Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games Entertainment

Review: Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory 194

Posted by Zonk
from the *gurk* dept.
Not every worthwhile game title involves headshots, big explosions, high speed racing, or athletic prowess. The stealth genre, which started to gain attention with the likes of Tenchu: Stealth Assassin, is now typified by the modern military series Splinter Cell. The newest title, Chaos Theory, improves on concepts introduced in previous games, continues to offer a unique multiplayer experience, and expands the gameplay in a few minor ways. All told, Splinter Cell : Chaos Theory is a worthy successor to the previous games in the series, and offers up familiar gameplay that never once feels stale.

  • Title: Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
  • Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
  • Publisher: Ubisoft
  • System: Xbox
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 9/10
* Splinter Cell titles center around the missions of Sam Fisher, an American military tool in the information warfare age. Chaos Theory, like the titles that preceded it, follow the exploits of Mr. Fisher as he moves from one mission to another. Events and characters that mimic real world analogues very closely fill the game, and despite some nonexistent devices to further gameplay (like hacking a computer from across a room), the impression you receive is that Sam Fisher's world is very much our own.

As such, the entire game is steeped in realism to preserve the flavour of the modern day experience. The graphics and lighting are gorgeous, and the fluidity of motion that the game's character portray is extremely impressive. The artificial intelligence of enemy opponents, while not perfect, is certainly better than many other titles in the stealth genre. This allows for some lovely emergent gameplay, as you can take actions in the game world and can plan on a logical reaction taking place. The first mission allows you a perfect opportunity to try this out, with two mercenaries patrolling near a tent. Taking out the merc outside the tent allows you access to the generator for a large lighting system nearby. By turning off the generator, you make the guard inside the tent curious...a vice which gets cats and guards in trouble.

* The need for stealth in the game is paramount, but not as rigorously enforced as in previous titles. You can set off as many alarms as you like, and until you are slain the mission isn't over. This, and nearly every other, addition to the Splinter Cell gameplay library was made to make the game more accessible to players. The addition of a knife to Sam's arsenal allows him to take out enemies in a single thrust in near silence. Gunshots are noisy and attract attention, but laying out your opponents with deadly fire is an accepted way to complete a mission. The previous titles were extremely punishing of mistakes, and Chaos Theory counteracts that by allowing Sam to take on a more kick-ass take-names approach. If you've played the previous incarnations a great deal, you may find the going easier than you expect. Higher difficulty settings are provided to challenge the more skilled. This eased gameplay also allows for more than one way to complete a mission. Even if you decide to kill the captain of the cargo ship without interrogating him, you can still sweep the ship with your weapon drawn looking for your target. Arbitrariness and gameyness have been deliberately reduced.

* That sense of realism is extended by the story and voice acting. The tale centers around a series of missions which take you from one end of the earth to the other. Each mission has a good deal of background to it, and the depth of the Chaos Theory story is entirely at your discretion as the mission briefings are entirely skippable. Each portion of the mission briefing is handled by one of the memorable non-player characters, each with their own area of expertise. The memorable nature of these characters is solely based on the quality of the dialogue writing, which comes off very natural and spiced with quality humor, and the skill with which the voice actors portray their roles. Fan favorite Don Jordan returns as Irving Lambert, and Michael Ironside returns to the tight fitting bodysuit of Sam Fisher.

The score, by Amon Tobin, nicely accentuates the mood and temp of the game with a modern vibe that never feels as though it was composed by software. Tobin's composition, his first for a videogame, is very promising. I hope to hear more from him in the future.

* Like the previous title, Pandora Tomorrow, Chaos Theory isn't something you have to enjoy alone. Multiplayer via Xbox Live is once again a unique experience. The four-player Mercenaries vs. Spies gameplay returns, with some tweaks and refinements. To ensure that you're briefed on the objectives of the multiplayer game, you are required to go through a training scenario. The maps allow you a range of several types of gameplay, including a deathmatch, a disk capture mode that is a variation on keep-away, and a new story mode. Story mode is probably the most interesting addition, forcing the mercs and spies to complete several missions in sequence and tying them all together with a workable plot. Chaos Theory has a lot of living room local multiplayer potential as well, with four cooperative levels available. There are several moves that two spies working together can accomplish, and the gameplay is accentuated by a story which works the co-op levels in as part of the backstory to the single player campaign.

Nothing is perfect, of course. While I enjoyed the game, my previous experience with Splinter Cell titles is limited. I found the game challenging on Normal mode, but players who have honed their skills on less forgiving titles may view the single player campaign as a cakewalk. The darkness mechanic can start to feel slightly contrived after a while, as you move through areas that wouldn't be as dark as the game allows them to be. The realism of other areas of the game makes it a jarring experience when you find a well guarded part of a bank in pitch blackness. The co-op mode, finally, could have been more fleshed out. Cooperative play is one of the most interesting aspects of modern gaming, and I would have liked to see a more developed co-op aspect for this title. Minor complaints, but the attention to detail that the game takes in all other areas makes weak points stand out.

For fans of the previous games, and players who enjoy modern tales, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is a perfect fit. It has a sensibility all its own, and the high praise it has garnered around the industry is well deserved. If you're looking for a stealth action title, Chaos Theory will fit your needs with military exacting precision.

Screenshots are from Microsoft's official Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Xbox site, ©2005 Microsoft and Ubisoft.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Review: Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory

Comments Filter:
  • First (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    FG - First time for graphics on slasdot?
  • by KDR_11k (778916) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:42PM (#12272163)
    "Nothing for you to see here, move along". Yeah, right. Jedi mind tricks won't work on me, Mr. Fisher.
    • "Mr. Fisher" is the main character of the reviewed game, and he must use stealth. So, instead of giving parent poster its deserved +1 funny, you scream your ignorance with -1 offtopic. Oh well...
  • Two out of Four... (Score:5, Informative)

    by th1ckasabr1ck (752151) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:44PM (#12272193)
    "Not every worthwhile game title involves headshots, big explosions, high speed racing, or athletic prowess."

    Stealth games always have the first two items on that list.

    • by mog007 (677810) <Mog007@@@gmail...com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:59PM (#12272397)
      I'm a big fan of the Splinter Cell series. I love the stealth genre, and I was first in line to buy the game after I played the demo a few weeks ago. It's still extremely unstable, however. I don't mean unstable like SC2, where the game would crash after browsing for more than 10 seconds for a multiplayer game to join, more like... piss poor porting. I was getting blue screens during play, until I read on a forum to uncheck one of the advanced video options, that only prevented the blue screens while the game was running, it would then do it every time I quit the game. After a few days of doing that, I played it again, and it said my saves were corrupted. Needless to say, I'm not impressed with Ubisoft.
      • by bonzoesc (155812) <bkerley.brycekerley@net> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:08PM (#12272530) Homepage
        It certainly can't be a problem with your hardware.
      • by nmb3000 (741169)
        more like... piss poor porting.

        Maybe. I've got it for the Xbox and the game is very stable. I've not had it lock up, freeze, or crash yet.

        Needless to say, I'm not impressed with Ubisoft.

        Did they write the PC port themselves? I'd guess they did, but sometimes companies have a 3rd party do that.

        It certainly can't be a problem with your hardware.

        Ah, the benefits of console gaming! :)
      • by Tim Browse (9263) on Monday April 18, 2005 @05:23PM (#12274431)
        Just thought I'd point out something that's probably not widely known.

        In my experience in games dev (and that of others), the dreaded PC game demo is usually demanded by the marketing dept, and put together as quickly as possible, and will usually not reflect final code of the product. It may not even have gone through much more than basic compatibility testing, as your experience suggests. Quite often it doesn't even feature on the schedule (at least, not in a realistic way).

        Feel free to lambast me with the observation that what the hell is the point of the demo if it doesn't give people a true idea of the game, or actually puts them off buying it.

        Because I'd agree with you completely. But the devs usually don't get to make those decisions.
      • by vsprintf (579676)

        Needless to say, I'm not impressed with Ubisoft.

        Ubisoft does some good stuff, like Beyond Good and Evil, but I certainly wasn't impressed by the hatchet job they did on Pandora Tomorrow for the PS2. At one point, Sam's female contact tells him to make his way across the rooftops and if she sees him again, she'll quit the operation. You can't get to the rooftops, and in order to continue the game, you have to follow her and talk to her again. The whole storyline was full of holes.

        After reading a walkt

    • by DeltaSigma (583342) <onu DOT public AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:56PM (#12273166) Journal
      Tell me about it.

      The guy's older than me, yet I can't help but think that I have far more gaming experience. He's apparantly unaware of just what happens when a genre becomes popular.

      Just you wait Zonk. Give it two years and these stealth games will contain headshots, big explosions, high speed racing, and athletic prowess. As well as conspicuously placed fruit in numerous quantities, which will be required to develop the miracle drug that saves the president from heart failure (and opens up secret fantasy levels with stars and hearts).

      Sincerely apologizing for the run on sentence,
      -deltasigma-
  • by EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:45PM (#12272199) Journal
    The slashdot advertising department in cooperation with Microsoft (c).
  • MGS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jusdisgi (617863) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:45PM (#12272207)
    Surely he meant to say, "which started to gain attention with the likes of Metal Gear."

    Tenchu? Late and lame if you ask me. MG (even the old 8 bit jobs) was what made the genre.
    • Re:MGS (Score:1, Interesting)

      by ElVaquero (867318)
      I think it's probably a more direct connection between the stealth-kill, mission-based Tenchu with Splinter Cell than the story-driven actioner MGS.
    • Re:MGS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:03PM (#12272447) Homepage
      I don't know. If you ask me, "Thief" was really the origin of the genre. Sure, there were older games which involved stealth to some extent, but the many of the conventions and much of the gameplay of the first-person/third-person sneaker were born with "The Dark Project".
      • Re:MGS (Score:3, Funny)

        by Nebu (566313)
        I say it was hide and seek and started this whole stealth fad.
      • Rationale? (Score:2, Interesting)

        I don't really see your reasoning on that one. "Thief, The Dark Project" was released in 1998, and is more centered on using magic and other interesting extraordinary abilities to accomplish some number of goals.

        "Metal Gear 1", on the other hand, was released in 1987, and is basically the epithome of the first stealth game. While I do see the whole "hide in the shadows" aspect of "Thief," it seems that sneaking around in MG1 with a knife, pistol, full-body suit, and pair of night vision goggles really de
        • Re:Rationale? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:14PM (#12273418) Homepage
          I'm not claiming that "Thief" was the first game to employ any stealth techniques into the gameplay. Many games had some instances where the character could be hidden, or certain techniques that could be used to avoid triggering an enemy attack. However, as far as I can remember, "Thief" was the first game to do something comparable to "Splinter Cell". It put you into a 3D world with gameplay resembling a FPS or TPS, except the enemy AI had defined [semi-]realistic senses of sight and hearing which were limited in various ways by the environment and exploited for the sake of sneaking through the entire game unnoticed.

          So was "Thief" the first game to allow the player to avoid the notice of enemy AI? No. Was it the origin of the modern First/Third-Person-Sneaker? I'd say yes. That it uses magic instead of night-vision-goggles is inconsequential. Think look-and-feel. Think gameplay conventions.

          • 'm not claiming that "Thief" was the first game to employ any stealth techniques into the gameplay. Many games had some instances where the character could be hidden, or certain techniques that could be used to avoid triggering an enemy attack. However, as far as I can remember, "Thief" was the first game to do something comparable to "Splinter Cell".

            Metal Gear Solid for the Playstation came out 2 months before Thief on the PC. This goes back to what everyone has been saying though, Metal Gear invented th
          • I think Metal Gear Solid was more important to defining the genre. It does everything you said Thief did, and did it first (well, for a couple of months).

            And had a better story. And bosses.
        • There is almost no magic in Thief; the closest you get is the health potions, or the enemies that fire magic at you.

          I think what defines "stealth game" is probably an entirely subjective thing; I've never played any of the Metal Gear games, so that won't define it for me. On the other hand, I know that a lot of the more dedicated Thief players consider it to be utterly against the spirit of the game to kill anyone. Google for walkthroughs, and you'll see ones that do their utmost to leave as little mark on
          • On the other hand, I know that a lot of the more dedicated Thief players consider it to be utterly against the spirit of the game to kill anyone.

            AKA "ghosting". If you open a door, you have to close it. If you unlock a door, you have to re-lock it before you complete the level. If you extinguish a candle or torch, you need to re-ignite it. You can't kill anyone or knock anyone out. You can only move or take object of value that you're stealing (money or mission items)-- otherwise, you must leave every

    • If we are going for the originator wouldn't it actually have been Castle Wolfenstein [wikipedia.org]? That came out roughly six years before the original Metal Gear and featured stealth as an integral game mechanic.

      Though I agree with the other poster who wrote that the stealth gameplay in Splinter Cell has far more in common with what Thief pioneered rather than the simpler Metal Gear/Castle Wolfenstein stealth gameplay models.
    • At least in my mindshare, it was Thief that started it.
      • At least in my mindshare, it was Thief that started it.

        Uh, ok....fair enough. One out of one MBraynard agree.

  • All the Splinter Cell series have kicked ass, and while I haven't picked this one up yet (Guild Wars is released soon, my money is for that!), I have no doubt I'll enjoy it as I did the other ones.
    • All the Splinter Cell series have kicked ass,

      Pandora Tomorrow was ok, but it seemed to have many more disk/protection/crash/bad patch issues than SC1 and SC3. That's not surprising considering 1 and 3 were made from the Montreal division and 2 wasn't. It appears they take their time, and were working on SC3 at the same time SC2 was rushed out the door elsewhere. All in all, SC2 was fun. That CIA level ward hard the first couple of times.

