Stealth action at its best in ‘Chaos Theory’

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By Brian Jurilla

By Brian Jurilla

The year is 2008. The world is on the brink of World War III. Citywide blackouts, stock exchange sabotage, electronic hijacking of national defense systems; This is information warfare.

To prevent these attacks, operatives must infiltrate deep into hostile territory and aggressively collect critical intelligence, closer than ever to enemy soldiers.

You are Sam Fisher, the National Security Agency’s most elite agent in Third Echelon, a secret division in the National Security Agency sent across the world.

To achieve your mission you will kill from close range, attack with your combat knife, shoot with the prototype Land Warrior rifle, and use radical suppression techniques such as the inverted neck break.

Also take on cooperative multiplayer infiltration missions, where teamwork is the ultimate weapon. This is the story of the Ubisoft game Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory.

Gamers who are familiar to the series will know what the game is about and how to play.

Those new to the series, are informed of the game play mechanics through a set of videos on the main menu; new features to the game include the ability to save anywhere and new abilities like the use of a combat knife.

The ability to save anywhere eliminates the need for checkpoints and gone are the trial and error ways of the series for an open ended game play. You may not find yourself using the new abilities as often as you may like but they are a welcome addition to the game.

The player now has the choice to go into a mission with stealth or assault equipment.

Playing the game under stealth may allow you to get more opportunity objectives done during the mission, while going in with guns blazing may make the game difficult and make the player miss objectives. Along with going in shooting the enemy A.I.(Artificial Intelligence) is the best that any game can offer. Enemies on screen seem to have a personality. They will react to noises, broken lights that are shot out and when they find someone dead or knocked out, they will react by going for the alarm or put on armor and seem to value their lives. The new success rating at the end f each mission may have you playing over and over again to get the perfect rating in each mission.

The single player mode will keep you busy, but the multiplayer aspect of the game is what makes this game. The new Co-op mode allows you and a friend to play four missions in some of the same locals as Sam Fisher, but the design is specifically for two people.

The interaction between partners is amazing. The ability to use another to reach a platform too high to jump or to double team an enemy makes great practice for the versus mode.

The versus mode is one feature that has been carried over from the last version of the game, where you and a partner either play as spies or mercenaries. Your job as a spy (who has the third person camera perspective that is used in the story mode) is to hack onto a computer or plant a bomb while avoiding the mercenaries, while the mercenaries (who play in first person view) protect the objective and try to eliminate the spies.

Additional features are playable online which can have players stuck playing for hours against one another.

Chaos Theory is just simply amazing. The graphics are pushing the current console generation to its limits, with its real-time lighting engine and real time weather mapping makes the game realistic. The story is rooted in reality and can easily happen as you read this.

The voice work is outstanding, done by Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher and Dennis Haysbert as head of Third Echelon. This game is a must own to new and old fans of the series. With Easter eggs throughout the game and an unlockable teaser trailer to the movie, this game is entertaining beginning to end and an endless amount of online play makes it a must own.

The Xbox and PC version are the best graphically and the Gamecube version lacks online capabilities. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is available for Xbox, Playstation 2, Gamecube and PC.

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