Super-villains always seem to come up with the most ridiculous, pretentious codenames for weapons of mass destruction, and Pandora Tomorrow (PT) is a prime example. But while the name may be utter nonsense, the game is little short of sublime, offering the same tense, cinematic, stealth-'em-up action that made the original game one of the best ever produced. PT refers to a biological contagion that the game's Blofeld-style character is threatening to release. It's 2006, and the US Military's occupation of East Timor is hardly popular with guerrilla militia leader Suhadi Sadono. The game starts in the US Embassy in Jakarta, where Suhadi's men have taken both civilians and military hostage. You reprise the role of Sam Fisher, special agent extraordinaire, tasked with taking down this alleged baddie and making the world a safer place. Obviously, all is not as it appears, but there's a myriad of locations and missions to be worked through before the deceptions and final denouement are revealed. And it's the locations in which this sequel is set that provide the principle improvement from the original. Instead of the dimly-lit, atmospheric indoor locales of the first outing, PT takes on far more graphically challenging situations. Most impressive is one of the first missions - hanging for dear life off the side of a train hurtling from Paris to Nice, while the torrential rain and speeding trains make matters hair-raising to say the least. While this is quite easily the best-looking part of the game, the rest is far from average; backdrops are vibrant and detailed, and Sam in particular looks stunning, moving with cat-like grace as he downs his foes. But, as was the case with the original, it's not just a matter of sniping down your enemies from a distance, or engaging in a hand-to-hand fight to the death. Lethal force is rarely permitted, so the majority of the game is still spent in the shadows, inca pacitating your opposition one by one and dragging their limp bodies to where they're least likely to be found. And despite a perfectly good assault rifle being in your arsenal, it's not that often you get the chance to gun down your victims. One of my major complaints about the original was that there was a little too much trial-and-error gaming. Sometimes you were only able to find the location of a tripwire or mine by actually treading on it - then you'd have to go back and start the mission over. It's hardly realistic - in reality, if a wire has been tripped, it's rather difficult to go back and start again - and often ruined what was an incredibly intense atmosphere. While there's still the occasional completely illogical solution to a puzzle, the majority of these foibles have been removed. A few new moves have also been added to Sam's arsenal of attack, but fear not; his trusty pistol and assault rifle from the original remain to hand. The controls are similar to the original, and hence you'll be completely lost without a joypad. Any new moves are explained in the first half of the first mission. But the most impressive new aspect of PT is the arrival of a multiplayer mode. While this may sound a bit damp to many - it's hardly a frantic shoot 'em-up - it's surprisingly energetic and enthralling. Up to four players are allowed, and the game allows for handicapped teams - it can be a four-against-one match if you wish. There are three gameplay options, centred round a subplot of the single-player missions. You can play either side of a mission to rescue and neutralise virus containers: the difference between the options is how the vials are disposed of, be it by remote access, extracting them to a safe location or just smashing them to tiny bits. Communication between team members is vital, so a fast connection and a keyboard are necessary. So, PT is essentially more of the same wra pped in a smoother, crisper and more varied environment. One criticism, though, is that the single-player game feels a little short - with only eight missions, it's more of an add-on pack to the first rather than a full game in its own right. But this is clearly a case of quality over quantity - I'd rather have these ten hours of this great gameplay than a hundred of many similar games. Add to that the immense possibilities of the multiplayer section, and you really do have one of the best games of the past year.
Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow is perhaps one of the best games that has ever reached my finger tips, and is perhaps the best game that I have ever played on. It beats everything. Except for Halo! Obviously. It is one of those things that you think: I've got to get that. Gameplay: What are you waiting for, this games gameplay is beyond believe. Many people think that the splinter cell series is all about stealthiness, and gathering information. Well they are all wrong. This has two sides to it. One of them is obviously a stealth side. But... The other side, can be eliminating tagets, killing people to get to things, infiltrating buildings in some sort of way. Be it your own way, or thier way. Stopping things like diseases being released to the world, Picking locks, hacking into computers. And many more things. You are equipped with various weapons and gadgets, to help complete the various objectives. You play as a guy whos known as Fisher. He works for some kind of secret elimination unit.Who are in turn, tying to stop a Single minded evil guy, who is determined to take control of America and all of its allies. His insurance policy is a newly adapted form of smallpox, immune to vaccines, and highly fatal. One wrong move and it is released to America and its allies. Graphics: This time they've worked overtime on these graphics. They are as sharp as a kitchen knife. The game could be mistaken for a film the graphics are that good! The people look as real as you and me. The weapons are, as always life like and real. And just to top it all off the surroundings look as real as the world that we live in today. You think that I'm joking but I'm far from it! I am being dead serious! Background music: The music played helps set you in the mood for your objectives. For instance say you set off the alarm and you weren't supposed to, and you've got guards crawling all over you then it will play music to get the adre naline going. If your in a stealthy part of the game then it will play the soft bouncy music or something like that. You will also get (if your outside) the various animal noises that you would naturally hear. Conclusion: In conclusion, I feel that this game is a game that you must have as it comes top over every other game. It is fun to play and there is also a option that allows you to play multiplayer, which is probaly the first type of this game to ever allow the multiplayer option. It is a game that can teach you handy things or tricks if you watch carefully and it is an enjoyment to watch and play. I also think that people of ages 9 and above would enjoy playing this game although at various points it can become very challenging