There is only a select group of series that I guess you could consider as the "elite" series, and let me tell they are increasingly hard to come by. Today we are going to have a look at one of the newest series out there that really is making a good case of joining that list, but just needs one more game (in my opinion) to really hit that top notch status. The game is Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory and it is now the third installment of this epic stealth action game that has really taken this genre to a whole new level. Can Chaos Theory bring this series up with some of the greats? Read our full review to find out!
For the uninitiated, Splinter Cell as a series can be described, in my opinion, as a near-perfect simulation of stealth action yet, even besting the pioneer of the genre, Metal Gear Solid series. Now please don’t take me as some Splinter Cell fan boy. In fact, I must say I am not the kind of person that has a whole lot of patience with these sort of games. But being an editor I do see that the game has that distinct formula that for the first two games has just plainly worked.
So now let’s move onto Chaos Theory itself, and talk about what’s new in this game and if its worth the upgrade. Well, one of the lowest points I think the Splinter Cell series has had is its storylines which to be honest just seem to drag on a bit and lack originality. However I don’t want to really give any of this year’s story away, as it turns out to be one of strongest aspect of the game. It is now suspenseful and really seems like a movie within a game. Now I am not saying it’s as coherent as the Metal Gear Solid series and its storylines but it is really interesting and will keep you wondering throughout!
One of the most influential additions to Sam Fisher’s arsenal is the knife, which is great for dealing with your more troublesome enemies. Now most people probably wouldn’t think this would be all that big of an upgrade, but to be honest it does offer up a whole lot more to the game. The whole knife implementation was really quite significant and really enabled you to really take advantage of some of the tougher spots the game has to offer.
Another key addition to the game is that it tries to move away from linearity by enabling you to take more then one method to get through levels. Now in the game it is more accessible to try and run your way through the game, although this way in many cases is significantly harder. Even with that, it still allows more of an opportunity to do it. This may make some of the hardcore fans a little agitated but I think for the most part people should be pretty excited about the ability to really decide how you want to complete the missions. Overall the single player is by far the best out of the three and really does the best job of giving you the choice on how to carry out the missions and also combines that with a solid story line.
With all that being said when we look at the PS2 version of this game I found that the game had left many things to be desired, like the co-op mode which is only playable on split screen and not over the Internet. What this does is first off cause a lot of things to be taken off the screen and second off the game just doesn’t play overly well in the split screen view. So I think that kind of negates the whole use of the mode. The online modes of the game are also not as impressive as the Xbox version, and that’s because this mode misses out on some of the new additions in the Xbox version.
Overall when you look at the gameplay of the PS2 version you find a mode that is definitely not as refined as we would have hoped. It seems to want to do too much with the PS2 hardware and it just doesn’t seem to translate into a good gaming experience.
One thing that we have always seen from the Splinter Cell series on the PS2 is that it has never really given us much in the graphical sense. In Chaos Theory we do see some improvements to the overall look of the game, but we also see some problems as well.
First and foremost you can see the lack of detail not only in the character models but also in the environments. Also found in the game is some minor frame-rate issues which in my eyes make for a rather disappointing trait that the PS2 versions of Splinter Cell seem to have. With all of this being said the game still makes great use of shadows and with the lighting as a whole. Although it may not be able to stand up to the Xbox version visually, it still does do a good job of portraying Mr. Fisher.
When you look at the stealth genre you see one that has always been known for being very frustrating and this game definitely holds true to that. Although this version is a good deal easier then previous games, it still does take time to complete missions. With that being said I just did not have the same enjoyment on this version as I had on the other versions because of the problems that this game possessed. This game takes more patience and doesn’t offer up as exciting multiplayer as we saw on the Xbox that definitely dampens the fun factor of the game.
Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory when looked at, as a whole is just an average stealth game on the PS2. It suffers from frame rate problems and just doesn’t offer as much as we all would have hoped. If you don’t own an Xbox but still are a fan of the series, you will still enjoy this game for the PS2. Just don’t expect all the nice extras that you get form the Xbox version.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.