“What, no training level?”
That was my initial impression of this game. Both previous incarnations had training levels, where you could try out all the new moves and such, before you got into the game. Splinter Cell: Choas Theory (from now called CT for short), only has training videos. This makes new features, such as hacking, very hard to learn. I only fully understood all the things you could do with hacking on the last mission of the game, where I thought I got stuck. The first mission, was fairly hard compaired to the first missions of the other two, although the first few mission are very easy compaired to the later ones. I think it would’ve been better to have given a very thorough training level (as a prerequesit, like America’s Army), and then go straight into the action. Graphics wise, this game is stunning, intense shadows, realistic shading and reflections, and excellent lighting. However, the almost constant need for night-vision to be turned on did kill most of the atmostpheric effects.
Surprisingly, there are very few additions on the weapons front. The main addition is the shotgun attachment to the main SK-20 assult rifle. Before you ask, no it’s not silenced. Also, you now get a choice of weaponary to use. you get either Stealth, Assult, or Sam’s Recommended which falls between the two. The Stealth kit gives you more incapacitating weapons, such as airfoil rounds and sticky shockers, the Assult kit give you triple the ammuition of the Stealth kit, frag grenades, and the shotgun attachment. Sam’s Recommended falls in between the two, although it doesn’t have the shotgun attachment. The basic functionality, and physics of the weapons are very similar to the previous two games, and you should be very familar with them if you’ve played either before.
Here you can see where a lot of the work spent on this game went into. The graphics are, quite simply, superb. Some of the effects rival Half Life 2’s, such as the character facial movements and expressions. Apart from that, I don’t have much else to say, it’s very similar to Pandora Tomorrow, which was very similar to the original Splinter Cell.
I hated the story line to Pandora Tomorrow, and the ending of it was even worse. Thankfully, the story line to CT is much better. Theres more tension, suspense, and some good jokes thrown in too. The ending is only marginally better however, and could be much longer. There also isn’t enough character development in this game as I had expected, infact, you learn hardly anything new about them since the first game. Those flaws aside, this game did keep me gripped until the end.
The concept behind this game, and the gameplay is still one of the best in the industry. I think I prefer this third person shooter to FPS, the stealth based nature of it makes it very gripping. Every corner might lead to another problem, and fooling your enemy through tricks and moves is a lot of fun, and highly addictive. I recommended this game to anyone following the Splinter Cell series, and to anyone who usually plays FPS, to try this stealth based TPS.