      I've had no such problems with SC3 why I have many of the above pro

      • Playing SC2 on the Xbox I didn't have any big stability problems, however that game felt less refined, and more of a quick-write-a-new-story-and-release-another-game thoughtless process. It was a lot shorter than the first, and felt more "made up" (because the first was based on fact, you know ;)
    • I haven't picked this one up yet...

      So how did you conclude that you agree with the rating?

  • Xbox only? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I thought this game came out on all three systems (gamecube, ps2, xbox)?
    • The PS2 version is crippled due to the underpowered hardware. Levels are changed to avoid large areas. Destructible elements (esp lights) aren't destructible, and so on. Pandora Tomorrow was really bad in this respect, and by all accounts CT is as bad or worse.

      They say if you only have a PS2 you wont miss the differences, but I sure did with PT. Going to pass on CT - maybe give it a once over on rental, because it really is a massively fun series, but only if you have an Xbox or PC.

      Sony is going to be ble
  • Am i the only one.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FinchWorld (845331) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:49PM (#12272261) Homepage
    ..who played the original and thought "Sure, I can sneak around, but I'm sure it would be quicker to shoot my way through".

    Maybe I'm just to violent *Loads up Red Orchestra"

    • by SharpFang (651121)
      That's one of the biggest problems with "Stealth Games".
      I loved Hitman, and I loved to try to pass a level with the "professional" rating. But still it was usually easier to -silently- kill -everyone-, then proceed through the empty level, than to try to sneak. That is, kill quickly enough so that the enemy can't raise alarm, advance, kill again before the guards see the corpses, and so on. I'd even purposedly trigger "local alarms" just to empty guard rooms and kill the guards, securing my way of return.
      • by mzipay (577247)
        that'll work... but then (in hitman, at least) you could not achieve a perfect "silent assassin" rating. for me, the challenge of the hitman series in particular is in attaining that rating, not necessarily in simply completing the level (or completing the level simply).

        as it relates to other games, i feel much the same way; i.e. if i'm playing a stealth game, i'm going to try to play stealthily.
        i'll save screwing around with 100% kill ratios or wild killing sprees or "tricks" to completing levels easily f
        • i'll save screwing around with 100% kill ratios or wild killing sprees or "tricks" to completing levels easily for

          But that's not a trick- it's the most realsitic way to complete the assigned mission. If a game allows you the option of using violence or stealth, the easiest choice is to do both. If it is possible (but difficult) to sneak past 5 guards without them seeing you, it will be easy to sneak up on each one and break his neck.

          Going for a 0% kill level is even more of an unrealistic challenge as
    • You sound just like my ex-roommate, who would watch me hiding in the shadows in Thief [wikipedia.org] and say 'I'd find that so boring'.

      Heck, I'm not even as hardcore a player as some of us guys [eidosgames.com] are. These folk can spend several hours on a small level, reloading every time an AI even thinks something is up. Infact, a good few play through without saving! Personally I stick to the code of killing nobody, and letting my blackjack do the talking. Even I can spend a lot of time on one section, darting in and out of the sh
      • by vsprintf (579676)

        While it's great that we all have different tastes, I can't help but think that if people gave the more cerebral and challenging games, Thief in particular, a chance they could come to enjoy it.

        If people don't give the more cerebral (and really good) games, like Ico, a chance, the game companies won't make any more, and none of us will get the chance to play them. The way it's going, it'll be just Devil May Cry 4, 5, and 6 - not that DMC isn't a good game, but it's nice to have something different once

  • Modern Co-Op? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Khuffie (818093) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:51PM (#12272280) Homepage
    Cooperative play is one of the most interesting aspects of modern gaming, and I would have liked to see a more developed co-op aspect for this title.

    Excuse me? If I recall I was playing games co-op with my friends back in the NES and SNES days. In fact, a heck of a lot of games back then had some form of co-op. Only in 'modern gaming' has co-op taken a backseat to lots of run of the mill style deathmatch. So no, co-op isn't an aspect of modern gaming; modern gaming is finally reintroducting the co-op back into the game.

    With that said, I find the co-op enjoyable. Two issues: needs a save function (there is one, but only while youre playing; if you quit and come back you have to restart the level). Could use more levels, oh, and less slowdown. Sometimes it gets downright awful.

  • Wha? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hollismb (817357) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:54PM (#12272323) Homepage

    The co-op mode, finally, could have been more fleshed out. Cooperative play is one of the most interesting aspects of modern gaming, and I would have liked to see a more developed co-op aspect for this title.

