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Author Topic: [Short Take] Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory - Xbox  (Read 1308 times)
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Knightshade Dragon
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« on: March 29, 2005, 01:42:00 PM »

I'm gonna break this out like a mini-review.   Here we go...

Storyline:
I've played through all of the Splinter Cell titles multiple times - they all focused on the detection, tracking, and elimination of some baddie or another.  Chaos Theory seems (thus far) centered around information warfare, a more realistic modern battleground.  Specifically China, North Korea, and Japan are poking eachother with sticks and it is up to you to find out who is at the other end doing all the poking.  That said, you'll still be tracking down and eliminating bad guys, although sometimes they are not the primary objective.  We'll see how things progress as we move through the missions...

Controls:
The controls for Splinter Cell were pretty great to begin with.  There have been some minor changes that will modify the way you play though.  There are some new toys for Sam to play with - a snap-in sniper rifle attachment and a shotgun attachment.  As you can imagine, the shotgun is for when the chips are down and your cover is blown - not a position you should be in often, if you are patient.  Additionally, you are given a new goodie attached to your pistol.  The pistol can now be used to short out lights that you would normally have to shoot out.  Enemies will be a lot less suspicious of a burnt out light than the whisper of a silenced pistol and  broken glass on the floor.  It'll allow you to turn out the lights, sneak by, and leave no residual presence.  On the control side, you can switch from side to side to look around corners and such.  This is important as the holding the white button to 'stick' to the wall thing is gone.  What happens now is that Sam will lean in appropriately if you give him a few seconds in one position against a wall.    The real hook is the knife - you can now slit people's throat, stab them in the back, or hold them very still with the knife against their neck.  This allows you to square off against the enemy when you can't get a clean run at their back.  If you are quick enough you can surprise the enemy enough where you can knife them without so much as a peep.

I've not played co-op or multi yet so I can't comment on their controls.

Graphics:
Look at the screenshots...I can recall when that level of graphics was a cutscene.  Now the enemies are a bit more varied, they have expressions on their face (wouldn't you with a spy holding a knife to your neck?) and the environment affects the look.  Spending a good bit of time in the rain will make Sam's black suit slick and semi-shiny.  Top notch production and not a frame dropped yet...

Gameplay:
The AI is much improved in this title.  The enemies will not often wander around in the dark for you to just snap their necks.  If they hear something they may reach in a pocket and draw a gun you didn't know they had.  They may also break out with a flare to spoil your stealthy little plan.  When the heat is on they will call for reinforcements, flip over tables, or flank you.  Its pretty cool thus far, I've not seen any 'break' of the AI yet, but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

So far I'm not getting the trial-and-error, only one way, controller crushing feeling of the first two titles.  I seem to be able to finish out missions with multiple options.  You can now loadout different weapons based on stealth or assault - your choice, you can kill or incapacitate - your choice, you can inch along the walls using the shadows or find a secondary bulkhead to crawl through - again, your choice.  Guess the team got back to what we were all looking for...a game that is fun to play.

Reading the sheet I got with the title, there are 10 missions to complete in the single player game, they are expecting about 20 hours of gameplay for a first run-through.  Given that it took me around 30 minutes to beat the first mission (and its the demo mission that I've played about 10 times) I'd say that might just be right.  Adding in the co-op, 3 difficulty levels, and multiplayer should make this a new long-term resident in my Xbox tray.
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2005, 02:25:02 PM »

Thanks Ron!

Great to hear.  Although I still have no clue if I'm going Xbox or PC on this one.  I have a really nice plat panel LCD monitor on my PC with a native resolution of 1280x1024.  Depending on how the game plays at that setting on my PC will probably be the determining factor.  I wonder where I can go to find that out...

Any thoughts?

LD
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AgtFox
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2005, 02:50:13 PM »

LD...you try the SC demo out on PC?  That would probably be a good indicator of how the game might run at that resolution on your computer.
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2005, 03:01:34 PM »

Nice short take Knightshade!

Must... resist... Love the Splinter Cell series but my backlog is still suffering from last fall, heh.

Btw, the game is $36.99 at Fry's. For anyone who happens to live by one.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2005, 03:15:23 PM »

Yowza!  37 bucks?!  This is a must have at that price.   :shock:
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2005, 04:22:17 PM »

Quote from: "AgtFox"
LD...you try the SC demo out on PC?  That would probably be a good indicator of how the game might run at that resolution on your computer.


No I didn't think of doing that.  Which isn't all that surprising, as that would be the intelligent thing to do.   :?

I will now though.

LD  :wink:
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2005, 04:31:02 PM »

Quote
Reading the sheet I got with the title, there are 10 missions to complete in the single player game, they are expecting about 20 hours of gameplay for a first run-through. Given that it took me around 30 minutes to beat the first mission (and its the demo mission that I've played about 10 times) I'd say that might just be right.


Hmmm, the Gamespot review said 10 hours...
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2005, 04:42:43 PM »

I'm hearing 10 and 20 so we can probably split the difference and say 15.  Still, when all of those hours are good I don't mind.  Its the games that are 25 hours and 5 of them are good that suck...

Either way, I'll cover it in the value/replay value of the review after I get more game time in.
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2005, 05:01:12 PM »

Thanks for the writeup.  I've got mine prepaid and will be cruising by Gamestop after work to snag it.  I liked Pandora a lot but was bummed by having to figure out how the devs wanted me to solve a level.  All the improvements sound great.
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rrmorton
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2005, 06:13:34 PM »

Loved (and finished) the first Splinter Cell but, man, I still haven't even booted up Pandora Tomorrow which I purchased on release day. I should really hold off on Chaos Theory but I'm weak, weak I tell you!
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ElijahPrice
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2005, 07:04:21 PM »

Nice review.  Hope to see some co-op insiders soon... biggrin

Do you think this would appease those that had trouble wit the stealthiness of the previous two?  Sounds a bit re-invented?
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2005, 07:17:14 PM »

Well, you can select an Assault loadout and gun folks down, but in the second mission alone there are something like 36 guys around.  That can get hairy quickly...
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Ron Burke
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2005, 08:02:56 PM »

I`m also on the 2nd mission,and while I liked the 1st  2 games(yet understood what others didn`t like) this one is WAY better,and just lots of fun.
 Very good graphics(probably best on a console), no kidding about the rain on sam`s suit :shock: , crazy amounts of detail in pretty much everything this game has to offer.
 The physics are alot better too, they behave realistically and are convincing.
 I gave the co-op a quick run last night, but I only did the training since there`s so much other stuff in the game to check out.
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