Evening Reading

By Steve Gibson, Feb 16, 2005 6:43pm PST Lets shoot for before midnight this time! Whadya say ladies?

- Why humans cooperate (sometimes)
- Intel thinks they is smart
- Goodbye George Michael
- Guys, we are in the year of mobile broadband
- Put a fork in NHL
- Young blood is good stuff

Lastly, RIPGuard is the new stuff from Hollywood

Click here to comment...

  • Long ass Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory impressions in reply:

    Thread Truncated. Click to see all 10 replies.

    • I guess I'll post some impressions of the Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Xbox demo since I ended up playing it for a couple hours today.

      Many terrorists were shot, blown up, gutted, pushed off cliffs, and sniped in the head for this information....

      I loved the first Splinter Cell, but Pandora Tomorrow felt more like an expansion pack than an actual sequel. The multiplayer was great, but the single player didn't seem like it had moved forward that much game play wise. That looks like its going to change with SCCT. Chaos Theory is being made by Ubisoft Montreal, the team responsible for the first Splinter Cell; however the multiplayer is being developed by the same team that developed the multiplayer in Pandora Tomorrow. It should be the best of both worlds, great single player, and even better multiplayer than before.

      I'll start off with the graphics; one could argue that the graphics for Chaos Theory might be the best on Xbox. Although I had seen many of the pics from the game beforehand, they really don’t do it justice, you really need to see it in motion. They look pretty damn impressive, everything has bump mapping and it’s done very realistically, When Sam gets out in the rain he gets all wet and it looks great. They re-did almost everything in the game and it shows, as well as adding rag doll physics to the death animations, which is always nice. There really isn’t much else to say, but that you will be more than impressed by what you see. I will say that I think the reason the multiplayer doesn't look as good, is because they used the same engine as Pandora Tomorrow for the Multiplayer and I haven’t played any of that so maybe someone else who has played the beta could fill that in.

      From the beginning of the demo all channels are used to full effect and it really adds to the whole atmosphere of the Splinter Cell universe. You end up in a cave with bats and you can hear them swirling around your head as well as all the dripping of water around you. It only gets better as you get out into the compound with all the rain, thunder, and lighting cracking off around you. The guns actually sound a little better this time around, I always thought they sounded a little weak, but now they have a little extra oomph to them. The new shotgun attachment sounds especially meaty when it hits a terrorist and makes them fly across the floor and the grenades are much louder. In Pandora the center channel was always a little light on my system and the voices were never loud enough. They fixed that this time around and they come through loud and clear. I'm sure some of you have heard or read about Amon Tobin's soundtrack for the game. Its not overbearing at all and only comes in when it needs to.

      Game play wise they made some pretty nice additions. I don't think this level would be the best level to judge the new non-linear nature of the game. Although, there is usually more than one way to get into a area or to take some bad guys out in the demo.
      In the last two Splinter Cells I always felt I was in danger when a terrorist got close to me and I was low on bullets or in a bad position. Not this time around, you have a nice trusty knife, and it really allows you to reach out and cut some bastards up. If some bad guy is coming towards you all you have to do is press R and their throat is slit and they're on the floor. In addition, you can use to knife to cut through thin walls or take guys out right behind a thin drape or tent. This is just one way in which you can take someone out with the knife, there is more than one animation for how you take them out, depending on your position and the position of the enemy. If you have a heart and don't want to kill them you can still press L to knock them out.

      They have added as mentioned above a shotgun attachment and it rocks. I watched some of the training videos and they also show a high powered sniper attachment that allows you to shoot enemies through walls and it looks awesome. The other major addition to the guns is the ability to put out lights temporarily with the pistol by pressing L. They also changed the whole save system, now you can save whenever you want. The AI has also been beefed up and they will search you out or call backup and if the area is dark they have flares to look around with. Sam also seems to take less damage and if your stuck out in the open you'll be dead real quick.

      In the past Splinter Cell games if you moved to another area and you hadn't hidden a body then an alarm would sound. Thankfully, they got rid of this, and now you just have to make sure you've hidden the body or killed all the guards around.

      The new moves all look really great, even though I only saw some of them in the training videos. Being able to hold onto a cliff and whistling a guy over and pulling him down off the cliff is entertaining to say the least. You can also perform a similar move while hanging onto pipes now. When a bad guy is under you, you can press A and pull them up and choke them. Chaos Theory makes Sam Fisher seem even more bad ass than before, but at the same time you don’t feel like Rambo. All in all, I have to say that Chaos Theory single player is looking pretty damn awesome, and I am even more excited to get my hands on the final copy of the game.

      Single player is great, and even though this Splinter Cell will probably have more replay ability than the last two, multiplayer is where it’s at. I haven’t played the multiplayer, but the OXM the demo came with had a huge article mainly on the co-op and it sounds awesome. There will be 4 missions where you and a buddy have to go through a single player level where you have to work together to achieve your objectives. It talks about pushing each other up on tall ledges, to even holding the others feet while lowering him down out of a duct (mission impossible style) to hack a computer. Then there’s the whole strategic element of taking guys out together and watching each other's backs. Co-op sounds like a lot of fun and I can't to play it. Then on top of the awesome single player and co-op you have the spies vs. mercs from Pandora and it has many of the same added moves you have to use in co-op along with an assortment of upgrades.

      Here's the list of multiplayer maps from OXM:


      Chemical Bunker
      New York Grand Central Station


      Missile Strike
      Deftect Below*
      River Mall*

      *from Pandora Tomorrow

      I probably left a lot of important things out; there are quite a few new features just from the demo that I didn’t mention. The OXM with the demo should be out everywhere now, and hopefully a PC demo will be coming out soon.

      Considering how good the past Splinter Cell games were and seeing how great this one is turning out to be. Chaos Theory will probably end up being one hell of a game that no gamer should be without. In the OXM article the Ubisoft Montreal team talks about how they wanted to basically beat Halo 2 and it looks like they actually might pull that off.

      Here’s a pretty good preview IGN Xbox put up last night from a almost final build (it might be insider only).


      Thank you for reading my poorly written impressions of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory!