on 11 April 2005
Anyone familiar with the Splinter Cell series knows one thing. Its a hardcore stealth game. Sometimes a little off putting but ultimately a great game and very rewarding.
Splinter Cell continues to follow the capers of Sam Fisher (cant spell his surname!)whilst he trys to stop a massive information war from breaking into world war 3.
The graphics for this game are incredible. The lighting is always dramatic and the enemies seem even more realistic than previous encounters. There are a wider range of locations, including a boat (reminiscent of Metal Gear Solid 2)a bank (where Sam steals 50,000,000 in bonds and then gets a 25 cent an hour raise!) however thats just a cover up for what he is really after.
The gameplay is what stands out. In the first two, the alarm system could be really annoying. Sometimes, bodies would be found even when hidden in total darkness. There is no more of this, 3 alarms and your out! Rather, instead, a load of enemies come after you. This is surprisingly, less annoying and far more enjoyable. Secondly, you can save anywhere in a level and start from that point if you die or want to restart. This saves having to redo entire sections in order to get to the difficult bit and die from the previous 2. Third is his close combat skills. Sam is now armed with a knife (you can chose either a fatal or a non-fatal attack depending on the level.) This means you no longer have to come up behind them or drop on them from above, but if you creep up to them in the dark, you can just attack from the front! Finally there are stealth ratings at the end of the level, and there are also secondary and opportunity objectives which are also added, a nice touch by ubi-soft.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Sams third game is by far his best. If you buy one game this year, make it this!
on 20 August 2006
Welcome to 2007 and the end of the world. It is truly a frightening place where unseen tech terrorists are sending the US and North Korea headlong into WW3. Its a typically epic Clancy premise and best of all it plays out like a dark dream.
It wasn't always like this; when Pandora Tomorrow hit the shelves gamers felt more like victims of some great practical joke than omnipotent covert agents. There were high points; the jungles were cool and the online versus battles between spys and mercs were easily the best thing about the game, but otherwise the frustrations were too much for even the most avid gamer to persist. The checkpoint system was awful and combined with unforgiving pacing of crucial events led to spirit crushing replays of almost entire levels. The eye-wateringly miserly three strikes and your out set up made the situation worse, not helped by the frankly unrealistic discovery of any bodies left in anything other than total darkness. Then there was the problem of close combat; for a highly disciplined covert agent, living in and dispensing death from the shadows Fisher was surprisingly cack-handed when it came to close combat. Give him the element of surprise and a bag of flash bangs and he had a fighting chance. Surprise him and this honed and toned killing machine would perform the hand-to-hand ballet of death with all the finesse and focus of a headless chicken.
I suppose your wondering why i've bothered listing all the old Cell's flaws. Simple; because Chaos Theory has successfully addressed every one of these infuriating issues. Save points are now under your contol and the three strikes rule has been binned entirely. Also for the first time in the series how you go about your mission is entirely up to you with multiple routes through most levels.
Graphically this is a triple A title and no mistake. The quality and visual coherance will have sucked you in long before you bag your first terrorist. Even through the green of your nvgs the game looks shraper, more believable. Ambient lighting is beautiful and the effect on you suit's embedded light meter makes sense adding to your confidence in you tools of the trade.
In fact confidence in your tech is a gratifying theme that runs, quietly, throughout the game. The OCP device from the previous game that fritzed out cameras temporarily is now a much more accessible alternate function of the standard silenced pistol. Whats more it can now disrupt any electrical circuitry from lights to computers and laser beams. Combined with the new EEC equiped goggles that detect any elctrical cirtuits even those embedded in walls, the OCP pistol reveals a whole new layer of obstacles beyond the visible spectrum.
Sound now plays a key role with the addition of a sound meter similar to the light sensor. Keep Fisher's footfalls quieter than the ambient noise and you're ok. Similarly try snapping the shotgun module onto your amazingly adaptable SC-20K assault rifle in a darkened room and you may as well have flicked on the lights and started playing the banjo.
