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6 Degrees Entertainment

Game Reviews
'Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow'
By: UBI Soft
(PS2 / ASIN: B00018RR6Q / Rated: T / $39.99)

Features:Exciting shooting game set in Tom Clancy's world of espionage 'Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow' features highly detailed graphic environments, a vast arsenal of weapons and gear in a nonlinear gameplay. For one player.

Description: 2006: The U.S. installs a temporary military base on East Timor to train the developing defense force of the "world's youngest democracy." Resistance to the U.S. military presence in Southeast Asia is widespread and passionate, but the threat Indonesian militias pose to Timorese democracy is deemed sufficient justification. Anti-U.S. resentment comes to a head under the leadership of guerrilla militia leader Suhadi Sadono, acting with the unofficial support of major corrupt factions of the Indonesian government. Suhadi's men attack and occupy the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, taking dozens of civilian and military personnel hostage. Deployed by a top secret wing of the NSA (National Security Agency) known as Third Echelon, Sam Fisher is a lone field operative supported by a remote team. Fisher must defend and assist the U.S. military, both locally and from remote locations, until Suhadi's terror-driven policies can be subverted and the guerrilla faction eradicated. Charged with saving the world, it’s a high stakes game. If he fails, the U.S. will deny any knowledge of his existence.

Verdict: Just a friendly warning to all CDR/CDRW/DVDR/DVDRW drive owners. UBI Soft has a "feature" on their PC software that prevents installation from any drive with write capacity. Why they feel that will slow down a game cracker, and why they don't mind blowing off an entire segment of the market, is entirely beyond me, but that's not the point here. Call UBI Soft tech support BEFORE buying this or any other PC game from them, and check to make sure whether or not you will be able to install. Software (such as 'Chessmaster 9000', just to grab a random example) doesn't come with a warning on the box nor has one been displayed anywhere to the best of my knowledge. One could speculate that they're perfectly happy to let people buy their software knowing some won't be able to install it, but I'll leave their motivation to give no warning to consumers to your imagination.

All that aside though, any fan of the first 'Splinter Cell' will not be disappointed. This game is pretty amazing. The gameplay is pretty similar to the 1st, the levels seem to be much the same, and there have been a few outdoor missions thrown into the mix. The enemy A.I. is a little better this time around, I think. They've added a whistle to the distraction arsenal and I've used it a couple times successfully. The other additions are the 1/2 split jump and the SWAT turn. The graphics are what makes this game so good. I've been floored by some things like the village, the subway station, the morgue, and the train. The light/shadow and motion physics are fantastic. I haven't played online yet, but I'll get to it.

Gerry Manners