Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (Video Game 2005) Poster

(2005 Video Game)

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Sam Fisher...sneakin' around since 2002
BinaryCode100126 April 2005
Right now, it's pretty clear that Sam Fisher has what it takes to stand up to the likes of super-spy Solid Snake. Both have the gizmos. Both have the gadgets. And both have the charisma and lasting value of Asian monks. I have played MGS3 not too long ago, and it feels like Contra but with a stealth attitude. Nonetheless, the stealth half is the most emphasized part. In SC, Sam Fisher holds his own in a game that's strictly a stealth adventure. Don't expect to have legendary boss battles or lightning-fast game play. What you can expect is a solid, above-average stealth/action adventure that makes almost anyone who plays it feel like they can go out and really be a spy. Breakdown! GRAPHICS: As expected, SC delivers the most detailed and crisp environments ever shown off in a video game. However, I am sad to say that the PS2 version doesn't look quite as good as the Xbox and PC versions. For instance, on the Xbox/PC, night vision mode is crisp-clear and basically highlights dark areas in the game (and trust me, there will be A LOT). In the PS2 version, the night vision mode is unusually blurry and static clouds the screen as you try and find your way around the environment. I don't know why Ubisoft made this change because I don't see why the PS2 couldn't have handled the Xbox/PC versions' night vision modes. Oh, well. The damage was done. Anyway, aside from that, the graphics are still as spectacular on the PS2 version as they are on the PS2 competing consoles.

SOUND: Yes, there is music, but throughout most of the game is complete silence. This is a good thing because it would just be ridiculous if DMC3 rock music was blaring through your speakers while you were trying to sneak through a hallway. The only time actual music plays is when the mood of the environment changes. If guards are getting wise to your scent, the music will play very softly while the guards search you in the darkness. If the guards are on alert, tense music will start playing, telling you that you'd better do something before you end up as a big black stain on the floor. There are also points in the game where you can interact with the music, mainly with radios that play unusual music that can also be used to help cover your footsteps (I'll get to that in a moment). Michael Ironside and company also return for another voice-over session, and it is some of the best voice acting I have ever heard before. Sam Fisher's one liners are well written, and the script fits well with the story at hand.

game play: The boys and girls at Ubisoft know certainly well that it will take more than revolutionary graphics to make a game good. They bring back some of the old game play elements we know from the older SC titles, such as spying on secret meetings with optic cables and laser microphones, and more importantly, having the vision modes. This time, there is an additional vision mode...the EMF. The EMF certainly won't help you find your way around a dark room, but it does help point out shootable lights and objects. It also points out interactive objects such as control panels and circuit boards, not to mention computers. You can also do things like pick locks (or break them, if you're in a rush), and you can hack control panels and retinal scanners. There's also a sound masking system that measures how much environment noise there is, and how much noise you are making in the meantime. If your measurement exceeds the environmental noise level, nearby enemies can hear it, and may either investigate or not, depending on what kind of characters they are. The AI is very unique and varied. Enemies will be afraid of you if you happen to catch them off-guard. You can also shoot enemies if things get heated, but ammunition is scarce because you're not necessarily expected to have a gunfight with EVERYONE. Sam also have a complex variety of ways to take out enemies in the most exotic fashions possible, but you probably won't be needing them all, because I rarely found any times where I needed to do a wall split to surprise an enemy.

STORY: It's your typical Tom Clancy war-torn world...Sam Fisher is out to save the world again from the brink of a war. His crew, mainly his boss Lambert, his professional hacker Anna Grimsdottir, and his "Q-Labs" William Redding. That's really all that needs to be known from here. Also pay attention to the "news highlights..." it's like the stuff is actually happening! BOTTOM LINE: If you are a fan of the SC series, DEFINITELY pick this one up. If you like pure action games like Metal Gear Solid, you can still play this and have a good time. However, if you only play fast-paced action games, you probably won't enjoy this, or any of the SC games for that matter. For me, this game gets a 9.25/10.
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kick butt game
charlie787929 March 2005
I got this game today (3/29/05) and played forever. The only reason that I stopped playing was because of the parents. This game is the best Splinter Cell game. It has kick butt graphics, sound, AI, physics and more. If you are looking for a game to rival any and defeat it, get this one. The fact that there are different paths through and around most obstacles is awesome. In the first two games, which were and still are sweet, you could only go one way through a level and each time you died you had to do the same boring "stuff". Not here. The new moves and different paths are awesome. I especially love the stealthy kills with the knife or choke hold while hanging upside down. Ubisoft and Tom Clancy did a great job at creating a game sequel that is better then the rest.

P.S. "Kick butt" just doesn't do justice but it is prohibited to say what I want to say. But everyone should know what I'm trying to say.
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Our favorite member of the Third Echelon in this Third installment.
emasterslake13 November 2006
It's the summer of 2007, and tensions are running high between China, North Korea, and Japan, following Japan's formation of an Information Self Defense Force (I-SDF). Considering this to be a violation of the Post-World War Two Constitution, Chinese and North Korean forces establish a blockade in the Yellow Sea against Japanese shipping.

Sam Fisher is on yet another mission to solve this issue on the Eastern Asian Countries. And prevent a WW3 between North Korea, China, and the USA.

Throughout the game you'll experience newer stealth and attack techniques that weren't included in the first 2 installments. Including improved Thermal, Night, and a new EMP Vision. There's also new combats including both lethal and non-lethal attack on an enemy. You're able to use a Combat Knife to negotiate with an enemy instead of your trademark 5.72mm pistol. You're pistol in fact is upgraded with an Optically Channeled Potentiator which disables anything that's electronic for a short time.

The graphic again, are excellent and improved, Strong and great voice overs, the storyline is longer, you're able to save your progress and not start all over at the checkpoint, and it's probably the best Splinter Cell game yet. Highly recommended to the fans of the previous games.
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They'll never even know you were there
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews24 July 2009
This is based upon the PC version. In this third outing they take care of how pitifully poor at unarmed combat Sam was in the first two(seriously... a elbow to the head of a foe, and so weak that it takes two to knock anyone out, the second one being so slow that they'll fire off numerous rounds at you before it hits them?). Not only can you now render someone unconscious in one hit at close range from any angle, you can knife them, with the one difference being that they'll die. The blade can also be used to cut through fabric, and thus make new openings to tents and the like. You can now(due to all the new ways of taking out opponents at short range), drastically different from the ones before this, actually complete the majority of the game without firing a single round, if you please(!). For the first time in the series, you can get someone to go over a railing, in a couple of ways(my favorite? Pulling them over it, whilst hanging on it... oh yeah). That, along with hiding bodies, is made unnecessarily harder, though, by the changed, and now rather awkward, direction controls. Frankly, it usually doesn't make much of an impact, but when trying to Grab, or choose where exactly you're throwing or ditching enemies, it can get on your nerves. You can now travel through air ducts and the like. You get a few cool pieces of new equipment, such as EMF Vision, which reveals electronics, and is useful for figuring out where you can use your OCP, an attachment to your pistol, which temporarily disables cameras, lamps, etc. Speaking of things that go with your guns, the trusty SC-20K is changed around... though it still has the scope, there is now a genuine Sniper to turn it into, as well as a Shotgun, a precise one, and finally the one we know, that launches stuff. Hacking plays a bigger role here, and it's actually something you *do*, not just one click and it's done. It's not tough to get used to, and it isn't overused, I was never bored with the feature. You can now also use the ability to circumvent Retinal Scanners and Keypads, instead of coercing someone, or finding the code, respectively. The Split Jumping is the simplest and, actually, most awesome-looking of the three. Sensibility to light and sound is still the cornerstone(however, I could swear that there were times where I was in darkness and I, myself, could see Fisher, maybe it was for aesthetic reasons). There is now a Noise Meter, and while that might seem redundant, it's helpful in that it gauges how loud the surroundings already are, and thus lets you know very accurately how silent you have to be to not be heard. The graphics and animation are beefed up once again, and this has more elaborate cut-scenes, almost invariably fully rendered(one or two are in-engine), and they all relate directly to the story(apart from, like that of the original, the intro), which is very interesting and well-told, by the way. This time, especially near the end, they don't steer entirely clear