Thankfully controlling Fisher is a joy and it feels very much like the man more than the equipment that has evolved. For example the door move which makes sensible use of the controllers analogue sticks to ease open doors for a stealthy entry, and the alternate ability to boot the door open, knocking any guards on the other side flying. Add to this a new and exclusive to PS2 yank move which frees same to hang from ledges or hide in pools and pull unsuspecting goons to their death. The AI feels plausibly sharp without ever seeming unfair and whilst they do have more kit to detect you, you do always have the equipment to stay one step ahead. However whether you have the intelligence, ability and sheer cajones to use Fisher's gadgets correctly, quickly and appropriately is another matter and it's this evolving challenge that cranks the game into the stealth premier league.
Undeniably the most useful new piece of kit is the knife, which can be used to interrogate guards or to break locks on doors, or even better to react with speed and aggression to any guards who may suprise you.
The online spys v mercs battles are still present and have been beefed up with new maps to battle on. And thats not the end of Chaos Theory's multiplayer abilities. The brand new co-op mode is superb fun and the 18 or so missions blend wonderfully with the main storyline.
However when all is said and done there is only one thing you need to know - is Chaos Theory better than Metal Gear. You know what no it isn't but not for the reason you may think. Play the two games and you'll discover that they both do sneaking brilliantly but each brings totally different vibes to the silent snuffing party. If you want gargantuan, epic and slightly barking mad then Solid Snake is your man. However if you want you sneaking realistic, brutal and with a side order of cold, hard political intrigue, then Sam Fisher is where the juice is. Really if you love your games then you should really own both and as far as any stealth game goes there is no greater compliment than that.
Graphics: 9 - Totally immersive, beautifull
Sound: 9 - Fantastic score and intelligent use of ambient noise
Gamepaly: 10 - Gripping, tense and often surprising
Lifespan: 10 - Mulitple routes, excellent co-op mode and you'll never tire of the online mode
Overall: 10/10 - A darker, more realistic experience than MGS3, Chaos Theory is everything that was good about the previous Splinter Cell plus so much more.
on 8 May 2005
After finally purchasing this game, I was astounded at how addictive and atmospheric this game really was. You no longer 'Play as Sam Fisher' you are 'Sam Fisher' with a plethora of
new moves, this game takes stealth to a whole new level.
Waiting in the shadows, eying the situation from only a few centimetres away from what is to surely be your next victim. Each move has to be carefully calculated to ensure complete stealth and success of the mission. Your gun is your weakest weapon, stealth, shadows and your knife will become your new best friends.
There's no longer the threat of mission failed if you set off an alarm.. as said in the game 'This is no video game, Sam'. Sam has an array of new weaponry at his disposal, for instance the new add on for the pistol which allows you to disable electronic hardware such as but not limited to; hanging lamps and computers. This helps keeping hidden from the enemy.
This game now has a 2 player co-op mode which is simply fantastic, imagine real time communication, having another persons eyes and ears for backup, someone to revive you with
an injection of adrenaline if/when you go down in battle and someone to help you perform the array of breath taking moves co-operative play has to offer, for instance being thrown
into your opponent.
Then if that's not enough there's online play, very similar to 'Splinter Cell Pandoras Tomorrow' you either play as a mercenary or a shadownet operative. The aim of the mercenary is to hunt down the shadownet team members in 'First person view' and protect any cells you possess. If you're a shadownet operative the object is to retrieve or denonate these cells or neutralize the mercenaries. If you're a shadownet operative you play in 3rd person.
Overall if you loved the previous offerings Splinter Cell had to offer then you will undoubtly love this one even more. If you're new to Splinter Cell but love games which involve calculative moves, stealth and overall brain usage then you'll love this one too. This title has alot to offer and I'm sure anyone who is lucky enough to own it will tell you the same thing.
[Warning : Not suitable for those with a nervous disposition]
[Nerve stimulants sold seperately, counselling is also]
on 2 April 2005
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory has brilliant graphics. It looks like pandora tommorow still but has more detail to it. There are little things that have made this as good as it is. For example theres a map of the surrounding area and theres a choice on the start menu where you can adjust the lighting so its best for the game by setting it so you can only see the lights on sam's head. In the previus game,pandora tommorow, if three alarms go off then the mission is over but this time round you can have as many as you want but the more alarms the harder. theres all new moves and theres even a noise detecter as well as a light dectecter this tells you how much noise you're making and how loud it is around you. This is pandora tommorow with all the little things you wanted added and every detail perfected. but....
yes theres always a 'But'. This may not seem too important to you but when sam has his back to the wall in 'Pandora Tommorow' he can look around the edge of the wall and take out his gun still in his position. this would be even better in chaos theory. but for some unknown reason you can't do that.
Not much but thats the only one bad thing i can't think of about this game. brilliant!
Theres one thing i want to warn you about. On most of the websites i've looked at i've found various things about being able to play against another player in multiplayer.
But this is only if your online!
You can still do Co-Op missions though so don't worry.
ITS A MUST BUY GAME!
I'm just picky and notice some of the bad bits.
on 4 April 2005
Once again the title just gets better. Everything is improved, sounds, graphics but most importantly the game play aspect.
No longer are you pushed along a single route to complete a level, where the only doors that open are the ones that lead you in the right direction. You can complete a level in any order you like and not only are there 1 set of main objectives there are also 2nd and optional objectives, which you have to find yourself to get any chance of achieving 100% on a level.
Visually fantastic but once again played completely in night vision as bad guys seem to like hanging around in very dark buildings. Imagine how much easier it would be to defend if they turned lights on?
on 1 April 2005
well, it seems that sam fisher has another adventure!
this is a fantastic game. but your probably wondering,"why should i buy it"?
1.some of the best graphics ever seen on the ps2
2.thrilling story plot
3.more in-depth play
4.more killing moves available
6.co-op modes are a great laugh, as well as being tremendosly fun.
7.appeling to the most hardcore gamer, or someone who has just entered the gaming world.
in this fantastic stealth sneak'em'up, which introduces a much more violent way of dealing with your enemys. if you hadn't noticed yet, the age has been raised to a 16+. why you say? cos this time, old sammy's packed a commando knife for his travels!
with this, he can threaten his opponents in a number of ways, including hostage taken and so forth, but if you want to kill them, that is another choice also!
moving on from brute force, sam has more silent methods for dispatching his enemys. these include:-
1. hanging from sealing chokes
2.the 'grab' from the water, thus drowning them.
3.simple choke from behind
on the subject of equipment, sam fisher has a new stash of weapons, including automatic rifles, sniper rifle, and more.
the game play itself is a real experiance, and i think i speak for everyone here when i say, ITS A CLASSIC.
so what are you still reading this for?!?! scroll up the page and click the 'add to basket' button!!! NOW!!!!
on 2 April 2005
As a fan of the original (on PC) I was hoping for something better than the pathetic Pandora Tomorrow. I got what I wanted. It is fantastic, the graphics are the best I've seen on PS2, the wet floors shiny and Sam's suit glistening. The levels are interesting and full, if a bit dark and claustrophobic, but once past the first level the game opens out a bit. Swinging lights and switches show off the exceptional lighting system, while the goggles give you a total edge over the enemy. Sam flows seamlessly around the level with the exception of mantling, his arms flail about a bit (The only bad bit). He can climb everything and do all manner of moves, the throat slitting and neck snapping packs a punch unlike the earlier games with a good load of animations and sounds. The sounds are realistic and surround is acceptable but where are the options? It might just be me, but there seems to be no way of changing the sound levels in the game, I find the menu selection very loud. In fact, there are hardly any options at all, surprising for a game of such quality. The interaction with the world is a bit hard at first but very effective. There is no tutorial, just some "training videos" (which are just videos), newcomers might feel a little overcome when they are dropped in the middle of it on the first mission. Any bad points are outnumbered by the sheer number of memorable moments you will encounter. Find out for yourself, go buy it, NOW!
on 18 April 2005
After the disappointment of the last Hitman and the slighty over-rated new GTA there was a definate hole in PS2 gaming, along came Splinter Cell, ah well give the old fomat another try, not bad before so it should be ok.
Well this baby has improved 10-fold, as mentioned in other reviews those really annoying flaws have been removed (look my b****y game i want to save it when i want), the action is smooth and graphics a 10/10 (if this is what Ubisoft can do with a PS2 I can't wait for the PSP or PS3). One of complaints i had about the previous version of this game was the fact that the action was very linear, you had to go through door x to get to door y to get to door z, this has now gone and the stories can be completed in a variety of ways, from full on assaults to tippy toe sneakyness. Fisher is also finally equiped (knife, wi-fi hacking tools, built in sniper scope on the assault rifle) to go forth and do what he does best.
I'm only part way through this game simply because I keep replaying the missions over and over again, it will be a tough job to knock GT4 off as game of the year but this really stands out as a sequel that has just got better.
Once you've played your hooked, once you've heard the "phhhhwwweeee" as you flip Sam's night vision you'll never forget it. Must Buy.
on 10 February 2007
Like in the previous games, you play as Sam Fisher, an elite field operative for the American government's Third Echelon program. After a series of events, the US and North Korea are on the brink of war. You must infiltrate several locations all over the world- from blacked out New York to the war torn South Korean capital- and find out who is really behind it all.
As it's not a good idea to be sneaking around unprepared, Fisher has several gadgets he can utilise in the field. For starters, he has his night vision and heat vision, as well as an EMF vision to allow him to see what electrical devices can be hacked or destroyed. Concerning weaponry, you are armed with your reliable silenced pistol and SC-20k rifle, which can be equipped with one of four attachments. The fore-grip attachment gives you better precision and there are powerful, but loud sniper and shotgun attachments. The launcher attachment is, in my mind the best attachment as it allows you to launch different non-lethal devices as a secondary fire. The sticky shockers and ring airfoils for example, can knock out an enemy without killing them. There are also sticky cameras, which are used for surveillance purposes mainly and allow you to take the camera's perspective to get a better look around. You also have a variety of grenades to use during missions, which include smoke and flash grenades that enable you to get past foes, and frag grenades in case you want to kill your enemies.
However, this is most certainly a stealth game, with frag grenades and bullets unnecessary if you wish to achieve the 100% mission rating at the end of each level. Completing optional and secondary objectives will boost your rating, but being spotted, triggering alarms or killing your foes will result in a lower score. Although it is very hard to complete a level perfectly, it is possible -you have to creep through the levels, avoiding detection and knocking out enemies not killing them. If you are a fan of `gun and run' games, then this is not the game for you as all-out firefights are best avoided and it takes patience and thought to complete. The AI itself is accurate, with enemies lighting flares or using torches to search for you in the dark shadows.
The levels are lengthy, with most taking around an hour to complete fully. The interesting locations in the game include a bank in nighttime Panama, a well-guarded bathhouse in Japan, offices and apartments in blacked out New York, and many more. Each level has many primary, secondary and optional objectives for you to complete and these vary from assassination to sabotage to data retrieval.
Overall I think this is an excellent instalment in the Splinter Cell series. Not only are the graphics great, but also it is realistic and a must for stealth game fans, but does take patience and a bit of thought to play successfully.
on 7 April 2006
Splinter cell chaos theory. I purchased this game only about a week ago and I think it's one of the best games I have ever been on. There is so much you can do, I mean when you are near someone without them knowing you can either grab them, interrogate them, stab them, push them or just shoot them in the head. It's so good that when it actually comes to killing someone it takes me ages to decide what I should do to them and then I think I will interrogate him then knee him in the spine. Anyway more about the game start to finish it's great, the graphics are superb, the sound is superb the whole game is superb I mean i'm struggling to think of anything bad about it. This game has taken games to a whole new level. I recently purchased black I thought that I was going to be on black all the time and never splinter cell but that was not the case splinter cell still battled on. The multiplayer is better on the xbox than the ps2 because on the ps2 you do the levels in small parts, whereas on the xbox you do the levels in one big go. There is a lot of loading to sit through but it's worth it. The multiplayer consists of 5 levels, they are all good fun but they could be longer. God knows what double agent will be like if it's better than chaos theory, I think it stands a mighty chance of being game of the year. Get splinter cell chaos theory because if you don't there is something seriously wrong with you (in my opinion.)