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Tom Clancy`s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Preview for Xbox
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Tom Clancy`s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Preview for Xbox

Tom Clancy`s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory
March 2005
Xbox Live:

Tom Clancy`s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 
Thursday, December 02, 2004 

Ever since Ubi Soft unveiled the first Splinter Cell to the gaming world back in 2002, it has become one of the premiere franchises of this generation. Ubi Soft is insuring that the Splinter Cell series will be at the top of the stealth/action genre with three different gameplay modes that are sure to pack thrills in 2005 with the latest installment in the series, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Sam Fisher returns in Chaos Theory with new weapons and gadgetry as well as a few new moves at his disposal. One of the new moves that has been shown so far is that Sam can hang on a pipe from the ceiling and get an enemy into a choke hold, eventually snapping their sorry necks. The other newly introduced moves Sam can perform are: holding a terrorist at knife point (possibly for interrogation purposes), delivering a powerful blow to an enemy’s back, and pulling down an enemy by lunging forward from a lower position and throwing them to their death. With new deadly moves like these, there are surely many different ways to take down those pesky terrorists.

The weapons Sam can wield are actually the same that he has been using from the first Splinter Cell, with the exception of the newly added knife. However, in Chaos Theory players are allowed to configure the main rifle that has been the weapon of choice throughout the first two games, the SC-20K bull-pup gun. The modes that have been revealed for SC-20K are the launcher, shotgun, foregrip, and sniper modes. The launcher mode allows players to launch gadgets into other locations (such as a room under heavy guard or the corner of a hallway). The items that can be launched are sticky cameras, smoke grenades, frag grenades, flash grenades, and sticky shockers. While the foregrip mode has been revealed, we’re not exactly sure what its purpose is. We’re guessing it means that Sam can have a tighter grip on the rifle for shooting more accurately. The shotgun mode will probably appeal to players who have the ‘shoot up everything in sight’ approach, but that doesn’t seem to be the reason why Ubi Soft implemented it. Although taking a stealthy approach with a weapon is much quieter, it sometimes isn’t enough to save your sorry behind in tight situations. Players can resort to using the firepower of the shotgun mode to squeeze out of those situations that plagued the first two games. The sniper mode is useful for shooting targets more accurately as well as for zooming in on details located throughout the maps.

All of these new modes have been added for the SC-20K rifle are almost enough to count individual weapons, but Sam has one weapon that cannot be attached to his rifle, the knife. While Sam won’t be slicing tomatoes or cutting steak with his new knife, he will be using it for crucial purposes. Sam can use the knife to cut through fabric that covers the perimeter of an area. More purposes for the knife that affect the environments are to be revealed in time, but Ubi Soft has also shown what the knife can do as a lethal weapon. Sam can use the knife to stab enemies from behind or into their abdomen (brutal!). Although the knife most likely won’t fare well against three terrorists with heavy firearms, it will be useful to make quick, silent kills.

Every Splinter Cell game has been known for its amazing graphical qualities, such as lighting effects and character animation, and the third installment is no exception. Chaos Theory has been spruced up to a graphical quality that rivals graphics found in perhaps the most beautiful game of 2004, The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. New environmental effects have been added as well, such as weather and fog. The character models look much more realistic than the previous installments, so real you’ll swear you’ve seen Sam Fisher in your local food store (not unless that person is George Clooney, who actually looks like Sam). After seeing the graphics in motion it's safe to say that it’s the most amazing looking XBOX to date, and that’s saying a lot.

Although single player mode is sure to satisfy your gaming needs, Ubi Soft is putting forth the extra effort in implementing a new co-op mode in Chaos Theory. Co-op mode is very much a different way to play the game from the single player campaign. Ubi Soft has taken the word cooperation to heart and is ensuring that both players will need to work with each other in order to overcome obstacles and achieve objectives.

While Sam has more moves at his disposal in Chaos Theory, he isn’t the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve (but with that tight, black suit he wears does he even have a sleeve?). The two unnamed characters that two players can control in co-op mode have moves that are necessary to proceed through the maps. The moves that have been revealed so far are the human ladder and the human catapult. The human ladder is used to give a needed boost to your partner to climb over obstacles, such as a high wall. The human catapult is used for knocking out guards. The way to launch your partner is by getting into position and throwing your partner into the air allowing them to topple on top of a terrorist.

Beyond the new moves that you and your partner can perform, the core gameplay of Splinter Cell is still intact: stealth. If you and your partner are planning on stocking up on frag grenades and equipping the shotgun attachment to your SC-20K rifles prior to a mission expecting a picnic, expect more than just a typical shootout, expect a beat down (the same applies for the single player campaign). The A.I. is the most advanced it's ever been in the series, for the enemies are much more tactical than the usual threats found in many stealth games. They will hunt you down to the point where your usual hiding spot is no longer secure. Hiding in the shadows is still the idea in the gameplay found in Chaos Theory, so knowing when to make your move is once again crucial to avoid being mowed down by terrorists.

While both single player and co-op modes are sure to pack a plethora of fun, no other mode will stack up to the fun of the unique adversarial mode that was introduced in the second installment in the Splinter Cell series, Pandora Tomorrow. Adversarial mode is back in Chaos Theory where spies and mercs are pitted against each other for domination. The ND133s that were hacked (or taking the formula inside of the machines if you played Sabotage mode) by spies and protected by the mercs have been scrapped and replaced in favor of Scenario mode in which spies once again steal important items as well as set up explosives and trigger specific events on different maps, such as launching a missile. The mercs once again have to ensure that none of the spies objectives will be completed in order to get paid. The moves for the spies and mercs haven’t been revealed by Ubi Soft just yet, but we’re pretty sure that the moves that were included from Pandora Tomorrow can be performed in Chaos Theory.

It seems as though Chaos Theory is going to be another hit addition to the many games in the Tom Clancy line. With its improved gameplay that promises to fix all the little annoyances that have been hiding in the shadows of the first two games, Chaos Theory is coming along to be one of the most pleasurable stealth games of next year and the best Tom Clancy title ever made.

- Brian Post, " BriP1989 ", Staff Writer

Sunday, December 12, 2004

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