely sharp implement
of destruction. Taking a page from Manhunt and Tenchu,
Chaos Theory will feature a bevy of close up kill
animations for those who like to get up close and
personal. Each level now features alternate objectives
if you wish to explore them and the enemy AI will
now be more realistic - but you probably knew they
were going to continue to fine tune this area. Eventually
enemy AI will be so intelligent, one of them will
just stick their arm out of the TV and turn off your
Xbox, thus thwarting you entirely right at the source.
areas of enhancement involve tighter shooting reticules
allowing for far better accuracy, the ability to switch
the camera view over either the right or left shoulder
(which will make taking blind corners a piece of cake),
slower door opening ala Rainbow Six 3 or forceful
door opening that will take out someone standing in
front of it, noise stealth which involves regulating
your movement to the amount of noise in an area (if
it's loud, your footsteps and other less graceful
movements will not be detected), an electrostatic
secondary fire function on Sam's pistol which will
allow you to open electronic doors, jam cameras and
other devices, the ability to slice through thin walls
and attack an enemy on the other side and finally
a weapon selection mode taken from the multiplayer
game which doesn't stop the action. A small weapon
selection menu will appear on screen rather than a
full screen "take your time" menu.
know of an online multiplayer coop mode which sounds
incredible, and we're sure the multiplayer game is
getting its share ot tweaks and upgrades although
little is known about that at this time.
Theory will be in stores in mid November. While you
wait, check out the cool 3D screenshots (Quicktime
required), the regular screens or the movies. Enjoy!
AGILITY: Incredibly complete and fluid variety
of moves including athletic moves, stealth moves,
WEAPONS OF TOMORROW: The most complete arsenal
of weapons and gadgets from the knife to the experimental
Land Warrior System.
GOOD AS REAL: Never see before graphics technology
offers the best visuals ever seen on any console
yet. Advanced physics engine allowing rag doll physics,
particle effects and perfect interaction with the
CHALLENGE: Intelligent A.I with personal attributes,
natural behavior where NPCs are aware of there environment
and remember past events.
REPLAYABILITY: Totally open level design with
multipaths and optional secondary objectives.
STEALTH: Play multiplayer with a friends and
coordinate your infiltration in an all new multiplayer
Dev: Ubi Soft
Pub: Ubi Soft
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - Multi-Online
Review by Fenix
(OUT OF 5)