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Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
Just when it seems like Sam Fisher is about to take a break from protecting the world from terrorists the phone rings again. That’s right all of you stealth aficionados Ubisoft is releasing the third installment of the best-selling Tom Clancy game with stunning leaps of maturity in terms of gameplay and tense action.
The first Splinter Cell game carried spectacular and genuine action although lacked a decent and structured story. Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow showed more maturity and carried an interesting storyline, which anyone could follow, and featured some of the most memorable online action to ever hit a console.
In case you are itching to see what Sam Fisher is up against this time, here is a crash course of the story courtesy of Ubisoft:
Japanese Information Defense Force is formed to help face modern
threats. Deemed a violation of international law and of the Japanese
Post-War Constitution, Korea and China become outraged.
the head of the IDF begins launching information-warfare attacks against
Japan and blaming the attacks on North Korea. When the U.S. intervenes,
as they are obligated to under Article 9 of the Japanese Post-War
Constitution, the U.S. is attacked as well, forcing North Korea to
escalate the situation with a pre-emptive invasion of South Korea.
As war erupts on the Korean Peninsula, Sam Fisher must thwart the alliance between the Japanese Admiral, a neurotic computer hacker, and the head of an international paramilitary company in order to prevent the rekindling of a massive world war in the Pacific.
Third Echelon will surely have their hands full this time around. The E3 demo of Chaos Theory gave proof of how far the Splinter Cell series has come and possible solidification atop the throne of stealth gaming. The lighting and shadowing effects, along with other environmental effects (such as rain drops on Sam Fisher’s suit) look almost photo-realistic.
One major gripe carried from the last two Splinter Cell games was the lack of secondary weapons for melee and shooting combat. This time around Fisher will carry a shotgun underneath his standard gun, for that extra “oomph” in questionable situations, and my favorite – the knife.
The demo showed off Sam Fisher’s newly gained versatility and toughness. Unlike the previous two Splinter Cell games, Chaos Theory carries a much darker hue and the gameplay follows. Still, the stealth mechanics seem to revolve around the past Splinter Cell games.
Now for the moment you have been waiting for – the multiplayer. Ubisoft went to great lengths to create engaging multiplayer action in Pandora Tomorrow, but from the looks of Chaos Theory their talent of innovation continues to grow. There will be co-op missions, a first to the Splinter Cell franchise, allowing two spies to work together through a series of missions. Teamwork is key so each team member must be aware of one another in order to get anywhere in the game. For example, there will be some walls that are too high for a spy to reach. In order to reach it a teammate stands under the wall and pushes up his companion in order to grab the ledge. The complete potential of the game has yet to be seen, but one thing is almost certain: it will be insanely fun and addictive.
Here is a complete list of features:
Agility: Incredibly complete and fluid variety of moves, including
athletic moves, stealth moves, and stealth kills.
Weapons of Tomorrow: The most complete arsenal of weapons and
gadgets from the knife to the experimental Land Warrior System.
As Good As Real: Never-seen-before graphics technology offers the best visuals on any console yet. Advanced physics engine allows rag doll physics, particle effects, and perfect interaction with the environment.
Challenge: Intelligent A.I. with personal attributes and natural
behavior. NPCs are aware of their environment and remember past events.
Amazing Replayability: Totally open level design with multi-paths and optional secondary objectives.
Stealth: Play multiplayer with your friends and coordinate your
infiltration in an all-new multiplayer challenge.
Ubisoft are working their tails off right now trying to get the game out for the Holiday season of this year, and by the looks of things, they will hit that deadline: November 2004.
- Eric Lahiji
(September 9, 2004)