|Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory|
|Engine||Unreal Engine 2.5|
Sony PlayStation 2
Sony PlayStation 3
|Release date||March 28, 2005|
- "I am a soldier. I've served my country for twenty years. But if I'm captured or killed, I know that nobody will come to rescue me. I won't even get a funeral. Because the nation I protect can never admit that I exist. So my death would go unremarked, my bones would go uncleaned. I don't know if that day will come... but I do know that it must not be today. I am invisible. I am relentless. I am Sam Fisher. I am... a Splinter Cell."
- ― Sam Fisher in a trailer for Chaos Theory.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is the third game in the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell series of video games developed and published by Ubisoft as well as endorsed by American author Tom Clancy. The story of Chaos Theory is a recurrence to the first Splinter Cell game and its information warfare theme. This is the first game in the series to be rated M (for mature).
In 2007 China and North Korea are unhappy with Japan's new Information Self-Defense Force as they believe it violates Article 9 of the post World War II constitution (there is a news report about the I-SDF in a cutscene in Pandora Tomorrow), which restricts Japan from possessing any armed military force capable of striking outside its own borders. China and North Korea set up a blockade in the Yellow Sea and the United States is forced to respond, as per their agreement with Japan following World War II. They send their most advanced ship, the USS Clarence E. Walsh, into the Yellow Sea hoping China and North Korea will back down.
Somewhere off the coast of PeruEdit
Sam Fisher is dispatched to a lighthouse off the coast of Peru. He infiltrates via zodiac to find and rescue a computer programmer - Bruce Morgenholt - who has been captured by a Peruvian revolutionary group known as 'The People's Voice', led by Hugo Lacerda. It is revealed that Morgenholt was kidnapped by Lacerda so his knowledge of Philip Masse's information warfare algorithms could be obtained. Sam discovers that Lacerda was hired by a third party for the kidnapping and his group have been paid in advanced weaponry and equipment, beyond that of usual terrorists. When Fisher locates Morgenholt it is too late, as he discovers he has been tortured to death by Lacerda's thugs. Fisher is also sent to assassinate Lacerda as a target of opportunity. While on site Fisher locates the information that was extracted from Morgenholt concerning the Masse Kernels and the team promptly has it deleted. Sam then learns after interrogating a guard that Lacerda has left the area aboard a ship called the Maria Narcissa, which has suspected involvement in illegal arms trade. Extracting from the top of the lighthouse, Fisher quickly regroups as he and his support team move to intercept the Maria Narcissa out at sea.
Maria Narcissa, Pacific OceanEditAfter leaving the lighthouse, Sam sneaks aboard the Maria Narcissa to assassinate Hugo Lacerda. He locates more of the weapons crates, which William Redding suspects may being used to pay off Lacerda's debts to other organisations. Fisher is ordered to place tracking devices on them, in an attempt to uncover any network of terrorists. He then moves to scan the bill of lading on the shipment of arms that he discovers is on board the ship. Third Echelon tracks the shipment to a bank in Panama. He later delves deeper into the vessel to locate and finally assassinate Lacerda, who is protected by a pair of unidentified mercenaries. After completing his objectives, Sam extracts the vessel via a lifeboat.
MCAS Banco De Panama, PanamaEditSam is immediately sent to Panama to track down the lead that was uncovered on the Maria Narcissa. As it turns out, this is the second time that Fisher has been at this particular bank, as he was part of a CIA team that raided the bank for Noriega's drug money in 1989. In order to disguise the true intent of the "job", Fisher is instructed to rob the bank as well as retrieving any critical information regarding the Masse Kernels. Third Echelon acquires the help of a man who "specializes" in cracking bank vaults, named Thomas "Turtle" Standish, to assist Fisher in cracking the bank's vault. While in the bank Sam discovers that Abrahim Zherkezhi, who was Morgenholt's partner when deciphering the Masse Kernels, is involved in the plot. He also uploads several fake emails to various computers on site to make the robbery look like an inside job. Once inside the bank, Sam successfully enters the vault to look for more traces of the Masse Kernels. After retrieving info from the vault computer, Echelon discovers a 512-bit encryption with connections to an unknown person named Dvorak. Sam then steals $50,000,000 worth of French government bonds, successfully covering the intelligence operation with a guise of a bank robbery. After exfiltrating over the bank wall, he then returns to the NSA for debriefing.
New York City, New YorkEdit
Japan and the Eastern Seaboard suddenly witness a simultaneously black out. Though the source and reasons for it are unclear, Third Echelon immediately recognises it as an information warfare attack. Shortly after, the I-SDF sends a message to Third Echelon indicating their suspicion that China and North Korea might be responsible for the black outs. After discovering his involvement in Panama, Irving Lambert orders Sam to head to Abrahim Zherkezhi's penthouse in New York City to investigate a possible lead on the black outs. Sam sneaks past numerous men of the National Guard, who have been deployed to maintain stability in the area during the blackout, and infiltrates the penthouse, only to find it heavily guarded by the same mercenaries who defended Lacerda. Upon interrogation of a guard, Sam learns that the mercenaries are in fact employees of Displace International - a private military corporation run by Douglas Shetland, an old time friend and brother-in-arms of Sam. The guard also informs Fisher that they were assigned by Displace's Director of VIP Protection Milan Nedich.
As he moves through the penthouse Fisher taps the security cameras spread around the area. Arriving at another worn-down apartment joined to the penthouse across a roof, Sam discovers that 'Dvorak' is in fact an infinite state machine that is maintained by a peculiar elderly man. An output stack from Dvorak reveals that the Masse Kernels were being run recursively through Dvorak in order to incrementally increase the algorithm's accuracy.
With these new leads, Sam is sent to infiltrate Displace International in an attempt to determine if they are working in conjunction with Zherkezhi or if he's acting alone.
Displace International, New YorkEditSam infiltrates Displace International to understand the true intentions of the company and more specifically, those of Milan Nedich. Lambert orders Sam to not kill anyone as Displace International has many very substantial private security contracts with the Pentagon around the globe. In order to retrieve the critical information necessary, Sam has to access Displace's mainframe supercomputer deep in Displace's offices. After dropping into the main server room, the support team attempts to access the information only to find that a Displace employee has already deleted all traces of compromising information from this computer. The login-alias points to M. Nedich - who is revealed to be Milan Nedich. Lambert states that Sam should check his office on the upper floor of the building for further information.
As Sam retreats from the server room, the black out ends and power is restored. En route to Nedich's office Sam overhears a conversation that uncovers Milan Nedich to be Milos Nowak, also known as "the Bosnian Barber", who was a Bosnian War criminal. Sam then breaks into Nedich's office where information on his computer reveals Zherkhezi is being hidden at a safehouse in Hokkaido, Japan. Sam extracts with the information through the fire exit.
Hokkaido IslandEditAs Sam drinks in a hotel bar, Doug Shetland arrives and offers Sam a job with Displace. After refusing his offer, the two have a brief conversation regarding Nedich. Sam advises Shetland to cut loose his dirty employee, but Shetland says he cannot do so. He suggests that if Sam has any evidence against Nedich to bring it to him and he will help bring him in, but he won't send his employee up the river just because Sam 'says so'. As the two are talking, a live World News Media (WNM) report shows the USS Walsh, currently stationed in the Yellow Sea to ease tensions between Japan and the countries blockading it, is hit and destroyed by a North Korean anti-ship missile.
Following on from this, Sam embarks on a mission to infiltrate the hideout that Abrahim Zherkhezi is being held at in order to kidnap him and assassinate Nedich. Sam locates Nedich, who confesses that Shetland is in fact, the mastermind behind the operation. He assassinates Nedich and then begins to prepare to kidnap Zherkhezi from the area when Shetland arrives. Shetland murders Zherkhezi in cold blood to prevent any information on the situation being leaked. Sam takes chase in an attempt to catch Shetland but fails, causing Shetland to go underground and drop off Third Echelon's radar.
North Korea/South KoreaEditAlthough capturing Shetland seems to be the logical course to discover the truth behind the incident, there is urgent need to dispel tensions in the region after the sinking of the USS Walsh. If a war erupts, it will see the United States along with Japan and South Korea engaging North Korea, who would be actively supported by China and elements of the old Soviet Union. A conflict of such a scale would erupt into World War III, so Third Echelon quickly inserts Fisher into a missile battery located in North Korea, which was responsible for firing the missile that sank the USS Walsh. Sam infiltrates the battery and discovers that attack was intentionally launched, but not by North Korea. Sam then taps into the launcher's system BIOS where Grim and the team manage to trace the attack no further than Seoul, South Korea. Before leaving, North Korea declares war and invades South Korea along the demilitarized zone (DMZ), in a pre-emptive strike, due to a now paranoid North Korean leadership. Another missile is launched from the battery and Sam scrambles to disable it before it hits another US target, the USS Ronald Reagan.
After Sam finished disabling the missile, he exfiltrates the battery and quickly deploys to Seoul, South Korea's capital, in order to trace the true source of the attack. He makes his way through the war ravaged city, finally arriving at the South Korean data trunk where the information is stored and retrieves the relevant files. Sam then heads to the roof and uploads the data to a passing EA-6B Prowler jet via secured encrypted point-to-point laser transmission. He completes the uploading but the jet is shot down by a surface-to-air missile. To ensure that the data does not fall into North Korean hands, Sam is required to move to the crash site to laser designate the wreckage for an US Air Force F-117A Nighthawk's airstrike. Before doing so, Sam safely moves the unconscious pilots to safety. He finally extracts from Seoul via UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Douglas Shetland finally reappears on Third Echelon's radar in Japan. He is located at a bathhouse owned by a criminal organization known as the 'Red Nishin' and it is suspected that he is meeting with someone important in order for him to risk breaking his cover. In order to discover who exactly he is meeting and exactly what he is doing with the Masse Kernels, Fisher must infiltrate on site. Frances Coen, Sam's old field runner, asks if Sam can tap the phone lines in and around the bathhouse, as she's been trying to gain access to the location for months.
As Sam moves through the establishment he discovers that Shetland's men have converged on the area like a flashmob, with individual objectives and each singular soldier having no knowledge of the overall operation. To discover who Shetland is meeting with, Sam must access the owners records. Fisher discovers that Shetland is apparently meeting at the back of the bathhouse with members of the Red Nishin. He also sees a pair of I-SDF assault soldiers, whose presence raises people's curiosity, seeing as both the I-SDF and Third Echelon were supposedly working together. Upon interrogation, one of the I-SDF soldiers reveals he is working for a bureaucrat name Kaneda. Lambert suspects that the Red Nishin may have sold Shetland out to the I-SDF.
Working his way to the appointed meeting place, Fisher hides in a vent overlooking the steam room and uses the microphone to pick up on the conversation between Douglas Shetland and Kaneda. Surprising everyone it is revealed that Otomo and the I-SDF are Shetland's partners and are there to meet with him, not take him down. It is Kaneda's intention to purchase the information warfare algorithms from Shetland, but not his intention to pay for them. A gunfight breaks out, with Shetland fleeing as the only remaining survivor. Sam is forced to track down Shetland through a gunfight between Displace and the I-SDF. To cover his tracks, Shetland sets timed bombs for Sam to disarm before the entire place explodes. Sam successfully disables all the bombs before confronting with Shetland above the roof. A Mexican standoff ensues, with Shetland explaining his 'Chaos Theory'. He explains that throughout his life as a soldier nothing has changed. He empathises with Sam that the idealised America of freedom and liberty, which they as soldiers believe in and have shed their blood for, is long gone. All that is left is nothing more than a "sick old lady who should have died a long time ago". One who is only kept alive by the "life support of whispered backroom deals". It was Shetlands intention to instigate World War in an attempt to usurp the U.S. as the world's superpower and hope that whatever came out the other side was a better existence. As Shetland explains this to Sam he instils in him the values of "Honour, Courage and Fidelity" and explains that he knows Fisher "understands these things more than any government". Shetland says that because of these values, Fisher won't shoot his old friend and comrade. Sam lowers his weapon and Shetland takes it as an opportunity to get the drop on Fisher. Sam quickly prevents the attack, stabbing Shetland in the stomach and launching him through a window where he falls into the water.
Kokubo Sosho, JapanEditSam's final task is to stop Admiral Otomo from using the Masse Kernels that he acquired from Shetland. Sam infiltrates the I-SDF headquarters in Japan. He makes his way into the building before finding US hostages, he rescues them before going to find Admiral Otomo. Sam enters an area of the building where top secret meetings are held, in which Sam enters a vent to pick up the meeting through his microphone. There it is revealed that Otomo is forcing the J-SDF to repeal the post-war constitution. When the generals to send special forces to eliminate Otomo, which are killed, Otomo proceeds to use the Chaos Theory algorithms to force-launch a North Korean ballistic missile at a Japanese city to force the Japanese public into re-militarisation. After the meeting was finished, the G-SDF sent an assault team in attempt to stop Otomo, but wiped out by I-SDF assault troops. Shortly after this, Otomo claimed the J-SDF "fool" and he initiate the launch. Lambert gives Sam the Fifth Freedom to stop Admiral Otomo. Lambert also orders Sam to bring Otomo in alive, that he may admit his responsibility in attempting to start war between the US and the Korea. If it is revealed that the crisis is the work of a rogue Japanese officer instead of any country, all governments involved will stand down and the crisis will end. Sam enters an elevator where it takes him deep within the building to an underwater area. He then makes his way to destroy the servers containing the algorithms and destory them before North Korean missile can be launched by Admiral Otomo. Sam then evaded all the I-SDF guards before finally making it into Admiral Otomo's office. Instead of giving up, Admiral Otomo performs seppuku but Fisher saves his life. They extract through the ocean via blowing up the window.
As Admiral Otomo stands trial before the United Nations, the President makes a speech thanking Third Echelon, though of course he does not use the name, referring to them only as the "unsung heroes of the intelligence community", The Third Echelon team appreciates the thanks, well aware that this is the fullest extent of public acknowledgment of their work that they can and will ever receive.
Engine and gameplay mechanicsEdit
The graphics in Chaos Theory introduce a variety of improvements, from the addition of normal mapping, and HDR lighting, to parallax mapping. Also, using goggles is more realistic as it makes the screen look like a lens, including distortion at the edges. In previous games, it would simply apply the effect without the lens or the edge distortion. The game also features a number of significant upgrades to the series' basic gameplay. Chaos Theory is even the first game in the Splinter Cell series to use ragdoll physics.
Chaos Theory features refined stealth mechanics. In addition to the standard stealth meter, the game also includes an aural monitor that accurately measures the noise that Sam makes, along with the ambient noise of the environment. It is important for Sam to generate less noise than his surroundings; otherwise, the enemy guards may hear him.
The AI detection has been altered as well. In former instalments, after Sam left a certain area, the game would sweep the previous area for any bodies in a well-lit spot. If any were found, an alarm would be triggered. In Chaos Theory, the bodies have to be discovered by a patrolling guard (or an active surveillance camera) in order to trigger an alarm. This allows Fisher to leave corpses in lighted areas as long as he has shut down any security systems which might detect bodies.
Being spotted by enemies will still trigger alarms, thus causing enemies to become more alert and combat-ready (such as causing them to wear ballistic vests and helmets). However, triggering too many alarms will no longer cause the game to end automatically. Even killing civilians or friendly soldiers won't cause Fisher to fail the mission, although doing so will cause Fisher to be seriously chastised by his superior, and cost him significantly in his mission score as well as canceling certain mission objectives, such as tapping phone lines and locating covert listening devices.
Close quarters combatEdit
Chaos Theory adds a combat knife to Sam's close-quarters combat abilities. Sam can use the knife in multiple ways, such as threatening an enemy during an interrogation, or killing an enemy in close-quarters combat. Also, it no longer matters what direction Sam attacks from when using melee attacks, nor does it matter if enemies are aware of his presence, as opposed to earlier games in the series where he had to attack from behind and the enemy could not be alerted to him in order to take them down in one hit. He also has the option of using lethal or non-lethal force in close quarters combat or when holding an enemy. As an expansion on Sam's ability to shoot while hanging upside down, he can choke or break the necks of enemies below him. He also has the ability to pull people over railings while hanging off a ledge and throw bodies off of cliffs or over railings, even onto other guards. However, the ability to shoot around corners has been removed, although this is balanced by being able to switch the side of Sam's body the gun is on while in a firing position.
Enemy artificial intelligence (AI) has been improved, with enemies taking cover, leaning around corners, and using squad-based tactics. As in Pandora Tomorrow and the original Splinter Cell, enemies will also react to changes in the environment; if a light switch is turned off, an enemy may become concerned, more so if the light is shot out. However, this behavior has been enhanced so that enemies may even become so frightened and start firing wildly into shadows, or throw a flare onto the ground next to them, making it difficult to sneak up on them.
They will also open fire on Fisher if they walk into him, or if he is seen in the light. They will fire a large amount of rounds at his last known location, so if detected, the player is advised to reposition themselves and attempt to sneak past or eliminate the enemy.
- Lighthouse - Coast of Peru, 23rd June 2007
- Maria Narcissa - Pacific Ocean, 24th June 2007
- Panamanian Bank - Panama, 28th June 2007
- Penthouse - New York City, New York, 30th June 2007
- Displace - New York, 30th June 2007
- Hokkaido Island - Japan, 4th July 2007
- Battery - North Korea, 6th July 2007
- Seoul - South Korea, 8th July 2007
- Bathhouse - Shinjuku District, Japan, 10th July 2007
- Kokubo Sosho - Japan, 11th July 2007
- Training Facility - Third Echelon Training Facility, Fort Meade, Maryland, USA
- Panama Bank - Panama Canal Administration Building, Panama, 28th June 2007
- Seoul - Seoul, South Korea, 8th July 2007
- Chemical Bunker - North Korea, 12th October 2007
- Train Station - New York City, USA, 18th October 2007
- Nuclear Power Plant - North Korea, 18th-31st October 2007
- United Nations Headquarters - New York City, USA, 31st October 2007
SHADOWNET vs. ARGUS PMCEdit
- SHADOWNET Training Facility
- ARGUS Private Military Corporation, ARGUS Training Facility
- Aquarius Marine Center and Oceangraphical Museum, France, 11 March 2008, 9:58 PM
- 19th Century Factory, Mannheim, Germany, 10 March 2008, 3:41 PM
- Cinema, USA, 19 April 2006
- The Club, Hokkaido, Japan, 10 March 2008, 11:20 PM
- Saint-Elizabeth Orphanage, near Glasgow, Scotland, 8 February 2008, 8:20 PM
- Missile silo, North Korea, 10 March 2008, 9:32 AM
- Railroad Depot, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, 10 March 2008, 3:20 AM
- Vertigo Plaza, Virginia, USA, 19 April 2006
- Krauser Labs, USA, 19 April 2006
- Temple Mount Hospital, USA, 19 April 2006
- Schermerhorn Waste Management, New York, New York, 19 April 2006
- San Franscisco Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), San Fransisco, California, USA, 11 March 2008, 9:32 PM
- DefTech-Belew Research Center, 19 April 2006, 9:32 PM
- Nritix Warehouse, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, 19 April 2006, 19:32 PM
- Regional Reserve Bank, Tenth District, Kansas City, Kansas, April 19, 2008, 8:32 PM.
- River Mall Shopping Center, Tucson Arizona, 19 April 2006, 19:32
Ubisoft Montreal returned to develop the third title in the franchise. In doing so, they used a modified Unreal Engine 2.5 to create a more detailed game. From the point where when it rains, Sam becomes wet. They also added Co-Op storyline that works side by side with the main campaign. Michael Ironside returns as Sam Fisher while Don Jordan returns as Lambert who was previously voiced by Dennis Haysbert in the last game. This is also the first game in the franchise in which it is rated M for mature. It is unknown why Ubisoft Montreal decided to go with this rating but speculation suggests they wanted a more realistic Splinter Cell game than in the past. A demo was released for OXM in which the lighthouse mission can be played. Chaos Theory was later remade for the Nintendo 3DS as called Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell 3D and it is also part of the Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Trilogy for PlayStation 3.
The soundtrack was composed by Amon Tobin and Jesper Kyd. Amon Tobin mostly did the in-game music while Jesper Kyd composed the music for the cinematics and multiplayer. The soundtrack can be currently bought and only features music from Amon Tobin. Jesper Kyd has a couple of tracks on his website.
A Limited Collector's Edition was available for PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube. Each version is packaged in a collectible tin, and the PC, PlayStation 2, and Xbox versions include the following bonus features on an extra disc:
- Exclusive G4 "Making Of" Video
- Music from the official Chaos Theory soundtrack by Amon Tobin
- Development Team video diaries
- Third Echelon Spy Training Manual by Penny Arcade
- Mega64 Videos
The PC version also contains the version 1.3 patch for the original Splinter Cell to add the Kola Cell, Vselka Infiltration, and Vselka Submarine missions that were originally only available as downloads on Xbox Live. The initial release contained a corrupt patch that would not install and had to be requested separately from Ubisoft, after which they would send a CD-R with the patch. The bonus disc can also be obtained with the GameCube version by contacting Ubisoft.com via e-mail.
- There is a crossover between Chaos Theory and the PlayStation 2/Gamecube version of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon 2. Both games feature the sinking of the USS Clarence E. Walsh and portray different sides of the Korean conflict.
- The DS and N-Gage versions includes original level designs for each of the missions.
- Red Nishin means "Red Herring" in Japanese. This foreshadows that the group was a "red herring" for the I-SDF.
- A background plot in the game involves two ISS astronauts that were trapped in the International Space Station after it was struck by a micrometeor. Guards mention this crisis in several of the game's missions. It is revealed that they were eventually rescued by a Chinese astronaut in the final stage.
- By today's standards, the game would have been given a "Teen rating" due to the fact that the ESRB now allows more swearing and blood inside video games. This is actually proven by the 3DS version which is T rated and, aside from graphical downgrade, is more or less the same game as the PlayStation 2/GameCube versions.
- Concept art and the box cover show Fisher hanging upside down with a knife behind an enemy, ready to strike. There is no feature to do this. It is possible that it was planned and then later scrapped.
- Some TV's have images from Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow in the Xbox version.
- When in the Displace mission two guards talk about a "new Prince of Persia game" and then he says "its a game of the year" this a reference to another Ubisoft game Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones which was released the same year as Chaos Theory was.
- This is the first game in the series that Sam uses a knife to kill enemies and gives the player a choice between lethal and non lethal attacks.
- The game was banned in South Korea until about 2007 (ironically, when the storyline takes place), since the game depicts a war between North Korea and South Korea, to avoid any tensions with North Korea.