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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory PC DVD-ROM

Published by Ubisoft
Developed by Ubisoft
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £29.99

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory an introduction.

So here we have the third game in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series. After two superb games already in the series great things were expected of Chaos Theory and the game has certainly not disappointed. Once again you'll control Sam Fisher on a top secret mission where failure is simply not an option.

What's the game about?

The game begins with you having the task of rescuing an American by the name of Bruce Morgenholt who has been captured by a Peruvian separatist group known as the People's Voice. Hugo Lacerda, their leader who is 'preaching information warfare' is believed to have captured Morgenholt, who has access to some vital information that could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands. Your job is to rescue Morgenholt, destroy any information he's divulged and if possible take out Lacerda. It all goes wrong early in the mission when you find that Morgenholt has been tortured and killed. There are ten single player missions in all with each mission giving you a rating that informs you how well you performed during a mission. Multiplayer modes include a new Co-op mode, for 2 players that has its own sets of missions. The popular Versus mode, from Pandora Tomorrow, makes a return and is just as is impressive as it was before.

What's good about the game?

Simply put the Splinter Cell games are the pinnacle of stealth games and Chaos Theory manages to take the series that little bit further. There's a collection of new close combat moves, a co-op mode (for LAN and Internet play) and a more accessible feel to the game. The original Splinter Cell, in many ways, depended heavily on stealth and failing to be stealthy would often cost you the mission. Chaos Theory is more forgiving (some might say too forgiving which we'll talk about in a moment) and you'll notice that before starting a mission you'll have a choice of equipping Sam for stealth, assault or simply going with a recommended setup. In a lot of ways though the formula hasn't changed drastically and if you enjoyed the previous Splinter Cell games, you'll love Chaos Theory.

What's not so good about the game?

If only Chaos Theory had captions like Half-Life 2 we'd pretty much have a perfect game here but sadly there's no captions and this does increase the difficulty for deaf gamers somewhat. In the above paragraph we touched on the point that some gamers might find Chaos Theory too forgiving. In the previous games stealth was really the only way to succeed but whilst in Chaos Theory it's still the preferable option, it's not the only way of getting results. I was surprised to see how many times you could shoot yourself out of a tight spot without suffering any real damage. In the earlier games this approach would have almost certainly meant death for Sam but in Chaos Theory it's not the case. Whilst many gamers will find this makes Chaos Theory less frustrating, those who mastered the previous games might find there's a lack of a challenge this time around.

How does it look?

Previously we've only looked at the console versions of the previous Splinter Cell games but this time we're looking at the PC version of Chaos Theory. Whilst the Xbox Splinter Cell games we've looked at have looked great (as did the Xbox preview of Chaos Theory), the PC version looks much sharper due to the increased resolutions and graphical power. The lighting effects still look superb and the character models, and environments, are still pretty much the equal of most games you'll find on the PC.

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

As we mentioned earlier the game really needs captions to make the game completely deaf gamer friendly. Hearing gamers will often be forewarned by hearing the nearby enemies that are out of sight. The night and thermal vision can aid the deaf gamer in this respect but it's still not a complete answer. Briefings are delivered via text and speech and conversations during missions are also shown in text too so you'll be aware of them. There's a gauge to show you how visible Sam is (and how much noise he's making) which also proves useful. Your goals can be accessed at any time by pressing the 'Home' key. Any conversations from nearby enemies are not subtitled and the games cutscenes are not subtitled which is disappointing but not too detrimental to the experience. There are some movie clips that act as tutorials and unfortunately these are not subtitled either. The PC version has the advantage (over the Xbox version) of allowing deaf gamers to text chat with each other.

Final thoughts.

Unbelievably this is the third game in the Splinter Cell series (doesn't time fly) and it's the third time we're saying it's simply an excellent experience. Ubisoft have found a rich vein of form with the Tom Clancy titles and Chaos Theory is another great game to add to their catalogue. If you enjoyed the previous games you're going to love Chaos Theory. Being able to take a more aggressive approach to the missions certainly makes it less frustrating but the stealth approach is always available if you want to take it. The Co-op mode is a welcome addition, as is the return of the Versus mode and the multiplayer side of the game on the whole is well worth it. It's difficult to say whether this is the best Splinter Cell title to date but without question it's another one well worth playing.


Overall Game Rating: 8.4/10

Deaf Gamers Classification

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Chaos Theory is another superb addition to the Splinter Cell series. Many will appreciate the greater freedom in the missions but stealth enthusiasts may not be so pleased by this leniency. The game isn't completely deaf gamer friendly but thanks to being able to quicksave it shouldn't prove too frustrating.