of clichés, and the twists are good, if not all the way unpredictable. The Clancy fingerprint is yet again a strong positive of this, and the realism is high as a sky-scraper. This expects that you have tried the first two, and remember what happened in them. It doesn't do the "disappointing sequel" thing, nor lets up on difficulty, particularly(there are now three settings). It does spike up incredibly suddenly at some points, then again, it is mostly even. There are still faked news reports, and now, before each mission, you get a nice, detailed briefing, describing the situation, with every member of your team, and potentially ones you're working with temporarily, and you can listen to each, individually, again, if you missed anything, after which, you Load Up, where you select one of three(or only two, once or twice) configurations of what you bring along, depending on how you intend to handle it, Recommendation, Stealth, and Assault. That brings me to a very welcome new aspect to this... it actually has a reasonable amount of freedom(not as much as others, but they tried, and they succeeded as far as they went with it), as far as how you get through it. The varied objectives sometimes have more than one way to solve them(several computers, as well as people you can Interrogate, may hold the same bit of info that you are to collect, for example), and there are sometimes several ways to get to a spot. Apart from that, there are of course still many ways of getting rid of(or outright avoiding) the guards. This goes further in the streamlining of stuff that was there before in the franchise, and although one or two places, it maybe goes a little too far, it's almost exclusively a great thing. They bring back the map, and actually try to make it genuinely useful this time. It's a 3D model, and you can rotate it 360 degrees, it just has no specifications on anything, and doesn't tell you exactly where you are, it highlights that area. They were kind enough to add red squares to where your goals are, and this has the least "trying to figure out where you're supposed to go and how" of the trilogy. This can be frustrating. Sneaking is fun, as is fighting. While I haven't tried the multi-player, I can say that it sounds entertaining. There's Co-Op(two people, similar to single-player) and Versus, the latter of which has Extraction, Neutralization, Bombing, Disc Hunt Mode and Deathmatch. Music is nifty, not sure it's the same level as the predecessors. Audio is excellent, voice acting and effects alike. There's finally re-playability, with Unlockables, optional assignments and a rating system that gives a percentage readout of how well you did. I recommend this to any and all fans. 9/10
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Splinter Cell
milesyates21 April 2007
Plain and simple its a really good game. its got an awesome plot and the graphics have improved from the old splinter cell games. when i got this game and played it i was addicted i just couldn't get enough of the game. I wouldn't recommend playing co-op with someone who's never played the game before. I've tried. Usually they will just run around shooting anything and end up getting killed within the first minute or so. but the single player is terrific. If you don't have any patience i wouldn't recommend playing the game. In this game you are the shadows. YOU choose how, when, and where they die. YOU are your enemy's greatest fear. they cant stop you. at the flicker of a light your enemies will fall. how do you kill something that can't be seen? you don't.
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Great storyline and MONUMENTAL PLAYING!
Arbiter895 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The story was awesome! The playing was tense and fun! I love the new playing system! You can save whenever you want and there are 3 playable difficulties. Much better than the first 2. The graphics were great! The voice acting was spectacular. The Sound effects were also epic! Most would say I'm am exaggerating, well PLAY IT!!! You will see what I'm talking about. Sam Fisher is the baddest MAN in gaming history. The other is Master Chief of course. I recommend this to any Tom Clancy/Action /mystery/thriller and suspenseful fan! Thanks Mr. Clancy for your brain! You are by fay the best story teller in political crisis I know. 12 out of 10!!!!!
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Still one of the best stealth games around
Nikhil Hirani17 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've been playing video games for a long time and this game has always made me happy no matter how many times I play it. Let's begin shall we...