    Were we playing the same game? The simple fact that these four HUGE levels (with more to come, eventually) were developed specifically for co-op and require you to work together directly with a teamate (or you can't pass the mission) demonstrates who incredibly well the co-op was designed. I don't thing I can even name another co-op game (aside from Phantasy Star Online) where it was impossible to get through a level without your teamate timing something with you perfectly. Each level has at least one moment where you and your teammate must do something simultaneously in order to get past it, like disarming bombs, mixing chemicals, etc. And several other places where you can't move on to the next area of the level without help from your teammate. On top of that, you can play through these huge levels differently every time if you so choose. Aside from some occasional disconnect and slowdown issues on co-op, I've never seen a better co-op mode in any game, ever, hand's down. Heck, even the simple fact that guards can hear the two of you talking is something special. A less-developed co-op would've been to simply give us the single-player levels and allow two people to play on them (which I'd gladly take as content download).

    And admittedly, Zonk says he doesn't have a lot of previous Splinter Cell experience, but this one is hands-down easy if you want it to be. No more trial-and-error gameplay, alternate paths, added knife ability (which makes it really easy to kill armed people even after they've spotted you), more accurate guns (also easier to kill), and a handy save anywhere feature, this one is pretty easy to get through compared to the other two games. As a result, I've managed to get 100% ratings on a couple levels the first time through, without really even meaning to (which means not being detected, completing all objectives, and not killing anyone).

    • I don't thing I can even name another co-op game (aside from Phantasy Star Online) where it was impossible to get through a level without your teamate timing something with you perfectly.

      for what it's worth, the legend of zelda: four swords adventures (I think that's how it's named anyway) is full of this stuff, for up to four players. You need a GBA for each player though.

  • "9/10"
    - Slashdot Daily -

    [Fade to Black]
  • by Concern (819622) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:56PM (#12272361) Journal
    Tom Clancy's jingoistic pro-military, pro-police-state propaganda and lackluster dialogue aside, the game is beautiful and it really hits its stride when you plug into the internet and start testing out their multiplayer modes.

    The co-op play is a real joy to behold, and the versus play is a really original take on multiplayer "shooters." You wouldn't think a 2v2 where one side has guns and the other side is devoted to stealth would work. It's not perfect, but it's surprisingly successful, noticeably balanced, and deep.

    There is just nothing quite like sneaking up behind a merc as he saunters past you down a corridor, grabbing his neck, holding down the button and whispering something offensive into his ear before you snap his neck. Or for that matter, watching a spy do a 20 foot header through the air from a grenade you dropped right at his feet while he was trying to sneak past you.

    When you see an alarm go off, and are rushing through some dark basement area towards it and think you catch something moving in the shadows, but it disappears when you shine your flashlight on it, you feel real fear. :D

    Congrats to Ubisoft. No dobut they'll make the mint selling extras over the XBox live channel to boot...
    • Tom Clancy's jingoistic pro-military, pro-police-state propaganda and lackluster dialogue aside, the game is beautiful and it really hits its stride when you plug into the internet and start testing out their multiplayer modes.

      So ma Tom Clancy's jingoistic pro-military, pro-police-state propaganda and lackluster dialogue aside

      This is a good point. I feel guilty for enjoying military-themed PC games because of their inherent propaganda qualities. Lately I've been wondering if even just playing the gam
      • I feel guilty for enjoying military-themed PC games because of their inherent propaganda qualities. Lately I've been wondering if even just playing the games makes me a bad person considering the current state of the world.

        Despite years of playing GTA, I have never been a gang member, robbed anyone, killed anyone AFAIK, stolen an Apache gunship, hijacked a car, or listened to rap music by choice. Games are escapism, not a pledge of fidelity to a character's lifestyle -- unless you have a much bigger pro

        • GTA is over the top and has always been presented as pure escapism, so I don't consider it to be in the same class.

          Miltary-themed games like the stuff that Ubi puts out under the Tom Clancy banner, various combat flight sims, serious war games, etc. put you in a role where you're trying to use realistically-simulated tactics and gear to accomplish a goal that would be a goal of the real-world military. In some senses this constitutes an endorsement of the military's real-world goals. If you're trying to
          • GTA is over the top and has always been presented as pure escapism, so I don't consider it to be in the same class.

            Really. There are people suing Take2 because the game was so realistic it allegedly made their kids go out and commit crimes. People are suing Take2 because dialog in the games allegedly leads to racist hate crimes. Your distinctions appear to be less than widely accepted.

            Miltary-themed games like the stuff that Ubi puts out under the Tom Clancy banner, various combat flight sims, se

    • Tom Clancy's jingoistic pro-military, pro-police-state propaganda and lackluster dialogue aside

      The game was not actually written by Clancy himself. It was written by J. T. Petty [imdb.com]

      Additionally, I found Chaos Theory to contain superior dialog than the previous two games and a bit more humor.
  • Co-operative Play (Score:3, Insightful)

    by retinaburn (218226) on Monday April 18, 2005 @02:56PM (#12272363)
    The only thing I found lacking in the game was knowing where to go in Co-Operative play. In addition to removing your binoculars you do not have access to a map. This was frustrating on the first co-op level in trying to figure out how to get into the big fancy server room to end the mission, without really knowing where you had to go.

    With the game being so new there were no walkthroughs for the co-op mode either. But I am pretty sure that has changed by now.
  • Other reviews... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xtracto (837672)
    First of all, let me tell you, I think you should let game reviews for other web pages, personally I like Metacritic [metacritic.com] a lot.

    Secondly, although I have not played the game, after reading some user reviews from the above page I found someone who stated:

    the no blood thing is terrible for a game like this. This is an Adult game so why no blood?

    I can just say come on! why the heck there is no blood??

    Also, if the bad guys spawn in predetermined places, as the same reviewer states "kind of like the firs
    • I hadn't noticed the lack of blood until you mentioned it here, actually - mostly because the game encourages you to use non-lethal, or at least non-bloody disposal techniques on your enemies. There may well be a lack of blood if you shoot someone in the face, I couldn't tell you, but it hasn't made any difference to my enjoyment at all.

      If Ubisoft did put blood in, I'd imagine they'd want to integrate it into the gameplay - perhaps have bodies you've shot leave blood trails that other enemies can notice, a
  • Fun Game (Score:5, Informative)

    by bogie (31020) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:02PM (#12272442) Journal
    Don't know why they had to change the Interface 3 times in 3 games. IMHO the first one with the PDA was the best. It obivous they were going by sponsors, ie Palm 1st game, Ericsson 2nd game, 3rd game ????. The "in-game" interface for the 3rd game is slow and looks just like some shitty menu. It just make me feel like I'm back at the game menu as opposed to a spy looking at the pda on his wrist.

    Also I preferred the night vision from the previous games where once you switched it on the whole screen just went "green". Now when you turn on night vision you look through a green fisheye lens. Its still useable, just not worth doing and not and improvement.

    Finally I have to say if you've played the 1st two games even on Expert this game is just way too easy. I tried to challenge myself, but even though I didn't set off 1 single alarm nor get seen by guards the game was just too easy.

    Finally, finally, :) They HAVE to do expansion packs. Beyond them wanting your money with reagards to the single player game there is just no reason to keep putting out entirely new games. All the tools they need are already done, just put out expansion packs for $19.95 every 3 months and trust me people WILL buy them. Shit if they just put on expansion packs for the 1st game I'd pay again what I've already spent on games 2 and 3.

    • Finally I have to say if you've played the 1st two games even on Expert this game is just way too easy. I tried to challenge myself, but even though I didn't set off 1 single alarm nor get seen by guards the game was just too easy.


      I must just suck then, because I've found it harder than the first two. The guards seem to be able to see you if your light meter is one tick about pitch black, and they all apparently have cybernetic hearing.

    • Actually there was an expansion pack for the first one. Well, not technically a ex. pack in that it wasn't sold seperately. It came withe the UK gold edition of SP1. I saw it once online and was going to download it as I can not buy it here in canada.

    • I'm looking forward to trying this one. I lost interest in the later stages of the first and second SC games because of the fascination with alarm levels and so on. I like more run and gun in my games (like Halo 2) so the change suits me!

  • My review on PC (Score:4, Informative)

    by emarkp (67813) <slashdot@r[ ]q.com ['oad' in gap]> on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:04PM (#12272458) Journal
    It's a bit short. It felt shorter than HL2.

    The single player is excellent. They fixed a lot of little problems in the previous games. You can switch shoulders for your weapon (which was the biggest UI change I saw, which was great). Unfortunately, you can't switch your firing mode for your SC-20 now. It's "pressure sensitive"--so good luck not accidentally squeezing off a few bullets instead of one.

    That being said, the multiplayer is impossible unless you play with someone you know and you're using a mic. Also, the multiplayer isn't the same executable as the SP game, and it's probably nearly unchanged from Pandora Tomorrow. Which is irritating because I mouse with my left hand, but the multiplayer doesn't recognize left mouse button mappings.

    Also, make sure you've got the latest drivers. I kept getting a BSOD until I realized my audio drivers weren't up-to-date.

    Plays great on my laptop. Specs: 3GHz HT processor, 1GB RAM, ATI Radeon Mobility 9600 (128 MB).

    Oh, and the Collectors Edition isn't worth it.

    • Also, the multiplayer isn't the same executable as the SP game, and it's probably nearly unchanged from Pandora Tomorrow.

      I heard about this, I read that it is actually the pandora tomorrow engine for the multiplayer. Why the hell would they do this?! That would be like Buying Halflife 2 but the multiplayer uses the halflife 1 engine.

