Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory «

In my estimation (and I do this for a living, so bear with me), there are two very different types of handheld games that can be classified as “great.” The first group consists of those titles that are addictive, and can be played in quick bursts or long periods. I consider games like Tetris, Wario Ware, and Lumines. The second group are those that bring a deep, compelling console-caliber experience to a handheld — games like Zelda: Minish Cap, Fire Emblem, and Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. I wholeheartedly believe that Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory fits in perfectly with this esteemed panel.

The last Splinter Cell on N-Gage was a gussied-up port of the GBA version, but it managed to get awarded our N-Gage Game of the Year 2003. Chaos Theory is a whole new ballgame, though. It uses Gameloft’s ever-advancing 3D engine (responsible for the excellent Ghost Recon: Jungle Storm. Thus, the whole damn thing is in lush, beautiful 3D. Triple dimensions, baby.

3D Control On A 2D Pad

Dead, but still gripping his gun. What a soldier!

It controls by using the d-pad for movement, and the 2,4,6, and 8 buttons for camera control. Essentially, it’s a manual camera. If you start running towards it, it won’t adjust so it’s looking at Sam Fisher’s seat cushion. This is all slightly awkward, and needless to say you won’t be sprinting around like Sonic The Hedgehog. However, the pace of this game is deliberate and meticulous by design, so you’ll rarely feel betrayed by the system. However, it’s worth mentioning that you’ll sometimes run into inanimate objects or find that the multifunction button you hit did something other than you intended.

All of the missions are exclusive to the N-Gage Chaos Theory, but Fisher has no shortage of familiar moves. Picking locks, scaling pipes, using various goggle types, and rappelling down wire are all here. So is the split jump, though I can’t for the life of me get it to work on a consistent basis. Weapons include Sam’s trademark five-seven silenced pistol and SC-20K rifle, but there are plenty of non-lethal armaments as well.


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