Review by KoolKirby
"It's a start to say the least."
Splinter Cell Chaos Theory for the Nintendo DS is very much like the console counter parts, except for a few key things, which really bring this game down. Still, if you have the cash, this could be a decent buy, especially if you get the chance to play Multiplayer with your friends. It's a good start for Ubisoft, and hopefully if they make more sequels for the DS, they can vastly improve on it.
The graphics are pretty good for a Nintendo DS game, but there are some serious frame rate issues when using the Night Vision and Thermal goggles, though you don't use them often. Also, it's hard to tell when it's a dark or bright environment, there are not any lighting effects whatsoever to be honest, so you have to look at your light bar to tell if your in a dark spot or out in the light, which is pretty annoying. And also, the effects are also pretty week, if you shoot a computer, all you see is a puff of smoke, the computer remains intact, and other effects that make this game seem a bit cheesy. Still, Sam Fisher and the environment look pretty good.
This game is a lot of fun, and it plays out a lot like the other splinter cell games. But there are some things that we are missing or wrongly executed. First thing is the enemy A.I. It's very bad in this game, If you stand still in front of the guard, the won't see you until the run into you. They just patrol, like old stealth games. None of them do anything special. They won't even be able to tell where you are shooting them from a lot of the time, as long as your in a dark corner. Then, like I said in the graphics section, it's nearly impossible to tell what's bright and what's dark without looking at the bar on the screen. It's a bit annoying. And finally, it's the camera. The camera is so bad in this game that you need to control it at all times, which is hard, because you can't use your right hand to press any buttons if your using the stylus with your right hand (or use the left buttons if your a lefty). That is very frustrating. But the game is still fun, you can still interrogate enemies, shoot them, crouch around, crawl up on poles, ziplines, and a lot of other splinter cell things, making this a very good recreation of the console versions.
Splinter Cell games are based in the near future (like 4-5 years from today), and this works very well, we still have the same technology for the most part, but the creators can get away with making games based on country conflicts, because we're not at the point in time yet. This game does not disappoint. Basically, there's a conflict between North Korea and China, and it's up to Sam to go through several missions, and settle the conflict quietly. Very good writing, and an interesting story make this game worth playing all the way through.
The music and sound effects are great, especially for a DS. All the sound effects are from the console versions, and the music is good, except kinda low quality (midi like almost). But my one major complaint is the lack of Voice Over. There is not all that much dialogue in this game, so I can't see why they couldn't hire the people from the console version to come in for maybe a 20 minute recording session each, it's not like a final fantasy game. It's just a bit annoying, but it's excusable in this case, since the DS is still in it's infant stages.
The game is fairly fun, and the production quality is good enough, but it seems like a lot of the console version was drained out of this game, when it didn't have to be (other then a few graphical things which are understandable on the DS). I hope they progress the series on the DS, and hopefully it will get better each time.
Buy or Rent: Rent
If you friend own the game, buy it, multiplayer is worth it, if not, rent it. It's not the longest game in the world.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 08/01/05
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