Chaos Theory begins with political tensions between both Koreas, China and Japan due to its formation of ISDF (Information Self Defense Force) which is a violation of the WWII Constitution by Japan. You return as Sam Fisher, a Third Echelon Splinter Cell agent, who has to sneak around, interrogate, find information and stop the impending war.

The story feels more like a realistic spy thriller. The story is not emotional like the Metal Gear series, but it does have its twists and turns. Players who have played the previous entries will recognise and be shocked by the actions of the returning characters. On the fun side, there are no cutscenes during missions but the interactions between Sam and his team is really humorous at times as everyone makes fun of Sam being too old for this stuff, even Sam himself. The game is filled with various easter eggs such as the previous Splinter Cell game posters, some guards talking about Prince of Persia (another game by Ubisoft), and classic Nokia phones as the computer screensavers. RIP Nokia...

The graphics and voice acting is top notch, aside from from one or two pop ups. However the cutscenes look aged even for a game this old. Michael Ironside really does Sam Fisher justice, too bad he is replaced by Eric Johnston (who is good, but pretty unrealistic as Sam is supposed to be in his late 50s and in Blacklist he looks like in his late 30s-early 40s). The soundtrack by Amon Tobin really fits the atmosphere and it feels like a noir spy movie.

Regarding the gameplay, Ubisoft really nailed it (pun intended).

+ Each mission is different and you SHOULD do the side missions, they help in making the current mission a little easier. + Aside from the light meter, the new noise meter analyses the environmental sound and also how much noise Sam makes. + The pistol this time has a portable EMP inbuilt which lets you disable lights and other electronics temporarily, a "peaceful" alternative to shooting stuff. + Detailed acrobatic movements and animations. The split jump is fun and Sam automatically stares at the nearby enemy and his sneaking movements change when really close to an enemy. + The enemies are tough. At the highest difficulty they can easily kill you with 2-3 shots. Be careful! + The Bank of Panama is my favourite mission :-) + Love the trial and error stealth mechanics. (Really do). Discovering alternate routes never gets old. + I actually liked hacking and lockpicking.

However the game does have its flaws - No reward such as new weapons or stealth techniques for doing side missions. - The noise meter is sometimes erratic. - The weapons are ridiculous! No zoom in for precise shooting for pistols and the rifle recoil is ridiculous. - The best part of the game was when I discovered REMOTE hacking in the LAST mission. I hadn't read any wikis and it wasn't even in the training videos. I guess that's my fault but it should've been mentioned in the game. I played the game again armed with this new technique (hehe)

However, the positives outweigh the negatives and I still consider this game to be one of the best stealth games ever. Full 10/10.
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Stop computer virus from starting WWIII. 72.5%
dfle316 December 2011
(Title: Splinter Cell Trilogy - remastered in HD)

Setting: Korea, Japan, U.S.

Graphics: Big step up from the first two remastered games. It impressed me almost as much as Deus Ex for the Playstation 2 on my 34 cm colour TV! It often looks terrific…like a PS3 generation game, although some of the character modelling still looks PS2 standard. The bad guys often have a sleepwalker/zombie/Cliff Young shuffle to their walk, although it slightly improves later on in the game. Very impressive visuals. Sam Fisher also looks different in the game, as you play him…he seems bigger on the screen, so there is some adjustment to the new look of the game.

Sound: Didn't notice it too much, but it is annoying how the sound you make in the game alerts the bad guys…in a silly way…e.g. if you creep to fast, e.g. a lighthouse on a stormy, windy day, the guy inside, on the ham radio will hear you! Hmm. Stuff like that.

Good about the game: * I don't usually give credit to Ubisoft, finding their games sucky in one way or another, but big plaudits to them for the way that you gave revisit any mission you've played and try and improve your % score. That gives replayability to the game. I replayed a few missions or parts of missions in order to unlock trophies and it did not affect my score in bad ways. E.g. I had one save for the very end of the game and I went redid an earlier mission to get the trophy for getting at least 80% in every mission. I did that, and when I went back to my end game save, all my later mission successes were not altered, so I got my trophy. Not sure if that cuts both ways…I'd hate to do WORSE in a replayed mission and have that show up on your save for the finale…especially if you did not save that replay.

