Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – Consumer Guide

Parents should approach this title with cautionary confidence. Blood is shed, but it's very miniscule, and can be barely seen. The game also deals with larger world issues like the current North Korean situation. As long as parents are careful about teaching their children about the concepts of war, it shouldn't be a problem. People can get shot, and spines and necks can be broken. In most instances, however, killing is optional.

Stealth fans who were disappointed by the linearity of the previous installments can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The levels have opened up, and level goals can sometimes be tackled in a different order, or not at all, depending on the situation.

Fans of the previous games will no doubt enjoy the new gameplay elements. The music, composed by Amon Tobin, evokes a cinematic mood for the game. The multiplayer games, both cooperative and versus, are brilliant. Newcomers to the maps now can use a guided tour of each map, giving them a leg up on the online competition. Matchmaking also matches players up with similar skill sets, lessening the frustration experienced by many Pandora Tomorrow newcomers.

This game is completely unsuitable for Deaf and Hard of Hearing gamers. Not only do cutscenes not feature subtitles of any kind, a brand new feature of the game focuses solely on sound. Granted, there is the sound meter to help players out, but that makes it that much harder to focus when a player is constantly monitoring the meter literally every step of the way. Also, there are a number of audio clues to cue certain events. In-game chatter is always featured in conversation windows, but without the cutscenes, it's all just meaningless technobabble.