Sam Fisher is back in the best Splinter Cell yet. I must confess that
I’ve never been as impressed by the Splinter Cell series as other
people. The hook to Splinter Cell is the interplay of light and shadows.
It creates a visually impressive backdrop for Sam Fishers’ skulking and
SC remains the best stealth action game on the market. The improvements
in Chaos Theory are mostly restricted to superior level design. Also,
Sam Fisher can now slash with a knife, killing instantly rather than
delivering a series of elbows to the face. There are more opportunities
in CT to do the old sneak up and grab move which is always a lot of fun.
Plus UbiSoft has made the game more replayable by including statistics
at the end of each level. I can see myself going back and replaying CT a
lot more than I did with the first two games.
My issues with the
series still persist. When the first Splinter Cell came out the
producers promised unparalleled interaction with the environment. In
fact quite the opposite is true. Sam Fisher can no more push a rolling
desk chair as push a mountain. Whether it’s an aluminum cabinet,
cardboard box, clipboard, shipping pallet or whatever, everything is
immovable and unalterable as if the world were all carved from a single
block of granite. Shooting lights is cool and all but you could do that
eight years ago in Goldeneye for the N64 and unlike Splinter Cell,
Goldeneye allowed you to shoot out glass.
Splinter Cell is a
getting a little silly with its use of shadows. What was cool and
innovative in the first Splinter Cell now seems almost like a crutch for
the series. In one level Sam Fisher infiltrates a 36 man cruiser. I
made my way to the engine room and found it nearly pitch black just like
the rest of the ship and it suddenly struck me. Why would the engine
room be so dark? Who would sail around in a completely dark boat? The
engine room had three guards but it was so dark that I could literally
creep within several feet of a guard and stare them in the face without
them seeing me. Ubisoft should try and be a little more creative than
just load every area with a ridiculous amount of darkness.
also say that the in game map is HORRIBLE. I used it a few times to
help out but it is incredibly difficult to read. The tutorial is also
very poorly done. The first Splinter Cell had an entire level devoted to
teaching you the ropes. Chaos Theory only offers some boring and
insufficient training videos.
When Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is
good it’s absolutely fantastic. The Bathhouse and Cruiser levels in
particular were brilliantly done. The Seoul Korea level on the other
hand was completely devoid of fun and I hated every second of it.
Essentially I recommend the game but with some reservations. Hopefully
the next entry in the series can actually advance the game play into
some new areas.
Minimum System Requirements
AMD Athlon or Pentium III 1.4GHz Processor — 256MB RAM — 64MB ATi Radeon 8500 or nVidia GeForce 3 Class Video Card — DirectX compatible Sound Card — DirectX 9.0c
4X DVD-ROM Drive — 4GB Hard Disk Space