* I actually had fun early on in the game coming to grips with the new look and feel of the game. I'd laugh if I got into trouble with the bad guys as I was adjusting to the new dynamics of the game.

* Humour is back in the game. There are some 'cute' easter eggs too, I suppose that you would call them…checker boards with 5 black and 5 red squares for each side; TV screens showing promos for the previous Splinter Cell game (the apartment mission, I think). The security firm mission has a newspaper mentioning Ubisoft! Sometimes you get a Vincent Price type voice saying "Darkness" when you endarken an area.

Bad about the game: * Has some bugs like: quickloading a game can quit the game! The game seems to save more than once sometimes when you save…either that or there is delay between you saving and the game acting on it…so that you are surprised when the game stops to save. This could potentially be very bad…as in you saving when you are in good position and the game acting on that when you are bad position…you might find yourself in an impossible spot and need to restart the entire mission again. Fortunately, this never happened to me.

* Stupid trophies! Loads of trophies for just basically playing the mission or the game. I got sucked in to a certain extent (e.g. one for getting at least 80% score for every mission) but some I just can't be bothered chasing.

* There is a new sound meter which shows how much noise you are making…it's unrealistic.

* In the apartment mission, once you reach the helicopter, the noise of that helicopter keeps going, even after you have moved across the road…and inside another building! Just annoying to hear that noise.

* The game has bodies to find. Not sure what the Hell that is all about. If there's a trophy in it, I can't be bothered with it. One body that I found was actually invisible, initially! WTF? All rather silly, really.

* Sam dying when he doesn't auto-grab edges.

Misjudgements in the game: * The BIG one: the horrible hacking mode in the game. It is utterly baffling! When I did manage to hack a computer or whatever, it felt quite random…I had no idea why it worked. You really need to be able to do this in the game. Eventually I consulted the training tutorial for this (I pretty much knew how to do everything else or could work it out myself…which is GOOD about games!) but that wasn't much help. Had to go online for the trick to hacking. It's mind numbingly simple once you know how to do it. It's just a pity that it's so incomprehensible to work it out or have useful advice in the tutorial video to help you. I actually had FUN with the game once I knew the trick to hacking…getting to actually enjoy the gameplay! How about that? For the unitiated, the hacking puzzle just overloads you with information which I found impossible to process…the number of online tips proves that the system is not intuitive…bad, in other words. Some verbal tips in the training video on what buttons to press would have helped…there were a lot of visual clues which weren't obvious…to much information to process. Useless.

General observations:

The best game of the trilogy. You can see the seeds of some of the features I hate in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed series here. Would have liked to have known why missions didn't get 100% even when I thought I did everything required. 10-20 hours worth of play over 10 missions…10 for replays once you know the drill.
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Not without its flaws but an enjoyable stealth game that stands up to the passage of time pretty well
bob the moo2 August 2011
I only played my first Splinter Cell game recently – Conviction on the Xbox360 to be precise. I enjoyed it despite the way that I could "win ugly" by blasting my way through far too much of the game if I wanted to, so when I saw a relative had a copy of Chaos Theory I borrowed it, not realising that it was for the original Xbox and not the 360. Anyway, as a result it took me a minute to get used to the game; primarily because of how it looked but also because some of the more specific controls were lost on me since the manual was for the original controller, not the one in my hands. After a short time (and some trial and error) I got to grips with more than the basics and it was then when the game-play came through the previous generation graphics.

