Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory®

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory®
92
Metacritic
93
Steam
93.668
xDR
Our rating is calculated based on the reviews and popularity of the game.
Price
$9.99
Release date
27 August 2009
Developers
Publishers
Steam reviews score
Total
93 (3 952 votes)
Recent
90 (42 votes)

The year is 2008. Citywide blackouts ... stock exchange sabotage ... electronic hijacking of national defense systems ... this is information warfare. To prevent these attacks, operatives must infiltrate deep into hostile territory and aggressively collect critical intelligence, closer than ever to enemy soldiers.

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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Chaos Theory® system requirements

  • Supported OS: Microsoft Windows® 2000/XP
  • Processor: Intel Pentium III or AMD Athlon, 1.4 GHz (Pentium IV or Athlon 2.2 GHz recommended)
  • System Memory: 256 MB of RAM or above (512 MB recommended)
  • Video Card: 64 MB DirectX 9.0c compliant graphics card (128 MB recommended)
  • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compliant sound card (EAX 2.0 or higher recommended)
  • DirectX Version: DirectX® version 9.0c or higher
  • Hard Disk: 4 GB available hard disk space
  • Supported Peripherals: Windows compatible mouse and keyboard, joystick for Solo and Co-op modes
  • Multiplay: Broadband with 64 Kbps data transfer upload rate (128 kbps recommended)
  • Note: For the most up-to-date minimum requirement listings, please visit the FAQ for this game on our support website at: http://support.ubi.com.

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King-
King-

Impeccable graphics for a 2005 game, absolutely insane playing it in 2022 on a 34" monitor and still being able to enjoy without having belief-suspending, bad graphics. This could've been made in 2012 and I still wouldn't bat an eye.

The only thing that I'd like is native wide-screen support; using mods is too bothersome for a game I paid for.

The story is captivating and enjoyable, and I have to say, this is the only game from my childhood that I'm able to properly enjoy even today. Amazing work from Ubisoft! 10/10, great game!

jacowab
jacowab

i may be a bit nostalgic but its a lot of fun to replay this game, its got solid stealth and a lot of good voice acting from the main characters.

ryanscottxeper
ryanscottxeper

Probably have played for thousands of hours since I was young, one of the best games of all time to this day, hands down. 10/10

rbay17
rbay17

This game is like a miracle. It's an improvement on the first two games in just about every single regard. Firstly, it has some of the most finely tuned stealth mechanics in any game. You have plenty of tools which can help you tip the scales in your favor, but just about every one has some notable disadvantage so nothing feels terribly overpowered. Just take lights as one example. You can disable a light with your emp, but it's temporary, so you only have a few seconds to make your move. You could also use your gun to permanently remove the light from the equation, but even with a silencer, it's usually loud enough to alert anyone nearby to your presence. Or you could turn the lights off with a switch, but the enemy will try to turn them back on. Of course you can use that to your advantage to set traps. This is the level of thoughtfulness behind just one mechanic. The level design in another notable improvement. It is still fairly linear, but it makes incredibly smart use of pathways that loop in on themselves and connect to each other, as well as a plethora of optional rooms to explore to make it feel way less linear than it is. Conquering these levels, learning their ins and outs is a blast. And it's a good thing too, because you will need to explore them thoroughly if you want to achieve that perfect completion. The game is refreshingly reserved with its side content, only giving you one or two optional objectives in a level, which makes them enjoyable rather than overwhelming. I think the first two games are fun, but they show their age in some key ways. I don't believe that to be the case in Chaos Theory. The gameplay and level design have barely aged a day, and the visuals hold up remarkably well. If there is one area where the game does feel dated its in the AI. This is somewhat inevitable given how far that technology has evolved since 2005. It definitely is not terrible and the devs made some very smart decisions in implementing it, but the pathfinding is pretty basic, enemies occasionally spot you when it feels like they shouldn't, and much more often, don't spot you when it feels like they should. And there are moments in some of the later levels where full blown combat feels almost unavoidable. This is a shame because once Chaos Theory stops being one of the best stealth games of all time, it becomes the worst third-person shooter of all time. But those moments are incredibly few. That's where my complaints end. I absolutely adore this game, and I implore anyone who may have been turned off by the jank of the first two games to give this one a try.

I should mention though, it took a LOT of work to get this running properly on my computer. Put simply, the game is not optimized for modern machines. If you want to play this game (and if I have not made it clear, you absolutely should) I would actually recommend getting it on backwards-compatible Xbox One or Series X. But if, like me, you do not own an Xbox, get ready for a lot of fiddling, mods, and trial and error to get this game running. It's worth it, but the process can be frustrating. Just a word of warning.

Billy Bug
Billy Bug

its the second best stealth game maybe idk i havent played every stealth game but this game is pretty damn good not as good as hitman trilogy but best splinter cell game and better than all metal gear solid

Pappy O'Donnell
Pappy O'Donnell

Its dated today but this was the peak of the franchise. The game play is solid if you like to slowly sneak around. This was before more modern stealth games so the shooting is very labored and unhelpful. The story is not half bad either and gives good excuses for the changing environments. This was the last game in the franchise before it started trying to be edgy and lost its core stealth style game play to the action based sequels. I think the multiplayer is dead which is really sad, it was very good. The coop campaign is really good too and still works. It actually goes long with the main campaign and worked so well that the old show X Play made a whole machinima with it. I highly recommend this game.

Dictator Tots
Dictator Tots

One of the greatest stealth game ever made, a testament to what Tom Clancy games used to be. Gritty, slow, and dark. An intensely immersive and engaging tactical stealth experience that is still filled with charm and love. 10/10

modern_donkey
modern_donkey

Truly aged like fine wine. The controls are a little dated, and I had some issues running it on Windows 10 with dual monitors, but besides that its a great port and ran very smoothly.

warren waters
warren waters

Meticulously designed, beautifully lit, mechanically dense, and written by your racist uncle. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory is easily in the top 5 stealth games of all time if you can get past the "Tom Clancy's" they put in the title. Compared to the varied and experimental Metal Gear Solid series, Chaos Theory is simply very solid in a way that realizes basically every staple of the immersive stealth sim.

Vague, broad spoilers:
Chaos Theory is about an attempt to incite a war between North and South Korea. Expect the racist accent work to get more frequent the longer you play. Sorry.

sixsixsicks
sixsixsicks

Super fun and a decent amount of challenge for newer players. The story is pretty good, the ambiance and music are amazing!

󠀡󠀡󠀡󠀡⁧⁧GAMING
󠀡󠀡󠀡󠀡⁧⁧GAMING

This is Ubisoft's best game to this very day. The greatest entry in their greatest series. The Steam release isn't plagued by Uplay and only costs 10 bucks. I highly recommend it.

MOSSACK_FONSECA_
MOSSACK_FONSECA_

Incredible stealth game, with well designed levels and a surprisingly complex movement system that takes time to master. If you're a fan of stealth at all this is a must play. The only negatives that come to mind are the final stretch of the Bathouse level and boss fight, both of which are really poorly designed, everything else is top notch.

'Sup Mellow Mike!
'Sup Mellow Mike!

the bath house mission has a part that makes you feel like an insane person but a solid game otherwise

nospek
nospek

i love this game. i love the pure stealth of this game implemented. the only gripes is those cutscenes. it's like watching 3rd world country 3d animation by Malaysian coconuts, in 72p

fps pure stealth when? (beside thief dark project and metal age of course)

Dudacles
Dudacles

This game is incredible, still. I had played it once before on Xbox, a long time ago, but had basically forgotten all of its contents when I booted this up again during a Splinter Cell kick I've been going through. I came right off deeply enjoying Splinter Cell: Blacklist, and figuring I hadn't had enough Hardcore Stealth Gamer Action™ yet, booted this up. It took a bit of fiddling to get the game to display correctly on a widescreen monitor, but apart from that it basically works like a charm in 2022.

I know that great numbers of people consider this game to be one of the best stealth games of all time, and certainly the best in the franchise. I can agree with that, though I suppose I would place it alongside Blacklist (2013), rather than clearly above it. Having just played a more modern Splinter Cell before it, the first two levels of Chaos Theory made it seem somewhat antiquated to me: the levels started out being fairly straightforward corridor crawls, and the controls were simply less intuitive than in the newer games. However, from the third level onward, I started to see what made Chaos Theory so special. The controls clicked, and above all the level design became so good that I started to feel this game was truly special.

Though at this point there are of course many games that do the "stealth sandbox" in a much more grand way, such as Hitman 2016, Prey, Dishonored, and of course MGSV, I feel like Chaos Theory's levels in 2005 would have been quite a sight to behold. Of course, MGS3 also had fairly open levels that allowed multiple points of ingress and egress into most situations, and there had been other games such as Thief and System Shock that also offered flexibility, but still. Chaos Theory still feels like a modern game for the most part in 2022 in terms of gameplay design, and that is really saying something. The controls are a bit finicky, but once you get used to, for instance, controlling Sam's speed of movement through the scroll wheel on the mouse, it starts to click fairly well. Coming hot off Blacklist, I had also forgotten that one of the ways the earlier Splinter Cell games heavily discouraged firefights, was by having Sam pull out his gun very slowly and ponderously. In the first two hours, I had to just back to this older mindset of not really being able to gun down guards when in a pinch, but it became second nature after a while.

One major annoyance I did have with Chaos Theory throughout the game, was the map. It's not very clear, to start off with, and above all it seems you cannot rotate it when you have the map open. Rather, the angle with which you view the map depends on the angle you have on Sam's character model when in-game. The inability to simply rotate the map made it so I often found myself opening the map, seeing it was not angled right to tell me anything about where I needed to go, and then quitting out to change the camera angle so I could open the map again. This would continue two or three times before I could glean any directions from it. If I somehow missed the way to rotate the map, I guess I am just not very smart, but it seems a silly design flaw to have in the game.

In comparison to Blacklist's more "modern" design with side-missions and random distractions to be found on an overview map, I really enjoyed that Chaos Theory had ten clear-cut story missions, and then the game was over. The Xbox Co-op levels are not present here, and the online servers have long since been discontinued, I believe. But I enjoyed the nicely polished campaign that did not overstay its welcome. In comparison to Blacklist's deathly serious tone, the humorous interactions with some of the guards that you interrogate at knife point were a welcome change of pace as well. I thought the bland Blacklist Sam Fisher was fine as a cypher character, but to be honest Michael Ironside's gravelly sarcasm and Sam's humour just make this version of the character more fun to play as.

The story is serviceable and non-sensical in that hand-wavey sort of way that was just where games writing was at in the 2000s. Some of the writing leans into certain stereotypes about the Asian superpowers and the natures of their peoples, and this rubbed me the wrong way at times, but it never was too overbearing. And regardless, you are really here for the sleek stealth gameplay, that is nuanced and allows for many options, while still also limiting Sam and keeping him from being the type of supersoldier that can also take out whole rooms of bad guys with ease, if and when he is spotted. In the 2010s, the flexibility to go weapons hot at any moment is practically a requirement in stealth games, but I enjoyed the thoughtful ways in which limits were put on Sam in Chaos Theory.

So, to conclude: a truly wonderful game. Some of the best stealth gameplay of all time, no doubt. It doesn't completely knock Splinter Cell: Blacklist off its throne for me, but rather stands beside it as a joined best game in the franchise. If you've got 10 or so hours to spare, and like stealth games, you owe it to yourself to try this one.

Deli
Deli

This used to be one of my favorite games back in the day so I decided to pick it up and see how it holds up. OH BOY does it hold up well. Its the best stealth game still after all these years.

Couldnt get my controller to work, but the mkb controls are really good so no worries

SilverFox
SilverFox

I LOVE THIS GAME, SAM FISHER IS MY FUCKING FATHER, But literally, BEST STEALTH GAME EVER, Michael Ironside does a fantastic job capturing the grittiness of the character, from his remarks, to the way he is with his team, everything is perfect, each level feels like it was crafted to perfection (Ubisoft pre-2008, back when the formula wasnt saved to a HDD that wasnt shared with each studio)

Lighting: STICK TO THE SHADOWS

Graphics: COULD PASS AS A GAME RELEASED IN 2022

Sound: AMAZING ENVIRONMENTAL SOUND, AS WELL AS SOUNDTRACK

OVERALL REVIEW: Unfortunately i will need to give this game a solid 9/10 due to the fact that one cutscene has too much water - IGN

JK: I LOVE THIS FUCKING GAME 1000000000/10

Axmann
Axmann

The best game ever made by Ubisoft and a good representative of the stealth-actions with a decent story and immersive gameplay. Must check.

Prune Juice
Prune Juice

The faces in the first game look better than these, like what the actual f*ck happened to these faces??? It looks like they were sculpted by a child with play-doh or something, they're terrifying and keep me awake at night. The game's pretty good too but MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEIR FACES??? I was interrogating this one guy and his eyebrows were phasing through his forehead, his mouth was agape with his teeth sticking in random directions, and his eyes were square shaped. That's not to mention Sam's face, where his lips are so unnatural that I have to play the game facing forward at all times so that I don't have to look at his hideous mug. I'm serious, this is some scary stuff. 10/10 horror game.

SirSponge
SirSponge

Calling this the best Splinter Cell game is an understatement. It's honestly the best stealth game I have ever played. The amount of stuff you can do is amazing I had to go to the menu just help figure things out. I just wish these mechanics were present throughout the entire series. Overall I give a 10/10 for gameplay.

Albert21
Albert21

great game , the level design is absolutely amazing and in my opinion one of the best ubisoft games of all time

FunKiEE
FunKiEE

I always comeback to this game & decided to buy it w/ the discount, works just fine on recent hardware, but if you experience anything bad, just go to PCGamingWiki or Search for "Improvements for Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory" There's a STeam guide on it.

Yaezyy
Yaezyy

Used to played the shit out of this. My most favorite stealth game ever. Everything is executed flawlessly. The genre definitely peaked at this game. If you're interested in the stealth genre, this game is the perfect introduction.

Virus
Virus

WARNING: you WILL have to mod this game, most people recommend 3.0 shaders (which you can turn on in the options), but i use the widescreen mod + windows compatability mode (set to xp), and i tried 3.0, would CRASH alot, so i'd recommend staying on 1.1, i got a whole 12 hours straight of zero crashes using 1.1. BUT this game is VERY good, and honestly pretty fuckin fun for 12 hours, only felt like a few hours and im kept wanting more, this game has very few tedious parts, and most of them can be cheesed, etc. this is objectively one of the most fun games ive played on steam, sure its old and requires mods, but for 10 dollars this is extremely worth it.

Daniel_illuminati
Daniel_illuminati

I played it on PS2 so many years ago and I liked it so much that even without thinking about which SC was the best, I always kept playing this title over the rest.
Now that I had the chance to buy it on Steam, nothing in my mind changed. The game is great, definitely the best SC and one of the best stealthy games that you can find.
I had a few problems tho, specially about lights, sometimes I would open the browser while playing and the game would open with blurry zones on the screen which would get fixed when changing the resolution of the game.

mah boi
mah boi

Splinter Cell has been kind of forgotten by much of the gaming community, and I kind of understand why. Compared to Metal Gear Solid’s unique Kojima-flavoured weirdness, this series is distinctly unmemorable. The plots always aim for realistic but come off as hazy and blandly patriotic, and the games’ approach to originality is introducing a bunch of little additions rather than grand reinvention. It’s a little unfair, because the games work perfectly well, and those little additions usually build up to an engaging whole. And Chaos Theory works the best and has the most engaging little additions of all of them! I’m most enthusiastic about the “ambient sound” mechanic, which can disguise the sound of player actions. It’s an organic and thoroughly-executed system (even the hum of electric lights registers a little bit), and it adds a unique, invisible layer to the level design.

Speaking of level design, Chaos Theory is also the most open-ended game in the series. It’s nowhere near the level of Thief or Hitman, but it’s at a level that’s appropriate for the gameplay, ensuring there are opportunities to use all of the extremely cool but situational maneuvers without them feeling scripted. The unorthodox control scheme from the previous games returns, and it’s still oddly satisfying in the same way as piloting a spacecraft in a sci-fi flight sim. Furthermore, the soundtrack is surprisingly original, and the visuals and voice acting have improved to the point that they’re the best of the original trilogy. Admittedly, time has not been kind to either, though they at least fared better in that regard than the formerly-outstanding cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes, which are simply no longer available.

Score: 7.5/10

https://www.imlgames.com/tom-clancys-splinter-cell-chaos-theory/

777bigmanlee
777bigmanlee

A near masterpiece stealth game. The game oozes with atmosphere and it really is the series's Magnum Opus.
Hiding in the dark making whistle noises, knocking someone out with a strong facepalm and watching them drop like a sack of potato's is always satisfying. The Panama Bank is a very memorable location and probably the best mission in the series.

Getting it to run properly with a Xbox One controller can be finicky however, and requires a guide for correct button mapping.

BayaLilKneendzah
BayaLilKneendzah

They don't make them like him anymore.... There was this other guy though, he wore a bandana or something

Viper276
Viper276

Played this on GameCube and then played on Xbox years later.
Still looks good for a game that came out in 2005.

Who
Who

Overhearing a Peruvian revolutionary, very clearly speaking Spanish like they would in Spain, only for you to grab him from behind and he changes to this American dude making an outrageously over the top Mexican accent is quite something.

The Frederick
The Frederick

One of the best games ever made during Ubisoft's high point. A shining beacon of good gameplay which still holds up to this day. I replay this every 4 years or so and enjoy every minute of it!

die wily
die wily

One of the better stealth games, but a little weird with the difficulty. The game is either way too easy or so hard it seems broken (namely the boss fight in the spa towards the end).

The stand out of Chaos Theory isn't the maps but rather the audio. The music is great and the noises emitted by just anything in the map are unique and memorable. There's a background-audio meter to keep your movement quieter than, but other than that the audio doesn't factor much into gameplay. What I mean by this is, I don't think I ever determined where an enemy or objective was by listening to the audio, even though it's very nice to listen to.

The interrogations are the primary gameplay innovation of Chaos Theory, and around half of the people you grab will give you some fun dialogue exchange between them and Sam. It's very enjoyable to just grab a random guard to see what he has to say.

The levels are memorable setpieces but are still pretty small and straighforward (though less utterly linear than the first two games were). I liked most of the missions but Seoul was a pain and I don't think i'd want to ever replay that level. Another annoyance is that every level has a lot of spammed side-objectives to aquire 4-12 of, and it gets tedious if you go for those objectives.

But in general this is a very good game. I personally prefer the first game but I understand why people love this one with the great co op mode and the multiplayer (you need to mess with the game to do either as Ubisoft doesn't support it anymore). It's well worth a run through or two.

CrimsonEye
CrimsonEye

a fantastic stealth game. played it back on the ps2 on it's release. my favourite game in the series. does not mention controller support but there's a fix to get the xbox controller to fully work. I setup my wireless series x controller already and it works perfectly. here is the link to get your controller working for it

https://steamcommunity.com/app/13570/discussions/0/1743355067097513248/

Alec Sander
Alec Sander

"You won't get a medal for this Fisher, you don't even exist.

Medals don't help me sleep at night"

10/10

GordonNotFreeman
GordonNotFreeman

Simply the greatest stealth game ever made. Beautifully animated movement, combined with incredible lighting and fantastic stealth. This game has one of the greatest soundtracks ever made. Not many games qualify as a masterpiece in my eyes, but this, this is something else entirely.

Snake
Snake

Not a good port, but not a completely horrible one. You're better off buying it for the original Xbox.

The scroll wheel was bound to movement speed, which is only known by old farts like me.

There are severe audio issues that ruin the experience.(Mo muffling through walls/doors like in the original) I never had these issues on the original Xbox version. Maybe someday there will be a solution to the problem. The game does not natively support modern Xinput controllers out of the box.

Anyway, if you're willing to look for solutions and liked this game for the Xbox, then it's worth a buy.

Myself33550336
Myself33550336

It is a good game. If you like stealth games, consider buying this one.

chints
chints

Great stealth game, especially for its time. Solid 8.5/10 from me

rat cis 🩸
rat cis 🩸

Ruined.
Mouse acceleration is permanently on
The aiming is fucked
Night vision just turns your screen completely white, it's like a flashbang every time you use it

Rexana
Rexana

The last good Splinter Cell game. Had all the QoL improvements over the first game and Pandora Tomorrow, with none of the BS that Double Agent had. great flavour text when interrogating NPCs, stellar voice acting work (as usual) from Michael Ironside. Wonderful, believable story. Can't recommend Chaos Theory enough.

cooltimmy1
cooltimmy1

challenging for new player but fun once you get the hang of it makes everyone feel like a badass

JOranges01
JOranges01

Easily the best stealth game ever made, masterful level design and superb soundtrack. Michael Ironside 11/10

the_seal_deal
the_seal_deal

yeah this game is pretty freaking good

Carro
Carro

Still the best Splinter Cell game.

ChilliCheeseCarCrash
ChilliCheeseCarCrash

now this is a good fuckin game, get this game

Eudamus_The_Great
Eudamus_The_Great

I have not played a single second of this game because I cannot launch it without having to go through seven steam discussions just to find some sort of attempt at a fix.

Uber
Uber

One of the best stealth games ever made

Trooper27c
Trooper27c

It is a lot of fun and is the best splinter cell game!

Your_Local_Friendly_IRS_Agent
Your_Local_Fri…

I played this as a kid on my PS2 and the PC version is much better. This is a fun game and is still entertaining after all these years!

esprit.tordu
esprit.tordu

This game was awesome. I got a lot out of it. I've been playing all the games that are ten or twenty years old because back then i was too cheap to buy them or hardware to play them on. Therefore my perspective on this is as if it were new so I am very impressed. There are a lot of controls to keep track of but I figured it out. I prefer games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein with a minimum of keys to keep track of but this was still great.

Crimzon
Crimzon

best stealth game of all time?
Definitely is the best splinter cell.

GimmeYourButter
GimmeYourButter

This is the perfect version of a Splinter Cell game to date besides the first game with exceptions. CT is an amazing game for many reasons.
Attention to detail in this game is to no other I can think of in terms of enemy awareness and when tripping alarms, making noise to your location, etc.
Sam's interrogations and voice lines throughout the game is very fulfilling and listening to Ironside voice Fisher in this one is like butter melting in your ears. Its recommend to go silent in every mission because I believe that is how the game is best played but you CAN go loud in most missions where its allowed if you want to. Sometimes blasting a soldier in the face with a sniper or shotgun attachment is satisfying. The replay ability in Chaos Theory is respectable, there is more then one way to approach each mission in the game instead of the more linear play through of the first Splinter Cell.
I personally am not a huge fan of the story and I really wish there was more cut scenes in the game so I could learn more about more about every character, if you played through it the first time recently like I did you would probably feel like each cut scene and dialogue before every mission was rushed. But I believe Ubisoft focused on the gameplay aspect more because what wasnt in the first game was brought here and what was already in the game was PERFECTED in CT. I recommend this game alot, its one of my favorite all time games. For a game that was released in 2005 it plays and feels fantastic for a sneak game. Please play this game once.

Beware, I have dealt with a few crashes and other very few game glitching bugs. They are far and few but there is compatibility issues for sure. But its very easy to look past. But dont alt tab at all in the home screen of the game like I did or else CT will disappear off your task bar on Windows like it does for me. (Is anyone else having this issue??)

Seymour Butts
Seymour Butts

This game is the creme of the crop for what a true stealth game should be, I cannot recommend it enough. Online co-op is still possible through third party LAN network program that takes two seconds and is easy enough that someone who knows nothing about computers can get a game ready. And wow, this game has some absolutely unique and well done co-op aspects that keep it fresh and really original. An absolute classic and a must have for both stealth game enthusiasts and someone who enjoys difficult games.