      I guess a weird benefit of this is if your system can't handle the single player well, it has a better chance of being fine for multiplayer.

      But I've never heard of an
  • Amon Tobin's Albums (Score:2, Interesting)

    by autosentry (595252)
    . . . are great. "Supermodified" is very catchy, but nowhere near as polished as "From Out of Nowhere." I have the soundtrack to Chaos Theory and I like it a lot, but it doesn't really show off how insanely detailed his compositions can get.
    • I personally think Permutations is perhaps his most-diverse album, and certainly the quirkiest (followed very closely by Bricolage). Nightlife and Toys will forever be on my iPod, I come back to them again and again no matter my mood in music.

      Even before he was Amon Tobin, he was Cujo, and he released one album under that name-- Adventures in Foam. Its not (in my opinion) nearly as diverse as his recent stuff but there are some good slow downtempo jams on it (very good chill music).
  • For those who have never played any of the splinter cell games, Chaos Theory does not lend itself to the pick-up-and-go person without a little frustration along the way. I consider myself somewhat proficient at figuring stuff out with unfamilar games, but I actually had to *cough* break out the manual *cough* to figure out how to do most everything. I'm assuming the 'how-to' stuff is covered in previous games. The only other complaint is - what is with game developers not supporting at least 480p? Regardle
  • ...is that the PC-version has been in stores for WEEKS, and it's STILL not cracked! I guess the new version of the protection "StarForce [star-force.com] 3" was really hard to crack!
  • by CptnSbaitso (800632) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:15PM (#12272619)
    First off, I must say that I truly enjoy Chaos Theory as a game. However, I have to bring up the fact that I believe the Ubisoft tried to ruin the game with a number of other problems. For example, the extensive DVD checking which takes place during each and every launch of the game. Apparently, it has an issue with my DVD drive, such that it takes several minutes to perform the check. On my brand new AMD64 laptop, it refuses to run, since the GeForce 4 440 is apparently not good enough. However, I understand it to run on lesser GeForce cards. And last, but not least, it includes two (poorly printed) serial numbers required for play. The install key appears to be the same (on the three copies which I have seen) and the serial number has never been asked for (perhaps for online play?). Why do they insist on making this so diffucult? In summary: Great game...once you get to play it!
    • I don't know about the GeForce4 440 laptop version, but I recall the 3-digit (I think something like 420, 440, and 460, though I'm not sure) GF4-branded PCI and AGP cards were called "GeForce4 MX" and were, I think, closer to souped-up GeForce 2 cards than actual GeForce4, and thus lacked the shader capabilities required for some of the essential graphical effects used in the game. The upshot is that the minimum GeForce 4 card that supported shaders was, I think, the 4200. And I'm pretty sure all GeForce 3

  • Spilter Cell: Popcorn eyeglasses [penny-arcade.com]


  • by Malc (1751) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:27PM (#12272743)
    I have the first Splinter Cell on my XBox. I feel like it was a waste of money (the game, not the XBox ;)) It's all eye candy and no substance. Realism is touted as one of the games selling points, but let's be honest, it seems to be restricted only to the graphics, not to the actual plot, etc.

    The AI is extremely simple. Enemies have no memory what-so-ever. That's so realistic! Disturb them a couple of times and after a while they'll always go back to what they were doing. Somehow they seem to be able to see in the dark too! And how many people on a level must disappear before others start noticing that it's become awfully quiet? How can they shoot so accurately when I've taken out all the lights, and I've moved around?

    The game is also extremely linear with a very constrained map. Furthermore, this is another game (like Halo) that I completed in under a week. It has less substance and real game play than most of the FPS games I've played over the last 10+ years. It's all fancy graphics and nothing else. That's my opinion... so will somebody please tell me what the attraction is?
    • Gee... the article is about the third generation of the game, and you decide it's high time to go lambaste the old one.

      Do we need to wait until Splinter Cell V to hear what you think of III?
    • Agreed, the AI needs a great deal of work. That was my complaint as well...lots of buddies missing but nobody looking for them.

      The game has gotten better in terms of its linearity? in this version. You mentioned you played the demo of the Peruvian lighthouse, which is VERY linear and indicative of the first version. Some of the more advanced levels in this version are not nearly so linear. However, the argument still remains true for the most part. You have to complete certain tasks before others open.
  • interview - clicky linky [mp3.com]

    That interview says rather slyly:

    GS: Right. The press pack for the soundtrack said most of it was recorded almost entirely with acoustic instruments that you then modified electronically. Did you play all the instruments yourself, or did you--

    AT: Actually there's things that you'll hear when you listen to the soundtrack which will be very revealing about all that. I'd rather not go into the recording techniques too much, if that's OK?

    For a more honest look at how he actual

    • Not all sampling is taking a complete part of a song and using it some other track, like Puffy Diddy P Daddy "Vote or Die" Poopy Dumbass Combs. I don't agree with that at all. Taking a sound from a song and reusing it in a way where it doesn't sound like the original song with new lyrics is fine.

      Sampling is just using digital audio as a tool for making music. I have made my own samples for several years now. I used to use loops when I was just starting making electronic music. A sample is nothing more
  • Review Comments (Score:4, Informative)

    by Hangtime (19526) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:41PM (#12272949) Homepage
    I have played all three SCs and I can say I have enjoyed this one the most.

    Pros:
    Best cut scenes and voice acting
    Great storyline
    Addition of the soundmeter has added a great deal of skill necessary to complete some missions
    Better AI (still pretty average overall)
    Mission statistics
    Detailed levels and character interactions (those going through Japanese house through the floor shaft know what I mean)
    Sam's mannerisms change when moving close to objects (creeping up on people)
    Better and more realistic weapon selection
    The EM jammer on the pistol (no need to blow out every light)
    Breaking, kicking in doors
    Primary, secondary, bonus, and opportunity objectives
    Hacking computers
    Changing weapon shoulders
    Jumpy NPCs when you have spooked them a couple of times

    Misses:
    Mission statistics subtract for all kills but not for knocking everyone out...would like to have seen this modified to at least deduct from the mission score if a NPC was not guarding a particular computer or target. Mission scores should reward pure stealth.
    No back-to-the-wall shooting
    AI still is pretty bad, but is getting better. For instance, I take down a buddy and the other NPC does not try to look for him. Also, everyone seems to have radios but NPCs are not worried when someone doesn't check-in. However, it has gotten better, if doors are left open or closed the NPCs will get suspicious also the NPCs will at least use some squad tactics when challenged.

    In all I have enjoyed SC:CT a great deal. Also, I will be crawling back through the game again because the mission statistics now make it a challenge to try to go through the entire game unnoticed and unseen.
  • by njord (548740)

    While I give credit for the writers for trying to spice up the cliched subject matter (which, like all Tom Clancy material, revolves around terrorism) with a little infobabble (we've moved past portable nukes), I've broken down laughing many times while playing this game.

    I can't speak for laymen, but as a guy who has taken quite a few classes on formal languages, algorithms, and the theory of computation, terms like "weaponized algorithms", the mystery of "512 encryption", the forbidden secret of "recursiv

    • I can't speak for laymen, but as a guy who has taken quite a few classes on formal languages, algorithms, and the theory of computation,

      Then you'll really enjoy Dan Brown's Digital Fortress [amazon.com]. (Although personally, I couldn't make it across the back cover before feeling sick...)

      Some of the Amazon reviews are simultaneously hilarious and sad, particularly when someone thinks she actually learned something from the book. Naturally, Cryptonomicon would be the antidote to such illusions, but good luck getti
  • My little brother has a PS2, and about 2 years ago, I played Splinter Cell for a bit to see what it was all about. I really enjoyed it, although I hated the alarms going off when I left some dumbass dead in a hallway. Irritating, but part of the whole "don't leave evidence behind" concept, I guess.

    Does this series translate well to a PC? And is there a strong multiplayer group out their playing the MP version for PC?

    IronChefMorimoto
  • Ok moderators, here is more practice for you in discerning flamebait from a legitimate opinion.

    Its been said before and I'll say it again, first person shooters are best left on the PC. They just aren't "right" on the consoles.

  • by Phantasmo (586700)
    I installed Windows XP (yes, a "genuine" copy) just so I could play this game on my desktop.
    Basically it comes complete with crappy/annoying copy protection. It installs some weird driver that requires you to reboot(!) after installation. You then have to enter two keys: one from the manual and one from the disc case. Then you are allowed to play the game that you just laid down $60 for.
    They sure invested a lot of time in copy protection. Not that it did them any good - I looked and found plenty of pre-crac
    • by Merk (25521)
      Not only that, but once you start playing the $60 dollar game, it shows you all kinds of in-game ads for things like chewing gum.
  • What about the ads for "Airwaves" chewing gum in the game? I haven't played it myself, but I hear that there is at least one CG scene that is essentially a gum commercial. Sam Fisher whips out the gum, label-out, the camera takes a look at the stuff, and he pops it in his mouth.

    From what I hear, it adds nothing to the game, and is really blatant. Even worse than the ads in Burnout 3 or Need for Speed Underground 2.

    Personally, I wouldn't buy a game with blatant advertising like that.

A Fortran compiler is the hobgoblin of little minis.

Working...