The story is on quite a large scale and the cut scenes do help it, but there are limitations on the telling due to the age of the game and one of the things they haven't pulled off is atmosphere. I never really felt the race against time, or the scale of the situation and I did feel like I would have liked a bit more tension in the game. Anyway, playing it without that emotional buy-in was fine though. The game offers you the option of going in guns blazing but, while you might get away with that approach for part of a mission, you will be punished by the staged alarms, which mean guards put on body armour, use more powerful weapons etc. You also have a limited amount of ammo as well, which means that they are worth keeping for when you need them – not just using them from the get-go. So, the focus is very much on stealth and this aspect is really well done. It is hard to play it in a bright room but the shades of darkness are impressive even though it is previous generation. Although the action is mostly the same, there is variety in how you deal with the guards – avoid them, kill them or knock them out, hide their bodies or leave a trail behind you. Generally I found myself knocking out the guards to make missions a bit easier since I didn't have to worry about someone circling round on me when I know they're unconscious behind a desk.

Creeping in the shadows is fun and I appreciated the change of pace from games like Call of Duty etc; I also don't mind that patience is part of the game-play as well because this worked for me but these things do come with a downside. The downside for me was that I found that I had to play Chaos Theory in smaller sessions (like an hour) because I did get a little bored with the game if it was all I did for longer than that. It wasn't that it was boring per se, just that the game-play doesn't vary too much and it does rely on getting things right. As a result it is also a bit broken up and fragmented in terms of a flow (slow saves don't help either). On some levels there was forgiveness and you were able to be patient, get the feel of the room before you make your move. On other levels you learn by trial and error so it sometimes doesn't feel like you're good at the game – just that you know guy someone will come from the left because he got you last time (for example).

Although the game-play carries the fact that it has aged now, there are still some issues with this as a previous generation game. Graphically I had no issues because it still looks good – although it is quite a shock to jump from it back into a modern HD game! Audio wise things are not as good; the music in Conviction blended and built really well but in Chaos Theory it doesn't quite work as well and it is quite digital in how it comes on and goes off. It was the sound effects that bugged me a bit more though. They blend but again the limitations are clear because, although they fade, there is a very noticeable "switch off" stage to them. The best example is city noise on the New York level – on a balcony it is a great background of traffic, take one step inside a doorway and it completely stops, take a step back and there it is again. This is the same with radios and other environmental noises. The directional nature of the noise isn't great either because locating things within your headphones is hard and this aspect was a bit off as well. This aspect annoyed because playing a stealth game and being quiet means supporting noises are important, and in this I found it difficult to locate. It isn't awful though and maybe I am just accustomed to the very impressive sound design one gets with modern games.

Overall Chaos Theory remains a really enjoyable stealth game despite the limitations of its age. It got a little dull for me if I exclusively played it for any significant length of time, but this wasn't a problem. Lack of atmosphere, slow saves and fragmented game-play did hurt it for me but otherwise the stealth aspect and the freedom of opinions kept it fun and engaging. Not quite the classic some would have you believe but a good game and one that stands up well.
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The most undermined game of the year
chaffboi23 January 2006
I have recently looked through video game boards and had watched Spike TV's video game awards. Splinter Cell Chaos Theory was not even in the running for game of the year. It was used in best graphics technology and best use of sound. But it did not win in either category. Game of the Year went Resident Evil 4, which by the way is a crap game in my opinion. Other games nominated for Game of the Year and were not as good as Splinter Cell Chaos Theory were God of War, FEAR, and World of Warcraft. Jade Empire was even a favorite over Chaos Theory. Damn RPGs don't do anybody good. I just hope that Splinter Cell Double Agent (part 4) will be a much better game and will receive credit for what it will do for the gaming industry. Double Agent should and will win Game of the Year for 2006.
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not bad but worst out the series
asim34522-129 June 2008
I go this game and it is alright I guess. I just expected a bit more. The main problem with this is that the hacking is extremely hard, even if you read the instructions you can't get it. Also the graphics aren't as good as Pandora Tomorrow and Double Agent. This game could do with some improvements, it says that if guards are waling in water and you shoot a sticky shocker in the water the guard will fry up but nothing happens. In my opinion this is the worst out of the three. I haven't played the first one but have played Pandora Tomorrow, this and Double agent. This game deserves a 4/10 though. Could do with some improvements.
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