Review by Brownsound204
"Nintendo DS goes Stealthy!"
Yep, Splinter Cell finally hit a portable system (Well, a portable system that people actually play). Our neck-breaking, terrorist-thwarting, stealthy hero, Sam Fisher has come to DS. You can now take the action with you!
Not so hot. The story isn't exactly up to standard with that of Hmm, let's say, Metal Gear Solid. But that is to be expected, this game doesn't exactly focus on a deep involving storyline.
Chaos Theory is a mission-based game. Basically, you start a mission with a few simple tasks; rescue the hostage, kill the big evil terrorist guy, etc. Of course, Sam comes across many other objectives in each of his missions, such as finding out where the terrorists are getting their weapons, scanning bar codes, etc.
Obviously, this is a game you buy for the gameplay, not the story. If you were expecting a storyline that's on par with an RPG, you WILL be disappointed.
On par with most Nintendo 64 games, at least to the naked eye. If Splinter Cell was originally released for the N64, this is probably how it would look. The shadows are kind of a problem; sometimes you don't know if you're safe in the darkness, or if you're standing out in the open.
The thermal goggles are a mess. When you have them on, barely any objects show up. Sometimes you can't tell which way Sam is standing. The Night-vision goggles are alright, graphically, they do what they are supposed to do.
The music is pretty good. It doesn't distract from the gameplay and is kind of fun to listen to. The guards have a few phrases. They get a bit repetitive because they only say things like Is someone there?! and Hey, you!. But that's okay, the quality of the voices sounds good, and they don't sound cheesy. My only complaint in the sound department is that there is no voice acting in the game. The characters talk to you through messages, which is similar to the codec from MGS. I really wish they had full voice acting, or at least for the main characters. Maybe I'm just asking for too much here ?
Ah, the most important part of a game like Splinter Cell is the gameplay. The controls are good. You use the D Pad to move, which is good, I would probably hate the game if you had to use the touch screen to move. Controls are simple and you learn them by the time you've completed your training. The touch screen is used for controlling the camera, which just feels right. You can invert the vertical and horizontal axis, so everyone is happy! The Y button is used to input commands such as interrogating guards, picking locks (which is a cool added minigame), opening/bashing doors, and hacking computers, just to name a few. You can run around, or if you hold the R button, you can sneak around a guard, grab him, and have your way with him (I hear Sam gets real lonely on these stealth missions sometimes >_>).
The shooting isn't the greatest; it's mostly just sitting in the corner till a guard comes by. Then you shoot him. In the crotch. It's just more fun that way.
The guards are very dumb. Yep, the AI sucks. Odd how a guard can hear your footsteps from about 3 meters away, yet they can't hear their friend's bloody screams for help from about 2 feet away. They also move in a set pattern and don't really stray from that pattern unless they notice you.
Using the night-vision/thermal goggles are hell, gameplay-wise. This is because of a huge slowdown. There is a HUGE lag when use these items. Very annoying and almost makes the items useless. This is the single biggest problem with the game.
Well, there are a bunch of missions, plus a training mission, so the playtime is pretty good. This game isn't that simple either. So you'll likely have to retry missions a few times. Replay value is high; you can try to challenge yourself by trying to go through the entire game without killing anyone. Not as easy as it sounds. This game should keep most people busy for 15 to 30 hours.
I had lots of fun with this game. I would recommend that you buy it if you want a stealth game for a portable system. If you don't want stealth on the go and would prefer the home experience, I recommend the Metal Gear Solid series. However, you'll need a PlayStation 2 for that.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 07/11/05
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