Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory First Look

We get the first details on Sam Fisher's new mobile wet-work.

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Sam Fisher and mobile phones go together like sidearm and silencer. The Third Echelon's top "problem solver" has already appeared on mobile in two and a half awesome adventures through the shadowy world of covert ops (Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow 3D counts as a half), and his third jaunt through 2D worlds filled with spotlights, pools of shadow, and blissfully unaware guards looks like it will only build on the fun of the first two.

Fisher's getting older, but his mad skills are timeless.
Fisher's getting older, but his mad skills are timeless.

The world and politics of Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory have gotten even more convoluted and dangerous since the events of the last chapter, Pandora Tomorrow. It's now 2007, and the aging Sam Fisher has a new, unfamiliar war to fight. Information is the key to the plot this time, as some malefactor has developed a killer piece of code that can control stock markets, power grids, and even ballistic missiles with equal facility. There's only one programmer who understands how this nasty Trojan horse works, and it seems that he has vanished off the radar. Fisher's job is to recover the egghead before things go even more terribly wrong.

The mobile Splinter Cell games have been noted for their excellent presentation and solid 2D stealth mechanics, and it appears that Chaos Theory will be no exception to the rule. According to Gameloft, Fisher's new adventure will feature animated backgrounds, better lighting effects, and even new weapons. The new hardware will include special remote-controlled flying devices called "drones" that Fisher can control, as well as grenades and Fisher's much-discussed combat knife for making silent kills. In addition, the game's level designs will be less linear, so players will have a chance to decide how they want to tackle each challenge: violent action, acrobatic avoidance, or stealthy trickery. Innovations aside, many of the core gameplay elements from the first two games will return in Chaos Theory, like laser security sensors, background interactions, and Fisher's trusty pistol.

Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is being readied for a March 31 release date, concurrent with the PC, console, and N-Gage versions of the game. Stay tuned for more details.

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