Review by idiotman7
"What are those three green dots over there?"
That is what I say when ever an enemy comes near me, and doesn't notice it. Stupid, but that's just something I always pondered and wanted to get off my chest. I can honestly say that personally, I have never really played a Splinter Cell game all the way through like this. I have the first one on X-Box, but never got into it. But one day, after seeing this in Best Buy, I said why not? And I tell you, it was a complete and utter needed break for me and my DS. Mario and Kirby can only last you so long.
Splinter Cell is probably the most highly recognized Stealth games of all time. Sure Metal Gear Solid might have been there first, but Splinter Cell shines in making gamers feel like an actual threat to the world. Plus, it has the Tom Clancy name on it, and almost anything with his name on it, except for that damn Sum of all Fears and Ghost Recon Summit Strike, have been instant hits. But this is really the first handheld Tom Clancy game, that I have enjoyed.
Chaos Theory of course was taken from the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox versions, but it is still marvelous. The game starts Sam Fisher at a remote island, with a lot of underground caves. You must make your way through the caves, and find a scientist, that was kidnapped for his info. Not to give too much away, but after finding him, your story really starts to pick up. You go to numerous spots all over the world, including Florida and China. The only thing wrong is that this game is a little short. You go threw I think ten levels, but they all take an hour or two to finish, so if you like to take you time, or are trying to be extremely careful, this game will last a while.
The only fault though, is that once you beat Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, there is next to no replay value. When you beat it, it's done, there is really nothing more to go back and play. After beating it, I may have picked it up occasionally, just to go through the game again and do something more realistic than Mario Kart, but most gamers won't feel the need to go back.
Chaos Theory did one thing very good for me though, it's the first actual game for the DS, which lets me use the bottom screen, that isn't a cell shaded cartoon. The way that this game, uses the shadows to such lengths, is amazing. I was so happy that, in past games, when it says they cant see you, they really can't see you. Sam Fisher has all sorts of gadgets and skills to finish off his enemy's. With the touch of the screen, you can shoot them with a stun charge, or drop down from the ceiling to knock them out.
I also found that this game runs very smoothly, unlike some other DS games. You have full control over the night vision, and thermal. And you also have a very easy button lay out, I rarely got confused. The one draw back is that some times the AI does get a little um, cheat like. As you will be maybe ten feet from them, but they will still feel you bump into them. It's weird that they don't see your goggles, but they can feel your knees on them from across the room.
But, your enemies seeing you isn't the only danger that you will have, making too much noise will also attract a lot of unwanted attention. I think that the way sound was used in this game was awesome. Unlike in Mario and Kirby, you need the sound on in this game. If you don't, then you won't know how much sound you make. The more sound you make, the more likely you will get caught. If you step to loudly on a piece of paper, the guards might take notice, and go investigate. Even though the AI are cheap, they can be pretty smart. Luckily though, if your in the shadows, they might, emphasis on the word might, not see you. Running will cause lots of noise, while crawling or kneeling will be silent, for the most part.
There wasn't a lot of music in this game, but that's because it requires you to think. When enemies see you, the music gets a little deeper, letting you know to get out, which helps a lot. I wasn't incredibly upset with the lack of music either. If there was some loud rock and roll rap techno beat to everything, you will never know how much noise you're making, and it will make you become antsy and nervous.
Graphically, Chaos Theory gave gamers a lot of different emotions. I personally really liked them. I thought for the DS, that they were, not perfect by any means, but for such an early launch for the game, they were very detailed. The realism of the game really helped through some of the missions and made for a wonderful experience. A lot of people were upset with them though. I think it was a lot better than the regular, Mario cartoon stuff. The real big problem I had is that, in some parts, the graphics seemed a little, fuzzier than most and made it kind of difficult to see, especially in night vision.
All in all though, this game is a perfect break from the normal Save the Princess or Turn Based strategy game. Spectacular stealth gameplay, realistic graphics, and the brilliant use of sound really made Splinter Cell one of the better games out right now. I would say buy the game. I don't really know how many of you can actually rent DS games, but after you buy this game, you will not be disappointed. I really enjoyed it, even though some people would disagree. And for all of you multi player people, yes, there is multi player.
While Chaos Theory may not last you longer than 7 to 9 hours, it certainly isn't a game to push aside on the shelf. I wouldn't pay the forty dollar price tag that I have at some stores, but if you can find it used for twenty dollars or something, then it's a great game to pick up.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/03/05, Updated 03/06/06
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