Sam Fisher makes sure you get your handheld stealth fix.

User Rating: 7 | Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D 3DS

A long time ago, I mentioned Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on the DS. While it was fun in parts, it didn't feel complete, and lacked things such as the actual level design and voice acting. Now we have the 3DS version, and I'm happy to report that it has improved over time.

This version is more like the home console versions of the game. Same levels, voice acting, you name it. There are only two main features that are exclusive to this version. The 3D, and the fusion goggles. I personally find the fusion goggles more useful that standard night vision. Unlike the console versions, however, there is no heat vision.

Since I don't like spoiling anything, I'll only tell you the first half of the story. A famous scientist named Bruce Morgenholt has been kidnapped by a Peruvian gang known as the 'Peoples Voice'. Your job is to save him. Sadly, once you get there he dies of electrocution from his torture. You then find out who is leading the group and why was Morgenholt tortured. The leader is named Hugo Lacerda, and he wanted a computer algorithm. Hugo doesn't want the algorithm, but the person who hired him does...

Graphically it looks great for a 3DS title. Character models, environments and lighting effects are well made and don't look out of place. Lip-syncing is spot on, as well as the dialog itself. I only found a problem when trying to focus on something, it could look very blurry and un-tidy. It doesn't just happen once either, it happens almost every time you look at something. A big issue with the game is that the controls are awkward to use. To open doors or interact with objects, a list appears at the bottom of the screen showing what you can do. Approach a door and things like open, bash and optic cable will appear. Sounds quite simple until you realize that if an enemy detects you the second you open the door, it's a pain to draw out your gun. There is no way to fix this, all you can change is the sensitivity of the aiming among other things.

Another problem is actually trying to hurt an enemy. Apparently, a lot of soldiers can absorb bullet after bullet like a sponge. It can sometimes take five or more shots to bring an enemy down. Even some headshots aren't an instant kill. Performing stealth attacks and interrogating is much easier and more fun. Not only do they feel more satisfying, but the things that some soldiers say are down right hilarious! There's even a Metal Gear Solid and a Half Life reference. You also have some grenades and wall mines to use if you want to bait an enemy or surprise them. I never really used these, mainly because they almost never work for me.

It's not all shooting and murdering of course. There are some lock picking segments which while fun, can get annoying some times, especially if you urgently need to get into a room. You have the ability to hack into certain computers, retinal scanners, and alarms. While doing this, a cube comes up. You study the cube for a second and a piece disappears, making you guess which part went missing in order to move on. Failing to complete the puzzle the first time will result in an alarm being raised. In addition to lock picking, there is a part where you use a telemetric pick to crack open a bank vault in order to steal $50,000,000. You pick the lock as usual but wait longer for the other pick to catch up. This feature is only used once.

Splinter Cell 3D is a good, if not flawed game. Things such as the controls, the enemies, and the difficulty can be frustrating, but if you can get past these things like I did, you'll find a fun alternative from the home consoles. I'd recommend it for a low price or a rent, definitely not at full price.