With its release on the LG VX8000, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory has been iterated across just about every device with a screen. Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory 3D for Verizon's V Cast seems to be a quick and dirty port of the first level of the N-Gage version. Although this level is rather lengthy and will take a few hours to complete, the ability to download additional missions would have added welcome longevity. While the game is--for the most part, anyway--technically sound, controlling Sam Fisher with the mobile keypad is a difficult task.
Chaos Theory 3D mobile starts Sam in medias res, integrating the N-Gage's tutorial level into the opening play sequence. The Lighthouse level's first few guards are easy to dispatch anyhow, as most of them spend their time staring at computer terminals with their backs to whatever door you're entering.
This game follows the plot of its N-Gage counterpart and is therefore equally bland. The important thing is that Sam Fisher still sneaks up behind people and attacks them. It's ironic that Tom Clancy, a master of counterterrorist intrigue, includes such forgettable plots in his video games. Chaos Theory's lackluster storyline, told through cinematic cutscenes, is no exception. These, predictably, involve banter between Fisher and his inveterate dispatcher, Irving Lambert. Unfortunately, as with the N-Gage edition, Michael Ironside hasn't lent his basso profundo to the mobile version of Chaos Theory 3D, so you'll have to content yourself with scrolling written dialogue.
As in the other versions of Chaos Theory, Sam is much more prone to violence than in his previous adventures. In fact you'll be employing the "Fifth Freedom" much more often this time around, which tips Chaos theory slightly more to the "action" side of stealth action. You're still encouraged to avoid direct confrontations with the enemy; you can just choose to flout the conventional wisdom on that point.
Unfortunately, Chaos Theory 3D is much more difficult to control on mobile phones than it was on the N-Gage. Every button on the keypad must be used, and you'll often find your hands in cramped quarters. The upside is that most of Sam's moves are intact; you'll just have to play thumb twister in order to execute them.
Chaos Theory 3D's mobile's graphics are a mixed bag. Its models and textures are pretty swell, since they are the same ones used in the N-Gage and DS versions of the game. Unfortunately, phones without hardware acceleration aren't great with lighting, and the quality of the game's visuals degrades in darker settings. Given the nature of this game, and its use of darkness as a major gameplay element, this technical limitation is a serious one. In most places, Chaos Theory 3D looks as good as its N-Gage forebear. Occasionally, however, a poorly lit wall will look like a coarse mosaic of pixels.
Chaos Theory 3D's audio is quite good, even if Amon Tobin's music isn't present during gameplay, aside from a short loop over the title screen. Gameplay is, however, accompanied by the excellent sound effects of the N-Gage version.
Suffice it to say, this isn't the version of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory you want to buy. While this is a mostly successful port from a technical standpoint, it lacks the control and length of its N-Gage predecessor. Fisher fans who want Chaos Theory on their phones should opt for the excellent 2D version instead.