Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (Sniper)
Genre: Stealth/Action
Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft

Splinter Cell- Chaos Theory uses what appears to be the same 3d engine powering Ghost Recon- Jungle Storm, one of Gameloft's other N-Gage entries. Like that title, Chaos Theory features detailed textures, some nice lighting effects, and runs at a reasonable framerate. Even though it lacks the fluidity of other titles such as Colin McRae 2005, Chaos Theory is a splendid looking N-Gage game, and is a bit richer looking than Ghost Recon, despite using the same engine.

Chaos Theory has one of the best soundtracks I've heard from a mobile or handheld title on any platform; the songs are dark, somber, and chilling, but also melodic and memorable. Sound effects, such as gunshots and some limited voice acting, and crystal clear, even when playing out the N-Gage's single, small speaker. The quality of the audio and the fact that it fits the game so well makes for a compelling aural treat.

This title's gameplay is easy to describe: Imagine playing one of the console Splinter Cell titles on the N-Gage, and you've got a perfect idea of what this game is about. Every last move from the console titles is present and easily usable here, despite the smaller form factor. But it isn't just a conceptual direct port; Gameloft took the small screen and somewhat choppy framerates into account by cleverly pacing and planning out the flow of the maps. While the missions are impressively massive and take up to an hour and a half to beat, they are divided into small, manageable segments.

I can hardly point out anything wrong with this title, it is a Splinter Cell game in your pocket, and factoring out the small screen, it's every bit as good as the console titles. In fact, even if you do factor in the N-Gage's limitations and imagine this game at 60fps on PSP's massive display, it wouldn't be any better or more fun because it's so well designed around the shortcomings of the hardware. If Pathway to Glory and strategy games aren't your thing, this is the next best game on the N-Gage. And if that's not enough, there's even cooperative and competitive Bluetooth multiplayer modes!

Sniper's verdict: