Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell 3D
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
No, Splinter Cell 3D isn’t a brand new game featuring the most incredible spy in the video game industry (sorry Mr Bond). No, it’s actually a port of the 2005, critically-acclaimed, Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Why Chaos Theory and not the first Splinter Cell? Or even an original storyline? Only Ubisoft Montréal knows the answer to that. Still, seeing Sam Fisher’s third adventure among a list of rather disappointing 3DS titles can only be a positive thing for the hardcore gamer who’s looking for something else to do other than deal with rage-quitters on Street Fighter IV. But is it worth the $40 price tag?
For those who have never played Chaos Theory, the story takes place in 2007. Fisher is tasked with finding a computer genius who’s gone missing. North Korea, South Korea, Japan and China are all in turmoil and this guy carries precious intel connected to the Asian feud. Of course, Fisher won’t have just that single mission to deal with though, as typical for these sorts of games, there will be more threads uncovered as he proceeds. The thing that bothers me the most with Splinter Cell 3D is that it takes a story that has some connections with the original Splinter Cell and Pandora Tomorrow games. It’s not required to have played those two titles to fully enjoy this one on your 3DS, but I wonder if my aforementioned idea of an original game wouldn’t have been better choice. A small continuation of the Conviction storyline maybe? Perhaps next time. My complaint is minimal though, so don’t go expecting a subpar campaign if you never played a Splinter Cell game before. Splinter Cell’s marquee storytelling and presentation was kept, making it a great experience to be had. However, I’m not talking about the greatest Splinter Cell game ever made either.
It should be noted that obvious cuts needed to be made by Ubisoft to make Chaos Theory possible on the 3DS, like the co-op storyline and the online multiplayer adversarial modes. I would have appreciated some kind of multiplayer offering, but since we’re talking about a port and not a remake...I can’t say I’m surprised to see it MIA. However, something I understand less is the removal of the load-outs before the beginning of each mission and the quick-save option (now you have to wait to cross paths with a a floating Third Echelon icon). No sign of a thermal sights option either but thankfully, the night vision goggles and the EEV binoculars are being featured as well as most of Fisher’s other gadgets like the sticky shocker, wall mines and grenades. The graphics were obviously downgraded and even though the game remains decent, the differences between light and dark environments is hard to define. Turning off the lights by shooting light bulbs or turning off switches is effective but most of the time, your attention will need to be on both the light and noise meters located at the top of the screen to avoid any unwanted confrontations. Its not like the A.I is the most intelligent batch of foes anyways...which is sad and laughable, by the way. I don’t remember it being that dumb back during the Xbox version’s tour of duty.
While it may sound like Ubisoft was able to bring back Chaos Theory simply cutting some things out, I can’t say that was 100% the case. The cinematics, the Amon Tobin/Jesper Kyd music, sound effects and amazing voice-over work was brought over and Conviction’s “projection” technique - which sees key plots and mission objectives onto walls - was implemented into the game as well. The controls, despite requiring a few minutes to get used to, were also well adapted to the 3DS. Move Sam with the circle pad, control the camera with the face buttons and access his weapons, gadgets and interactions on the touch screen with simple thumb taps. Attacks are tied to the shoulder triggers. It feels the closest thing to a real controller as a handheld can get.
The 3D effect is noticeable and well-delivered in most levels, but I didn’t spend much time in that viewing mode. Not because it was ugly or uncomfortable to the eyes, but more because I was constantly checking the touch screen to see which weapons and/or gadgets I would use for my next tactic. And it’s a known fact that once your eyes pop off the top-screen, the 3D effect fades away. The camera movements also made the view become blurry on occasion, but I’ve seen worse issues in other games.
Fans of the series will be happy to play one of the best Splinter Cell games ever created on their 3DS, but the console-to-handheld trade-off will make some players question a possible $40 purchase. If this 3DS entry doesn’t float your boat, a little patience will go a long way as waiting until June and investing the same amount of money on the PS3 compilation - which includes Chaos Theory and the original Splinter Cell and Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow. That’s of course, if you have a Playstation 3 at home.
+ Quite faithful port work
+ 3D works well
- Hard to differentiate the light and dark environments
- Missing features
- Dumb A.I.
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Release Date : 2011/04/12
System : Nintendo 3DS
Publisher : Ubisoft
Developer : Ubisoft Montreal
Category : Action
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10